Onion sprouts!

Onion sprouts!

First off, happy spring! Or, happy autumn to those of you in the southern hemisphere! I hope everyone had a delightful equinox. Of course now that spring is officially here the lovely weather has disappeared and we have returned to a slightly warmer than normal temperature between 35-40F/1-4C. For anyone but Minnesota this sounds cold. It isn’t, but after several days around 60F/15C, it is severely disappointing. And all those people over the last week who were out in their yards removing winter mulch, what the heck were you thinking? Too early people! You know there is snow in the forecast this week, right?

Even my maple tree is confused. She has blossoms. And the forsythia has buds. It’s a dangerous time of year.

Seed sprouting moves apace. We got our mini greenhouse out of the garage to discover one of the flap zippers is

When the greenhouse was new

When the greenhouse was new

broken which prevents us from being able to leave anything in it overnight because the frost will get in. Also, the plastic after only a few years has gotten brittle. We are going to have to see if we can get a new cover or else buy a whole new greenhouse. They aren’t that expensive, but I expected it to last longer than it has. Humph.

The onion sprouts are doing really well. The pepper seeds from last week have not yet begun to sprout, they take a little while. Today we planted tomatoes and cabbage:

  • Henderson’s Pink Ponderosa. A huge beefsteak first introduced in 1891
  • Cherokee Purple. A medium to large sized purple-pink pre-1890 heirloom
  • Evan’s Purple Pear. A newer variety from 2008, selected from an accidental cross between heirloom varieties. Small, purple-pink fruit, most excellent for sauces and canning.
  • Red Express Cabbage. A newer variety of open-pollinated (non-hybrid) red cabbage bred especially for short growing seasons in Canada and the northern US

Makes my mouth water just typing that. Grow seeds, grow!

We worry about all kinds of things when it comes to food but how many of us stop to think about working conditions in modern agriculture? Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, created a four-minute video not long ago outlining how bad it is for many people working in the fields. It’s eye-opening. Another good reason to start your own garden and buy from local farmer’s markets where you can talk to the farmer directly and find out how s/he harvests the vegetables you are buying.

A short post today. Posting in general might be light this week because I have review deadlines fast approaching. Then I will breathe a sigh of relief and, I hope, get back to a regular reading-for-myself schedule. I’ve been reading good stuff but there’s lots of other good stuff in the wings. If only I had more eyes and hands and could read multiple books simultaneously. Sure I’d look really funny, but think how much reading I could do!

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