September 3, 2010
Clinging to the Past
Sometimes clinging to the past isn't always a bad thing.
Sometimes all of this awesome technology can get to be too much, and get to change things that SHOULDN'T be changed. Including seeds. When you engineer a seed, when you take this-n-that, and you throw out this other thing... it may LOOK like an ear of corn, but now it's inner genetics are unrecognizable as being such. (More good info HERE).
Man of us are drawing to a close our summer growing season, and look forward to what we are going to do next year. Many of you are also considering a garden for the first time next year! Whatever we are looking forward to, it is always a good thing to make sure we keep it SIMPLE.
Heirloom seeds. They are the good stuff! They are what has been around for a long time. The weak ones die off, the strong and healthy ones survive, and continue to grow. I had some pie pumpkins that I bought at a local farm. I kept the seeds last year, and planted them this year. These were obviously a GMO seed, because I got a mutant gourd out of the bunch of pumpkins. I DIDN'T PLANT GOURDS! It is on the SAME plant as the pumpkins! Genetically modified plants can mutate a do different things from year to year. SO if you want to save seeds from year to year, it is a good idea to get a trustworthy seed to start with, such as heirloom!
Inexpensive equipment. The most expensive peice of equipment I own is a rototiller. This tiller can break sod, which has been a HUGE blessing this year. We got some quotes on people coming out and tractor tilling our garden and sod for us, and it would have cost us a couple hundred dollars! The rest of our equipment is all hand tools! Spade, rake, hoe, shovel... Garden hose, cheap sprinkler. We bought an expensive one a few years back and it lasted about a year and a half with our hard water, so now we bye cheap, and it lasts the same amount of time, if not longer!
Prep your ground NOW. If you are planning on breaking new ground next Spring for a garden, start NOW! Hubby and I will be breaking new garden ground in the next few weeeks, and I am going to dump manure all over it! It is natural. It is a great way to naturally give what your soil needs. It also encourages eart worms and other beneficial insects. You can till it in now, or wait until Spring. Either way, it's good stuff! If you don't have manure on your property, check with neighbors who have animals. If they have animals, they most likely have manure that they would LOVE to get rid of!
Start looking at seeds companies, and getting their catalogs. This is probably the most fun! Get a variety of companies. Check out the prices and quantities. Make the right decision for you. Be ready and make your seed orders this Winter! I made mine in January, and I had no problems getting the seeds that I wanted AND I had the seeds in plenty of time!
Growing is IMPORTANT! Whatever you do, growing SOMEthing is IMPORTANT! If you just grow a tomato plant in your apartment window, or a few plants on a patio, THAT is something! Whatever amount is WORKABLE for you, is good. Don't try to push yourself because someone else has more of a garden. It's not a show.
Whatever you do, again, keep it SIMPLE. Gardening can be a JOY, but it can also be a burden.
I like to think back to what MY grandmother would have done on her farm as a child... She grew up during the Depression, and I always like to try to think about what they did. They didn't have big expensive equipment, they didn't have mutating plants. I also don't want you to think we have to again, seem "poor". BUT, simple can be a good thing. Getting to many things going can be pouring money into too many different things, things that don't necessarily need to BE!
Most of all, HAVE FUN! Gardening is FUN! Pulling those sun-ripened tomatoes out and serving them, still warmed by the sun, on your table is a blessing.
It may seem a ways off, but start planning now! You will be glad you did!