Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Playing in the (Indoor) Dirt

As it’s currently snowing in Nashville (and creating the expected chaos) it seems a little early to be planting a garden. And it is. We should probably wait a week or two before sowing more seeds indoors. However, the hubby starts to get cabin fever this time of year and planning the garden gets his mind off the cloudy days and bursts of snow. Plus we have much-needed greenery to cheer the both of us up.

New thyme sprouts! They start so little...

Last year for Christmas Andy gave me a
grow light and seed starting kits to grow a little herb garden. We started with Basil, Cilantro, Thyme and Parsley. They grew so well that we realized that we could start a lot of our garden inside and move the seedlings outside when they are ready. Since we didn’t need more herbs, we couldn’t resist starting a tomato. This year Andy and I were careful to select tomato plants that would do well in this climate. Last year’s single tomato disappointment shall not be repeated.

Of the two varieties of tomato seeds we have, we have started a pink variety called Oaxacan Pink. The other tomato seed we have is another pink variety, Arkansas Traveler. I hope to use these tomatoes for fresh eating as well as canning, for tomato sauce and salsa. Day dreaming of the future garden makes the time until we move into our new place tolerable (2 days!).

In addition to the aforementioned herbs and tomatoes, we already have a number of seeds to start. Awaiting propagation are Spinach, French Breakfast Radishes, Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce and Catnip (for the cats and experimental herbal tea). Additionally, we’d like to do carrots, beans (bush and/or pole), onions, potatoes (red and/or sweet), cucumbers and bell peppers. I’m also planting some Cleome Spider Flowers, these are for me specifically as Andy disdains “purposeless” flowers. But flowers bring bees, butterflies and smiles, so I think they’re purposeful enough.

Hello World!

To keep organized and on track for planting, I purchased a kitchen garden planner. This way we can remember which varieties worked well and which would good to not try again. We can write tips and ways to improve the garden for the next year. It’s been good so far to give ideas of what to plant and tips on ways to care for the garden. Part of the purpose of the planner is to help figure out how to rotate crops so that we can continually harvest. Andy has been reading up on square foot gardening and that’s the strategy we’ll start with this year. Thus far the plan is for 36 square feet of gardening space. Which seems like a lot, and makes the garden both exciting and slightly terrifying.

Deliciousness in waiting.

Our goal is to go to the grocery store as little as possible. We can depend on the farmer’s market for meat, cheese and extra veggies. Then stock up on long-lasting staples such as flour and sugar at the Turnip Truck. I’m most happy when I can make meals of food we grow ourselves. Never mind local. There’s nothing like completely ignoring the 5 second rule as you pull a carrot out of the ground for tonight’s dinner.