Our spring growing season has officially begun! We started our first round of seeds in the greenhouse this past weekend, and some seedlings are already poking their heads up through the soil. Ever since Kevin and I started the seeds for my first garden years ago, the process has always struck me as magical. It still inspires me to watch a tiny seed, fed with the simple ingredients of moisture, heat, and nutritious soil, become a plant that can feed us all season. It is thrilling to see new signs of germination in a different crop each day, and noticeable growth from yesterday’s tiny seedlings. Time flies, and I know it won’t be long before we’re transplanting these babies out into the great big world, and then not much longer until we’re enjoying their bounty!
If you’re planning to start a garden for the first time this year, there are lots of books and other publications out there (sometimes to the point of overwhelm!). Ron and Jennifer Kujawski’s Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbookand The Sustainable Vegetable Garden: A Backyard Guide to Healthy Soil and Higher Yields by John Jeavons and Carol Cox may be good places to start. If you’re looking to dive into more resources (whether this is your first growing season or your tenth—there is always more to learn!), I compiled a list of some that have been useful to us in this blog entry last year. We love learning and exchanging knowledge, and would love to hear about your go-to gardening resources, too!
This sweet little bee ventured out on a warm day into the high tunnel. Don't get ahead of yourself, my friend!
Happy January…err, I mean November! Can you believe it was in the 90s a month ago? Our plants are as bundled up as they can be, and we’ll see how they make it through the week. We use season extension techniques like row cover and these nifty little mini-greenhouses Kevin built over some of our raised beds, as well as heating our main greenhouse when needed, but those additions only do so much. Fingers crossed that we will still have some herbs and greens for a while this winter.
No matter what the weather does at this point, we still have our canned and dried goods! I’m making more Ginger Marmalade this week, as I know many of you have been stocking up for gifts.
I hope you are staying warm in this cold snap! Our ginger and sensitive herbs are bundled up under blankets or tucked in the greenhouse as needed. This guy is enjoying the tropical environment among the ginger foliage, too!
Now that autumn definitely seems to be here, the kale and collards we planted for the fall are coming on and we will have our first small harvest this week! We will also have dandelion greens and romaine in the next few weeks.
We have another exciting new offering: upon popular request, we are now offering a very limited supply of Dandelion Ridge Farm dried herbs and pepper flakes! We carefully dry the best of what we grow for your enjoyment year-round. We’re offering epazote, thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary, as well as ground jalapeño peppers and crushed habanero flakes for you heat-lovers out there!
We’re staying active with events this week, too! Kevin is on his way to New York’s Hudson Valley to present at the Hudson Valley VegFest, where he will hopefully inspire folks to move along the continuum from passive consumers to active food producers, whether it be starting a farm, learning to cook, or growing a few herbs on a kitchen windowsill.
We were also pleased to be part of a World Food Day celebration at Community Action Council’s Wilburn Center in northeast Lexington on Wednesday. Community members got to watch food demos, taste dishes from diverse cuisines, and take home fresh vegetables, including Dandelion Ridge Farm sweet potatoes.