Roman Sturgis Take care of each other and make good decisions.

August 9, 2010

Suburban Farming — The Adventure Begins!!

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 9:33 pm

At long last, we are starting our first legitimate growing season. We missed the train on getting a summer garden going, but took the opportunity these past weeks to prepare the soil for a fall garden. Our composting method is simple, and unlike previous attempts at composting, (see vermiculture here) we are able to compost just about all our raw veggie and food waste (minus strong citrus), PLUS all our egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Quick aside: Tonight is Trash Night in Seneca, and I noticed when changing the bag that we were on our last bag from a box of 20 that we bought when we first moved here on May 15th. When you compost, you don’t need to change bags as much, and bugs are not attracted to your garbage. Composting with worms is cool, and is a good option for people without access to a yard that they can dig around in, but worms have a limit to what they can process, as well as a limited palate, compared to micro organisms.

We have found that two weeks is about all it takes for the micro critters in the dirt here to break down our food scraps. It’s incredible. We don’t have a fancy bin or a ball or a tumbler. We simply dig a hole, dump the goods, and fill it back in. We work our way down the row, which is 14′ x 4′, and by the time we get to the end and start back at the beginning, the food scraps are gone. Victory Garden Composting! YES!!

So now we’ve got seeds in peat pots sitting on the front porch, away from direct sunlight, doing their thing. In about two weeks we’ll plant them in the rows, and then, hopefully, we’ll be ready to harvest food in mid September through October. I’m especially excited about the butternut squash and the collard greens!

We’re also starting salad greens; romaine, arugula, spinach, which I have elaborate (elegant?) designs for. I came across this website a couple months ago, http://www.windowfarms.org/ and have not been able to get it out of my mind since. My office has great Eastern exposure, and I am wondering if I can create a window garden to grow lettuce through the fall. It would be really cool to have a salad that was entirely home grown. My goal in life these days.

Is it cheaper than store bought? I don’t think it will be. Is it better? My working theory: An emphatic YES. Better on so many different levels… better because we made it ourselves and will harvest the fruits of our labors. Better because we are doing it as locally as possible. Better because this food will be as organic as you can get. Actually, when we compare our costs to the prices of “organic” foods at the store, I bet we come pretty close. I temporarily retract my the initial statement. We’re saving receipts, so we’ll tally them up at the end and find out.

One of the really exceptional things that has happened while we’ve been here is the sharing of homegrown produce. Our neighbors often stop by with family grown food, and from time to time I’ll get a tip from a customer in the form of produce. For example, the other day, after straight-wiring a guy’s AC to get him through until we installed a new circuit board, he took me to a line of watermelons on his front porch. So many, he didn’t know what to do with them. Take them, as many as you want! I took two and have been drinking watermelon juice for two days in the morning. Very refreshing. I’d like to be that guy one day. The guy who has more home grown food than he knows what to do with.

Although, that does open the door to another adventure… Canning!!

1 Comment »

  1. have i missed any recent posts?

    Comment by dad — December 5, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

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