Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Planting

I have a couple of planter boxes that I built several years ago which sit on our back parking pad behind our house.  It is the sunniest spot we have.  I have always planted predominantly tomatoes.  They have been my cash crop, but last year I had an epiphany after eating some home grown potatoes.  They were by far the best potatoes I had ever eaten.  So, well, potato-y and rich and creamy and I've been searching for that potato experience ever since.  Even the ones I subsequently bought at farmers markets did not compare.  This year I am abandoning my cash crop and diving into, hopefully, potato heaven.
Two weeks ago, I started by tilling the soil and pulling out any left over debris from last summer. Then I supplemented it with a barnyard blend, which is a combination of compost and barnyard manure.  Let that all sit and steep like tea until ready to plant. 
I purchased my potato starts from our local nursery and planted my variety of red and yellow potatoes on yesterday's beautiful sunny day.  Along the back of the planters, I planted Oregon sugar snow peas and in one corner, birdhouse gourds.  I give the gourds a small chance of success as they will have to trail along the concrete surface, but thought it would be something fun to try.  This fall, I'll be blogging about birdhouses.  The snow peas will serve two purposes.  Wok fried pea shoots are my favorite vegetable.  You pick off the tender new shoots before they flower.  They are tender and so clean tasting sauteed with a little garlic and vegetable oil.  Then you get the snow peas  once you let the plant grow and flower.  
There is something very empowering about growing vegetables.  Learn about it, nurture it, be patient and it will, in return, nourish you.  One tiny seed can bring you a bounty of riches.

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