I just received plants from this company and they are gorgeous and were supremely well packed. I'm shopping here for seeds next. Don't know if they're more expensive than others, just know they are what I want.
Well I may be wasting my time too. I am a very inexperienced vegetable gardener. I am absolutely delighted that I have potatoes growing and some garlic and corn and okra and squash. I did not plant this squash and it is HUGE. It just came up on it's own from the compost. I thought it was watermelon at first. It's the only part of that side that looks good, and I didn't even plant it. lol
I was quite interested when someone mentioned some book called Four Season Organic Gardening or something. I thought that would be great to garden vegetables in the winter. Don't you think? As long as it isn't too expensive to set up. I've even considered getting some kind of grow lights and growing veggies indoors.
At least this way I know what has been sprayed on it and what kind of fertilizer was used.
I'm very lucky to live in a place where we can some kind of veggie growing outside year round. Your zone isn't listed in your info, Karen, so don't know how severe your winters get. Here we can start summer veggies up until August because it doesn't get cold until November most years. I love knowing where my veggies come from.
I'd recommend Chioggia beet, an Italian heirloom. It is available from many sources but I recommend Johnny's Seeds. Also, Danvers Half-long carrot dates back to the 1800's and would be a good one. (Also available from "standard" seed suppliers" at reasonable rates.)
As for asparagus, you'd be better off going with some crowns (two years old, preferably) rather than seeds; that'll get you off to a quicker harvest. The old stand-by "Mary Washington" is a great one!
The Four Season Harvest is a book by Eliot Coleman. Your best bet would be to find it at Abebooks.com (formerly Half Price books). Yep, that's a good'n!