MIgardener Seed Haul

January means garden planning. I used to spend time poring over catalogs, those glossy thick ones that come in the mail from places like Baker Creek and Johnnys, as well as the other ones like Burpee and Gurneys. I used to get together with my Uncle on a Saturday morning, and my aunt would make us tea and there would be cookies and bagels, and my uncle and I would plan our gardens together. Who would get what seeds, what we would split, and he always had tidbits of advice and suggestions for me. Gardening was the thing I learned from him. It was our bond. When he passed away from Covid in November of 2020, I was devastated. I still miss him something fierce, everyday. And since then, I have tried to recreate those moments of ordering seeds with Billy, trying to achieve the same thing, and it just didn’t work. It didn’t feel right and made me sad, despite Billy’s best efforts. So this year, I went with something new. It is time to start a new tradition, one where I am the “expert” and Billy and Wyatt my partners.

Billy has been a big fan of MIGardener’s YouTube channel for years. I only recently started watching the channel, but Luke has tons of great videos, and even better, his information is Michigancentric. I had no idea though that he had a store so close to us, only an hour away! This was it, this was the new thing we could do, the new tradition we could start – shopping directly at his store!

We rolled up after a fairly easy drive (and after Billy exclaimed that the guy walking on the side of the road with his dog was the MIgardener although we don’t really know) and found ourselves in front of a large but fairly unassuming building on a very gray blah day. I also want to note that it is wheelchair accessible, with a ramp off to the side.

Inside though was warm and bright and felt like spring and hope and sunshine, with a giant wall of seeds, a small area of fun little extras, and a wall of just tomato seeds. And plants! Wyatt was very excited which made me smile. We may have gone a bit nuts, and made a mistake that MIgardener talks about in his videos – overbuying. Next year we will be better, I promise. This year though, we had a little bit of fun. We all picked seeds, including Wyatt.

So, want to see what we picked?

Four different kinds of tomatoes. Cucumbers, cucamelons, and those pretty spring peas. And black carrots, a Wyatt choice, and then I added watermelon radish.

Moon and Stars Watermelon (me), Tigger Melons (Wyatt), and then some orange watermelon (Billy). Luffa gourds because another customer in the store talked me into it, and jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

Then Billy’s array of lettuces for salad.

And then Billy and Wyatt left me some surprises at the register, that they chose for me. A few stickers, a lip balm, and a small little strawberry recipe book.

Now that we have all of this, we need to redo our garden plan! It is something that will keep us busy and thinking of spring during these longest and grayest of winter Michigan months, dreaming of toasted tomato cheese sandwiches, evening bowls of watermelon, those early spring radish that give you that bit of excitement of something green and growing.

This year I hope to can again, something I haven’t done at all since my uncle passed. We always did that together too. So I will change it up, maybe can sauce instead of diced tomatoes, etc. Change it up, but keep the spirit of it all. Start these types of traditions with Wyatt.

All in all, it was a good day. One I wish I could have shared with my uncle, but he would be pleased that I am passing on his love for growing food.

13 thoughts on “MIgardener Seed Haul

  1. My mom and my grandma were like that with the seed catalogs. We didn’t have any space to grow anything in Chicago, but my grandma lived out in the country, and had a ton of space. I wish I had that kind of space here.

    This woman lives in northern Idaho and writes a good bit about her garden, including seeds (mostly heritage). Those posts can be found here: http://www.rural-revolution.com/search/label/garden

    I discovered Alexis Dahl’s Youtube a few days ago. Seriously, I think she must be a cousin or sibling of Mark Rober! In any case, she lives in the UP now, and is making videos about Michigan stuff: https://www.youtube.com/@AlexisDahl

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      1. My original Livejournal blog turned 21 in October. For me, it was a really special community, and it gave me a chance to write about an interesting time of my life. Over the years, I think I met something like 30 people in real life off of Livejournal, across four countries, if you can believe that! Things certainly have changed now, but there are still a lot of good and worthwhile blogging that’s being done. It’s a little bit of a counterpoint to all the really crazy stuff that is out there. (I also have been working on a themed blog collection since 2015.) And I happen to remember things pretty well too.

        I’m just starting to “get into” stuff that’s available vlogging and such. My two oldest found “Cookie Swirl C” and “Ryan’s Toy Review” back in 2013, but then they started finding stuff like Lilly Hevesh with the dominoes and stuff, and as I was homeschooling at the time, it was fun for me to talk about the science behind some of the stuff that we were seeing and stuff like that. (Not that they really enjoyed that *sigh*) My two oldest declared when they were like six and seven that they were going to be YouTubers, and they couldn’t wait to be 13 to set up their own gaming channel. It was so cute. The thing is, though, that I did feel it necessary to remind them that the videos take a lot of work to film and produce. There’s a group of siblings from outside Milwaukee who have a channel called “That’s Amazing”, and it’s mainly the two oldest boys doing all sorts of tricks and trick shots and throws and stuff. Sometimes they do post the “making of” versions, and show that even though they are really good at what they do, it can take 50+ tries to, say, get a basketball to go through a flying ring and then make the basket.

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      2. My cousin’s wife had a LJ page and she met so many people that way too!

        I watch a few YouTubers pretty regularly and I think even I forget it takes a long time to make, that it is not just filming it and uploading. I mean, I have tried to make a few reels on Instagram and just those were frustrating for me. LOL.

        Lol I do that with Wyatt too, interject a lesson in there with whatever we are doing. Homeschool moms gotta homeschool!

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  2. I am so glad you have those memories to hold on to. I need to plan a garden this year. It really is fun to do and so nice to be able to just go into your backyard and pick the vegetables you need. I know your uncle would be so proud of you. I can’t wait to see it this spring and summer.

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  3. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I think your uncle would be proud of the way you’re carrying on the tradition but changing it a little. I would have gone crazy in that store, too! And, I only have little container gardens. But, what are cucamelons? They sound intriguing as I love cucumbers and watermelons! I think I will try to grow some cherry tomatoes and some herbs, but I will stick mainly with flowers! Loved this post, Erin!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. Thank you Marsha. Cucamelons are a vine plant that look like teeny little watermelons and taste like cucumber and citrus. I thought they would be fun for Wyatt to pick and eat while we are hanging around outside.

      Billy really wants to do more flowers this year, that is part of his garden plan.

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