Well, we've been planting!
I was lucky enough to be able to take last Friday off from work which just happened to be a gorgeous spring day here in Seattle. We had crossed our fingers that we would have a day like this to start planting our garden, so we hopped to. I had already purchased some seeds and we went to Swansons to pick up the rest of our starters.
I ended up planting carrots, calendula, nasturtiums, kale, and parsley from seed. Collards, golden beets, leeks, garlic, dino kale, mache, romaine, red leaf lettuce, fennel, romanesco broccoli, thyme, mint, chamomile, tea, blueberry, cilantro, scallions, and chives were planted as starters. We had a heck of a time keeping little miss Parsley away from the dino kale (kale seems to be her favorite people food).
Since we had a bunch of leftover containers from our container-only-days we planned to fill them in addition to the newly built raised beds. Right now we've placed them sort of in a line down the edge of the beds, but we may move them if they get too much or not enough sun/shade - that's the nice thing about container gardening.
After planting we cut some plastic sheeting to hang over those delicate little starters planted in the beds. The hope is that this will keep them warmer during the cool Seattle spring nights and provide a bit of a green house like affect. You'll see we've also prepped the next site down for one more raised bed where we'll be planting, rhubarb, artichokes, pumpkin, melon, and borage.
Now that I've updated you on what we've been planting I want to chat just a little bit about my gardening philosophy.
Lets start with why I (try to) grow my own edible plants.
- I enjoy it.
- I believe that being able to grow your own food is a good life skill to have - you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Next, let me tell you that I am not a gardening expert. In fact, I have a hard time reading or comprehending anything technical about gardening - biology was never my thing. However, I am a big fan of learning by doing. I've been growing my own edible plants in containers since about 2008. I started with herbs, graduated to tomatoes and lettuce, and dipped my toes into peppers, eggplant, and meyer lemon trees. In general, I've had mostly successes, but some total failures as well (brussel sprouts and cilantro are my sworn enemies). Throughout it all, I try not to have any specific expectations about the results of my gardening. So if we don't grow enough rhubarb this year to make a pie - it's not the end of the world. I try to put my best foot forward and read the instructions on the seeds or starters and about the plants in this book - but I rarely follow the directions to the letter. I just use my best judgment from the knowledge I've gained from doing this for the last 4 years combined with the few things I've managed to absorb and retain from gardening books and blogs. To me, gardening is a wonderful science experiment that results in tasty rewards and invaluable skills.
I am fortunate enough in my life to be able to consider my gardening an experiment. There are millions, if not billions, of people around the world that are only able to survive each day by growing their own food - now that is self reliance.
How long have you been growing edibles? What's your gardening philosphy?