De and I went to get our garden plants yesterday and encountered some unpleasant surprises. We went to our "go to" greenhouse, and discovered the garden plant section had been cut in half in favor of flowers and landscaping plants. The Sausage tomatoes we love instead of the traditional Romas were no where to be found and, we were told, would not be available this season. We got some of what we needed and moved on hoping for better luck at another greenhouse.
After visiting four greenhouses we still are need of a few plants,mostly tomatoes. In each case we found 1) the garden plant section had been reduced from the previous years allocation, and 2) the plants available were almost exclusively the same mass produced, factory, "brand name" varieties that we have found to be mediocre performers and yield an inferior product.
In our area there are a lot of small lakes with lots (and lots) of summer lake cottages. It appears greenhouses may be getting a "bigger dollar" by selling to "lakers" getting their summer landscaping and flower gardens in order and folks who raise a small summer "salad" garden only, than to persons putting in larger "country" gardens with a focus on varieties that preserve well.
Since we are striving to have some degree of food independence and to generate a garden harvest of really good-and-good-for-you fruits and veggies, this is a disturbing trend. Our next trip out will be further out to greenhouses in an area with a large population of Amish and Mennonite families (and fewer lakes) which, we hope, will have more freezing, canning and winter storage varieties available.
So I'm curious. Is the trend toward greenhouses offering more landscaping and flower garden items and less "country garden" plants a local phenomenon, or is it more wide-spread? If you have this problem in your area, how are you coping? What say you all?