Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Free Seedlings

I love free things.
Lizzard Loves 3 happy chard plants
I do try to keep in mind the phrase "just because its free, doesn't mean its good" but that does not apply in this case.

Chris & I joined a CSA this summer. As much as I've wanted to participate in a CSA, I never have. As with many fun, new things I convinced myself it wouldn't work. We like to travel quite a bit in the summer, so I needed midweek pick up; it seemed like each CSA I saw had weekend pick ups. (We can pick up our box from 6am-9pm on Wednesdays) I worried it would be too expensive. (It costs $36 per week for the box of lovely organic veggies, herbs & fruit. It is 3/4 of a bushel........which meant nothing to me until I saw the size, and felt the heft, of our first week's box. Please let it be stated that the link above doesn't answer the question super clearly - I wanted to give some sense of the size of the box. For example; 3/4 of a bushel of apples is 42-48 pounds! Though I do supplement my CSA box contents with farmers market & grocery store veggies, fruit & herbs - I buy WAY less now. So the cost seems absolutely within the realm of normal. All of this being said; I am so glad I finally took the CSA plunge.

But wait you say. Your post is about "free things" where is the free??

Well, we got an email before our first box of veggies had arrived letting us know we could come to the farm & choose seedlings to take home & plant. The list of available plants looked wonderful to us: sweet corn, tomatoes, kale, fennel, leeks, cucumbers, chard, melons, zucchini, winter squash! Yum, yum, yum. The truly crazy part? They asked you to limit yourself to 150 seedlings. One hundred and fifty! Can you imagine having a garden large enough to put 150 plants in the ground?? I can't, but it is really fun to try. The sky seemed to be the limit for my first ever vegetable garden; but alas & alack, reality set in. We could only plant our little seedlings in pots; not the ground. Not only do we share our backyard with our 5 neighboring units; but last year our building fought (what felt like) an epic battle against rats. This involved baiting/trapping/poisoning. Ew. It made Chris & I distrust the quality of soil in our little urban backyard, so we were limited to putting our plants into 3 pots.

We left with 2 varieties of tomato (zephyr & new girl), 3 chard plants, and 2 cucumber plants. We also took several plants to give to my parents & my brother's family - because they have nice soil not affected by any rodent battles!

Bottom line, I have no idea how the plants will do in pots; but its not the biggest deal if the exercise is a huge fail! I had such a great time visiting our farm, selecting our seedlings, & playing in the dirt; it will be OK if I don't eat any homegrown veggies this summer/fall. Fingers crossed that some of it works though - it would be really fun!
Lizzard Loves tomatoes (L) and 2 little cucumbers (R)
Do you garden? Do you have any thoughts to share? Do you grow from seeds or seedlings? 
Any tips for a first timer? Do you purchase anything to help you along? 
I, as a reforming brown thumb, would love any input you have!