Shopping for spring within the seed catalogs

By Trilby Becker, Legacy volunteer and co-owner of Sunseed Farm

Trilby the flower farmer and Tomm the vegetable farmer are deeply connected to the land. They run Sunseed Farm near Ann Arbor and delight in perusing seed catalogs during the doldrums of winter.

By the time the leaves are falling and the morning dew has turned to frost on the grass, weary farmers are looking forward to the end of the season. After just a few more big days of pulling roots out of the ground and hauling them to storage, the harvest will be over. At long last we can begin to slow down.

But before the flakes have started to fly the first sign of spring has already appeared. Between the books stacked on the nightstand, underneath the newspaper on the kitchen counter, on the passenger seat of the car: catalogs, catalogs, catalogs! We pull from our mailbox more than a dozen vegetable and flower catalogs this time of year.

On monotonous gray winter days, there is something electric about opening them up and seeing all that color. Vegetable farmers call it “vegetable porn” and flower farmers call it “flower porn.” In the doldrums of winter we all love to look at bright, bodacious plants in happy anticipation of the next growing season.

On a January day when I haven’t seen the sun in weeks, I open the sunflower section of the catalog and can almost feel the warmth on my face. Photo by Trilby Becker.

As a flower farmer married to a vegetable farmer, I love both, yet deep down I’m pretty sure my catalogs are the best. On a January day when I haven’t seen the sun in weeks, I open the sunflower section and can almost feel the warmth on my face. The snapdragons are sparkling, the salpiglosis is outrageous, and I can hardly wait to see the lisianthus and the bells of Ireland reunited.

Last fall I bought bulbs that will begin to flower in our hoophouse in February, so I will be treated to an early spring. Until then, I will snuggle up with my catalogs and dream.

Trilby volunteers as a photo-monitor. Read more about photo-monitoring in these articles:

This article first appeared in our Winter 2017 newsletter, which you can download to read in full.

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