(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

 Crocus are still the main attraction.

Crocus are still the main attraction.

I look in the seedbox

 It's in back. I couldn’t bear to edit him out

It's in back. I couldn’t bear to edit him out

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.

only a little is needed

only a little is needed

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.

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1 Comment »

  • Marney Said,

    Hello Leslie,

    I appreciate the article on hunting for morels and the article on seed inoculant. My husband an I have been studying and beginning to practice Permaculture design over the last two years. April brought with it the discovery of the importance of fungi in the grand scheme of things. Below is the home page and a direct link for inoculant you may wish to pass onto your readers. We are trying some for the first time this year and expecting good results. In the kids section of the site, a student tested the product against 3 other methods of growing. I don’t see that particular information now though as I think they have taken it down already. He had documented his impressive results well. Maybe they would share it again if the request was made.

    Kind Regards




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