Blah blah blah beer
Yesterday we opened the garden for the first time in 2008. I made the first "cut" into the soil, in a row that we'd certainly used before, then my husband turned over the first couple of rows. Why, you ask, must this be done manually? Why not use a tiller? We live in New England, which is where God decided to put all the rocks when He made the world. Eventually we'll get all of them, but for now we'd rather not break the tiller so we do it the old-fashioned way.
We also sowed the second round of indoor seeds, consisting almost entirely of tomatoes.
Well, all right, maybe we haven't actually achieved broccoli yet. The first bunch of seeds that we planted have started to sprout, though, and according to our meticulous chart, the seeds that are sprouting are broccoli seeds. This is very exciting, both because broccoli is wonderful and because it means that I haven't managed to kill them off yet.
It is day 2 of our seed-starting experiment and I'm nervous. Everything looks the same. Is it supposed to? How do I know when to add water? What if the cats take an interest? I mean, they're seeds, and they're from a reputable company. They should be fine. Things grow, from seeds, all the time without the intervention of quasi-competent former accountants. Still, having taken this step is giving me a lot of anxiety.
Well, Day 1 of our attempt to sow seeds indoors seems to have gone well enough. There is condensation on the lid of the little greenhouse-box thing. The cats have shown no interest in it, which is surprising since we've placed the thing in the room with their food. We were supposed to have had a second seed-starting session, but we were both too excited. Since my husband is off on business until Saturday, the next round of seed starting won't happen until then. I can't help but think this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It will give us a more staggered wave of plants that are ready for transplanting, which given the vagaries of New England weather and our schedules will increase our chances of success.
Last night we officially started our kitchen garden. Appropriately enough, we started it in the kitchen. We got a couple of those Burpee seed starter kits and went to town on one of them. This, of course, was the start of conflict. The Burpee Seed Starter Kit has these little pods. You put them into the little seed cells and add water. They expand. The problem is, I couldn't figure out what these little pods contained. I strongly suspected a certain.... animal by-product aspect, and I don't mean the kind of animal by-product that goes into bologna. At least, I don't think I mean that kind of by-product, not having been employed in the manufacture of bologna. At any rate, I became deeply suspicious of these pods. My husband tried to convince me that they did not contain manure. He was unsuccessful.
We followed the instructions pretty well, and the little poo pods expanded as promised. It was actually kind of exciting to watch! Of course, Minette (cat) and Yogi (dog) had to help, which added excitement to the whole process. This is our first time starting seeds. Last year we bought flats of plants at the local nursery or received seedlings from my father-in-law, who is a pretty fantastic gardener. Almost everything we're planting comes from the Burpee seed catalog, so unless I state otherwise that's the source. Last night we planted the following:
We decided to go with Burpee based on my father-in-law's advice. You may have noticed the quantity of hot peppers. I use a lot of them in my cooking, and we had very good luck with them last year so we're trying a greater variety this year.