Thursday, 8 March 2012

It's almost planting season!

A few weeks ago the seeds we had ordered for our vegetable garden arrived and for the past few weeks we've been busy thinking about and planning how we are going to sow and plant them.  We have about 70 varieties of vegetables and some fruits that we will be sowing from seed.  Tyler went out and bought a large binder with plastic sleeves and calendar sheets so that we can organize them all and keep track of the sowing/transplanting/harvesting schedule.  It's taken a lot of thought to organize it all but we're in pretty good shape.

I've been spending lots of time familiarizing myself with all the different seeds and their needs.  I've categorized them and come up with a sowing plan so we know what seeds need to be started and transplanted when.  We'll be starting our first bunch this week.  March will actually be very busy with the majority of seeds needing to be started indoors, but there are plenty that will be started in April, May, and even throughout the summer as well.  We will pretty much constantly be sowing, transplanting or harvesting our fruits and vegetables from March through to September.

This week construction of the hoop houses began and they will be ready to go soon, however we will be starting the seeds in the basement since they will need warmer temperatures than the hoop houses can provide.  Once they are seedlings most of them can be moved into the hoop houses until they are ready to go into the ground in May.  Tyler has build a light table to go in the basement for starting the seeds. 

I am so excited for this adventure.  When I read through my books I do feel a little overwhelmed as it just all seems so complicated on paper, especially since we are ambitious and starting quite big.  But I think we'll just going to jump in and see what works, and I think between the two of us we will have enough knowledge and experience to be successful.

Some of the varieties of plants we will be growing include: onions, beets, celery, broccoli and rapini, artichokes (Tristan's favourite vegetable!), corn, cabbage, beans, peas, many types of lettuces and leafy greens, several varieties of carrot, tomatoes, and cucumber, and of course an extensive selection of herbs.  We're also going to grow melons and strawberries, as well as squash and pumpkins.  Tyler really wants to try and grow a giant pumpkin!  I've also got some sunflower seeds to plant as well just because I thought it would be nice to have some on the property, and maybe we will be able to get some more seeds out of them as well.  We're going to try growing peanuts as well.  I'm sure there are a few more vegetables I missed, we ordered a lot!  All this in addition to the hops.

Ultimately it is my goal to be able to grow almost all of our vegetables and as much fruit as we can as well (we already have apple trees on the property, as well as other berry and currant bushes).  I would like to learn how to successfully preserve our harvest through canning, drying and freezing so that we can eat our own produce year round.  We should be able to grow some stuff year round in the hoop houses as well.  It's a little scary to take all this on knowing that we will be having a new baby in the family right in the middle of the season, but hopefully together we can pull it off.

I know I'm going to be hugely pregnant soon, but it is still my hope to play as active a roll in the creation and maintenance of our vegetable gardens as I can.  Me and my belly will be out there planting and weeding as long as I can still manage it.  I'm also hoping that getting the boys involved from a young age will teach them the value of the land and what it means to grow our own food.  Maybe if I'm really lucky they will start to eat more vegetables too!

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