I'm having a bit of a seed dilemma.
Last year I ordered from Seed Saver International. I was overall pleased with my order - good selection, timely delivery, decent prices. But some of the plant varieties I chose didn't do as well as I hoped. Our corn, for example, just didn't produce as much or as early as other varieties I have grown in the past. I selected a variety that I thought should have done well, at least in terms of being a short growing season variety, but it just didn't all mature early enough to harvest before we got frost.
Now we did have a strange year last year, but I had neighbors who had no problem with their corn maturing well before our first frost. The year before we grew corn from a friend who has sinced moved away, but as far as I can remember it was a variety he had been growing for years. We had good luck with it, but had planted 2 varieties that year and so couldn't keep seeds. Last year I was looking to test a variety to save seeds from, but obviously I didn't bother since so few cobs were ready to harvest when we had to bring them all in.
At first this year I thought I would just ask around and see what others in my area used, but in my initial asking, people are using hybrids. Since I'm ultimately looking to be self sufficent with at least some of my seeds year to year (and corn heads the list this year to add to my collection of seeds I maintain myself), a hybrid variety is just not what I am looking for. I guess what I will try to do is match the characteristics advertised for these couple hybrid varieties with heirloom varieties and order that way. But likely that means trying a couple different types until finding the perfect one for where we are. Shucks!
Basically this post is me trying to convince myself to get down to the perhaps difficult work of picking seeds from a seed company that I think will be a better match for our region and that I think will do well. I'm positive that at this time last year I had already made my order, and likely even had my seeds in hand. Boo...