Saturday, November 14, 2009

Itch to Garden

I've got the gardening itch all thanks to a book I'm reading. I heard about it on NPR a while back and finally got around to (paying off my library fines so I could start...) going back to the library. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I do think she romanticizes the farm life a tad bit, but I think she makes some good points. I do not pay enough for my food because my #1 priority is my budget. Sustaining local farmers and making sure my food is grown locally and organically fall under this. I feel guilty at this point but do not have any immediate plans to change this. I will think about it more, which of course will hopefully start changing my behavior over time, but I have no greater promises than that.

Other things I've gotten excited about from the book are switching to heirloom seeds for our garden so I can save them from year to year. That is of course if the plant did well and we liked how it tastes. We bought a bazillion dollars worth of seeds last year and then utterly failed at raising them. I wrote it off as the "first pancake" (anyone watch the episode of Gilmore girls when Rory throws Lane a baby shower?). However, Ryan was a little more upset than I was and I heard myself PROMISE we'd use the leftover seed this year and our garden would be a monumental success. What possessed me to promise that? I say the devil made me do it. Saving seeds from last year mean that I really need to start a garden notebook. I also need to actually research how to plant vegetables properly. I am thinking about investing in a $10 soil thermometer. I think we started our seeds indoors too early last year, they grew too leggy, we transplanted them outside too early, and then we didn't water them enough. Oops. I don't think its going to take much effort to do better than last year. We set the bar exactly right to boost our self-esteem this year. Oh did I mention I won't be gigantically pregnant this year either? I will also have a daughter that will be able to audibly demand that we go outside for a fraction of each day too. So hopefully I'll be able to swing routine weeding & watering this year.

I am also going to ask for a pressure canner for Christmas this year. If I get it I will do a "first pancake" run at canning too. I'm thinking just marinara sauce for spaghetti since we go through gallons of it each year and we aren't that crazy about store bought. If I can handle that, then maybe next year I'll add in some more. Baby steps.

On to dabble with a gardening notebook while the girls are both sleeping. I fully appreciate that this is a rare phenomenon that will be phased out rather shortly.

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