Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fish emulsion is my new best friend.

Sometimes no matter how much I read on a subject, it takes me months to implement what I've learned. I know you know what I'm talking about. For instance, my relationship with fertilizer. I grew up only knowing Miracle Grow; with its green scooper and bright, green crystals bubbling up in my watering jug. Or better yet, the attachment that fit right on the hose allowing you to spray your plants with this chemical food for hours. But as our world grew more organic and Earth conscious and my interest on these matters grew, I decided to read up on organic fertilizers a couple years ago and wade through the endless amounts of information on this matter. And what I found delighted me. Just the benefit of utilizing organic fertilizers not only for your garden, but also for the environment is sheer delight. One in particular caught my eye: fish emulsion. I finally decided to purchase a bottle and to my surprise, it made me want to puke from the smell. It reminded me of what it would be like to sit around in fish sauce all day. Disgusting, but kind of wonderful too.


I enthusiastically applied this new find to my edible garden and flower pots throughout my garden. The smell didn't last long and in the coming weeks my plants flourished! My garden last year produced a summer full of vegetables. My tomatoes were still producing into October. So, this year I decided to include this wonderful, smelly stuff onto my seedlings for my 2010 crop! I planted my seedlings in late February and fertilized about a month later and whoa-la, my seedlings are stronger than ever before. I produced so many healthy starts this year I've contemplated having a neighborhood plant sale. Luckily though, I had a long-list of friends ready to 'em off my hands. 

So, I'm sold on this stuff. I won't go it alone. 

Goodbye, Miracle Grow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

'Tis the season.....

And I don't mean the holiday season.
I'm talking about the growing excitement surrounding the old past time of gardening. I planted my first Ed Hume seeds indoors just a week ago. Maybe a little overzealous on my part, but I don't care. It's the beginning of a new planting era.....uh, I mean season. Another shot as a scaled-down farmer. And I take it seriously. I would be lying if I said I didn't immediately get a little anxious about the outcome of those cute, little seedlings. I have them placed perfectly in our breakfast nook; it's nice and warm and always bright (even in Seattle.) I feel like the moment I place each seed securely in its spot, I promise them the world....just like I do with my 13 month old son. In fact, my husband thought I was talking to my son one morning when, to his realization, I was hovering over my indoor dirt patch (aka: Jiffy Greenhouse Seedling Starter) talking to them and encouraging them to peek their little selves out. Yes, it's completely ridiculous. But something comes over me once those seeds touch dirt. It takes on a life all its own.

But, I'm not even going to pretend I know what I'm doing. I mean not in the classical sense. I did not study horiculture or permaculture in college. (Communication took up my time.) I did not spend years farming hundreds of acres of land on a mass scale (although I did spend eight years in Ellensburg - and dated a redneck. Does that count?)

But, what I did do as a child, was walk patiently out to my grandparents garden in Oregon each year and witness their enthusiasm over rows of raspberries, rhubarb, tomatoes and strawberries. My grandpa would always pull the closest, ripest fruit for me to try. Oh, the freshest flavor! And when I was only in diapers, my mom would find me in her own backyard garden eating pea pods right off the vine! Delicious!!

So, by default, I embraced gardening. Even before I really understood the satisfaction that comes from growing your own.

So grow little seedlings. Grow.
'Tis the season!