Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Growing Challenge: Check-in!

So, it seems I kind of can't have a challenge to work on. Actually, this isn't true! When I was reading Melinda's great blog, One Green Generation the other day, I saw her two challenges that she is running: The Growing Challenge and The Growing Challenge: Seed to Seed. Go there now and read about them!

I just signed up for the main challenge, although it would be cool to commit to saving seeds - so we just might do that, too! I'm excited to have a reason to document this and share it with others.

I wanted to update on our Oregon garden, which we're doing mostly from seed. With photos!!!

Overview: Right half of garden
Left Half of Garden
Right side, row 1: From left to right, Leeks, Scallions, Spinach (all almost invisible!) I'm a little worried about this row, it's not looking too active at this point.

Here's some spinach, I think...
Right side, row 2: Heirloom Lettuce, Pac Choi, Cabbage

Pac Choi!
Right side, row 3 (inside half): Snap Peas, Shelling Peas
Peas, glorious peas!
Left half (just planted yesterday, first 2.5 rows). First row is chard, kale, head lettuce (my dad requested it); second row is 2/3rds carrots, 1/3rd turnips; 3rd row (the wet half) is broccoli. :)
The back row:

Tomatoes! Three plants that we purchased as starts:

Strawberries! We have six plants, purchased as starts.

The tiller/waterer/toddler wrangler, extraordinaire.

So we still have LOT of work to do. Some of it I worry can't go in yet because the soil's not warm enough (note to self: buy a thermometer to check). Things like cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, bush beans, corn (all from seed). Silas and I are actually here in Oregon this week, so I might get some more planting done (if I can con my dad into re-tilling some of the rows). The dirt is SO freaking clumpy - it's like dirt rocks. There are a LOT of earthworms though, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. We did work a few bags of compost into the rows, so I'm hoping that will help a tiny bit. But I know this first year will probably be pretty rough because of the lack of organic matter in the soil. But we had to start somewhere!

Oh, and PLEASE! We are new at this, so if you have any pointers for us, we'd love to hear it!


Anonymous said...

I'm new at this too, but I'm excited for this season! I just took a look at the Growing Challenge and signed up for it this summer - the seed saving has me a bit intimidated, maybe next year. Your seeds look great, I'm sure its just a matter of time for the spinach. My strawberry plants (also from starts) are blooming like crazy and some have set fruit :-) What is your "new" veg this year?

Tammy James said...

great pics! I'm excited for you and looking forward to following your journey.

Melinda said...

Looks great - and it's wonderfully big! Scallions and onions are slow to start, in my experience. As are leeks, in the same category. Oh, and carrots (make sure you keep those constantly damp, too). So I wouldn't give up on them yet. : )

Me said...

look @ that stud in the garden! :)

Chessa said...

livinginalocalzone: it is exciting! Well, I've pretty much only had container gardens in the past (as an adult, anyway) so most everything we're growing from seed is new. But I've definitely never grown strawberries, cabbage, pac choi, turnips, leeks, kale, chard, broccoli...my husband has grown some of these things, but my dad was always the gardener in our family, and he likes all the hot weather crops (green beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, to name a few ;). Glad that you joined the challenge, too! I'm looking forward to learning from everyone.

Tammy- Thanks! I hope it's a productive year, but if nothing else, it's been educational so far. :)

Melinda - Thanks! I know, I'm sure we're biting off way more than we can chew (literally!). Thanks for the tip on the carrots - my husband AND toddler are really, really looking forward to carrots, so we'll make sure to keep them moist. And I'm glad to hear that about the leeks/onions - I'll keep holding out hope for them.

Me/Tasha - I know, right!? Like the haircut? We call it "The Military." He's sworn he's never going back to that salon ever. again.

Bethany said...

very cool to see the pictures of your mega garden.

I hope to have one going next year. I'm going to do lots of raised beds because I don't want kobie to go to the bathroom in them, but I'm taking up part of "his" yard, so I want to still let him run through it.

part one will be an herb garden that I'm starting this year.

I took a class at seattle tilth on organic gardening. I recommend it. parts were obvious and boring, but parts were very essential. good for learning the basics. they are also a very good resource.