Monday, July 20, 2009

growth spurts

The mini poc choi and chinese cabbage that I planted in seedstarting kit on Saturday late afternoon is already sprouting. BUH?!? I'm freakin' amazed. Heck, I might get in two more plantings of each of these since they are ready to harvest in about 40 days. ! Holy cow!

I know that I'm not supposed to start the rest of my fall garden indoors (parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, carrots) indoors. But, you know, I just might try it out anyway. I planted a ton of parsnips and I've read enough to know that they are the Little Jerks of the garden and can take up to 6 weeks to sprout--if they decide they actually WANT to sprout. Might as well start a handful of them in the propagator once the pac choi comes out. I'll also try to "damp papertowel" method with them as well. I love parsnips and since 3 squares are dedicated to them, It'd be nice to have SOME.

Not only that, but I need to get more efficient in my mushing. Trying something half-heartedly and then waiting for months to see if it works...doesn't work for me. If I divorce my emotions from the experiment and keep it in perspective---I'll learn more that way and ensure that I have a greater crop yield sooner rather than later. I'm much too emotional about it all right now.
I gotta stop and just do some scattershot approaches to growing food to see what sticks.

Speaking of growth spurts, I'm not sure if it is watering the holy hell outta the plants on Saturday and Sunday or spraying everything down with a diluted kelp solution, but my anaheim pepper and my tomatoes looked like they amlmost doubled in size between last night and this evening. Still no fruit on the anaheim pepper or the thai dragon. I may have stressed them too much. :( Fortunately the rainbow pepper plant IS fruiting so I won't be totally without hot peppers this year. I may just get some more pots and do all peppers in their own container rather than the garden beds. Each sweet pepper plant still only has 1 green pepper on it and I'm thinking I'm not going to see either one of them redden up. :/ I had zero peppers last year, so I guess it might be progress. Really, if I can only get 1-2 fruit per plant, I wonder if it is really worth it. Right now, any learning experience is worth it, but at some point-- a cost-analysis should be done.

I'm thinking about starting a patch of garlic somewhere. And maybe a bed of asparagus. I know we won't be able to eat the asparagus for a few years, but we very well may still be here a couple years from now. I keep not doing things because I think, "I'm renting". But I rented my last place almost 10 years and I might do the same thing here. Or we might eventually buy it. Or not, and we'd eventually potentially get some money out of it anyway since my father-iin-law owns the property. Or, if he sells it, it is a selling point and it is still money back into the family. Any way you look at it, it isn't like I'm throwing money away. Hell, I have put so much work into a house that isn't mine ANYWAY--that it is no big deal to put down some asparagus. Or raspberries ;)

Speaking of cost analysis (where garlic totally doesn't fit in because it is way cheaper to buy the amount I need than to grow my own), I've decided that I'm definitely going to try my hand at potatoes next year. Just a couple of bags with a couple of different types. It's more of an experiment than anything else. I'm curious to know how they grow. We don't eat a lot of potatoes. I don't think of them very often. But if I grew them, I'd eat them. I absolutely LOOOOVE them. And although I'm scared of them (starchy carbs), I need to get over my starchy carb freak-out. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I eat what I grow. And I'm certainly not going to prepare them in some ridiculous fashion. I'm tired of my food phobias. I'd eat them more if I grew them more. Potatoes are good fuel, quite frankly.

In other "growth spurt" news, I got the OK from the Penis-side of the family to take the Comprehensive Organic Gardener program this late September/October. (I'm not sure if I wrote about it here or my other blog. I don't actually have to ask for permission, it's just that I didn't want to have a weekend full of garden class and Mr. Awesome decide to go away for our anniversary). The check is in the mail tonight so all I gotta do is wait for acceptance. Basically, it's 6 weeks of classroom and hands-on experience of: building soil, planning and crop rotation, organic pest and disease control, water conservation, and seed saving.

One of my plans is to have SOME proficiency in this and square foot gardening. It is actually possible to get some type of b.s. (meaning bullshit, not bachelor of science in case you didn't get that) certification in square foot gardening. I'd really like to have in a couple of years some type of merging between everything I learn and then teach classes at Seattle Tilth about square foot gardening as another way of doing biointensive gardens in urban settings. I'd love to see how much I could maximize a small space and see how much I could grow on it so I could help set up apartment buildings, etc. with ways to grow at least a little bit of food in their backyard or rooftop.

So, baby steps. For me. For my garden. For my brain. For my ideas. For my poc choi. We'll all get there, I hope. One way or another.

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