Friday, February 12, 2010

Seeds for Cold Weather Places

This post about seeds for a cold climate on Cold Climate Gardening is just terrific. The subsequent discussion in the comments section is also well worth a read. Some great seed sources are listed, as well as things to keep in mind while shopping for seeds.

Keep in mind that heirloom seeds have been chosen and saved for generations in an area or region not just for their fantastic flavors, but because they are well-adapted to that particular climate. Local heirlooms from Project Grow are available at the 2010 Annual Seed Swap on Saturday, February 13th, and can also be found at People's Food Coop, too.

Seed Savers Exchange specializes in heirlooms, and offers lots of good information about where they come from, how they grow, and the flavors they produce.

Garden Faerie also does a fun little seed swap, but you'll have to plan on participating next year. Check out her book - Fun with Winter Seed Sowing - to get a jump start on things, too!

2010 Annual Seed Swap
Saturday, February 13th
10am - 11:30am

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Garden Tally

We all garden for a number of different reasons, but most likely one of the really big ones is having that favorite vegetable fresh for the dinner plate. Or for canning up a tasty tomato sauce recipe. Or just the satisfaction of growing the food that graces the table for some portion of the year. Or maybe this is the year you're looking for a few good reasons to start gardening!

Ever wonder just how much food is produced from that little plot? Well, Emily over at Eat Close to Home shared her formula for figuring out how much food comes pouring out of her gardens each year.

The bounty one space can produce is really impressive, and while calculating the savings reaped might be tedious it's well worth the effort, too. So, consider turning that lawn into a garden like Fritz Haeg suggests and be part of a burgeoning green economy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seed Swap Coming Up!

One of the beautiful things about these early Spring days is the fact that the mailbox starts to fill with seed catalogs. One of the challenging things about all those seed catalogs is making choices. There are always the old favorites, and then there are those enticing new plants that are difficult to resist.

Add to the list of enticing things for this month Project Grow's Annual Seed Swap. Going for nearly ten years, the Seed Swap is offers a real-life seed catalog for perusing. The added bonus is that the grower and collector is on hand to answer any questions and talk about the pros and cons of a particular variety. There will also be a nice selection of Project Grow heirloom seeds available, too, and experienced gardeners to talk them over with, too.

Come on out to find a new favorite, talk with other gardening enthusiasts ranging from the newbie to the super-experienced, and get your garden off to a great start!

P.S. They make a great Valentine's Day gift, too!

Project Grow Annual Seed Swap
Saturday, February 13th
10am - 11:30am

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Few Ideas for Implementing Food Rules

Michael Pollan's new book is hitting the shelves offering simple advice for those looking for a better way to eat and think about their food. But you confess that while edible landscaping is appealing you really do like your lawn. And you don't know the first thing about starting seeds, and aren't so fond of getting dirty. A Project Grow garden plot sounds good (accepting applications now!), but that goes back to that dirty thing again. Yet, garden-fresh vegetables, flowers and herbs are a favorite.

What to do?

The Michigan Availability Guide quite nicely lists what is in season when in our fair state. Vegetables and fruits are both listed on this handy (and attractive!) guide that could easily be tacked up on the refrigerator.

Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get fresh vegetables each week. Most farms also offer tasty recipes to go with the vegetables, as well as fun events at the farm. Fresh food plus a fun weekend outing a few times a year - is that perfect or what?

Visit the farmer's market and choose a variety of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, breads, meats, and so much more from a cornucopia of vendors. The added bonus of this (like the CSA) is that you get to talk to the grower/producer and you know exactly where your money is going. (The Farmer's Marketer also offers a weekly list of what's available at the market to help with planning.)

Attend a local food event and see what's happening including the upcoming Local Food Summit. Meet other folks interested in exploring food and gardening, have a little and who knows? Maybe getting dirty won't seem so bad after all...

Consider volunteering at Project Grow to continue a strong tradition of community gardening, and learn loads. Plus, getting to know gardeners means they share the summer's bounty!