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Organic Gardening Anyone?

January 21, 2011

Bird feeders hanging from my apple tree

Snow snow snow  – snow go away – ….

Actually despite the mounds of snow we have received every Friday for five weeks now in a row for New York and surrounding states, I just love how it looks. Shoveling it is of course another matter. But as I go outside and fill the bird feeders every couple of days, I glance out at my little and humble plot of land that belongs now to me since buying my home in upstate New York. And while I have only been here a month, and roughly unpacked 35 of the 90+ boxes that moved me to my new place that I now can call home, I still am quite excited to see what Spring shows up and brings me in my gardens. It’s one of the few things that can keep my mind off the snow!

The gardens that are already in place are perennial flower gardens which showed evidence this past fall to include foxgloves, lupine, hollyhocks, roses, peonies, irises galore, cone flowers, daisies, you name it! But not one area was set aside for vegetables not even herbs. That’s okay, when you start your relationship with your little plot of land, some of the work should be work you actually do with your own hands. I have already ordered many seeds and will surely buy plants which brings me to today’s link to – aka The Cook’s Garden website. They are based in Pennsylvania and are offering real authentic organic seedlings and plants come Spring for you to order for your organic garden. Here’s yet another good source for tips on organic gardening – even for beginners!

Though I had a long ‘winter’ of no gardening since I lived in an apartment building for roughly 7 years and could only do a little roof top gardening, but when I have gardened in the past, I always practiced organic gardening. I grew up being taught by my mother that marigolds next to tomatoes help keep away the aphids among many other neat tricks. I would buy a tub of ladies bugs and ask the young neighborhood kids to come over for a ladybug release, allowing the kids to release the little creatures all over my gardens. There are many other tips of course I will share here in coming months. And growing your own organic herbs and vegetables will surely be healthier for your and your family along with saving you monies in your pocket book or wallet.

But now since I have moved but a month ago, I am so stoked to get back into the garden. There is something that is so special about the smell of the dirt, the finding of a few earthworms to help till your land, the excitement of witnessing your seeds coming up from the ground and of course picking your first tomato, your first cucumber, your first pepper or snip of herbs and bringing them into your kitchen to immediately cook with that makes all that hard work worthwhile. The smell alone of the freshly picked vegetables are enough to awake your senses to ask yourself why you hadn’t tried a little gardening before!

Even if you have but a 10×10 foot area of land or are limited to a few containers (like I was when I lived in the apartment building), you still can grow lots of vegetables to assist your grocery bill throughout the summer and into autumn. Just start small, and that is exactly what I am doing this first year. I will surely be concentrating on creating a serious herb garden using both containers and ground while attending the large flower gardens which have seen better days being that this house was on the market and the gardens were neglected for at least 7 months. I will also set out an area for the vegetable garden (since here I’m thinking less grass to mow – whoo hoo!) and use bean towers and fencing to help support the few vegetables I will be planting come this Spring.

Oooh I just looked up from my mac and witness blue skies! A sky color I haven’t seen in some days for sure – but with all this talk of snow, I have been drooling over ideas for my new vegetable garden that will go in this next Spring – which is just some 90 days away. Though I live in zone 5, there are still loads of resources and ideas out there. Feel free to visit the sites I found quite useful and get your mind out of the snow and into the dirt!

Chow Ciao for now,

The Chef Maven

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