(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
We know it's still winter (they're predicting snow in San Francisco!) but it's also time to start dreaming ahead to summer when those of us fortunate enough to have a bit of land to cultivate will be enjoying the bounty of a summer veg patch. Read on for some highlights from the 2011 seed catalogs.

First, a confession. I won't have that bit of earth to cultivate this year as I will be moving and in transition well into the summer. But I have enjoyed the winter ritual of seed catalog perusing in the past and I know very well its seductions. So this post is a more about my seed catalog lurk, as I will only be dreaming of the possibilities and not actually purchasing anything. But I vicariously wish for you, dear readers, much joy and bumper crops this summer!

Looking through Johnny's Selected Seeds, I would have been tempted to heat things up with Joe's Long Cayenne, an organic seed that grows 10"-long peppers and the Spicy Micro Mix. These Granadero tomatoes look promising and I'm always interested in Toscano Kale.

At Seeds Savers Exchange, check out the Bunte Forellenschluss lettuce, a bright green butterhead that splashed with maroon speckles or the Turkey Craw Bean good for snap bean or drying, said to have been found in a wild turkey's caw!

Over at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, they're especially excited about new tomatoes this year. Check out their Icicle Series from the former Soviet Union and Chocolate Stripes, a mahogany-colored slicer with bright red stripes.

Renee's Garden is featuring a new smaller cabbage called Pixie, a Wine County Mesclun Mix and Garden Ferns lettuce on their New Introductions page.

The Cook's Garden is featuring a lovely, pointed purple cabbage called Kalibos, a deep green, super sweet cherry tomato called Green Envy, and Orion, a compact fennel variety perfect for smaller places.

Related: Planning Your Vegetable Garden: The Seed Catalog Roundup

(Image: Seeds Savers Exchange)