April 11, 2010

In the garden

Well, not yet.  It's still about 6 weeks before I can plant in the garden, at least crops that are burnt by late spring frost.  My oldest daughter planted a few varieties of radishes, leeks and some swiss chard in the kitchen garden.  We have several varieties of things growing inside.  Lots of different tomatoes, a few peppers, some pumpkins, squash and melons, tomatillas, herbs and others.  Plus we have lots to sow directly in the garden.

We're trying a few different types of planting this year but I'm not going to get into a lot about that right now.  I've done raised beds which are my favorite because they are so much easier to maintain and I can easily use a mini tunnel to protect them from frost or cover them with a removable hothouse frame.  They also lend themselves well to square foot gardening. 

This week, after temps in the 80's, we're back to more normal April weather with highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's.  I'm considering putting a few lights in the green house to generate a little heat so temps don't drop too low at night.  I have a little wood stove that I could put there but I'm not sure there would still be room for me!
I'm dreaming again!  I think I could use lots of things I have here and make the ideal multipurpose structure that would open things up a bit.  Oh, yeah!  The wheels are turning.  I need to keep my feet on the ground...at least for now.

My youngest started working in the greenhouse of an organic farm not far from our house.  She'll be keeping a journal of her gardening both here and on the farm and hopefully she'll learn some things that will help make her garden thrive.  One of the beauties of homeschooling is that it allows you to cover what's required but focus on the specific interests of each child.  She loves gardening and cooking when she's not in the woods or getting ready for a play at our community theater.  At this point, her other studies are just getting in the way!

Here's a link to the organic farm, CSA and poultry share  http://www.westlibertyfarm.com/

Another great place in the area to learn about sustainable agriculture, green gardening, ecofriendly living and traditional skills is just down the road at http://www.quietcreekherbfarm.com/  As part of their efforts to educate folks on being good stewards of our land, Quiet Creek has built a straw bale addition onto their barn to house interns and are in the process of completing a large yurt with some interesting features.  Last summer, they installed a windmill to generate electricity and are working on some solar panels too.  They are great folks who welcome visitors on Friday and Saturday.

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