Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013 Seed Order

So Shawn was to be the gardener. Alas, now the task falls to me. To be honest neither of us really got any beds in order. By now the pig should have rotto tilled the garden space, then amendments and cover crop should have been added. However, only one small cool crop bed has been prepared...everything still is covered in grass. The pen the pigs were in during the summer had cover crop seed, but it never took. I'm hoping to muck Rosies pen out and put all her dirty straw back there, but im not sure if i can: she jammed the door closed while puncturing a hole in the bottom of the door. So pigs can use the door, just not humans. This means I have to throw everything over the fence and climb in. Thanks girl.

2013 looks like it wont be the most successful garden year, but I can learn alot regardless. I'm trying to follow the advice of Steve Solomon about high yield growing in Cascadia and eventually move towards more Sepp Holzer style permaculture. (Assuming I can afford to keep the place)

My soil is very rocky clay which is not ideal for many plants. Over time one can build up humus by mixing in organic material...but that takes time. One of Holzer's methods is to build 4 to 5 foot hills hills, rather than raised beds. The hill may have a log underneath to add stability and slowly rot to release nutrients. The hill has greater surface area than a raised bed, and plants can be placed so they don't block each others sun. I won't get to building any hills this by summer, but I can use this method to combat clayey soil buy creating a loamy hill on top. It will also help with drainage.

I just got a bunch of sample sized packets from Territorial Seed. Shawn said they arn't as good as they used to be and their germination rates are down from what they used to have. I figure I'll give them a shot since most their seeds are grown in this bio-region, but next year I may try out Victory Seeds out of Mollala.There are a couple other seed companies I hear good things about like Johnnys Seed Co. and Fed Co...but both are from the East Coast which means the plants that fruit seed well there may not do as well in the West Coast weather.

Of the more interesting things I will be planting: I am going to give quinoa a try. The leaves are apperently edible, too. After reading how international popularity of quinoa has made to too costly for the poorest Bolivians I would like to see how it grows in Oregon.

Other plants I will grow will be Japanese favorites like edamame, kabocha, Japanese cucumbers, and edible crysathamum. My old Japanese Restaurant said they'd buy from me if I could produce enough for them. That means I'll meed 40# of cucumbers twice a week to keep sushi supplied. I'm starting out small this summer to see what I can handle for them, but that may be my niche. We'll see. I'm excited to get started, though. Luckily the animals are keeping my farming bug satisfied.

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