As February draws to a close, thoughts of playing in the dirt and working with fresh, home grown produce start to consume me. Yes, it is still a month away before I can actually plant some of the early greens, but the time to prepare is upon me. Once the snow melts, I will begin turning the ground and adding some all natural fertilizer (i.e. manure). Before any of the hard work begins, we have to decide what to grow this year. Picking out seeds might be the most exciting part of winter...except for the holidays...and my daughter's penguin birthday party, but it is a close call.
This year we are going to focus on salad greens on a larger scale and more extended season. Last year we supplied the Inn with its salad greens for about three weeks. Not a crop to retire on, but a good start from which to learn. Greens we will try to grow include arugula, purple mustard, kale, cress, sorrel, radicchio and several lettuces. We have decided to focus on greens since they can be started much sooner than most other crops we grow such as tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins. This will help extend our growing season and keep us busy until it is time to plant summer crops.
We are making a conscious effort this year to use only organic seeds and plants in the Evins Mill garden. All our salad green seeds are from Seeds of Change, a company with which we are proud to partner. They supply all organic seeds and plants but also give a lot back. They sponsor a seed donation program that helps dozens of community, school and outreach programs all over the world. Visit their website if you are interested in growing organic. An online application for their seed donation program is also available if you know of a gardening project that it would benefit.
The seeds are here! Now we just need a little Spring.