Answer: Quite well if you plant the right seeds.
As the New Year rolls around, many of us will begin making lists of things to do to improve our lives in the months ahead. Among other things, we will promise ourselves that we will take on new projects, eat better, drink less, exercise regularly, spend more time with our partners and loved ones and generally live healthier.
Trust me, I know the drill. I personally engage in it each and every year.
Now, despite the fact that you probably already have more than enough “to-dos” in mind for your list this year, I’d like to suggest an addition that perhaps you haven’t already thought about. Why not grow a garden?
With the farm-to-table movement growing in popularity with every passing second, it seems only natural that the movement should now find its way from restaurants across the county right into your own backyard.
And there is no better place to find inspiration than the Petaluma Seed Bank in downtown Petaluma.
Admittedly, before now, gardening has never particularly interested me. It is a pursuit that to my thinking required too much tending for my tastes. But my opinion on the subject began to change when I took a stroll through the heart of Petaluma’s retail district and stumbled into the Petaluma Seed Bank, which was anything but what I imagined a seed store to be.
First off, the “Seed Bank” store, as it is known, is situated in the historic Sonoma County Bank Building, a magnificently sprawling old 1920s structure that recalls Petaluma’s glory days as one of the wealthiest and most prosperous towns in California.
Where I had expected dirt and disarray, what I found instead was an orderly array of over 1,200 varieties of heirloom seeds, garlic, tools, books, and hundreds of local hand-made gifts and food items. I was gobsmacked.
Secondly, as I took a closer look at the seeds themselves, I became fascinated by what it was possible to grow and, with the help of a representative from the store, I came to understand how very rare some of the seeds available at the Petaluma Seed Bank really are. Who knew there were so many varieties of things to be grown?
Needless to say, by the time I left the store, my inner Martha Stewart was fully engaged as I began contemplating how I might plant a garden filled with my very own heirloom tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and fresh herbs (and then, of course, brag to everyone about how I had grown them all by myself … after all what is the use of all that tending if you can’t at least claim bragging rights?).
Even if you can’t make a trip to the Petaluma store (which, of course, I highly recommend), you can still access all the wonderful product of the Petaluma Seed Company online at or by signing up to receive their regular catalogs.
Sadly, if I’m honest, I’ve not yet gotten around to planting that garden I’ve been dreaming of but the year is still young and it is definitely on my list. Why not put it on yours? When you think about it, a garden could potentially be quite useful in ticking things off that 2013 to-do list of yours. Eating better? Done. Eating more vegetables? Done. Living healthier? Done and done. Now that’s one great trifecta to kick the year off with is it not?
Petaluma Seed Bank is located at 199 Petaluma Blvd. NorthPetaluma, CA 94952
Phone : 707-773-1336