Hardy Seeds & Seedlings

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After a particularly harsh winter, I finally spent some quality time in the dirt this past weekend. Because it had been so long, I relished the soil under my nails, the shoveling, raking and dragging around of heavy things. First, I spent the afternoon at the community garden, adding compost tea to the dirt, raking up errant leaves, pulling the last few stalks from last fall and planting some rows of beet, chard, curly and blue lacinato kale, lettuce, arugula, beans and carrots. While it is a little early for the more tender seeds and seedlings, like most herbs and tomatoes (the latter of which I plan to plant among the garlic sprouts, above. Finally, I’m planning ahead for companion planting!), I’ve had good luck with these hardy seeds in the past few years. We might get a(nother) cold snap and perhaps lose some, but that is a risk I’ll take.

The next day I worked on our (very small, mostly paved) yard. I was inspired by the Somerville Garden Club‘s bi-annual garden tour, where I saw berry bushes in narrow, shady corners of yards, and grape vines climbing all sorts of trellises and fences. If my neighbors can grow them, so can I, I decided.

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I bought two raspberry bushes for a back corner of the yard, adding new dirt and compost tea to the planting area to fortify the existing rocky and silty soil. I added a similar mix to a large square pot for the Niagara grape vine that I also purchased. Spring and fall are the best time for planting fruit bushes, trees and vines and I wanted to get mine in before summer snuck up on me. Each of these seedlings had to be soaked in water for a few hours before planting.

So while I was waiting…

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I transferred the contents of my indoor composter into the bottom of my tomato pots. What you see above is compost started about 3 or 4 months ago. As you can see, the Bokashi accelerator does a great job, well, accelerating the compost. Just like last year, I added about six inches of compost to the bottom of the tomato pots and transferred dirt from last year’s pots on top. I noticed a few tiny eggshell pieces in some of the dirt I was transferring and realized that the eggshells were from last year’s compost-turned-dirt. Basically, the circle of life in action, with a little help from me. Grow the veggies, put the scraps in the compost, cover with dirt, grow more veggies, add compost-turned-dirt to new pot and repeat.  Just a few more weeks and I plan to hit up the Waltham Community Farm seedling sale for tomato and herb seedlings for the garden and the yard. I can almost taste the caprese….

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5 thoughts on “Hardy Seeds & Seedlings

  1. Hi Suzie,

    Nice to see the dirt here as i look out at the morning frost that has formed on my deck. When will Spring stand up for itself? Anyway, what do you guys typically make for your Easter meal? Have you tackled curing your own ham or know anything about that? We want a ham but the nitrates kill me and the organic hams are a fortune. Anyway, Hope you and Steph are well and have a great holiday!!!!

    Lo

  2. HI! I am just checking out your site…it’s so inspirational as i look out on to my yard that needs some love. we met at Maggie’s little birthday in davis sq. I hope you are well and I am so curious about smoking meat. Would love to make some Mozz then smoke and turn into scamorza! Dreams xo amylou

    • Hi Amylou – Yes – we never did get together! How are you?? The thing I learned when smoking was that there were two methods: cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking – which I assume scamorza would fall into because otherwise wouldn’t it melt? – requires more precise equipment to keep temps in a specific range. Hot smoking like I did is a bit easier to Macgyver because, well, fire is hot and its easy to set things on fire and then do it again when the temp cools. I’d love to hot smoke more items – look for my smoke signals over Somerville! Thanks for the comment and stay in touch! Suzanne

  3. Pingback: What I’m Learning | Locavore in the City

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