Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another Trip Round the Sun...

There's something so invigorating about a new year.  A fresh start - so full of promise.  365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, 4 seasons.  How will it be spent? How do we wish for it to be spent?  Because it will be spent whether we plan it or not.

I've got big plans for this year.  Exciting plans.  One of my dreams has always been to have a market garden - I love to grow good food and I love seeing other people excited about eating fresh food.  When I was a child one of the things I very much loved to do was to set up a little stand on the road by our house and sell flowers or rhubarb - it was great fun to me.  This past summer I was offered the opportunity to use the land where I've been gardening (for myself, for and with the landowner and for the foodbank) the last few years to start a market garden.  Well...it didn't take much arm twisting to convince me.  Ahem.
So there has been planning and dreaming (not to mention organizing our family life for this big change) in the works since summertime and this past week I've started getting down to the details.  The Seed Catalogs!  Oh my.  For a person who, when faced with going to a regular grocery store, desperately wishes that there were only two kinds of toothpaste to choose from these seeds catalogs can get just a little bit overwhelming.  So many choices. 

It has been an interesting week narrowing down the choices and figuring out just exactly what and how much I will grow.  How many bean seeds of each kind does one actually need to get?!?  How many tomatoes would be reasonable (this coming from a person who usually grows around 100 plants just for herself)? How much salad mix of each kind to buy to keep one whole garden section continuously succession planted in baby greens from spring to late autumn?!? 
It has been quite a learning experience working on sorting these things out.  It is important to me to have heirloom varieties of each crop as well because I've found that, over the years I've been growing, old varieties often have the best flavour...and if you're going to grow food, why not have it Grown for the Flavour.  Mmmm, I like that, I think that would make a very appropriate slogan.  Happily I am almost done now, just the corn to get sorted.  And even more happily we enjoyed some delicious baby greens from the greenhouse - these will (we think) be one of our most popular crops for our customers.  I think it may be a very exciting year. ;-)

11 comments:

donna!ee said...

what an awesome endeavor...what perfect bliss for the perfect farmer!!!! :)

sheila said...

Oh my gosh, exciting is probably a bit of an understatement, Heather! Best of luck to you! I look forward to hearing how you deal with the tomato issue. I canned about 120 quarts of salsa this year and when someone suggested I sell them my first thought was "Wait! I can't sell them - we eat all that!' lol

The Finicky Farmer said...

Very excited for you, Heather! Aren't seed catalogs in January positively magical? All those promises of green, fresh starts...

Elizabeth said...

A market garden is a wonderful plan! Seed catalogs are my favourite winter reading.

Only in Louisiana ~ documenting the adventures we call Life! said...

Looks like you have big plans on the horizon - I pulled out my Gardening books today to begin "planning"! I also have lots of lettuce starting to sprout right now so that is exciting too! I think that is one of the most glorious sunsets I have ever seen - wish I could have been there in person....

cargillwitch said...

good for you! my inaugural year Market gardening last year was such a delight. I learned so much and am glad I had given myself a year to really get a feel for what people wanted and if the whole en devour was something I enjoyed. I am already planning for another year and sorting through catalogs myself.
Have fun! ( by the way I found very few people bought tomatoes! I guess because so many people grow them themselves)

Forest-Dweller said...

OH me too me too...this is the best time of year to go to the mail box!
good luck to you

Erin said...

Yay! Yes! Hurrah! I'm over here doing a happy dance for you!

I can only imagine your excitement, and I truly believe if there is such a thing as having a calling, yours surely involves tending both plants and people and this will bring those two elements together so beautifully. With what I know via reading here and in SD I see wonderful success on this path for you.

I only wish I lived closer so that I could drive along and say, "there's Heather! stop the car, we need produce!" and become a customer.

We plan to watch more closely how the CSA girls (here) grow things this year, and we also plant to put in some volunteer hours (the whole family) at our freinds' farm nearby. They are a CSA too, and we hope to learn alot! This is going to be an exciting year, and I'm So Thrilled and Excited For You!!

~Erin xo

Anonymous said...

Hey Heather.

So excited for you. I know this has been a dream of yours for awhile. It is an amazing adventure. When I was doing it, people loved heirloom tomatoes!! So grow lots!! Will you be at the local farmer's market then?? Let me know, I would love to buy some of your goodness!

May each seed be blessed abundantly!!

Sandi

Heather said...

Shelia - I know!! When, in canning season, I was saying to my friend that I really mustn't grow so many tomatoes next year she asked me how many I would grow (she was likely planning on trying to keep me in line because she knows my over-do-it tendencies). At first I said I would do less than the 100 I had but then remembered I was going to be having a market garden so I said 500. I realized that it was ridiculous that, when growing for a market and farm stand, I would only grow 5 times the amount I grow for my own use. But 500 tomato plants DOES sound like a lot, doesn't it?

Cargillwitch - so glad to hear you enjoyed your first year so much that you're keen to do a second. That's good news. I'll go back and peek at your blog to see what all you're growing. ;-)

Thanks Erin. I wished you lived closer too and not just so you could buy my veggies. ;-) Would be lovely to have you and your boys here in our homelearning community.

Hi Sandi, so good to hear from you!! I do have lots of heirloom tomatoes seeds on order plus I have all my old favourite saved varieties. Yes, we'll be at the farmers market and we'll also have a tiny farmstand on Benvoulin right on the property where I grow. Can't get fresher than that. ;-) I'm not sure how often I'll personally be at the farmers market stand - I have a feeling that I might be hard pressed to ever get myself out of the field. Maybe I'll see you there?

www.FarmLifeLessons.blogspot.com said...

Looks like great fun going thru the magazines! I love picking out our seeds as well!

Lana