Gardeners’ mecca

It doesn’t look like much, this former chicken barn at 688 Bellsqueeze Road  up in Clinton, Maine, but it and a larger shed behind it are the operations center for Fedco Seeds, a seed and garden supply co-op geared toward the Northern New England climate. (I had to get that name in, Bellsqueeze, it’s a real, longstanding country road.) Members vouch for its high quality, low prices, and range of selections.

Well, they do call this a warehouse, even if you are welcome to stop by to browse and buy. Mostly, it’s mail order.

Garden season begins

 

Snow may be piling up outside, but the planning and seed ordering are done now. This is how it looked last year, with the catalog then. (Photo by Rachel Williams)
They’ll soon be arriving. We try to order early, since the coop sometimes runs out.

Fresh spuds

I stuck two rotting potatoes in the ground and got eight pounds in return.

Not a bad investment, is it?

Well, I stuck them in two old planters with just a covering of soil at the bottom late last spring and kept covering them as the stems and leaves shot upward. Didn’t take long for the entire container to be full. Three or four months later, in early September, the lush foliage went kaput, and it was time for harvest.

Have you ever eaten truly fresh potatoes – the kind picked just an hour or two before cooking? It’s a revelation. Roasted, they’re so creamy and sweet. Melt in the mouth, if you nibble at the oven. By the time they get to the table, they’re getting some firmness … but, oh, they’re still heavenly.

You don’t have to visit Maine or Idaho or even live there to discover what this means.