Foraging and Gardening

The past couple of days have been very nice. Yesterday mom and I went into town to have an ice cream and pick up some straw for the garden. We also stopped in to check out the small community garden in town. When we went to Madison Farm Supply for the straw we also browsed through the farmer’s market and picked up some produce, home made bread and were lucky enough to be there to catch the cooking class. It seems to me that the Farm Supply is an informal community hub and important resource. While at the farmer’s market I met a very interesting woman who is in a similar position in terms of setting up a homestead/garden. She mentioned getting together a meeting/gathering/study group for like-minded folks interested in learning from each other so I’m excited about that.

After our trip into town we picked about a quart of blackberries behind grandpa’s garage. Not a lot but I’m fairly certain that I’ll be able to get another two quarts from the patch as it ripens over the next week or two. Last night dad and I went fishing and ended up with a six pound bass. I cooked half the blackberries this morning as a topping for pancakes and four of us ate the bass for lunch.

I also finished off the planting of the last three fruit trees, 2 plums and a peach which are 60 feet from my front door near to the site of our future arbor. In the garden I added a new bed and planted broccoli and a mix of salad greens. Last but not least, I put in my first order of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Calabrese Green Sprouting (An Italian heirloom broccoli brought to America in the 1880s), Russian Red Kale, Arugula, Five Color Silverbeet (Rainbow Chard), Merlo Nero (Italian Spinach). My plan is to do most of my future seed buying from these folks who are based in Missouri and not too far away. From here on out I’ll only be buying seed that I know I can save for future planting.

So many projects, so little time!!

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2 thoughts on “Foraging and Gardening

  1. freebox

    Make sure you protect the lower bark (near the ground) on your fruit trees if you have lots of critters around. Rabbits and such tend to like to gnaw on it (they think it’s quite tasty) and when trees are that young, they can’t take it and tend to die die die.

    Also, I’ve discovered that it’s real easy to save seeds from greens–so I haven’t bought any seed in ages–I just let them flower and form their pods and dry out. Lettuces look a bit like dandelion seeds, chard makes funny little bumpy pod things, and brassicas, well you have seen those pods I’m sure. All of these germinate well, even if they sit around for a few years. I got to the point where I don’t even bother popping open the pods to shell the seed, I just plant them whole in the ground and they seem to do just fine. Waaaay less work.

    I’ve also had really good luck saving the seeds from tomatoes, I just squish the seeds out whenever I’m chopping them up for salsa and rinse them in a bowl with some water (washing the “stuff” off helps keep them from molding), and then I put them on plates in the sun to dry. I’ve been getting pretty good germination rates from what I’ve saved. The hardest part is remembering to label them.

    It’s amazing to me that more people don’t save seeds, it’s really not that hard, and you always have so much seed left over you can share it freely with the world.

  2. woodswoman

    i’m hoping to seed save more, but the more i garden the more i appreciate the self-seeders and volunteers. it’s really amazing what pops up (and where). even tho our season is short here, i have had volunteer tomatoes fruit for us. this year i am discovering that husk cherries will re-seed like crazy!! and it looks like we will get fruit as well. i always let some greens go to seed, this year i let some beets and carrots go as well. the carrots more for the pollinators, they go crazy over carrot flowers. some leeks that wintered over i have left to seed…. i am also letting a few garlics flower this year instead of clipping their scapes, and will plant their bulbets this fall to have bulbs 2 years from now. one amazing celery plant actually overwintered so that i left to flower. i didn’t think cosmos seed would be able to survive the winter but they have come up everywhere. and sunflowers too. i have a friend who has great luck w/ cilantro self-seeding, this is my first year growing it and i’m letting most of it go. dill as well. borage will take up residence all over the place. another excellent pollinator plant. i have both white and blue but the blue seems more interesting to the bees.

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