(Desperately Seeking) Legume Inoculant, or, A tale of two Agways
Background: The day is warm and so is the soil. I decide to push it and plant some peas, even though the forsythia is only swollen instead of blooming and
I look in the seedbox
Gee, I thought I bought some.
Off to the nearest Agway, in Millbrook. We think of it as the hunt country supply store, heavy on dog and horse necessities, but it does have seeds and a fair number of other gardenly items. No inoculant, however. The nice young man behind the back desk says he’s been unable to order any, that everybody seems to be out. Seed potatoes, too, he volunteers, saying there seems to be a sudden surge in vegetable growing.
Perhaps the more agricultural Agway not far away, we both think. But when I call I get an earful of how they no longer carry inoculant because nobody ever bought it and they got stuck (it doesn’t keep). Farm seed now comes pre-inoculated, says the man on the other end of the phone, and nobody around here grows vegetables any more. The place is full of suburbanites and weekenders, he complains, “ they don’t even mow their own lawns.”
After he assures me HE hasn’t seen any bump in home gardening, we have a bout of mutual moaning about the disappearance of dairy farms and then I call Adams, which I was pretty sure all along would have it but they are not close by.
Good thing I did, they only had 3 packets left although more was on order.
I asked them to set one aside and the moral of this little tale is don’t assume it’s going to be there, as I have done for decades but never will again. It isn’t that rare, and it’s certainly the sort of thing that ought to be available everywhere, but if you have to mail order, might as well go to Organic Growers Supply, a division of Fedco Seeds. Be warned the extensive catalog of fertilizers, soil amendments, cover crops, etc. is way more tempting than those categories suggest.