Well, here’s a sorry state of affairs…
This evening I have been ordering seeds etc. for next year. I went to the usual supplier that I use for potatoes and could only find one of the varieties I’d normally plant (and they generally ship before the end of the year, so I’m not exactly ordering way too early). I’ve now managed to find the others I wanted elsewhere, but the selections seem quite restricted compared with previous years and I’m completely unable to find anywhere that has International Kidney for sale. This is one of my wife’s favourites, being the variety sold as Jersey Royal (when they’re grown on Jersey), so being unable to find any is not a good thing 🙁
One site I found is suggesting that their supplier has lost their entire crop due to disease, which makes me wonder if that’s the reason generally, and if perhaps there just aren’t that many suppliers of seed potatoes for domestic sale.
I’ve actually found that the selection of seeds seems more restricted too, with some disappearing from the places I’ve been buying them for years, but I’ve finally managed to get most of what I want other than the soft fruit, which I’ve not yet looked at. I was hoping to find a purple-skinned bell pepper, but they seem to be quite rare now. Perhaps they weren’t very popular. I did find one place selling a packet of mixed colours, but with half a dozen colours or more it’s a bit awkward to grow enough plants to stand a decent chance of getting the colour I want 🙂
I failed fairly miserably to save seed from the things I was planning to save seed from this year. Next year I hope to do better, so I’ve ordered as much as is practical from the Real Seed people. Unfortunately the small size of their operation means they just don’t have everything available each year. In fact when I emailed to enquire about one particular item I was after they said that the person who was producing the seeds for that particular plant has retired and they just don’t have them available any more, which is a bit sad. Had I known it was going to happen I’d have bought some seed last year and made sure I saved some. They do have some weird and wonderful seeds for sale. Even quinoa, which I didn’t even know could be grown in this country. It does sound a bit of a faff to harvest though.