Opening the mailbox to discover the season's first seed catalog has been a ritual for decades... a mainstay to count on as much as the approach of the season itself. The wood carving on the left, titled The New Seed Catalog, and the farmer on the right, are two of several carvings by Harley Refsal that were featured in a February 1988 issue of Midwest Living Magazine. I tore the three-page article from the magazine 23 years ago upon falling in love with Harley's carving subjects... "rugged Norwegian farmers and their rural neighbors of the upper Midwest."
Harley, who grew up in a Norwegian community near Hoffman, Minnesota, is a professor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He offers woodcarving seminars and his carvings are for sale.
621 North Street
Decorah, IA 52101
I still have a need to hold a seed catalog in my hands to flip through the pages of colorful flowers and vegetables, but times they are a-changin'. More often than not, online seed ordering has become the norm. Happily, I have uncovered online shops such as The Little Ragamuffin. Jen, this etsy shop's owner, captured my heart upon reading thus... "Handmade seed packets filled with organic, open-pollinated, heirloom seeds grown and collected by hand on our small-scale sustainable farm. Each seed packet you buy helps to support The Kirk Estate – the 19th century haunted farmhouse and surrounding property where I live that has been preserved for five generations. Our small scale sustainable farm is worked the old fashioned way; no chemicals, no petroleum intensive machines -only sustainable farming practices that help to improve the land, the environment, the wildlife, and the people. Thank you for your support of this time and effort intensive process. Your purchase is helping to make a difference."
"Many moons ago Eric met Jen in the elevator of a college dormitory." Besides harvesting and sharing garden seeds, they now make music together... no really. They do. Take a listen... http://b3nson.net/wearejeneric/