Seeds and Seedlings

Alpha Calendula

Alpha Calendula will give a little color to our farm and gardens.

Every day, we take more steps forward on the farm, and it feels more and more like it’s really happening.  Though I’m not sure it will feel completely real until we’re assigned our plot, in late March, and get to see and set foot on the actual land.  Until then, it still feels pretty abstract.  (It works the same way for me when I’m involved in the production of one of my plays–it never feels real until we’re actually in the theatre space.)

The steps we took this weekend did feel a lot more concrete than dealing with masses of spreadsheets.  We placed our seed orders with Johnny’s, High Mowing, and Fedco (which sounds like a big impersonal corporate outfit, but is really a funky company in Maine).  We spent about $200 on seeds for basil, green beans, beets, chard, cilantro, collards, cucumbers, kale, mustard, lettuce, snow peas, and zucchini for the farm, plus seeds for our two gardens (winter squash, mint, lima bean, calendula, fennel, husk cherries, carrots cabbage, amaranth, dill, sunflowers, marigolds, and nasturtium).  Lots of fun varieties of each.

And that’s not all.  We can start some plants under grow lights in our basement, but only about 300 at a time.  That’s not nearly enough, so we also ordered seedlings this week.  New Entry set up a deal with the Community Gardens Greenhouse in Lowell for incubator farmers for some plants, and we also found a great seedling source in the Natick Community Organic Farm.  Through these two sources, we’ve ordered many hundreds of kale and chard seedlings (we need an early start, to fill our first World PEAS Co-op order), peppers (7 kinds), tomatoes (7 kinds), and tomatillos.

Now that we’re on the hook or more than $500 of seeds and seedlings, it definitely is starting to feel a lot more real.  And a lot more exciting, to think of boxes of seeds and flats of seedlings coming our way and needing to get in the ground.

Before this year, I always figured that seeds were a pretty big chunk of a farmer’s budget, but that’s definitely not the case for us, or for most farmers.  In our case, seeds and seedlings probably won’t even consume 10% of our budget.  But they’re certainly the some of the most fun and promising purchases we’re likely to make for the farm.

Now it’s time to spend some time daydreaming about summer and all the plants that will be growing in our tiny little farm in just a few months.

brandywine tomatoes

We're planning to plant a couple dozen brandywine tomato plants



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