Ever since this crazy adventure began, i knew i needed to get back to my garden. i garden year round, and try to still have fresh greens even when everything is covered in snow. This past fall i planted cold crops in plastic hoop houses, just made from pvc and greenhouse plastic. They worked really well, and during January i was harvesting a variety of lettuces, kale, Swiss chard and spinach. i should have been able to harvest up until my new spring crops were planted and beginning to produce.
Unfortunately, the heat of the fire was so intense that it completely destroyed my hoop houses, the plastic actually melted to the ground killing everything that was growing underneath them.
During December i purchased 1/4 pound of spinach seed. So on one of the milder days i went out and planted a few more rows of spinach, hoping it be warm enough to germinate so that i could have early spinach. i planted it in a few different garden beds. So after losing the hoop houses, i was beyond thrilled to see spinach coming up in some of the other beds. My first thought was to plant more (since i had that huge bag of seeds) that is when it hit me.
i lost all of my seeds.
All this time i had been trying to get back 'home', planning to plant my garden just like always, never even thinking about the seeds. Of course i can buy new seeds, i buy seeds year round like an addiction. However i also collect my own seeds, and i had a HUGE collection of specialty, rare and heirloom organic seeds that i have been growing/collecting for years. YEARS. So yeah, that was a devastating realization.
Throughout all of this, we have been blessed by the most amazing and generous people. So this is just a little shout out to my dear friends Anne and Bobbie, that both sent me seeds. Anne sent a collection of seeds from Baker's Creek and Bobbie sent seeds from Botanical Interests. i have several new varieties to try out this year, and am excited to get them started. i also found this beautiful seed box at Micheal's craft store, and slowly, slowing i am refilling it with new seeds. It is so small, and empty compared to my old seed collection, but it is a start and this new start gives me hope.
i began planting again at the end of Feb. Despite the miserable cold, i went out any chance i could and began replanting. i put in new rows of kale, and lettuce and spinach. By the end of April i was harvesting fresh greens again. This was a welcome change from what we had been eating. During the first few weeks after the fire, i had very little desire to eat or cook. We ate a lot of quick and instant food, veggie burgers frozen pizza, boxed mac and cheese. So being able to harvest home grown veggies from my garden was really a treat.
i was a little worried that the asparagus might have been killed by the intense heat from the fire. Although the bed isn't right next to the house, it is near where the hoop houses were that melted. My rhubarb plant which was in the same bed, and had already begun to come in January was totally killed. So i was so relieved when the asparagus began to appear.
The peas are beginning to climb. The spinach behind it, planted in Dec. is already beginning to bolt. The spring has been strange this year, starting off colder than normal and now i fear it may jump straight into summer.
We usually plant 30-50lbs of potatoes. This year, we probably will not have anywhere to store excess food. So this gives us the opportunity to play around a bit, and grow things we wouldn't normally grow. i wanted to grow purple potatoes last year in my purple garden but never did. This year i am planting them, along with the regular red and white potatoes. i won't be growing as much as i usually do, but we should end up with a fun variety and have plenty to share with neighbors.
i feel incredibly behind this year. i was unable to start any seeds indoors, and just this week finally got my potato bed and main garden tilled. We had a frost come through just a few days ago and so i haven't gotten any tomatoes or sweet potatoes in yet. This weekend i plant to spend a lot of time planting, and cleaning up the remaining beds. i keep thinking that this years garden with be small and simple since i probably won't be canning or storing food...and yet i'm already looking at ways to expand it. :)
"I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth?"
- Edward Giobbi
- Edward Giobbi