Thursday, February 26, 2009

It might as well be spring

green tomatoes growingMaybe it's the unseasonable taste of sunny weather we recently enjoyed in Seattle. Maybe it was the primroses parked outside the grocery store.

But suddenly I realized -- it's time to garden again!

We have a couple small raised-bed gardens out back. Now, some people do raised-bed gardening because it's the new, cool gardening thing to do.

We do it because "out back" refers to a concrete patio. There is no dirt except that which we trucked in ourselves and piled high into the corners.

But, you know what, despite the naysayers (I'm talking to you, Dad), the plants (for the most part) don't know any better and have been thriving.

green tomatoesCase in point: our wild and woolly cherry tomato plant that took over the fruit-and-vegetable section last year. With a warm autumn, before the unexpectedly ferocious winter storms hit, the tomato plant just kept popping out fruit. I didn't know what to do with it all and wasn't confident it would ripen before our first freeze.

Enter Farmgirl Susan, with her recipe for green tomato relish.

I mostly followed the instructions and felt oh-so-homey making my own tangy, homegrown salsa to use as zest for a dozen meals.

green tomato relishIt looked and smelled really bad cooking, to the point that Sam had to be adventurous for me in being the first to taste it, but it was so good. I point this out just in case any of you decide to make the relish with your late-season crop of unripe tomatoes, catch of whiff of it bubbling away, and start wondering if you've wasted your time, ingredients, and tiny mind. It really is worth it, and it feels so satisfying to use up all those green tomatoes!

This year, I've been inspired to germinate my seeds indoors before planting them outside, and I'm risking more variety and more quantity. I really don't know what I'm doing in terms of gardening, ever, so I just experiment and sometimes things work. But I take a lot of cues from friends who are gardeners, and now cyber-friends who are gardeners.

Farmgirl Susan has a newer blog titled In My Kitchen Garden, and she writes about planning and dreaming over seed catalogs for her raised beds, which are respectably located on top of actual soil. (I saw the pictures.)

Another blog I've gotten into is that of a local garden mentor (boy, I could use one!): GardenHelp, where the author also looks past the wintry outdoors to the promise of spring.

I'm getting my hands dirty every day, Mikko looooves digging soil with me, and I've set up a little shelf with DIY grow lights over my seed tray. I see little sprouts of green already!

They say hope springs eternal, but maybe it's spring that grants the hope. I don't know what's coming up, but I'm looking forward to it.

3 comments:

LeatherneckJoe said...

Your article also makes me think of planting my garden, still very cold here. Don't be too hard on your dad, lol. If you have not purchased your plants yet, check out my site, http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/category/home-garden-plants-potted

Hobo Mama said...

He was sooo skeptical! :)

Thanks for the link -- I'm enjoying browsing your site. It's very informative.

GardenMentor said...

I'm glad you're enjoying gardenhelp.org. Please keep coming back. Since your mention of us, we've started adding some great posts by a garden construction mention, too!

Happy gardening (below today's ice & snow). :) Robin

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