This weekend my husband and I drove out to my older sister and brother-in-law's farm in upstate New York, to spend some time with them and my four nephews. We came home laden down with just-picked asparagus and rhubarb from their local growers, a dozen eggs from their chickens, and plants, plants, plants. We now have, in addition to the pansies we've put in our front window boxes, added purple Allium, yellow Begonias, various Impatiens, a ton of other flowers for planters and window boxes around the house, some basil, and additional pepper plants (yes, we've already got many, in our defense, we didn't have this kind of pepper. That's my story and I'm sticking to it).
Add to that the fact that two apple trees, one cold-hardy cherry tree, strawberry plants and sweet potato starts are set to arrive this week, along with a kitchen and basement starting to overflow with vegetables and herbs....and you've got me praying that we're past the last frost date so I can start getting some of this stuff in the ground.
I started my seed potatoes (fingerlings) and some garlic chives and cilantro today. I've still got more thinning of the tomato plants to do, and some melons that need transplanting. Oh, and I still haven't planted all the lettuce.
We're overloaded with nature's bounty already, and we don't even have any vegetables yet. It never ceases to amaze me that a tiny little seed can do what it does.
So next weekend we'll prep the garden space, add mulch and compost to the asparagus bed, and start some planting.
In order to plant the seedlings, I have to 'harden off' the plants. They can't go straight from the grow lights to the ground. Every day, they will go outside for a bit of time, increasing slowly until they are out there full time. But some cold-hardy items, like beans can go in the ground now.
In the summer months, my sister and her family rarely go to the grocery store. Between the items they buy in bulk, their garden produce, chickens they raise, and eggs, there is little they need. I started to mull over what it might take to get us to that point in a year or two - three months of the year, no BJs, Market Basket, Stop and Shop, and so on. I like the idea, so I'm thinking about how we might make it work.
It's a nice goal to consider. And I wouldn't miss the Sunday grocery store crowds one bit.