A few weeks ago, I ordered some dahlias from The Flower Hat. It was an impulsive purchase – I have no idea where I’m going to put them. I’ve never grown them before, but I do think they are gorgeous and I try to incorporate flowers in to the garden every year. I only bought a couple of varieties, but one of the things I did purchase was a “surprise” pack.
This morning, I was researching and ran across Apple Search. Trees are only $15 if you let the owner choose the apples sent – and I have spent much of the last hour contemplating purchasing more apple trees and letting all of them be a surprise. I probably won’t, at least not this year, but if I get positive results from the orchard this year I almost certainly will this year.
In general, I hate surprises. Christmas drives me nuts for many reasons, but one is that I don’t like anticipating what people might give me. I am a planner at heart and I love knowing what is coming. So I’m surprised by how much I like the idea of not knowing what’s coming. Maybe it’s enough to know that it will be some form of dahlia and the trees would produce apples. I more than likely wouldn’t be interested in blind ordering trees and not knowing if they would be plums or figs or mulberries or apples. Or maybe I would, if it was in the interest of getting varieties back in to circulation.
When I moved to the farm, my goal was genetic diversity and increasing the population of heritage breeds. In my last post, I talked about how I don’t have a breeding flock. I may start a breeding flock at some point, but for now it’s enough to just have them. I try to plant as many Ark of Taste plants I can and I use it to guide the trees I plant. I use seed companies that focus on preserving heirloom and historical varieties. People always wonder why this is my hobby. Why I put so much time and effort and money in to this, especially when I dislike some of the vegetables I grow and I don’t eat a ton of eggs.
The truth is, I get so much out of it. I love watching plants grow. I like the idea that I am helping to preserve a tiny bit of history when I plant an heirloom variety. I like supporting people who are doing much more than I ever can. Hopefully someday I can sell or give away these heirloom vegetables and fruits and help someone else find value in this thing that has made me embrace surprise and hopefully, help the environment just a little bit.