Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Farm

Part of my preparation work for moving to a sustainable lifestyle is understanding the growth and usage of various vegetables. It is necessary to learn how to live off the garden before I have to live off the garden. The technical aspect of gardening is not difficult, it is the nuanced tweaking that I am looking for.

These are some of the growth questions I am researching. At my altitude what temperature should I keep my starter soil? How much water does each plant need? How deep do you really plant a tomato seed? How long does it really take to go from seed to table? What do the young plants look like? How much grown room will I need? How much food does each plant really produce?

The obvious next step is what to do with the produce. How do I make spaghetti sauce? What is the best way to prepare green beans? How do I cook an egg plant? At what point can I eat the broccoli? How do I do canning?

Here is my approach. Every week a certain number of seeds are planted. They are planted in small plastic cups with holes cut in the bottom for drainage. They are stored under a heat lamp that cycles on twenty minutes out of every hour. After they have sprouted they are place on a shelf in a south facing window. Everything is watered daily.

The starter garden has the following items planted every week:

Beef Steak Tomatoes 3 per week
Bush Green Bean 2 per week
Peas 2 per week
Bell Peppers 1 per week
Broccoli 6 per week in flat
Green Onions 1 per week
Egg Plant 1 per week

The Beef Steak Tomatoes have been growing for about a month everything else was started last week. I did start some Green Beans and Peas about the same time as the tomatoes and they did not come up. My guess is that I planted them to deep. This round they were planted about a half an inch down.

The theory is that by planting every week you can have fresh produce throughout the winter. What I don’t eat can be traded or given away. I will keep you posted on the progress.


Leland said...

Very cool! Soon you'll be able to have your own farmer's market! Or maybe I'll trade you some bantam eggs for some fresh broccoli, one of my favorite vegetables. Also don't overlook radishes... they germinate fast and grow fast!

BigBear said...

Forgot about radishes I will include them in next weeks planting. The broccoli is having a hard time standing up they are about two inches high and want to fall over. Very delicate they need to stiffen up and fill out. I love eggs are those cute chickens producing yet?