Thursday, September 25, 2014

I've got the garden bug BAD.

Today, I set up all these seeds from grocery-store fruit, farmer's-market fruit, and wild-outside fruit (a variety of acorns, since that's what we have here*) for stratification! I've never stratified anything before--which is probably why none of my big seeds I gathered in the past ever grew.

It feels like progress.

I decided sometime over the last month that I'm tired of waiting for a real garden and I'm tired of the ridiculous cost of healthy foods. I'm also tired of the cost of exotic food, and even more tired of how far those things have to travel to get to me, and how a lot of exotic imports don't treat the people that grow them that well. All of that came to a point and I decided that 
- I'm going to expand my garden next spring.
- I'm going to spend the winter getting ready for spring better than I did last year.
- I'm going to work on growing whatever seeds I can inside through the cold months so they'll be ready for spring.
- And I'm going to at least cut my food bill. 

I want all our most frequent veggies to be grown at home so we don't have to buy them. I want all the fun exotics to be grown at home so they're local and have little to no greenhouse cost. While I'm here in apartments, I'm going to perfect my growing skills in NC** and grow as much as the complex will overlook, and save all te seeds I can to grow more and to trade for even more variety later.

I've found a few nice ladies online who share seeds without needing me to trade anything back; next year, when I have my own harvest, I'll pay it forward for someone else. I'm collecting seeds from the fruits and veggies we buy, like I used to back when I lived on the ad hoc hippie commune we made out of our dorms. 

And I'm currently obsessed with finding sources for good, open pollinated, heirloom seeds. My seed stash is all (but for six packs) at least ten years old and has been in and out of storage, a house with no heating or cooling, and really damp conditions; they're all shot. Nothing has grown from my stash in years. So today, I inventoried the remains, so I can replace them, and in spring I'm just going to grow all of them and see what happens. If only one plant from each pack grows, I'll be able to replace the seeds for free. If nothing grows, I at least have the list to start rebuilding.

Now I just need to get my hands on seeds for all those expensive trendy foods I've gotten hooked on, like chia and quinoa...

* I find myself missing the ubiquitous oranges, limes, loquats, and kumquats of St Augustine, and the dates and jelly palms all over Jacksonville.
** I used to have an intinctive know she of gardening, but that was apparently a Floridian instinct; NC is a few growing zones up, and things work differently.
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