Saturday, March 14, 2009

First spring planting

A lot of seeds and plants we are using are from Territorial Seed Company, which is based out of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Steve Solomon started Territorial in 1979, and later sold it to Tom and Julie Johns in 1985. One of the reasons we use their seeds is because Solomon started Territorial with the idea of developing seeds that were better suited for the Pacific Northwest, and this is also his philosophy in his book (now in its 6th edition) called Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening. We use Solomon's book as our CSA bible, since it is so well focused on this region.

A couple of weeks ago Hannah, Miriam and I worked in some of the organic fertilizer mix from Territorial, and did some prep work for the raised beds. I had hoped to get some planting done earlier, but we have had snow and pretty cold soil temperatures. This did not stop me from getting the garlic in earlier, but we finally got some planting done today. I have a couple of students who are working with me on the CSA, and even though it was raining like crazy today (after a nice sunny end of the week on Thursday and Friday), we practically had to do it. Beth and Erik showed up and were game for some wet weather planting. In part, this needs to be done because I (Jeff) leave for Guatemala for a Habitat build on Thursday, meaning no planting would be done until the beginning of April!

A couple of the things we got in are kind of cool, one of them I mentioned earlier is the garlic. The garlic I chose is a Inchellium Red Garlic, a mild garlic which was originallyfound up on the Colville Indian Reservation in Northern Washington.

We also put in some Walla Walla sweet onions, and some Copra onions. The reason for the two kinds is that the Walla Walla's are typical of sweet onions, in that they need to be eaten fairly quickly after harvest. Copra's on the other hand, are good as storage onions. Once they are set out and hardened off a bit, they will keep for months.

We also put in the first round of carrots, spinach, beets, radishes, lettuce, kale, leeks. All of these are good cold weather/early summer crops. We also put in some Oregon Giant snow peas, developed by Jim Baggett at Oregon State University. They could have gone in much earlier, given the fact that they germinate in very cold weather. I always like instructions such as "plant as soon as you are able to work the soil," which really means, as soon as you can stand the weather out there, get out and plant them!

No comments:

Post a Comment