This is my second year seriously trying to grow food. I give new meaning to the term “amateur.” I volunteered on an organic CSA farm (Heartbeat Community Farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio) a few years ago, but the only thing I got any good at was harvesting. It’s everything that happens beforehand that I’m hoping to get some experience with.
I’ve collected tips and tricks from a lot of places, but the amount of information is so overwhelming, and learning from a book or web site isn’t terribly helpful when you’re outside getting dirty. So I partly winged it, partly read books/web sites, partly got advice from friends (as local as possible; that’s another issue with a lot of good gardening books: what does someone in California know about growing in New England?). I had some successes (my Swiss chard was my baby), some failures (the vast majority of my seeds), and learned and enjoyed it enough to want to do it again. (You can see some photos of my efforts here.)
Last year I tracked my progress very diligently for a very short period of time, then got lazy about it. This year, I hope that by tracking my progress publicly, in this blog, I will stay on top of it. And maybe learn more from actual people, folks who may be reading these posts and feel compelled to comment (yes, I’m talking about YOU).
I planted my seeds a little late, but we had a persistent winter and was assured by my local organic gardening center, the Good Earth (where I got seeds and plant food), that that shouldn’t be a problem.
My friend Bryn helped me. Even more of a greenie (no pun intended) than me, she enjoyed learning how to plant seeds in egg cartons. Not only are egg cartons highly functional, they’re free, it’s recycling, and there is no shortage of them at my house:
Planted that day was arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, garlic chives, and cherry tomatoes. They’re on a table in the only really good spot in the house, by two second-floor south-facing windows.
Six days later, the arugula (left) and spinach (right) is, slowly but surely, on its way:
On my to-do list: Get the soil tested! I’ll be going down to the URI Master Gardeners for that very soon.
More amateur gardening posts
- Amateur Gardening in Rhode Island Report #2
- Amateur Gardening in Rhode Island Report #3
- Amateur Gardening in Rhode Island Report #4
- Amateur Gardening in Rhode Island Report #5
(Shared with Small Footprint Fridays.)
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