Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

Hey all, I took a break yesterday for my birthday.  I changed the About Me to update my age and that of my kids.  That means another year has come and gone, and I'm no longer a new gardener.  I still have a ton to learn, but I've found that I know enough to pass the veggie test for the Master Gardener certification.  Hehe, funny what a year of research can do to teach you what you can learn from a 2 hour course.  hehe. 

I'm strongly leaning towards taking the courses this summer.  Not because I feel I need a piece of paper, or want to learn about flowers particularly, but as you may have figured out, I love to help people.  And that's what Master Gardeners do, help people get the most out of their gardens.  That's what I do. So for that reason, it's not looking like a bad idea after all.

This weekend I've got to get some gardening done.  Mostly I have to plant more broccoli.  One of my two soil blocks of broccoli that I started a few weeks ago has died.  No clue why, the other one has two in it, and I can't quite figure out how to transplant one of them into the other soil block.  Don't think it's possible, but when I thin it I will try to transplant it.  Regardless, I should start more broccoli.  I want to do some succession planting.  And considering all the germination time and indoor growth, this weekend is a good time to start more.

Another reason for starting more seeds this weekend is that I made a decision.  Our preschool is having it's second annual auction.  Last year I had considered auctioning off a "share" of my garden, CSA style.  CSA's, in case you're not aware, stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially they are private co-op farms that sell shares of their harvest to people.  They're normally organic farms.  So why not mine?  It's organic, and without doing corn, I can definitely plant enough to share.

Doing some quick research into CSAs in the local Seattle area, I found some shocking information.  Seems full season subscriptions to CSAs run $600!!! Wow. /cough 

Actually, the more I think about it, what does a family spend on produce in a year?  Yeah, $600 sounds about right.  Maybe even a good deal.  So, what do you think a "share" of my garden is worth?  Of course, I don't grow all vegetables and don't have nearly the amount of produce that a farm has.  However, I need to figure out what the suggested value of my share would be.  $400? $500?  Not sure.  What I do know is that last year had better not be a fluke, hehe.  I hope to have as good or better production.  If so, there will be plenty to share.

It's pretty exciting.  I had been thinking about this since last year, and when I mentioned it to my wife this  year, she mentioned it to some parents at school.  Apparently they are all interested in bidding on it.  If we can get a few hundred for it, that would be very cool.

More to come on this, for sure, but one thing is for sure, I need to start more vegetables.  My succession plantings need to be bigger.  So more broccoli and cauliflower. 

A comment on my cauliflower.  I pre-sprouted it in the coffee filters a month ago, then planted the sprouted seeds in soil blocks.  Those blocks have not sprouted cauliflower at all.  It's really odd.  I will not be pre-sprouting them again.  Like Granny said, it's not terribly faster and I'll just do the direct sowing into soil blocks that can be transplanted as-is into the garden.

I'll aso be planting carrots, radishes, peas and checking my spinach.

Lastly, I'll share a great shot of my tomatoes.  The first sowings that I did for myself are doing very well.  I will have to replant the three that didn't germinate for our teacher, but hopefully they won't be too far behind the rest.

I snapped this in the morning when I went to check on them.  I also upped the hours of light from 12 to 15.  I read somewhere that 12-16 hours is good for plants.  They seem to be responding.  This is fun, can't you tell? hehe.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Happy birthday Sinfonian - I hope the day was great for you! Congratulations on the website update - you have graduated to no longer being allowed to call yourself a newbie. :D

    The tomato starts are looking super. I use 15 hour settings for my lights too - seems to be the "happy place" for the plants.

    Doing a CSA type of arrangement is pretty ambitious. You will need ALOT of production to provide for that AND for your own family. I am sure it is posted here somewhere - but I do not recall what the square footage of your garden growing area is? Will the arrangement be for the summer season only? If so the price should be lower - as most CSA pricings are for year round supply or close to it. I would encourage you to browse online for CSA sites to see what their terms and commitments are - so you have a sense of what would be expected and how to structure such an arrangement in advance.

  2. Happy birthday. 37? Ah, you are just a babe. (Ok, ok, I'm not exactly far ahead of you at 38.)

    In spite of the weather, I'm looking forward to gardening this weekend as well. I'll be checking in w/ DoubleD and looking to see if I need to start any seeds this weekend.

  3. I think that's a great idea for a charity auction!
    Of course, I've no idea how much it would be worth either.
    What a great way to share the bounty and help the school.