Friday, April 9, 2010
We Have Peas!
I'm writing this post as part of the Grow. Cook. Eat. event being organized by Katie at Goodlifeeats.com.
I'm so excited to be starting my very first vegetable garden this year! Sure we've grow tomatoes in a pot, but that's about as far as I've gotten. This year I have the yard to make a big garden, 20' x 60'. The area has been used as a compost pile for yard debris for more than 20 years, it is very rich soil.
I made a garden plan and changed it about a hundred times :) We tilled up the dirt and marked off the beds. A month or so ago I planted blueberries, strawberries, potatoes and bush peas. I was worried for awhile that nothing was coming up, we had a light snow once right after planting (not normal for here) so I thought I may have to re-seed.
Then on a nice sunny day I went and started to weed the strawberries first and figured I'd weed the potato/peas bed before re-seeding. You know those little "helicopter" seeds, from an Oak Tree I think, well they are obnoxious! They grow ALL over my garden area about an inch apart. As I weed more they are coming back less, but still.... obnoxious. Anyway, I couldn't figure out why the berries were doing so well, but not a single pea or potato plant had sprouted. As I started weeding I saw one, and then two, and then more little sprouts that weren't weeds.... they were peas!
A couple days ago I went out to weed again, I'm really starting to enjoy it. I love having something to do that is mine and gives me some quiet thinking time working with the Earth while the boys dig for worms and play with sticks.
The three blueberry plants are doing well, I'm especially excited about the new variety, Pink Lemonade Blueberries. I bet Katie over at Good Life Eats could do something great with some Pink Lemonade Blueberries :) We won't be getting berries from it this year because it's a first year plant, but the other two we got are older so we will get harvest from them. Michael (3) asks me every day if we have Blueberries yet, he Loves them!
We have two Strawberry varieties, one of which are the "Hoods" that are so famous around Oregon, the other an everbearing variety that will hopefully provide some strawberries this year. One thing I learned while planning my garden is that many plants don't produce the first year, especially the fruit plants. We won't be here next year so I wanted things we can eat this year, but that left a lot of my favorite fruits out :( Our 25 Strawberry plants are growing every day!
Two of the Purple Potato plants have broken their mounds and have the most beautiful purple leaves! I am still waiting on the rest of the Purple Potatoes and the Yukon Gold, we have six mounds of each. I have a weird thing about purple vegetables.... we will be growing a lot of purple vegetables this year. I once got the kids to eat a whole head of Cauliflower raw because it was purple.
I am thrilled to report that well over 30 pea plants have started growing! I have them spaced around the potato mounds and after making sure they were all spaced correctly I wound up with the middle of that bed feeling kind of empty. We love Spinach here so I planted some spinach in the middle of the bed!
Next I planted the carrots in another bed, the peppers will be keeping them company in May. The Spinach, Romaine and Flame Leaf Lettuce were all planted together in one bed, about 28 plants each.
This may seem like a lot of plants, but we feed a lot of people and dogs! We will be freezing what we don't eat right away for winter months and for dog food. Making the dog food uses about 5lbs. of vegetables every three days (for all three dogs), costing us about $50 a month for just the vegetables.
I still have plenty of vegetables waiting to be planted and I am so excited!
A quick note about starting from seed: I tried starting some plants indoors from seed. The tomatoes and peppers are doing well, but the cauliflower and broccoli didn't make it. Next year I will be buying starts of those.