This is the time of year when the grand garden dreams begin. It has been bitter cold out and I’m sad to say the only outdoor adventures I have had in the past month is taking the dogs out twice a day. The snowshoes are waiting in the shed for another good snowstorm.
Like every project I have I start with truly unrealistic plans and then pare them down as the time grows shorter. The list of seeds is pretty long this year with the hope that the spring weather will be decent and my plants will get a better start. I plan to start everything at home rather than buying starts anywhere, including my onions. In years past I just bought onion sets but last year I was unable to get Walla Wallas and was disappointed, this year I won’t leave it to chance.
There has been so much in the news lately about GMOs that I’ve decided this is the only way to go for me. I can’t source anything anymore, you just have no idea where anything comes from and can’t trust what you’re told for the most part. I never thought I would have to work so hard at knowing where my food came from.
I am fortunate to have grown up in a family that always had a large vegetable garden. We canned, froze or otherwise put by most of the food we ate. We always grew our own beef, had chickens for a spell and raised a couple of pigs one time. Having my food source close to me is nothing new but now there seems to be more of an urgency to it. I thought it was just me being a little paranoid but having talked to a couple of medical professionals who are seeing more cancers in much younger people I’m thinking I’m not being over cautious. When someone tells me they know of a 26 year old with breast cancer my first thought is their diet. We have had decades now where our protein sources are laced with hormones and antibiotics all in the name of increasing production. The same goes for our GMO crops. Corn is in everything – every thing. Even if you are trying to do right by your family if you are not reading labels (and reading into them) you simply don’t know what you are getting anymore.
So the grand plan is to plant a large variety in quantities that will get me through to the next harvest. Things that will keep in a root cellar, are good canned or dehydrated. In reading over the long seed list it would seem that my experiment for this growing season will be Dinosaur Kale and a savoyed cabbage. Spinach will be in the mix as well. I’ve grown it before but haven’t in a few years so it made the list. The garlic and asparagus are in the ground both of them are experiments in themselves albeit really long term ones.
This weekend I will spend some time sitting by the wood stove, drinking coffee, plotting out my garden space and ticking off the seed list to see what stays and what goes. I will also do a viability test on some of the seed I have just to see what I really need. I’ll try to sprout some of my popcorn as well because that was one experiment that worked particularly well.