What You Read This Year: Our Top 10 Blog Posts

by Tusha Yakovleva

IMG_1057Happy Almost New Year! 2014 marks the 6th anniversary of the Seeder's Digest. Our very first blog post, in January 2009, read, "We're currently a two-man operation, and we're doing our best to fill orders, prepare for the upcoming growing season, and get the website launched all at the same time." Although we are still trying our best to fill orders and always brainstorming new farm projects, it's amazing to see how outdated the rest of the sentence has become. Not just the Seed Library but the Seeder's Digest has grown so much, largely because of our supportive, guiding, and dedicated readership. Thank you!

With just a few hours left in 2013, we've weeded this year's blog posts to reveal the highlights of this year. Below are our most popular articles from 2013:

1. Spring Foraging by way of Spring Weeding: 6 Edible Garden Weeds

2. The Seed Starting Series: Crafting a Seed Starting Schedule; Starting Seeds Under Protection; Direct Sowing

3. Growing in the Shadows: Shade Tolerant Vegetables

4. Enjoying Summer, Planning for Fall

5. Tip Top Tomato Tips Tally

6. Art of the Heirloom Opening

7. How to Plant Garlic

8. Pruning Tomatoes

9. The Seed Library Movement from Roots to Bloom

10. Keep on Sowing

Although some parts of our very first blog post read like they are from a different life, others are as true as ever. Here are inspiring thoughts from Doug (from the same post!) for a dreary winter day:

Deep winter is upon us. A thick blanket of snow sits upon the earth; the days remain brief and often gray; the weather report calls for sub-zero temperatures the next few days. For some gardeners, this time of year provokes desolation, maybe even an urge to move to Florida and swap their maples and spruces for live oaks and palm trees. But look a little deeper and you'll see winter as the gift that it is: a three- or four-month window in which to put to rest any anxiety or sadness spawned by last year's garden and to re-focus on what matters for next year's. By late February, the prospect of perky onion seedlings and sunnier days is most welcome. But right now's the time to look within, to re-acquaint yourself with the contrarian spirit--that deep well of hope--that calls you to dig your hands into the earth and feed yourself.

Our culture is brimming over in convenience. In North America, nearly every human whim can be satisfied with a few keystrokes or the turn of the ignition. Growing your own food is not convenient--at least not in the typical way. A garden means commitment; a garden means trust; a garden means shedding fears and giving the earth a try. It is, in short, out-of-step with the dominant rhythms of our urbanized/suburbanized world. But a garden delivers something that you can find nowhere else: the delight of using your body to keep yourself alive and healthy. In a garden, there is no person between you and the source of life, no inexplicable rules guiding your experience, no blank-faced strangers strumming bar code readers. There's you and a plot of earth teeming with life, teeming with possibility. This winter, we encourage you to recall this awareness, and to imagine what the world could be like if each of us were to tend a garden every year.

So, dream a bit. Dream of your own garden, and dream of the power of gardens. Consider helping a non-gardening friend or neighbor put in a few tomato plants this year. Share the food you grow with your co-workers. The world needs your garden now more than ever.