Friday, January 9, 2009

This Weekend: Seed Swapping, Group Ordering & Haggis

In December I asked my farming friend whether she'd like to go in together on some seed and rootstock orders, in order to save on shipping costs. She had too much on her plate to get to it in before the holidays, but she agreed to move up the date of her annual seed swap potluck to this weekend. As an added incentive to lure all the housebound gardeners, she, a sheep farmer, is ponying up "materials" so that I can attempt to make haggis at her house for the potluck to follow.

I've been to two of her seed swaps in previous years, and they've been casual affairs with plenty of gardening commentary, advice, commiseration, and enthusiasm. Inevitably I come home with something that caught my eye that appears nowhere in my on-paper garden plan. We gardeners can't really help such things. This year we'll also be poring over a collection of catalogs, including Fedco seeds, Fedco trees, Seed Savers Exchange, Johnny's, and the Maine Potato Lady to put together one group order per catalog. I expect that by ordering with the group, we'll all save several dollars on shipping costs. If our desired seeds and seedstock overlap, we may also be able to save by purchasing larger quantities. I'm really looking forward to the licentious swapping, and the orgy of vicarious gardening. And I'm going to sniff about with the other gardeners to see if I can find a source of worms for my vermiculture compost bin.

As the foolhardy, formerly professional cook, the haggis making will fall squarely on my shoulders. I'm taking my KitchenAid mixer with the meat grinding attachment. I suspect I'll be the only one there who's ever eaten haggis before. I may be the only one there brave enough to try it after it's made, even though scrapple is a popular treat in these Pennsylvania Dutch hinterlands. I only wish the haggis experiment were happening on Burns' Night, January 25th. I'd love to carry my haggis proudly to the table, to the tune of bagpipes and accompanied by the Address to a Haggis in a lovely thick Scottish accent.

Ah, well. One can dream.

I'll let you all know how the haggis turns out. I know you'll be waiting with bated breath. Have a great weekend.


Anonymous said...

Haggis!? Are ye also a wee scottish lassie?

My kin are infamous border raiders from just above Northumbria. I'd love to join you for haggis!

Anonymous said...

I'm a MacDonald via Nova Scotia on my paternal grandmother's side, but that's not enough for me to be up for haggis!

My worm bin here on the west coast is doing great this winter. If you don't come up with some local source (which I am sure you will) I could always mail you some when the cross-country weather warms.

Kate said...

Oh, aye! That I am, Ali! My paternal great-grandfather's family came from Ayreshire, just near the border as well. Probably did their share of raiding too.

Jessica, thanks for the kind thought. You should give haggis a fair shake sometime! It's not as bad as you might think, honestly.