After six years of ordering seeds for our farm (and three other years of noticing what varieties worked and didn't while apprenticing at Quail Hill) I thought this year would almost be a little bit boring, practically from memory, but that was not the case at all. A farm is such a living organism that I guess it's evolving too, as is my knowledge of how it works, and that led to more surprises (and fun) than I expected.
Onions stick out in my mind as something in particular that should have been boring but wasn't (and you'll have to excuse me if I get more excited by these things than most. Red Marble will be the first cippolini onion I have grown in Vermont. Besides it's Cippolini-ness I wanted a red storage onion that would really store, and the shape of cipollinis makes them ideal for that. At the same time, I am dropping Copra for now, which had been my go to yellow all-purpose onion. For the past two years I have found it underperforming relative to other onions of mine, and it wasn't storing well either, so I've switched to both New York Early and Varsity.
The thought process wasn't quite so extensive in all categories of vegetables, but it often was. I had kind of gone into the whole process thinking I would be replicating my tomato order from last year, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to create a special mix of cherry tomatoes, getting great taste and color (which means no yellow pear in my opinion), ended up with Isis candy, black cherry and three others. I also brought back Juliet, which is a great tasting Roma tomato. It is not an heirloom, nor a slicer, but I felt like my members and maybe even farmer's market customers would appreciate a smaller option. Also the first time trying a paste tomato in a long time, it is the sungold of paste tomatoes (so at least if I can't have sungolds (see earlier posts for that story) I can have this, and an easier time making sauce. With 20+ varieties of tomatoes I won't go into all of them here, but I think it will be a colorful exciting bunch.
Other quick glosses: getting broccoli earlier and better now looks more possible, in part because limba, which I missed the boat on last year (I ordered everything a week earlier this year) will be in the mix, as will some other early varieties. Also adding more marigolds and rudbeckia to the flower patch.
As for those wanting to get a jump on getting a share for this year, I will soon be updating our brochure and website. No big changes there so anyone new to us can get the gist right now if they want. Enjoy Winter!