Monday, March 29, 2010

I wanna be a garden...

So, here is one of the plots of land that we will be farming this year. Yeeehooo! We are currently waiting for a soil test to return (the professional kind this time), and we need to work with the owner of the land to get a fence up to keep the sheep from eating the goodies that are going to grow as well as work out the logistics of such a venture, plus tilling the land and adding whatever nutrients might be needed.

Other than that, the seedlings have required a lot of work lately. I've learned a few things since I began such as: some seeds require warm soil to germinate and so it makes good sense to plant them in the same tray so they can be placed on a warming, I've moved around my seedlings to ensure that peppers (four different kinds), melons, tomatillos, and cucumbers are together to get the warm start they require. I have moved broccoli and brussel sprouts and beets off of the warming mat to see what happens for them (not sure if any of these would do better with the heat). I also have a pretty nifty shelf unit set up with lights on both shelves and I have raised the seed beds so they are within 3" of the lights. Also, I put a fan on the lowest setting a couple of times a day to help the seedlings grow strong and not be too leggy. Some of my peppers are off to a good start! I hope to have a picture to show you the progress in about a week.

I also promise to put a picture of Sprinkle's tomato seedlings on here. They have done so well (as Sprinkle says, "they are not going to be spoiled"--that means I pamper mine too much in Sprinkle's opinion). The tomato seedlings have already made it into larger pots and they get moved in and out of the front porch daily (who says they aren't spoiled?!) Ooooh and they smell so good...

Monday, March 15, 2010

When you let go, something arrives...

It was only early last week that I decided I would let go of the idea of my own farm starting this year. Times have been stressful for a while, and as of late it feels like my teapot is whistling just a little too long! I had determined that I would work at a local organic farm and learn along the way. Then, in my email last night, I received a reply message from a woman I had contacted a couple of weeks ago about possibly farming on her land. I had all but given up hope on this contact as I hadn't heard from her and didn't even know if the contact info I had was current. After a couple of emails, we agreed to meet. It was a delightful meeting and I must say I am quite thrilled with a) her generosity and b) the possibilities. I will, OF COURSE, sleep on it. However, at this point it seems extremely hopeful and exciting. Stay tuned...

On another note, it was time to plant garlic (I know lots of people say don't grow it in the spring, but the local gardening store I trust said it works so I am giving it a go). I also planted onions, beets, potatoes and jerusalem artichokes. The weekend was so darn beautiful I just couldn't help myself. You can see I had competing puppy felt is was playtime while I was planting potatoes.
Although he looks pleasant and happy and patiently waiting, just take a look at the second picture...that's him when his toy isn't being thrown when he wants...not so peaceful or patient! At least he wasn't digging up what I planted. Now that I have used up most of the bed space already, I am crossing my fingers that Sprinkle will help me build three more beds...YES!!

Here are the results of my cheap, quick, store bought soil test kit. It was fun and felt all kind of scientific-ish. After this test, Sprinkle and I went to the local depot and shovelled a load of compost into the back of the pick up and once home added it to the garden beds. Hopefully that will address any major deficiencies. If you think I should be concerned about any of the colours in the bottles, be sure to leave me a comment. I probably won't respond as I will be outside shovelling buckets full of compost from the pick up (or having dreams about it being finished--phew!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

it's a beanstalk!!

Well, some of the seeds are well on their way. Especially the green bean seeds that I saved from a green bean last year. The leaf in the picture is one of the little seeds that took's three times the size of any of the others...WOW!

And take a look at the precious beet and green onion seedlings. So cute! The beet seedlings that were out in the greenhouse are suffering a bit from our zero degree weather this week. Fingers crossed that they all come back, now that they have been moved inside. A few broccoli seeds have started, all the green beans and all the green onions are on their way. Some dill seedlings, too. Brussel sprouts are nowhere to be found, same with the carrots. :(

Sprinkle's tomato seeds are doing well and I will include a picture of them on the next post. So, about 10 days into growing and we have about 1/3 of the seeds showing. Not bad for last year's seeds. This weekend I will be planting more and placing them under the grow lights. Grow little seeds grow!

Monday, March 1, 2010

2nd year asparagus

This is asparagus that I planted last year; it was rather wispy and didn't grow much. This picture is the new growth that started in the greenhouse about a month ago. I had to put my hand behind it so my camera could even pick it up in the picture; it's so thin. Apparently I should be able to harvest and eat it starting year three. I sure hope it does some serious broadening between now and then. I think I better do some research.

Went to the garden store on my way home today and got my onion sets, garlic (that can be harvested in the fall), jerusalem artichokes and organic chive and lettuce seeds to plant asap. As soon as some shoots hit the daylight, I'll add some pictures.