Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #1

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Garden Update #1

One of my favorite things about summer is attempting to garden. To this point I have only gardened in containers, as I live in an apartment. We’ve tried growing hot peppers, bell peppers and tomatoes, the peppers have been fairly successful, but the tomatoes never really did all that well. This year we decided to have a container garden and a community garden plot, and of course, grow both organically. We’ve also decided to purchase a quarter share in a local organic farm through community supported agriculture.

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a direct relationship between the farmer and the customer. Basically, at the beginning of the growing season, individuals can purchase shares of the harvest to be distributed over the growing season. This entails a level of risk, since, if there is a drought, bug infestation, too much rain – basically anything that could negatively alter yields, you could be out some money and have no produce. However, on the flip side, if the season goes well, you get yummy, fresh organic produce, in our case, grown about a half hour from our home. It’s better financially for the farmer, and the consumer gets tasty, nutritionally dense foods that were produced with as little strain put on the environment as possible. We are purchasing a quarter share, which, if all goes right, should amount to about six pounds of fruit and veggies each week. We will supplement this with our gardens, if all goes well. Aside from avocados of course, which sadly, will never grow in Missouri (unless climate change does it's magic, perhaps), and I can never bring myself to stop purchasing them.

We finally got our supplies today, and I hope to post a weekly update as to the status of the gardens. We got a couple starter plants from the farmer’s market today and some seeds which we will begin to germinate tomorrow.

Here is a run-down of what we will be planting this year, as well as pictures of the starter plants.

Container Garden:

Serrano Peppers - we've kept a plant alive over the winter that we had last summer, I'm not sure if it will fruit again or not, we may have to get another starter of this pepper.

Jalapeno Peppers

Long Red Cayenne Peppers

Sweet Banana Peppers

Mini Bell Peppers

Organic Swiss Chard - we will be transplanting this tomorrow.

Community Garden:

Regular Zucchini


Yellow Straightneck Squash

Butternut Squash

Acorn Squash

Organic di Cicco broccoli - this is an heirloom variety of broccoli that is well suited to fairly regular small pickings, perfect for two people!

'Better Boy' Tomato

'Brandy Wine' Tomato

Golden Zucchini - if there is room in the garden, I will plant some of this

I also have some seeds for carrots, Buttercup squash and One Ball squash, but I don't think the garden plot is big enough to hold all these plants. I'll give those seeds to friends and fellow garderners.

There is something very rewarding about growing your own food. I hope all goes well.

'Til next time!


Happy Herbivore! said...

i envy your green thumb. I just bought one of those "grow 6 herbs in your window in these 6 cute pots" and I'm sure they'll all die... but I am hopeful I can learn from the evergreen wise Jenn!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Oh! I'm so jealous! I tried once with radish, which is supposed to be easy to grow, and it died very fast... I wish I had more space though, I would try the zucchini!
And HH, don't say you don't have a green thumb, I've seen DOGS growing in pots in your garden!

Romina said...

You are a true inspiration!!

Jennifer said...

Happy Herbivore - :-) We'll see if I have a green thumb. I'm from St. Louis and have never been on a farm in my life, so we'll see how I do at organic pest eradication and the like - this could become a very interesting weekly update.

Luckily, there are a lot of experienced organic gardeners in the Commuinty Garden Coalition, and they are always willing to help.

Alice - Don't be jealous, grow something yourself. At the very least you could grow herbs and greens in your window. Have a small patio? So long as it get a little sunlight, you could grown things like peppers (hot and sweet), cherry or roma tomatoes, bush cucumbers, etc.

Haha! I've see HH's dog plant too, pretty neat, eh? ;-)

Romina - You are too sweet.

T said...

This is so cool and inspiring! Good luck with all this and be sure to update!

Courtney said...

Wow! I am impressed I live in an apt too, and I wish I had a community garden near me. I am super jealous! I tried growing herbs on my windowsills last summer, and I managed to kill them all pretty quickly...sigh. I will just have to frequent the farmers market!


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