Gardening is a part of who I am – God just made me that way. I don't try and fight it, I simply live out this passion He has given me for soil, worms, and seeds.
I think God has spoken to my weaknesses is giving me this love of gardening. My personality of anal-retentive-perfectionism is quickly lost in gardening, because as all gardeners know, ‘perfection' (heck, even mild success) can be impossible.
There are weeds. And spiders. Sometimes plants die. Sometimes they are eaten by worms. And sometimes, despite your greatest effort, the tomatoes fail to set fruit.
Oh, did I mention sometimes your cantaloupes get run over by the lawn mower?
Gardening is not the type of hobby you do to feel good about yourself (although there are sweet rewards!). It is a hobby that will surely humble you before our Creator.
Who knew we could be outsmarted by these guys?
As I prepare to order seeds for our 2012 garden, I'm working very hard at thinking properly before I order, applying what I've learned these past few years:
– In our short-season climate (North Central Washington), we need short season varieties.
– Novelty items are fun to grow, but I've got limited space. I want to provide the majority of our produce, and therefore, must stick with growing more of the things we eat daily.
– Healthy soil. Healthy soil. Healthy soil. I've heard it said once that gardeners harvest vegetables but grow healthy soil – how true this is. I took extra time this year to mix chicken compost, horse manure, leaves, and straw into our beds but springtime will still bring more work!
When I began gardening, I found it helpful to have someone point me in the right direction for seeds, so I wanted to share with you the company I have ordered from for the past few years. We touched on them a little bit last year, which you can read about here. Seed Savers specializes in heirloom seeds, which we all know, aren't the easiest to grow. I must have self-destructive tenancies. That being said, the selection and taste are wonderful.
Here's a list of the specific varieties we will be growing this year, to light your gardening fire:
Bean: Provider, Pencil Pod Golden Wax, Ideal Market
Beets: Detroit Dark Red, Burpee's Golden
Cabbage: Copenhagen Market
Pea: Amish Snap
Cucumbers: Double Yield, Bushy
Eggplant: Listada de Gandia, Black Beauty
Lettuce: Seed Savers Mixture (Australian Yellowleaf, Forellenschuss, Pablo, Red Velvet, Yugoslavian Red Butterhead, Slobolt…)
Zucchinis: Black Beauty
Squash: Waltham Butternut
Kale: Dwarf Blue Curled, Lacinato
Melon: Hearts of Gold, Amish
Peppers: Sweet Chocolate, Napolean Sweet, King of the North
Potatoes: Yukon Gold (ordered from The Maine Potato Lady)
Onions: Stuttgarter, from sets (ordered from The Maine Potato Lady)
Garlic & shallots, already planted
Herbs: Basil, dill, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, sage, green onions, mint, etc.
The only variety of vegetable I haven't figured out yet is the tomatoes. Early Girl? Gold Metal? Seed Savers has so many choices and even offers the option of purchasing transplants for some of the varieties. Though I've never started a tomato plant from seed, I'm kind of itching to give it a try. What do you think? Are there any other short-season growers out there who have a favorite variety of tomato we should try?
Also – do I have any readers in the southern region of Mississippi? What's gardening like down there? Is it possible to grow citrus? Or artichokes? Is raw milk legal?
You never know where the Lord will take us, I'm just trying to be prepared. Send help.
How's YOUR 2012 garden coming?
Still need inspiration? WATCH THIS!!!!!!!!!