Mar 2, 2009
Seed Starting Time!
What a weekend! Our weather was the worst kind for attempting to get excited over gardening outside. A nor'easter blew in bringing with it rain, cold, extreme winds, and now on Monday morning...SNOW! This is a rare event here so at least the kids enjoyed it!
Last week was my first time starting seeds indoors. I thought this would be a more cost effective way for me to have more heirloom tomatoes this year and would be a fun project for the kids as well. The first seedlings peeked out from the flats on Sunday-Day 6 and by this morning included 9 Brandywine, 3 True Black Brandywine, 3 Black Krim and 3 Black Pearl. As exciting as this is, I am worried about the dreaded damping off and check on them more often than a newborn! I have also started peppers and eggplant but those are expected to germinate later than the tomatoes. I broke down last week and bought a heat mat and light for the flats. I originally intended to reuse some rope lights I had under the flats but found the temp of the soil climbing out of control, even after using spacers. Now I just watch and hope that my kids don't play "musical plant markers" and render me speechless when asked "what kind of tomato plant is that one?"!
This year I am raising the number of tomato plants from 6 to about 20 so it could get amusing come summer to watch me trying to harvest them all. I just started preserving by freezing last year and will be adding canning to that this year, and hope to have enough to sell at farmer's market as well. I will be growing all the standard veggies such as peas, beans, etc. but have noticed a real deficiency in quality heirloom tomatoes available at market. I harbor no hopes of actually making any money of course, but if I can involve my kids actively in the food growing process and have them see the end result at market, I think it will be well worth it!
While we're on the subject of kids, don't mistake me for one of those moms who is involved with my kids on every level and constantly teaching and playing...I have found myself deficient in the ability to play Legos and do art projects for hours on end, so I just decided to pursue the hobby most suited to the inclusion of kids! This is the easiest way to snow your kids into thinking you are having a blast with them...make them join in on your hobby for a change-they see you in a different light when you are doing something you really enjoy!