Garden Startings

First, please note the shiny new blog name — I’d been vaguely dissatisfied with the old one, and I don’t know why it took me so long to come up with this one! My proof of sentience to join the Swarthmore science fiction club (no, you don’t really want to know) involved proving I was an ent, and it’s an archetype I’ve always liked. Of course, being female, I’m technically an entwife, and the descriptions of their style fits me even better than the ents we actually meet — I love old-growth forests, but I’m too much of a homebody to be a male ent. Only now, the title is going to make people think I’m married. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

I have officially started the garden! At first, I was just going to plant the herb seeds in the little garden kit we got for Hannukah, and the heartsease seeds, because they need a lot of time to sprout, but then I was having fun. And I’m pretty sure it’s ok to start them this far in advance, especially given the cramped quarters and insufficient light they’re going to have to put up with. Now on display by the livingroom window are:
Oregano (plain, from the herb kit)
Chives (plain, from the herb kit)
Basil(Italian, from the herb kit)
German Chamomile
Mixed African Marigolds
Marigolds from Freecycle (saved from someone’s garden, henceforth nicknamed “Darshna” marigolds because that’s the person’s name)
Anise Hyssop
Bronze Fennel
Broccoli Raab
Climbing Nasturtiums
Cornflowers
Heartsease
Lemon Balm
Peppermint
Spearmint
Cinnamon Basil
Calendulas
Welsh Onions
Good King Henry
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Forget-Me-Nots
Perpetual Spinach

Most of these are organic OP seeds from either Bountiful Gardens or Seeds of Change. The fennel, broccoli raab, and anise hyssop are just sort of thrown in there as an experiment, since they were freebies with Seeds of Change orders (though I also have another anise hyssop packet that came with the tea-herb collection from Bountiful Gardens). The climbing nasturtiums and forget-me-nots are similarly experimental, as they came from the supermarket and the local archivists association, respectively. I also have some dwarf nasturtiums that I’ll be direct-seeding, because it says that they don’t transplant well. Everything except the forget-me-nots is edible. Most of these are in six-pack egg cartons, except the herb kit, some of the experimental things, and the welsh onions. The onions are in a 12-pack egg carton, because I like onions. I’ve generally put two or three seeds per cup, and I’ll thin them out to one sprout once they come up.

I had no idea how varied seeds were! The calendula seeds are these weird little curly things that look almost like seashells or dried millipedes, and mint seeds are incredibly tiny, and the perpetual spinach and chard seeds look sort of like tiny little vertebrae, and the sorrel seeds are beautiful and shiny and pointy.

I ordered seed potatoes from Wood Prairie Farms as well today. I got their special potato blossom collection. It has several varieties, enough for about a 4×4 foot plot, which is about what I’d been planning on. I hadn’t realized potatoes even had pretty flowers! I may plant some kale or more Asian greens or something in the pots with dying spider plants in them. I should also probably sweep up the living room, because it’s now full of dirt. Somehow, having soil everywhere makes sense right now. I want a house with a packed earth floor someday…that would make me so happy. I could just lie on the nice cool dirt floor (or nice warm rug in the winter) and be so grounded.

This, as I’ve said before, is more or less a wild experiment. We’re getting veggies for eating from the CSA, so I’m going to plant stuff, take notes, and see what works. With work and school and such, I do not have the time or energy to be going about this in a super-organized way. I still have surprise mixes of bush beans, carrots, and beets to plant, as well as sugar snap peas, corn salad, edamame, “dinosaur” kale and Asian greens. I need to decide whether I’m getting a rhubarb plant. I assume they’ll have them at the grocery store again this year. While it might have a lower success rate, it is actually logistically easier for me to start stuff from seed, not to mention cheaper. I don’t have a car (or a driver’s license), and there isn’t a nursery within walking distance except the farmer’s market which starts back up in June and only has a haphazard selection of herbs and tomatoes and things. So I’d be riding the bus most of the way to Cambridge, taking my chances with the selection a the nursery there (most of which most likely be non-organic and hybrids), riding back balancing delicate baby plants on my lap and then carrying them half a mile on foot from the bus stop. I think I’ll deal with the challenge of starting from seed!

Oh, and I feel so much better than when I posted this morning’s stress. I guess this is what I needed.

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