I really don’t know where my desire to garden – and not just any garden, but some grandiose garden – came from. I remember only one year I had a garden as a kid and I’m pretty sure my poor mother ended up doing most of the work and I don’t think I liked much of what grew.
But I do remember that moment when we realized the carrots were ready to harvest – and in my little hands they sure seemed huge! I also remember that we planted green beans (for some reason – we hardly ever ate green beans) and for the longest time I considered them the “furry vegetable”. I didn’t like green beans and tried to fix them with ketchup. Bad. Idea.
My failure at gardening 2019 had me second guessing a lot of gardening plans. So many hours, so much time and effort. So much failure and waste.
And then I visited Red Barn Nursery and found some peppers and tomatoes to quench my need. Of course, the peppers pretty much just sat there and died, the tomatoes got out of hand, broke my “trellis” and didn’t give me anywhere near the bounty I had hoped. By then I had already purchased seeds for 2020, but knew that they had amazing plants and varieties so I would be set for and wouldn’t have to worry about failing at growing tomatoes and peppers again.
I’m one of those people that tends to go crazy with ideas … first, “just” a garden, but if we started plants from seeds we’d save some money and have more plants. And if we have extra plants then maybe – just maybe!? – I could go to some farmers market, or set up a little stand somewhere to cover the costs and provide awesome, home-grown, farm-fresh produce to our area. So I tried the winter sowing thing (with a fair amount of failure), the weather wouldn’t cooperate, we spent some time planning for and getting married, the weeds took over the garden and the harvest for everything was pretty sad.
And no – no plant sales, no produce sales. I think the dill and the weeds were the only things that grew reasonably well. Oh – and the broomcorn!
And then I found the perfect birthday present!!
I saw a Facebook ad for a homemade window greenhouse and couldn’t get it out of my head. Then – kismet – Colton worked with the guy selling it! It came home, we have several plans for sprucing it up, and the early-planting excitement has come back, for good or for bad!
I was able to scrounge around for some supplies for a table and shelf, but have quickly found out that I need more room! Once again – my seed eyes got bigger than my space. I’ve planted many seeds already but still have more to go – mostly herbs, and later squash starts and lettuce (stay tuned as to why!).
I found a source for organic compost at an amazing price, which means I have awesome starting soil and enough to fill the raised bed!
Midwest Organics Recycling is the home of Organimix, organic compost. They have their own heard of top-notched dairy cattle, including two top bulls. The fun part about the heard – and one of the reasons why I will always be enamored with this company – is that once the cows are past their prime milking age they are transferred off the facility to live out their lives at pasture. They’ve done their work and they get to enjoy retirement!
Under optimum circumstances Midwest Organics can take raw matter and turn it into organic compost in about two months. Of course, it takes longer for some decomposing, but the machines there are pretty large and help with mulching and turning over the huge piles of matter.
Another thing I didn’t realize – compost and other nutrient-rich soil from the store usually ends up being there so long, and over winter where it freezes, that the microbes and “living” stuff in it will die. So you really only get “dirt”. This stuff is so fresh – as long as it doesn’t sit in your pile for years and years – that it is still living and full of that good stuff to help plants grow! So – word to the wise – get it fresh and from a source!
Now – why did I tell you to stay tuned??
I’m starting so many seeds and so many types of plants because I’m hoping to have a plant sale!
I have several peppers and tomatoes that I wanted to grow for myself, but there was no way I could take care of all the plants – why waste the space and the age of the seed when I could offer it to others!
I will also have many types of herbs – I use so many in cooking but I also use essential oils for myself, horses, and family, and am hoping to figure out how to use some of these plants in other ways. I have the usual culinary herbs, such as oregano, thyme, and basil (four kinds!); and some lesser-known/used herbs – spearmint, anise, lemon balm – and others.
Since our year was so strange last year I am also hoping to start squash, corn, peas, and broccoli (calabrese and purple-headed) in the greenhouse and transplant. Depending on space, I may try to start some different lettuces – either to put in our garden or offer in pots. Some of these will be a part of the plant sale.
Now, granted, this all hinges on my ability to grow stuff. Sometimes I’m as much of a problem in the growth cycle as the torrential amounts of rain we had last year.
Why do this? Well, like I said – my seed eyes were too big! BUT – think about how much more fresh these plants will be from your own garden or your local farmer! Instead of getting your plants from a big box store you can purchase them from someone you know. And to be honest – it helps support our small farm.
So please stay tuned! I will post more information about seeds we’re growing on our Facebook page, but will be sure to update the blog as I know things are germinating and growing. If you have any suggestions on plant sale dates as well as ways to help promote the event and bring in more people, let us know! Post in the comments or email at firstname.lastname@example.org