Tag Archives: raised beds

And the garden grows!

11 May

It’s working! It’s working!

Today we harvested the first leafy things from our new raised beds. I couldn’t be more excited! Leandro and my dad harvested lettuce leaves, and they also thinned the radishes.

Baby, baby…rinse and eat.

The freshness and flavor were mind-blowing (for the grown-ups, at least. Leandro tasted, and rejected, but nevermind…he will come around eventually…and at least he’ll never embarrass me on a Jamie Oliver program by not knowing his veggies and where they come from….). No recipe, just farm to mouth, and then farm to salad spinner, and a whisper of oil and vinegar.

Here, some quick pictures of our first draw, so you can celebrate with us.

Padushi and grandson, working together

He didn’t like it (spit it out everywhere, in fact), but he tasted it. Willingly. And that is all I ask.

The grandson took out a bit more than we intended, but doesn’t it look nice?

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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