Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Growing Challenge

I love challenges. It's like the math worksheets from my childhood. While reading a chapter or studying for a test could never be really PROVED, a carefully completed worksheet was a badge of honor ... at least in my mind. This challenge is about growing more food in the backyard garden (or indoor pots etc). We have had great success with tomatoes here. While they tend to come into season rather late, in late July, they are bountiful and delicious. I've tried others and they have not made it. The first rule of this challenge is to grow one more vegetable or fruit from seed than last year. Now, I used to plant my tomatoes from seed, but then these children began appearing and it got too ... messy. This year I think they can all handle steering clear of the perfect sunny window seat in the front room. I'll start my tomatoes from seed and also add in spinach. We can't ever have enough greens in this family. Apparently you can seed spinach every 10 days through the spring! Wow! I need to learn about the (fancy word here) rotation of crops, rather than just planting a ton and sitting back to wait. I love my library ... I'll be heading over there today or tomorrow. We are to post once a week so the challenge organizer, Melinda, can keep track of us. I bought some heirlooms at the seed store earlier this Fall so I will start with those, but I have an email out to the CSA to see what, if any, seeds they might have. Local is still my #1 goal. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Hi Ellen, I just happened upon your blog and I was so happy to see that you're joining the Challenge! Excellent! I've visited before, but it has been a while. May I say your bento boxes are AWESOME?!!!!! Wow.

Great idea to check out seeds with your local CSA. Can't wait to see your spinach and tomatoes.

I have definitely found the beauty in rotation/successional planting - I did this with carrots, greens, beets, and radishes last year. I think I'll do it with a few more crops this year. I also recommend doing successional planting with different varieties of the same crop. For my winter squash, first I planted pumpkin, then a few weeks later I planted butternut, then a few weeks later I planted blue ballet. It worked very well.

Anyway, so glad your joining, and I'll add you to the list of participants!

Melinda, Elements In Time