Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Dare I buy seeds to start indoors this early in the year?  I always promise myself that I will begin in January to give my baby crops time to reach a certain level of maturity before I release them to the farmyard. 

Last year I was barely able to harvest enough to sustain us through the growing season without supplementing produce from the grocery store.  There is always a lull in waiting for the next batch of fresh lettuces, so that was a given, but I was very disappointed in myself that we ate more green tomatoes through the summer than red.  My tomatoes began to redden so much later in the season that I was only able to freeze a few containers of sauce, much of which came from the over-sized cherry orbs that reseed and volunteer each summer. 

Eggplant did wonderfully well, my first successful attempt, but they took up so much room in the garden for so little yield that I hesitate to bother with them again.  We did get a fine Moussaka out the entire crop.  Corn was a bust with little chickens running around and finding their favorite treat growing right at their level.  The stalks never grew over a yard tall.  My herbs grew like weeds, of course.  They love the warm season and need little care, but I was so sidetracked with the septic tank search and installation of the new system that I neglected to dry and store enough for winter.

Maybe this growing season can be devoted to actually growing things, not just seeing what I end up with and what little weeding and staking I can squeeze in.  I  think that today is a good day to make a detailed growing season schedule so that I can hit the garden centers this weekend in search of seeds.  Two other important things I can do while it's still cold is get my rain barrel attached to the gutter pipe, finally, and work on keeping those chickens in their run.

The one thing I was very diligent about doing was collecting, drying, and labeling seeds from the harvest, so maybe I can even begin planting today.   I've decided to use egg shell halves to start my seeds in, a great recycle, re-purpose, reuse project, so buying those silly little peat pellets that dry out so quickly will be unnecessary.  But now I'm thinking of the shredded lower palm leaves of the enormous specimen in my front window area.  I wonder if my baby plants will survive a teenaged cat in the house.  I guess only time will tell and that is an added bonus for starting so early...plenty of time to start over before spring if the seedlings don't survive.

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