Carrot seedlings have sprouted in their boxes!
Sugar Ann Peas – a dwarf variety of sugar snap. (edible pod)
Tiny strawberry plant. We’ll see how these do. I’ve got two varieties on the go. One with bright pink flowers!
Romaine variety called “Freckles”. Appropriate, no?
Bush beans. I think they’re green.
The garlic is coming along nicely. And I love the green between my stepping stone path.
Morning Glory seedlings in the garden – such unique leaves! Not edible.
The Sage buds are spreading out but not open yet.
This surprised me: Horseradish flowers have the most beautiful fragrance!
Lavender. I pinched some seeds from the plant at my grandma’s house, and this is the only one that has survived.
Chives, mauled by children. I love it.
I’d love to see pics of your garden too! You can upload to the SKG facebook page, or leave a link in the comments if you blog or have a flickr account.
My girls had to start some seeds last week, when they saw that my kits were all ready!
They both started flowers. No flower seeds come with the kits, though – they raided my stash to choose their own seeds.
The morning glories have come up already! They were quick. They’re annuals, which is perhaps why they germinated so quickly. I’ve never tried them before, so I’m hoping they survive to see the real outside sunshine and grow tall along some twine or a trellis. Someone was telling me about growing morning glories mixed in with pole beans – beautiful and edible, growing together and looking pretty too.
If you want a Seed Starting Kit, let me know! $35 for 17 different kinds of seeds, plus a tray to start them in, and the potting soil, and compost to plant them out with, and little label tags, instructions, and dried chamomile flowers to make a disease-preventing potion for your wee seedlings. It’s a deal.
Here’s the seed list. Those that are not indicated organic, are at the very least untreated and non-GMO.
Indoor-Starting Seed Types:
Organic Beefsteak Tomatoes
Green to Red Sweet Peppers
Organic Brandywine Tomatoes
Green Bunching Onions
Organic Genovese Basil
Organic Pie/Carving Pumpkin
And for seeding outdoors:
Sugar Snap Peas
The Seed Starting Kit is new, too. It will hopefully be ready in the next few weeks.
Here’s the general idea: I want to provide a great start to a backyard garden. Maybe I should call them “Garden Starting Kits”. So the kit has a seedling tray, soil, seeds, tags, some dried chamomile flowers, and an instruction manual.
The seedling tray is a smaller size, and the seed amounts are also small – only enough to plant the tray for this year. With a few extras just in case. Usually seed packets have way too many seeds for the average home gardener, so I thought I’d help solve the problem of excess seeds by reducing the amount in the packages.
The dried chamomile flowers are included so that you can brew your own disease preventative. There’s a fungal disease called ‘damping off’ that kills tiny seedlings very easily. Spraying with chamomile tea helps prevent this.
Here’s a list of seeds included:
-green to red pepper (can harvest at green or red stage)
-green bunching onions
-pumpkin (2 seeds)
-zucchini (2 seeds)
Outdoor starting seeds:
The instruction manual will be fully loaded with clear instructions and information about the plants. I say ‘will be’ because I haven’t written it yet.
If anyone has any suggestions for this kit, please let me know! There’s still time to affect what the final product will offer.
My children found the new pins this morning in the office, and both insisted on wearing the full set on their shirts to school today. I love it! The first question from one of them was “Can I wear this pin today, since I’m a Tomato Lover?” From there, it snowballed when the other one wanted to wear ALL THREE.
Things have to be equal, you know.
So this morning, in between using my brain for stuff, I’m also mounting them on cardstock so they look all pretty for the Guelph Organic Conference. The Expo/Tasting Fair is FREE to the public, so please come check it out on the Jan 29/30 weekend!! I’ll be downstairs near the books table, selling these pins and letting people know that Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens exists and wants to help them grow their own organic food.
Spread the word!
Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens wants to help you grow your own local and organic food. Imagine a ripe, juicy tomato fresh from your very own garden, or snap beans that really snap, or any other fresh food that you love. Imagine the food traveling distance measured in feet, not miles. Imagine this food grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, by you.
If you need help……
Starting seeds: we have seedlings for sale in the spring.
On December 20, Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens will be at the Bailey’s Local Foods pickup, selling some gifty-type items for the holiday season. Here’s the list:
- bag of organic composted cow manure, for that special someone
- Grow Your Own Sprouts Kit
- handmade stained-glass beehive with dangling bee – for your window
- veggie earrings, because we all love our veggies
- pretty but tough garden aprons
- gift certificates
Hope to see you there!
Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens
Grow food. Eat fresh. Share the garden love.
I was hoping to have a salad photo to show you, but my lettuce was wilty this morning. Somehow I managed to ignore it for long enough that it was not very edible anymore. I’d say shame on me, but I’m trying to avoid shaming in my life…. myself or others. It is what it is. This is what happened. Moving on….
Another exciting thing that’s happened is a meeting with a good friend who has a really good handle on marketing and communication. She pointed out a few difficulties with the way I was presenting myself, and encouraged me to make changes to become more consistent and clear. She also pointed me in the direction of spreadsheets and product pricing, with the instruction to keep things simple. 7 products max. Yipes. Well, here we go!!
I’ll share with you what I’ve got cooking so far:
1. Seedlings for transplanting – many different kinds, but I count this as one ‘thing’.
2. Large Patio/Balcony planter – Basic Veggie – tomato, pepper, beans
3. Large Patio/Balcony planter – Climbing Veggie – peas, cukes, plus some tiny tomatoes
4. Hummingbird Haven – scarlet runner beans with a tall trellis. Bright red flowers turn into edible beans!
5. Salad Bowl – big pot of greens
6. Herbs – ‘Pesto Pot’ – yep, full of BASIL!!!! Different kinds too. mmmmm…..
7. Herbs – mixed planter
8. Patio Pots with individual veggies – all ready to put on your patio or balcony and stay there all summer.
9. Tomato and Basil planters. Because everybody loves them.
OOps. Well, 9 isn’t too much more than 7….
Can I ask you a question? Can you tell me which you’d like to see on your patio? You could win your choice by commenting here and letting me know. I’d also love to hear any other thoughts you may have related to these products. I’ll draw a name tomorrow. You’ll have to come pick it up in the spring though – I’ll send you a coupon.
I will have a listing on Google Maps soon! I applied online, and part of the process is confirming the address, which means they need to send something to the address. Namely, a certain PIN that I could then enter online to reassure them that I am who I say I am.
Now I just wait to see when it goes up!
In other news, I found this plastic-wrapped bean in with all the bean seeds when I was planting them (as an experiment) 2 weeks ago:
It made me laugh out loud in the middle of my planting. The girls were away at school so I couldn’t ask them right away, but they have since confessed. It was an ‘invention’. No real purpose. Its official title is “The Wrapped Bean”.
I’m still chuckling.
Everybody should grow food in their backyard. Or on their balcony. Or in a window, like my brother and his wife did for a year or two. Even if it’s only enough for a snack. There are many reasons why I say this, and one of the most important has to do with our children. How will they know where their food comes from, unless we show them?
Here’s a story for you: picture my cute little nephew, one and a half years old. Says a few words, communicates well regardless of how many words he uses. Hefty boy, tough as nails – he has to be, he has an older brother – and very adventurous. My sister has a garden in her backyard – she has to, we have the same genes – and in it she has a chili pepper plant, pictured above. It’s a big beautiful plant, because her soil is good and so is the weather where she lives. Don’t those peppers look tasty? Bright red, they just call you to come and have a taste. So, that’s what my nephew does. Every time he gets into the garden. Takes a bite, spits it out, and says “hot”. Every time. He’s learning about chili peppers, hands-on!
So where does our food come from? Carrots don’t grow on trees and peppers don’t grow underground. Oranges don’t grow in our climate so they have to be shipped from somewhere warm, far away. Broccoli takes up way more space in the garden than the head you buy in the grocery store. Parsnips are not white carrots, apple trees take at least 5 years to produce fruit, lettuce likes growing in cool weather, and sugar snap peas are pure candy when eaten off the vine. If you sat and watched a pumpkin vine for a few hours, you would swear you saw it grow an inch. There are thousands of tomato varieties, but for some reason the ones you buy in a grocery store are tasteless. I think the next generation needs to know these things and more.
My children eat beans raw from the garden, but if I buy frozen ones they put up a big fight about eating them cooked. In the summer they snack on the cherry tomatoes and beans and peas and ground cherries in the garden, sometimes playing restaurant outside, or playing that they’re orphans (gasp) and need to scavenge for food. Such imagination, such healthy food entering their growing bodies, I love it.
It doesn’t matter the size of the garden, or what is grown, but everyone needs to grow something edible. At least once. And share it with someone younger.
I can’t imagine a garden without beans. It’s unthinkable. My favourite vegetable – green beans when they’re still thinner than a pencil – so yummy. This year, and in previous years, we’ve grown three colours of snap bean: purple, green, and yellow. We like to mix the colours. The purple ones turn green when cooked, but it’s a darker shade of green than the green beans, so there’s still this variegated sort of look to the pile of beans on the dinner plate.
The purple beans also serve a useful function when freezing beans. Blanching them first is a required step; usually they’re boiled for a minute or two to halt the enzymatic processes within the beans so they last longer in the freezer. If you have a few purple beans in the pot, you will know when they’ve been blanched long enough because the purple ones turn green. Handy dandy.
Because I like my green beans skinny, it’s easy to miss the perfect picking stage. But the beans don’t go to waste. If they get too big, I let them keep going until they are big and bulgy – and from there they will dry out and become the dry bean seeds that you see in the photo at the top. My girls helped me shell these from their dry flaky pods, and the cat decided the old dry pods make great pounce toys. It was a family event, saving these seeds. And next year it will most likely be a family event planting them again in the garden.
We planted all three bean colours, which means that the seeds from them will not necessarily produce according to their parent types due to cross-pollination. In previous years after planting the mix, I’ve gotten green beans with purple flecks! Fun. We call them ‘surprise me beans’ because you never know what you’re going to get. Normally I could tell you that the black and brown mottled seeds will produce green beans, and the pale violet-coloured seeds will produce purple beans. However, since they’re not true seeds, they could be any one of purple, green, or yellow – or maybe something else. Like violet. We had those one year too!