The weather here is unseasonably warm, so we’ve got seeds and planting on our minds. We didn’t grow very much last year, so this feels like the year to really go big. It helps that I’ve been reading Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail, again. It’s one of those books that makes the idea of planting a lot of food seem possible, even though we don’t have a huge garden space. Here are some of the steps we’re taking right now, to get on track to grow more of our own food this year:
Making a garden plan while wearing purple boots. Photo By Elise Roth Edwards.
• Mapping our entire yard space, so we can make better use of the light and shade. I really like this simple mapping tool from Gardener’s Supply Company. We’ll need to make a more detailed map of the small areas that we plan to use in our side and front yards.
• Deciding what we can realistically fit in our space.
• Gathering seeds! Seed Savers Exchange is a great resource.
• Finding and preparing alternative planters, inside and outside.
• Making a space to start some seeds inside; Gayla Trail has devoted a entire section of her You Grow Girl website to seed starting.
Isabel, growing in the sunshine. Photo By Elise Roth Edwards.
In addition to working with the garden spaces in and around our home, I’m also hoping to buy a plot in our school’s community garden. When school began in August, Sam was very interested in the plum trees in the garden, so he’ll be motivated to help care for the trees and help with the fall harvest. We’re also figuring out our CSA (or NSA) budget, and which farm we’ll support this year. We’ve been very happy with Monroe Farms during past years, but we’ve recently heard about some options that are even closer to our home.
Beyond the details and logistics of learning to grow more of our food, we’re simply enjoying our time outside, absorbing the fresh air, the light, and of course the dirt.
What are you thinking of growing this year?
Elise Roth Edwards writes, paints, makes stuff, and asks a lot of questions in Denver, with the help of her two kids, her husband, and a growing crowd of friends and neighbors. You can read more about their experiments and adventures at her ever-evolving parenting blog, The Family Lab for Inquiry and Play.