Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Promise of Great Food To Come

We planted some seeds yesterday and I can't tell you how good that felt!  I have been starved for some gardening - plotting and planning just wasn't cutting it.  My seedling flats are trapped in my outdoor garden cupboard, frozen behind 2 feet of ice and snow, so I needed a quick and cheap solution to this dilemma.  I bought a box of 100 Dixie cups and made sure to choose the ones that are waxed (they won't disintegrate before I am ready to plant the seedlings).  For less than $5.00 it was an inexpensive solution and given that the cups will decompose nicely, there will be no waste.  I also have used those little clear hard plastic containers that you buy berries in.  They make excellent little seed starters as they are perforated nicely at the bottoms and they don't deteriorate making them reusable year after year.

One of our goals this year is to increase our garden size in order to harvest more organic produce for winter storage.  Last year, we were very overwhelmed with the renovation and felt like we didn't want to take on too much in the way of "massive" gardening at the same time.  It was a good choice.  We were stretched pretty thin and I can say with certainty that I could NOT have handled canning and processing a large harvest last season.  Sadly though, that meant that we only had enough of our carefully stored crops to last until December.   Shopping for and eating store bought vegetables out of necessity come December was a real eye opener as to the sharp differences in taste, texture and flavour.  Not to mention the difficulty in finding a good selection of organic veggies at an affordable price for a large family on a single income.  Next to impossible!

We figure if we can double the garden this year, we stand a much higher chance of harvesting enough food to sustain us until the 2012 gardening season.  I'm working to plan  and puzzle my garden layout together, hoping to make the most out of every square inch!   The added fertility of the chicken manure/straw bedding should help increase our harvest, as well.

Temperatures are well above zero providing the warmth needed to melt the massive snow accumulation.  Who knows when the garden will be dry enough to till and plant?  One can only guess.  I'm confident that I won't planting anything until late May, though.  I've learned the hard way, how "jumping the gun" here in Alberta brings nothing but disappointment over lost plants due to late frost damage.  So here I sit, temporarily satisfied with my 100 little Dixie cups filled with promise of great food to come!

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