Over the weekend, my boys planted our garden. They look forward to this time of year so much! Grandpa came over to help till up our garden patch, and then he took them to the store to buy seeds. As they prepare to plant their garden, they love to discuss what they’re going to plant and why (“Should we try watermelons again?” “No, they didn’t grow well last year.”)
For close to a decade now, we’ve also planted edamame soybeans in our garden. Easily 30 percent of our plot is devoted to them — we love eating them, they freeze well, and the kids look forward to soybean-harvesting time as if a party suddenly erupted in the yard! They are such good little gardeners watching over their crops and reporting over our summer evenings’ dinnertime what’s growing and what’s not.
Strangely, while Illinois is the top soybean-producing state in the nation (our state devotes 9.8 million acres to growing soybeans!) it’s remarkably difficult to find soybean seeds for the garden at our local stores. Year after year, we’ll buy our “traditional” seeds wherever they’re on sale, and then I’ll make a special trip to Farm & Fleet to pick the soybean seeds up. It’s the only store in our area that carries them.
So, I was quite disappointed today after heading up to the Woodstock Farm & Fleet and finding that they are no longer carrying edamame soybean seeds. The staff was very kind and helped look through their entire stock, and then one employee came back and said the seeds are stocked by an outside vendor (Livingston) and this year they did not stock any soybeans.
With most of the garden planted, I considered my options. Trips to Ace Hardware, Walmart, and Menards were unsuccessful too — all have lovely seed displays, but no soybeans. I finally returned home and purchased edamame soybean seeds from Amazon.
This felt incredibly strange, especially in the state that grows more soybeans than any other.