Tag Archives: organic vegetables

Let the (Gardening) Games Begin!!!!!

5 Apr

I have my garden! I have my garden!

My dad (Pedro) and I have been plotting (haha) to do some raised beds in our yard, now that some of the trees had to come down and there are a few sunny spots. Last year I did some container gardening in those spots as a sort of reconnaissance mission and this week, Pedro and his buddy, Tommy, put together some raised beds from instructions from Organic Gardening magazine (April/May 2012). I can’t find a link to the instructions right now, but visit their Beginner’s Guide to Organic Farming and poke around in there and you’ll find loads of good info to get started.

So, we made a garden chart and yesterday in went the pea seedlings (I had started some indoors and some outdoors a couple of weeks ago – you’re not supposed to start peas indoors, but we’ve done it before, with good results, plus it helps Leandro follow their progress more easily). The mesclun lettuce and arugula seeds went in also.

Today we’ll be stopping by a local nursery for more seeds, now that we have a plan: spinach, radish, beets, chard, and eggplant. We’ll be buying organic, as I mistrust the whole Genetically Modified thing and the chemical stuff.

My tomato seedlings (seeds saved from last year’s tomatoes, aren’t I the little homesteader?) are looking well, but will stay indoors for now, as will the ají (sweet cooking pepper from P.R.) from my cousin Josie’s garden in Mayagüez. I’m starting basil from seed too – feeling really productive and busy and probably boring the hell out of you with my laundry list of planting, but so be it. I am excited to finally be embarking on a vegetable gardening adventure!

I am eager to know what you all are planting and planning for the summer months…I don’t really know what I am doing, but Pedro and I have agreed that this will be a year of more learning than producing (nice to have the Restoration Farm back-up, no?). Mind you, we are both demanding of ourselves, so that is perhaps not going to work out and we will agonize over every mistake, insect infestation, browned and spotted leaf or low yield…We’ll have to take good notes!

More helpful links:

What to Plant Now zone charts from Mother Earth News (it only considers the Lower 48 – no Puerto Rico either, sorry!)  How-To-Grow primers from Organic Gardening magazine

Find out your growing zone here.

Happy Planting!

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Earth Day: What are you planting?

22 Apr

We are getting into gear for summer bounty by starting some seedlings indoors.

We’ve got beans that Leandro started at a garden show, already big enough to require supports. We’ve started arugula and sweet peas that we hope to put in the ground after the last frost danger (April 30 in our Zone 6B, although I have alwaus thought it was Zone 7!?!) . Next up, we’ll start basil (Leandro loves pesto) and lettuces directly in the ground.

This makes me sound like I know what I am doing, but of course, I don’t. We have only recently had to take down or trim some of the many trees in our yard, so we are hoping that this will result in more sun for veggies…but this is purely experimental.

Our real vegetable source will be our CSA (Restoration Farm) in Old Bethpage where we will pick up organic vegetables each week. We just spent a great day helping out there, splitting dahlia bulbs and breathing fresh air.

I’d love to know what you are doing for Earth Day and whether you will be growing vegetables this year. I know some of my subscribers are fire escape gardeners, while others are real farmers and still others are herb kitchen gardeners like myself. Let’s hear about it! Please comment….

Happy Earth Day!

Natalia and Leandro

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