Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seeds & Reads

Tomatoes Day 4

Basil Day 4

I think I've sowed WAAAAAY too many tomato seeds. However, I was afraid not to sow all the seeds since I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into and I wasn't sure how the seeds would do...and I'm still not sure how the sproutlings will do either. I hope they all survive as I'm already feeling quite a bit of attachment to these plants. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to transfer them all; I just don't have the space for that many tomato plants. I'm already thinking that each of the girls' teachers might be receiving tomato and basil plants as end of the year gifts. I hope to soon map out our garden based on Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening technique. The spot I've had my eyes on has more shade than I had anticipated (a couple of hours at midday), and the leaves on the nearby tree aren't even fully grown. However, I think it will still work fine for certain plants. I've found another great spot for tomatoes, but will most likely only hold 3-4 plants. In all, I'm hoping to have about 104 square feet of garden in our backyard, not including the flowerbed where I planted my okra and bell peppers last year.

I'm feeling extra excited to get this year's garden up and going as I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. A friend had mentioned the book to me a while back & then recently bought it for me at a library book sale. In the book, Kingsolver shares her family's experiences during a year of living off the land eating only homegrown and local foods. She explains the concept of eating seasonal foods--a concept that most Americans don't understand when we can buy a tomato, apples, lettuce, and just about any other fruit or vegetable year round in our grocery stores. I'm feeling quite challenged to do my best to eat locally and refrain from purchasing "oily food"--food that has been shipped cross country or oftentimes from a different hemisphere using gallons upon gallons of crude oil in transportation. However, I think it will be hard to say no to my girls when they're asking me to buy bananas, so I'm not really sure how committed our family will be. Nevertheless, this entire food journey was born out of me feeling never know where a challenge might take us next.

1 comment:

  1. You can never have too many tomato plants, but I understand if you don't have the space! Besides, vegetable and herb plants is such a clever idea for end of year teacher gifts.

    I LOVED Animal, Vegetable, Miracle! I listened to that one on audio book last summer... the audio is read by the author, and she does have her husband and daughter read the parts they contributed, too... it's well worth it if you can get your hands on it (I found it at our local library).

    We're in the same boat, feeling challenged but not sure how far to carry the challenge. I'll always use olive oil (since there are so few good-for-you cooking oils available, and certainly nothing local aside from animal fats) and I'm too much of a coffee junkie to get off that sauce... my compromise is to buy as much local as humanly possible and buy sustainable (like fair trade, shade grown coffee) versions of everything else. I know Madame Kingsolver calls bananas "extravagant," but I'm having a hard time giving them up for good. :}