Seeds are coming in the mail each day—seemingly blown in on the strong spring winds. Sometimes a large box arrives, usually from Fedco or Johnny’s Selected Seeds, with scores of seed packets for my brother’s vegetable farm. Sometimes a manilla envelope arrives with only a few packages from a specialized seed company such as High Mowing Seeds, Kitazawa Seed Company or Seeds of Italy.
The Italian seed packets proudly proclaim their parentage: Franchi Sementi, the oldest family-owned seed company in Italy, founded in 1783. The art on the big bright packets shows what the seeds will become: a new variety of San Marzano-style paste tomatoes, big fat storage carrots and candy-striped Chioggia beets.
Terra Brockman is the author of The Seasons on Henry's Farm (Agate Surrey) and the founder of the Land Connection. She farms with her brother and family in the Mackinaw River Valley of central Illinois.