Our first try at growing vegetables from seeds, courtesy of High Mowing Organic Seeds, has been very successful. In the case of our Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato plants, we were about eight plants too successful.
So far, everyone has put their tomato plants in their front yards so they will remember to water them, so with our own front-yard garden carts and the neighbors' tomato plants, we've inadvertently started a front-yard gardening trend while building our growing community. There are a lot of children in the neighborhood too, so they'll be able to see real food growing out of dirt instead of in plastic packages. You can't beat that just-picked flavor, so we hope the memories of fresh-grown vegetables near home will inspire them to plant their own gardens when they grow older.
The first blossoms of our rolling garden are showing on our Pacific Beauty Calendula (Calendula officinalis). We hadn't heard of this flower before we saw it in the seed catalog. We chose it as a nice companion plant to vegetables and to help deter unwelcome insects. We had planned to put two of these in a square foot, but it looks like this tall beauty in the Sunflower family would like the space for herself. The petals of this flower are edible and in dried or ointment form, it is also used for medicinal purposes. I found this interesting article from the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in Asheville, NC about the many medicinal uses for the calendula flower. It's also planted in pots for ornamental purposes and is a favorite in summer bouquets.
The second set of seeds we planted in early April in our closet became very sturdy seedlings. We're running out of room in our small house to keep them near the windows before planting them outside.
We knew that growing our own vegetables would mean some healthy adjustments at the dinner table later this summer. We didn't anticipate that we'd be making adjustments at the dinner table sooner than that!
Kerry A. Thompson
Tom rolled out the welcome wagons for our new seedlings yesterday. He built two of these UGarden elevated carts from Gardener's Supply so we can roll them around to catch the sun around our front yard and driveway if we need to. Filled with compost and loam now, they're a bit heavy, but it is possible for either of us to move them if needed. So the vegetables we grow in these carts may get some open-air rides this summer, but they probably won't be going far from home.
A month ago, we planted two trays of seeds in our first attempt at starting vegetables and flowers from seeds. We had about half of the seeds germinate and flourish, so it was time to move them to bigger pots.
We've been happy with all the supplies we've bought from Gardener's Supply in Vermont, the kind of people- and environment-focused regional business we like to support. When we saw the CowPots, invented by Connecticut dairy farmers who were looking for something to do with all that...waste, we had to try them out.
The seedlings are now adjusting to their oh-so-divine bovine digs. The pots will maintain their shape for weeks in our growing closet and when planted in our gardens will biodegrade quickly, donating lots of healthy nutrients to the soil.
So we're happy to recommend and support CowPots, another local business that is a model of creativity and sustainability. They even use methane and solar energy to power their farm. And in case you're wondering, CowPots don't smell like what they're made of, really!
Tom and Kerry
We're two people trying to do our best to bring about the change we want to see in the world.