Friday, March 18, 2011

Starting Seeds Today

We have three compost piles. One is the one we put manure in presently. That is what you see in the photo above. It is hot, so the snow melts instead of keeping it covered. The other snow piles are covering the other two piles. One is the one we stopped adding to two years ago. It will need another year to set. The other one we will be using this year, as it is now three years old.

I went out there and got two buckets of new compost. Put it in the baking pan and set it in the oven this morning for about three hours at 180 degrees. It sterilizes the compost. To start seeds you don't want anything else in there competing with the seeds. Later on in the garden, all those good things in the soil are welcome, as then the plants need them. But for now, they are in a controlled environment. 

Rich compost from our compost pile. It is like gold. Our garden is very productive due to the quality of our soil. We plant everything in raised beds full of this compost. It is easy to work with and full of earthworms. I love the smell of the dirt and the feel of it between my fingers. I guess it is no surprise that one of my favorite things to do as a child was to make mud pies and play in the dirt.

The seeds I ordered from Comstock, Ferre & Co. are heirloom seeds. They do not sell any GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds and that was what I was looking for in a seed company. I do not want to contribute even in a tiny way to Monsanto. If you don't know who Monsanto is, they are currently the company that is in control of the GMO seed market. Anyway, this post is not about the politics of heirloom seeds, but about my own little food factory here.

Today the seeds I stared were winter squash varieties. Last year we grew a few different kinds but didn't get as many to store as I wanted. I want to store as much food as possible. So this year I am doubling the amount of vegetables as I normally do. I will store some fresh and can the rest. Squash is one of our favorites. How about you? What kind of vegetables are you growing this year? I am getting started today because I have spring fever. 

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole


Carolyn Renee said...

We're also going to focus on winter squash for storing this winter....we like it a lot and can't stand paying $4 for a butternut squash. When the root cellar is full of winter squash, it will be our little "gold mine".

I'd like to try carrots, parsnips and other root crops, but our soil is still too rocky/clay and haven't got enough room in the raised beds yet. Maybe next year.....unless DH decides to make me four more raised beds in the next week or so!

Ada said...

Happy seed starting! What a good tip about using compost. That makes so much sense that you'd need to sterilize. I'll be starting tomatoes and flowers in a couple weeks. Nothing gets planted around here until the first weekend of June so there's no reason to rush into the seed starting, no matter how much I might want to!

Paula & Skip said...

Oh, Kat, I am in Spring fever too. Not having such a big patio I decided on lettuce, onions, carrots, some herbs and sugar peas. Tomatoes, berries and apples we will collect at the organic farm ca 15miles down the road. I told you all of that before. Tells you how much Spring fever is around! Love and hugs

katlupe said...

I have started several varieties of winter squash, Carlolyn Renee, and it is amazing to me how many varieties there are! My root cellar will be full too this year.

Ada, the compost alone, makes our horses earn their keep! I don't usually start plants so early. But after learning how to get a jump on the season last year, I like starting them early.

katlupe said...

Paula, I am buying tomatoes, berries and apples this year as well. Tomatoes, I have to rest my garden from this year due to the blight from the last two years. Thanks for spending some time on my blog!