☆ June 12, 2014
When I last mentioned my garden, I had made a sauna out of fire-heated rocks and tarps to save my tomatoes from an early frost, which kept them growing for another week until it snowed in earnest in early October. At that point, I transplanted my basil, parsley, thyme, and jalepeno plants into pots and lugged them inside (where they flourished all winter!), and cut the tomato plants at the base and hung them from my bathroom ceiling and enjoyed vine-ripened tomatoes into November. Heady from keeping a few plants alive through the winter, I decided to start my garden from seed for the first time this spring.
Plants make me very nervous. Put me in a confined space with a coyote or a bull and I’m totally comfortable, but put some seeds in my hand and I start to hyperventilate. I’d ordered seeds in the past from Lisa at Amishland but had been too scared to plant them; this year, I unearthed those seeds from the back of a drawer and ordered a few more: heirloom varieties like Cuor di Bue and Coyote tomatoes, Chervena Chushka sweet pepper and Little Nubian hot pepper, and Astrakhanski watermelon. With great trepidation, I sprouted all the pepper and tomato seeds according to Lisa’s instructions, convinced that some – if not most – would not sprout due to some failure on my part. Nearly all of them sprouted. So I planted all the seeds, convinced that some – if not most – would not grow because of my ignorance and ineptitude. They all grew! And so I now have twelve watermelon and cantaloupe plants, fourteen pepper plants, and sixty tomato plants. SIXTY!
It was time to make more raised beds. Last year, I built three beds from 2×8 redwood – they are gorgeous and sturdy and I can walk their edges like a balance beam, but the materials were so expensive. This year, since I quintupled my garden space, I used DIY diva‘s technique with cedar fence planks. Way cheaper, and so easy to build – I knocked out six before noon my first day and another six one evening. The chickies helped. And I’ll have enough tomatoes to share the bounty with them, too.