Anything Goes…

Every day that passes brings the gardening season that much closer (fingers crossed that we’re done with snow).  To while away the time I’ve become hooked on something I read about over at You Grow Girl several months ago… Gardening Mama!  It’s a game from the people who making Cooking Mama, which I also obsessively love, but more than that, it keeps my hands busy while I’m waiting for the universe to hurry up and warm up outside already…

Though I may have let the past few months pass in relative silence on the garden front, you can be assured that I’ve not been dormant.  From taking my seed catalogs with me on Christmas vacation so I could pick out my new projects (yes, I am a garden dork and I was mocked mercilessly about it the entire vacation), to harassing the people at West Coast Seeds when an order didn’t arrive, to finally breaking out the potting soil and mucking about in my basement laundry room, the last 3 months contained their fair share of preparatory activities.

Project Sustainability 2009 is well underway, with approximately 60 seedlings chilling out on the grow tower.  Considering that last year was my first attempt at growing anything more involved than a cactus, I was pretty impressed with the end results.  There were definitely lessons learned, and notes made about plants I wouldn’t bother to grow again (read: corn and those weeds I thought were beans).  But this year, along with bringing back favorites and successes from 2008, I also picked a bunch of new plants to try.  As our diet becomes increasingly varied, the memories of how explosively flavorful my completely organic, fresh picked produce was last year inspired me to try my hand at even more.  I can never replace Bob (our organic delivery guy) or our CSA farmshare from Zephyr Organics, but being able to combine two of my all-consuming passions is just too good to pass up.  Plus, creating your own tiny microcosm means being able to experiment with more unique and just plain bizarre produce that larger growers might not bother with.

So far on the rooftop roster this year we have:

* denotes plants I intend to direct-sow

Artichokes *

- 4 Imperial Star

Celeriac *

- 4 Ibis


- 3 Ancho

- 3 Jalapeno

- 1 Chinese 5 Color Hot

Beets *

- Undecided quantities of Touchstone Gold

- Undecided quantities of Chioggia

Shallots *

- Undecided quantities of Ambition

Jerusalem Artichokes *

- 5 seed tubers

Lettuce *

- 1 20 gallon tub of Luscious mix, sown weekly


- 2 Black Krim

- 2 Glacier

- 2 Green Zebra

- 2 La Roma

- 3 Sungold

- 3 Yellow Pear

- 2 Garden Peach

- 2 Costoluto Genovese

- 2 San Marzano

- 2 Black Zebra

- 3 Black Cherry

- 3 Red Currant

Carrots *

- Undecided quantities of Little Fingers

- Undecided quantities of Parmex


- 2 Italian


- 1 Meyer Lemon

- 1 Key Lime


- 12 Everbearing Strawberries

- 12 Alpine Strawberries

- 3 Heritage Red Raspberries

Potatoes *

– 1 80 gallon tub strewn with seed potato pieces

In reality, this is only the initial list.  Inevitably when I go to pick up my strawberry seedlings from Urban Harvest in May or June, I’ll be seduced by some flowery prose about a fruit or veggie that I can no longer live without on a little seedling placard.  It’s happened without fail every time I pick up a seed catalog, walk into a garden centre, or browse an online retailer.  There’s always going to be something new that I can’t wait to try.  Last year it was the corn and melons, my colossal gardening failures.  Lemon cucumbers also fit quite nicely on that list.  And I don’t doubt that one sunny spring morning I’ll be at a farmer’s market, and some farmer will have brought seedlings to sell and I’ll have to buy one of those too.  As it is, I already spent part of this afternoon taking another look at my favorite online seed companies to determine whether I “needed” anything else.  And as expected, I have a list of 4 or 5 more things I meant to get but didn’t get around to, like the Zapotec Pink tomato, and the Patio pickle.  Sigh.  I’m going to have more food than I even know what to do with…

Now all I need to figure out is how much organic triple mix to order from Homeland this year….  The dozen 35 litre bags only lasted until I transplanted my tomatoes into the kiddie pool.  Which reminds me, I need to get a second kiddie pool… and another 12 cell hanger bag from Lee Valley!  Crap, I need to get on this shit ASAP.

Until next time…

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