Monday, January 9, 2012

Planting A Seed

Just Kidding!
It is the simplest thing that you can do to promote eating more fruits and vegetables in your life. It always bothered me when people used to harp on planting trees for Earth Day...Earth Day my ASS! It is just an excuse for environmentalists to bash industry, innovation, and everything else that makes their cushy lives possible.
Lucy supervised everything.
Planting a tree (unless it bears fruit) does close to nothing to enrich the lives of the people who plant them [opinion]. SIDE NOTE: When I was working on a project at my first job (at an architecture firm), we had to wait on an arborist to tell us which random trees he chose that we could not touch. I thought that was so backwards. Here we are going to build something on this peice of land that was pretty much a field with some random trees on it, and by the end of the process we would have planted more (nicer) trees on the property than were there in the first place. This was a major moral dilemma for me. I thought so 'We have to sit around and waste time and a lot of money designing and redesigning around 6 random trees?' That was one of the turning points for me where I realized that this would be my entire career. Waiting on a government bureaucrat to decide what we can and cannot do. I did not want to be in a field where the government regulates EVERYTHING!

we started a lot of the seeds inside
I miss the green-ness!

Planting a seed on the other hand is completely different. Take a tomato plant. One seed will grow into a plant that will provide food and a few plants will provide a lot of food. As we set into winter, I'm sure planting next year's garden is farthest from your mind. However, this is when I get started. Last year we started a rather large vegetable garden. It took about 2 months of researching and planning. We chopped down 3 trees (I know all of you tree huggers are cringing right now) so the space would have enough light. We tilled in mushroom compost to increase the nutrients of the soil. We weeded, picked, waited, weeded, waited, waited.  Some of our yeilds were good; some weren't. We learned a lot!

  • We learned that you HAVE TO build a fence before a ground hog makes his home right in the middle of the garden.
  • We learned about tomato cones- the spokes go into the ground not sticking up into the air like giant metal eye-gaugers.
  • We learned that you should plant 1 tomato plant per cone- not 6.
  • We learned that you cannot transplant pumpkin vines after they grow way far out of your designated area. Pumpkin don't respect your designated areas.
  • We learned that we are going to need to build raised beds due to how compact our soil is.
  • Oh, and we "burned" our peas. Apparently peas do not do well in full sun, which is where I put them.

The moral of this story is that even if you only have a little bit of space, you can plant in containers. Herbs are a great start. Also, tomatoes, peppers, celery, and lettuce are great in pots. We also bought a dwarf Navel orange tree, a Meyer lemon tree, and an avocado tree. These will all stay small so we can bring them in for the winter. No avocados yet, but the orange tree is finally putting off some oranges, and the lemon tree is budding flowers so hopefully we will have the start of lemons soon!

Teeny tiny oranges! This was back in May.
My advice would actually be to start small. I have it in my genes to jump headfirst into the deep end and bite off way more than I can chew. If you need any advice, help, resources, email me at I am all for starting fruit/veggie/herb gardens at home. It can be cheap, the produce tastes amazing, and is way more convenient. Here's to springtime!

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