Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dig Your Hands in the Dirt!

This is a bit of an aside from the weekly routine, but I do hope to feature occasional updates showcasing our efforts to eat VERY locally - gardening!  I have done a bit of gardening here and there over the past ten years, but this year I'm really trying to get back to my roots (grandparents were farmers in Washington state) and take a very planned approach.

Getting prepped for planting

We're urban renters, with a teeny tiny backyard that has one corner that gets full sun.  After a recent building project, we now have 26 square feet of raised beds with a lot of room to grow 'up'.  I plan to use a French intensive method of gardening (as learned from Marta Teegan), designed to produce a lot in a small area.

Blood orange tree, blueberries, fig tree

We also have a container herb garden with all of the usual suspects, as well as fruit in containers - lemon, lime, blood orange, fig, blueberries - and along the fence (strawberries in a Woolly Pocket) in areas that get enough sun. 

In the beginning

So after years of buying seedlings from the fabulous Hayground team at their Santa Monica Farmer's Market stand, I decided to go for it and start from seed myself.  What I really didn't realize was how much room it would take!  What started as one small tray of seedling pots (see above) has now grown, divided and taken up a good portion of our master bedroom, the only room in our place that gets semi-decent light all day.  The good news is that I haven't killed off anything yet.

I've started 'hardening off' my first batch of seeds, including cucumbers and some summer squash, and am hoping to get a few of these plants in the beds next week.  I hope my little guys are happy once they get outside.  I had no idea how much excitement would be generated by seeing the seeds begin to sprout.  That's the kind of relationship with food that I want to have!

This week's title is inspired by the Arrested Development song Children Play with Earth.

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