Monday, March 14, 2011

Pre-Garden

I've been wanting a garden for years. There was always some reason that I couldn't have one (most notably the year we had a late cold snap, and all my tomato seedlings were destroyed), and so I've made it my mission this year to have a garden, and though the deer and groundhogs and rabbits may eat it all, I will try to make it work.
Above are my little leek babies. Most of you may not be enamored of leeks, but I have a habit to support. And has anyone noticed the ungodly price of leeks in your average grocery store? In France, these things (and shallots) are used more than onions. We'll see how hardy they are, though. The summers here are brutal.
And these are the kale babies. They already seem to be thriving marvelously. This is such a hopeful time for the garden, before the plants actually have to cope with the outdoors. Unless you're growing, ahem, the plant that shall not be named, or if you have hoop houses, having to unleash your little plants outside is a necessity for gardening, or so I'm told anyway.
I made a really simple grow-light system for my seedlings. It's basically just a frame made of PVC pipe that you can hang shop lights on. As the plants grow, you raise the lights. At first, you'll want to hang the lights very low so your plants don't become leggy and spindly. I'll do a post soon about building one of these contraptions.
And behold! The garden! As this is a first year garden, we've had to undergo all the tasks, trials, and tribulations of plowing new ground, adding lots of soil amendments, and waitingwaitingwaiting for the soil to dry out. It turns out that keeping track of farm equipment is more difficult than you might think. We had to find the tiller, which turned out to be at a neighbors house, and haul it back home. This was probably the hardest part of the whole process, which is a little sad if you ask me. I was personally hoping to be out here all day shoveling and hoeing, but everyone around here seems to have tractors and dump trucks and backhoes. I guess I should be grateful for that.

1 comment:

tracingterroir said...

I know what you mean about wanting to do all the hoeing and digging by hand. It seems people don't even have a capacity to imagine farming without oil-dependency anymore!
When I lived on the farm in Kansas last spring, we did everything by hand and she had amazing systems in place for how to be most efficient with the work. It was great!
I look forward to seeing your PVC grow-light contraption.