Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Edible Gardening 101

You want to start growing your own food? Have you noticed how prices keep skyrocketing and quality is constantly plummeting at the grocery store? Would it not be easier to just pop out to the garden for a quick moment to get your 100% fresh, organic, grown with love salad fixings; no driving, no big spending, no pesticides, low carbon footprint? How about not supporting large corporate entities that have very little interest in your health and well being!

What do I need to do to start growing my own food?

 Its simple! I have always asked myself: 'What do plants need?'

  • AIR
Its so simple if you break it down.

1 - Choose your location. Is it your backyard, porch, community garden, roof, a wall?

Once you select a location you should observe your site.

How much sunlight does it get? Where is the sunlight coming from, ie do you get morning sun, midday sun or afternoon sun? Is it partly shady?

What does the soil look like?

Does water pool in parts of your location or does it drain quickly?

What do I want to grow in? Are hydroponics a suitable option for me?

I would say that choosing what you are going to grow is one of the last steps in the theoretical part of this journey because there is no way you can select a location for a large fruiting tree if all you have space wise is, say, a porch. Having said that there is NO reason to be discouraged if you have limited or a seemingly unsuitable space.


Set realistic goals and slowly make them happen. plants dont grow overnight!!!!

2 - Determine how much soil you need and where you will obtain this. There are a multitude of ways to obtain soil. You can obviously find soil at local garden centers, and at online retailers or if you are very lucky and have or know someone who has horses or cows you can use the composted manure as an excellent soil conditioner. If you need a large amount of soil it would be best to get it delivered or pick it up (if you have a suitable vehicle) by the yard. One yard will cover the following:

A yard is 3x3=9sq ft.

Here is a quick conversion table to help you judge how much mulch you'll need

1 inch deep 324 square feet 

2 inches deep 162 square feet 
3 inches deep 108 square feet 
4 inches deep 81 square feet 
5 inches deep 64 square feet 
6 inches deep 54 square

3 - Get your seed and get to planting. Obtaining seed is simple. You can look for gardening groups in your area, groups on social networks, places like Folia which is an online garden planning social network, go to your local stores and get conventional seed and if you are like me concerned with where things come from I would suggest using any of the seed companies on the following list. I enjoy trading with gardeners in my state as their seeds have been naturalized to this climate if they come from a few generations of plants here.

4- Dont judge yourself! As with everything in life there is a learning curve. You will have plants die on you and you will need to try again. Over time your experience grows and you get better. There are ample resources online and hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who have experience and are willing to share their knowledge with you free of charge or you can take courses too.

Its VERY simple. As I have more time I will do further posts supplemental to this general gardening 101 talking about companion planting, soil amending, natural fertilization among many others so please stay tuned and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I am happy to chat all day about gardening!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Got seed?

The online store for our seeds is taking me much longer than I expected!

So I have decided to just put up a list of seed that we have available grown and harvested with no chemicals used in their culture.

We have the following seeds available for sale at $2 per pack or for trade:

Cassia bicapsularis
Cayenne Pepper
Garden cress
Mignonette Bronze Lettuce
Dwarf Pak Choy
Ajies Dulces (south american sweet peppers)
Coco Bell Pepper
Banana Peppers
Red Marconi Peppers
Icicle Radish
Saxa Radish
Green Zebra Tomato
Brandywine Tomato
Gold Medal Tomato
Mixed Heirloom Okra (Candelabra, Burmese, and Edna Slanton's Candelabra)

I will be updating this list as I have the opportunity to go through ALL our seeds.

Feel free to contact me for seed! :)
Thank You!