The world is beginning to unfreeze. In Brooklyn, where I spend the winter, we saw the very first daffodil tips peek above the ground yesterday. The three-quarter-mile dirt lane that climbs steeply up to our mountaintop cabin is no doubt still buried in snow; lacking decent snow tires on our car, we haven't dared venture there since November.
But like every other person who loves to see things grow, I've had my nose in the seed catalogs. I have a whole bin of seeds already; some are left from previous seasons, some I harvested last fall. I could grow a wonderful garden with what I have, and I've been trying to be frugal.
But of course I want more: Ooo, check out those purple pole beans. And those yard-long beans -- wow, imagine what they'll look and taste like. And what about trying Hon Tsai Tai? And sorrel? And magenta spreen? I need to try growing that new blight-resistant tomato, and I think I need some fresh lettuce seed. And of course I want a few different types of lettuce, that new speckled summer crisp and the pretty redleaf and that delicious-looking green oak. I hear it's better to buy fresh spinach seed, too -- and look, there's an awesome-looking red spinach and a bolt-resistant green variety to try.
You start out looking at the catalogs thinking how inexpensive seeds are, and you find yourself with a total purchase that makes your jaw drop. It's because it's the dead of winter, and it all sounds so marvelous. You're not buying seeds, really. You're buying dreams.