Thursday, January 27, 2011

signs of life

My little herbs are sprouting.  

I got my seeds going a bit later than I'd expected to, but the first little cotyledons have pushed their way up through the potting mix and are stretching further upward every day. They're a welcome addition to the jungle of succulents already standing guard on my windowsill.  Italian parsley, chives and cilantro make up this first wave of herbage, while thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil wait on deck for a place in the line-up (channeling baseball metaphors this evening... ).  Some of these little sluggers will eventually take up residence out on the balcony; once the temperature cooperates and the sun says it's summertime again.

These past couple of weeks, I've been getting in the zone for this year's gardening season.  Now is an excellent time to get started on your gardens.  Those of you still slogging through seemingly endless snowfall may be raising an incredulous eyebrow to that statement, but now is the time to at least begin planning, if that's all that the weather will allow.

I was lucky enough to take a college course called Sustainable Urban Food Production*,  in which one of our assigned tasks was to create a detailed garden plan for an entire year of food growing.  We perused seed catalogs, drew maps, constructed crop rotation schedules, and came up with a week-by-week itinerary outlining the tasks that would need to be completed over a 12 month period in order to maintain productivity throughout the growing season.  I highly recommend this approach.  I'm just not experienced enough to keep all of the details straight in my noggin' by memory alone.

Looking at that spreadsheet now, with all its hopeful organization, I realize that I'm already 3 weeks behind.  C'est la vie.  So goes my life.  I still have undelivered Christmas cards...  so much for that dose of merriment.

At least the herbs are on track.  Flavor sprouting fresh from potted Earth, soaking up the sun's rays and promising deliciousness in the future... it's amazing stuff.  Have you started your garden yet?

*If you live in the Seattle area and are interested in studying sustainable agriculture, check out Seattle Central Community College's Sustainable Agriculture Education Program.  The classes and instructors are fab, and the school is building a greenhouse/garden space for hands-on learning experience. There are seminars, lectures, labs, and opportunities to earn credit while volunteering with local food-related organizations.  It's way cool.

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