Oh, such plans I had. Right around the new year, I decided it was time to do something about my landless love of gardening. I was going to use the most sustainable materials and purchase them from the most socially responsible sources and only grow heirloom seeds in as close to an organic manner as possible.
Shortly after that, I discovered that that would have required starting to plan my garden last summer, because where I live is not exactly on the beaten path. So, next year’s bed will be constructed from a naturally long-lasting wood, purchased from a locally-owned lumber yard, and filled with the most sustainable composts and soil amendments, like coir (coconut husk fibers) in place of peat moss (not a sustainable product) and planted with heirloom seeds from a seed co-op or library dedicated to preserving diversity in our food supply.
That’s next year. This year, I’m building a 4 x 8 foot bed out of the most inexpensive untreated 4″x 4″x 8′ lumber I can find at whichever lumber store has it in stock, and filling it with a mix of peat moss, mushroom compost, and steer manure blend bought from a big box store. I did manage to find some heirloom and organic seeds, albeit all from a big corporation, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be buying some young plants from a local nursery. Still, not being able to reach the best is no reason not to take hold of the good, and doggone it, growing some vegetables this year is good, and it’ll be useful instruction in what I need to consider in my plans for next year.
It won’t be easy. In a high plains desert, the growing season is short, and water is a big deal. This is a good time to say thanks to my in-laws for letting me indulge my gardening bug on their land, which has a good well. I’m using a variation on square foot gardening to maximize production in minimal space.
A spring head cold has done its best to foil my plans, but so far, I’ve managed to buy my seeds and a tarp on which to mix my soil ingredients.
$1.48 Burpee Cucumber: Double Feature Hybrid
$0.98 Burpee Heirlooms Pea: Mammoth Melting Sugar
$1.48 Burpee Organic Radish: German Giant
$0.98 Burpee Heirlooms Radish: French Breakfast
$1.48 Burpee Organic Lettuce: Salad Bowl
$0.98 Burpee Heirlooms Lettuce: Forellenschluss
$0.98 Burpee Heirlooms Lettuce: Rouge d’Hiver
$1.48 Burpee Mesclun: Spicy Mix
$1.88 Burpee Organic Spinach: Palco Hybrid
$0.98 Burpee Heirlooms Carrot: Touchon
$1.48 Burpee Beet: Detroit King
$0.98 Burpee Turnip: Purple-Top White Globe
$4.88 Blue 6’x8′ tarp
$15.16 + $0.91 in tax, for a total of $16.07
Mr. Teaspoon has graciously agreed to pick up my lumber, hardware, and ingredients for dirt, so I’ll share more of the setting-up details when I have them!