I love this so much!
They’re here! These little cabbages just emerged, and I’m very excited. The first seedlings of the year are always a cause for celebration.
I’ve never grown cabbage, nor onions and celery, which are in nearby trays.
I have 20 cabbage seeds started: 10 Copenhagen Market and 10 Chinese.
Have you started any seeds yet? Are you growing cabbage this year?
OK, it’s not that great. It’s actually pretty small.
This is wheat, planted in early October.
It’s a small supply of hard red winter wheat berries raked into the soil.
What I find interesting is the punch of green, even in the dead of winter.
I have no idea what’s going to happen. Will it come out of dormancy in the spring and produce an early summer crop?
If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember the first time I tried planting wheat. Sadly, that experiment was short-lived because we moved. These seeds come from that same supply.
Many of you are coming to The Suburban Farm because you want to know more about growing wheat in your yard. Have you tried? I hope you’ll share your experiences.
How do you know when it’s cold? Like, really cold?
When the rhododendron’s leaves are curled.
This is more fun than looking at my thermometer.
It was 23-degrees Fahrenheit when I took these photos. The leaves open up when the sun warms them.
Here’s a little bit of reading on this thermotropic phenomenon. Interestingly, it’s an indicator of leaf temperature, not the air temperature. A good explanation for why the leaves relax in sunlight, despite the persistence of low air temperature.
Do you pay attention to rhododendron leaf curling? What other plant phenomenon do you find interesting?
Last night I read something that made a lot of sense:
The soil biota may affect human health. A 2007 study by Christopher Lowry and Graham Rook suggests a reason why gardening feels so good: a bacterium naturally found in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, stimulates the human immune system to release serotonin. This hormone is used in antidepressants increase feelings of well-being. Some scientists even believe that our ever-increasing desire for cleanliness and our distance from farming activities are leading to health problems such as asthma and allergies. Perhaps doctors will prescribe gardening for a healthy life.
Now I won’t feel awkward when I show up somewhere with dirt under my nails. You know the kind, that dirt that stains your hands and refuses to be scrubbed away.
Dig in! For your own health’s sake.
I have two small children, and I involve them in the garden as much as I can. Aside from letting my four-year-old pore over seed catalogs with me and giving him projects that involve dirt, I keep it simple. Have fun, make it part of the everyday, and good food will come naturally.
One everyday thing I like to do is make homemade baby food. Even if the food didn’t come from our garden, it’s still an easy everyday thing. Or every other day. Once per week?
We’re busy and both work full-time, and aren’t shy about cracking open a store-bought jar of organic peas or squash and lentils. But, if there’s time, breaking out the blender is an easy option.
I pick simple fruits and vegetables to make into baby food. If you have a steamer and blender, you can make baby food. You don’t even need those things. A pot, some water, and a fork will do.
If you’re keeping track of costs, that’s about $3 worth of store-bought baby food jars for the price of one potato (approximately $1.30).
Not only is it cost-efficient, but I can guarantee the ingredients, including whether it’s organic. When it’s food I’m growing, I can also guarantee the source.
Bigger batches can be frozen, and smaller batches can live in the refrigerator in small containers or recycled baby food jars. Our daycare loves it, too.
Do you make your own baby food? How do you involve children in good food?
We went to the library, and I couldn’t help but go searching for gardening books. We’re extremely fortunate to live in a city with a well-stocked library that has an excellent acquisitions department.
“Are you going to read all of those?” my husband asked as I climbed into the car. My lap was full.
They’re more for inspiration, research, and…just because.
Here’s the full list of what I borrowed:
- The Conscientious Gardener : Cultivating a Garden Ethic / Reichard, Sarah H.
- The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook : Perfectly Timed Gardening for Your Most Bountiful Harvest Ever / Kujawski, Ron.
- A Complete Guide to Bird Feeding / Dennis, John V.
- You Grow Girl : The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening / Trail, Gayla.
- Homegrown : A Growing Guide for Creating a Cook’s garden in Raised Beds, Containers, and Small Spaces / Teegen, Marta.
- The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping / Creasy, Rosalind.
- Eat More Dirt : Diverting and Instructive Tips for Growing and Tending an Organic Garden / Sandbeck, Ellen
What are some of your favorite gardening books? What are some books that have stood the test of time?