Sunday, August 13, 2006

Garden Katha

The ISCOWP gardens are on a timetable, which starts in spring when oats can be frost seeded. Potatoes can be planted 30 days before the last frost as they take about 30 days to start emerging from the confines of the ground. Peas, spinach, lettuce all like cool weather as does cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli which can be planted in early spring. Most everything likes a warm soil (70 degrees plus) to feel comfortable enough to germinate and grow.

Allot of veggies we start inside in a small greenhouse in March so they can be already up and ready to go into the ground as seedlings when the ground is warm enough and all danger of frost is past. Historically in this area, the last frost is around May 15, but this year we had a frost on May 22. Tomatoes and peppers, tomotillos, eggplant, Swiss chard, bitter melon and many flowers are just a few things we start early in the greenhouse.

Many veggies prefer to be direct seeded into the garden. All of the different types of beans like to be direct seeded as do carrots, beets, okra, cilantro, and summer and winter squash, just to name a few.

We stagger many of our crops or succession plant. Every 7 to 10 days we replant. This ensures that as a particular planting is being harvested a new crop is just about to mature. In this way, there is a continuous supply of fresh veggies throughout the summer months. It also means that canning, drying, and selling of garden produce can go on side by side without interruption of any of these three programs.

Another aspect of the garden is saving seed for the next year’s garden. Sometimes if a particular plant such as a tomato plant shows exceptional qualities, we will tag that plant and save seed from some of the fruit.

Long days but very rewarding to have good quality organic produce all year around fresh, dried, or canned.

Salad offerred to Lord Krishna made with all ingredients from our garden.

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