Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cow Manure - Breathe Deeply

We have been using cow manure as a fertilizer since we started gardening two years ago. As anyone who has worked with cow manure knows, you tend to inhale more than you would like while trying to spread it around. It is dry and light, and the slightest wind gust will send it flying in all directions, including up your nose! Although it disgusted me at first, I eventually learned to not think about it and just get on with my work. New research may change my mindset though. A recent study has shown that farmers who work with cow manure are five times less likely to develop lung cancer. Apparently the manure is helping them build up resistance to certain germs and even cancers. Breathe deeply gardeners! That poo may save your life ... Just don't think too hard about it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Seeds Have Arrived

I was getting antsy waiting for my Park Seed catalogue to arrive in the mail, so I called and requested one to be sent a couple weeks ago. After a week of waiting, that one never arrived either, so I finally broke down and went on-line to order my seeds. I like to order on-line, but I like to browse through the printed catalogue. I know there is more information on-line, but I guess I just like to feel the pages between my fingers. I can't really explain it.

After just one week, my seeds arrived in the mail! Hooray! I ordered way too much. I'm not sure where I will put it all this year!

Last year we grew the following vegetables in the garden; spinach (failed), lettuce, green beans, sugar snap beans, marcellino tomatoes, celebrity tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, melons (failed), potatoes, carrots, onions (failed), broccoli (eaten by slugs), green peppers and herbs. Most of our endeavors were successful, but we found that we planted way too much of some things and left out other things that we really missed.

We decided not to grow melons, onions, broccoli, potatoes or carrots again this year, because they were either failures or just not worth taking up the growing space. We wanted to add some new vegetables to the garden, and we needed the extra room, so those 5 things had to go! We are building a separate herb garden in a box off the deck, so we are gaining some space in the garden where the herbs used to reside too.

This year's seed list intends to correct last year's failures (I hope) and add some more variety!
*Indicates seed that we also grew last year.

Most of the seed varieties are new to us this year, but some that we chose last year were so good that we didn't want to risk replacing a really good vegetable with an "ok" vegetable. Since we are new to gardening, we do want to try new things each year though. We're too new to this to get in a rut already!

Ian's grandparents swear by Sugar Buns corn, so although we *loved* the Honey 'n Pearl corn we grew last year, we are going to try their favorite corn this year. They have been gardening for over 40 years, so if they say it's the best, it must be true! Since you can't grow two varieties of sweet corn in the same area, we had to choose just one! It's so difficult to choose!

I am really excited about the different types of eggplant. I can't believe we didn't grow any eggplant last year! We love it prepared roasted, stir-fried, grilled, and any other way you can think of preparing it. Since we can get "regular" eggplant in the store, we decided to choose a couple different types of eggplant that we have never seen locally.

We also decided to cut back on the number of cucumbers and bell peppers since we had way too many last year!

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