Happy New Year! The daffodil leaves are green salutes pointing tall out of the snow and this evening as I closed the gate I spied a little burst of yellow, the first crocus. Spring isn’t here yet, but I’m starting to think about what I might plant on the windowsill come February. My box of seeds is a jumble of store-bought seed packets and re-used envelopes stuffed with seeds harvested from the garden: coriander, pumpkin, courgette, butternut squash, lettuce, poppy, pot marigold, french string bean, fennel, pepper, and aubergine.
There’s invariably a tray of seeds drying out somewhere in the kitchen. I have difficulty throwing them away. It’s the promise they hold that gets me. And all the different shapes and sizes. The seahorse-like tails of pot marigold. Brown broad beans like dice in my hand. The translucent pearly sheaths on squash. The hairy pods of love-in-a-mist. Friendly collections waiting.
I was discussing seeds with our local organic market garden farmer, who supplies vegetable baskets to our community, and she told me it’s illegal in France for her to harvest her own seeds. She has to buy them each year from a catalogue. Score one for the corporate seed lobby and its success at trumping common sense.
Plant seeds – our source of food production and an integral part of biodiversity – are increasingly owned and controlled, with laws proposed that would limit who can produce seeds.
Meanwhile, for want of a gardenable garden and the fact it’s too early for planting seeds on my windowsill, I’m going to try and restore order to my seed filing box and its gazillion potential plant lives!