Edible Gardening

with Peter Punzi

Winter Last Gasps

After a balmy February gave way to a wintry March - I was fortunate to be able to move native plant seeds that were overwintering (getting their cold treatment) in the cold frame back into the cold-frame. Unfortunately the early male spotted salamanders that made a February appearance after a warm rain did not fair so well. I am hoping all the spring peepers I heard chorusing did not suffer the same fate. The hydropinic basil and parsley are gangbusters so I think some pesto is in order fairly soon.

Although tempted to start tomatoes early the cool weather curbed my enthusiasm and I will wait until next weekend. All the brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) are already starting to form their true leaves and will be up potted from their jiffy-type pellets to coir fiber pots. The onions are also forming their grass like foliage in their 4 inch pots.

Mid-winter Hydroponics

Well I have my rough list of seeds for the vegetable garden but still need to whittle them down and order. In the mean time I decided to break out my hydroponics unit (from Hydrofarm). This is a model I used to train students on when I was teaching Sustainable Food Production at South Puget Sound Community College. This basic water culture unit with airpump can also be made by converting a plastic tote. I am growing basil and parsley as I can get my other herbs from the garden (sage, rosemary, thyme).

Most wonderful time of the year

Happy New Year all and welcome to my new blog dedicated to growing and preparing your own food.

Winter break and the W. Atlee Burpee Seed catalogs arrival heralded an intense excitement for the pre-teen version of myself. That good memory is still triggered - just like an olfactory memory of warm bread.
It was a relatively simpler time - long before the internet - where mail order seed catalogs were the domain of the US Mail. James Underwood Crockett was my guru and his Victory Garden Show and companion book Crockett's Victory Garden were my guides. I also started receiving Stokes Seeds as Well as Park Seeds catalogs - and I would pour over the catalogs - nearly ravishing them. They were one of the few forms of printed material I would write on - having been trained early on in school not to "deface" books - and fastidiously covering them with brown paper bags so they would last for future students.

Although many seed catalogs came in early December and some are yet to arrive - W. Atlee Burpee has stuck to their week before Christmas tradition and triggered that warm and fuzzy feeling once again. Come back soon as I explore this years catalogs and offer insights into my 2017 garden.