This is going to be the year! I am determined to grow more of my own vegetables. Every year we give growing plants a good try and we get a few things. But to be perfectly honest, we wind up with mostly a garden full of rotting diseased tomatoes and bug-infested collard greens. The problem is that I haven’t made the time or effort to properly care for my plants. That is going to change and I am off to a good start so far…
So– and I may have jumped the gun slightly but I wanted to get started– I planted some seedlings indoors at the end of March. Is that too early? I’ve got the whole lights and heat pads shebang so they spouted beautifully! This year I am particularly excited because we put together a greenhouse last fall. It will serve as a transition spot for my baby plants before the outdoor gardens are ready for them. I have been bringing them out there for warmth and light on sunny days but the nights are still too cold so back in they come before dark.
I am also hoping the greenhouse will help our fig, lemon and lime plants thrive– they have been barely hanging on for almost 5 years with some serious struggling and no fruit. Who knows what was going through our heads buying tropical plants but the idea sounded grande at the time. I refuse to give up on them. Already the humidity in the greenhouse has given them new life.
This is what the greenhouse looked like only about a month ago:
Blech! Sorry for the cold, white flashback!
And last (gorgeous) weekend:
I got to work re-potting my seedlings into individual peat pots.
So far I am growing broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, collards, swiss chard, beets and spinach. That larger plant top center is celery which was started from the base of a cut stalk.
I also planted peas in the raised beds and this week noticed a few sprouting.
AND our first asparagus spear has sprung up! Now, that’s cool!
And one last thing– I’ve got the rain barrel set up right outside the greenhouse for easy access to rain water. These are awesome and I highly recommend getting one for watering your garden.
So far things are looking great for my plants. Fingers are crossed and we will just have to wait and see how things progress. Let’s hope I don’t kill them. I am really going to be better about caring for them this year and I love the idea of becoming more self-reliant. I believe the experience of growing and raising food is important and something everyone can benefit from. There is something special about getting your hands in the dirt, feeling the sun on your shoulders, the rain on your face and picking your food right from the earth. It intensifies our connection to the world and our roots from which we’ve become quite disconnected. We are accustomed to driving to the grocery store and putting a nicely cleaned fillet of fish or breast of chicken into our baskets and going along our merry way, not really thinking about where that food came from. When you stroll through the produce department picking apples, bunches of bananas and bags of salad greens– how often do you consider how far this food has traveled? A lot of it is from the other side of the world! Getting food wasn’t always so convenient for us humans so we must always be grateful for all we have. And remember, for millions of starving people around the world, what we have is an unimaginable dream. We truly do live like kings. The next time you get aggravated that the store is out of your favorite kind of orange or that the kale has gone up fifty cents a pound– stop, take a deep breath and give thanks for all the incredible, nourishing food that you have to choose from.
I hope it’s going to be another beautiful weekend. There is no better way to appreciate your food than to grow it in your own yard. Start your garden! Plant some seeds and care for your plants as they thrive day by day. Experience the miracle of life and of plants, and always, always be grateful for your food.