We’ve had the phone call that indicates to me that spring is here. The lovely Jo from Bridge Farm Organics has called to let us know that their stunning asparagus is ready. Finally. I’ve been hanging out for the crown jewel of the vegetable family for ages and its time to change all the menus to showcase this stunning product.
Spring is the time of fertility and hopefulness and as I walk the streets around my home and workplace, signs of this are everywhere. The sound of stakes being hammered into the ground; my Italian neighbours talking loudly while tying the broad beans and turning the soil on their backyard veg patches. It’s time to plant, or at least think about what we are going to plant to maximise summer crops.
For me this spring is about changing how I garden at home. I have done my sketch of where everything is going to be planted after I have harvested the last of the celery, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli and cauli and when the broad beans have died down and have been turned back into the soil, but this time I’m gonna be starting from seed rather than buying seedlings.
Why? Well, I have been seed-saving and swapping seeds for a few years now, and after a tidy up of the shed thought it best to see how I go. Generally I only use seed for things like parsley, mustard, coriander, lettuces, carrots and beetroot. It’s a cost thing really. Gardening for growing to eat should be fun, relaxing, time to yourself – or if you have young children it’s all about spending time with them and passing on knowledge – but it should also be cost effective. If you create your garden with seedlings it just isn’t – it’s actually easier and cheaper to simply go to your local farmers’ market and buy them as bunches. So this year’s summer crop, apart from the tomatoes, I’m starting all by seed.
I’m planning on having 5 varieties of beans; one will be a bush variety but the others are climbing beans. The homemade teepees made from bamboo are set and ready to go, so let’s just hope, hey. I’m going with long green peppers, black beauty eggplant and zucchini, golden bantam sweetcorn and I’ll be also throwing in a load of sunflowers, comfrey and basil seeds. Fingers crossed it all works and if it doesn’t, well off to the nursery I go.
Talking of nurseries, I’m so excited to announce that the guys behind The Little Veggie Patch Co and I will be joining forces to do a Pop Up next door to Hams & Bacon starting in a few weeks, so keep your ears pegged. It will be running until the end of Autumn. It’s a great synergy of businesses and shared beliefs. You will be able to get all your seeds and seedlings plus a few other great gardening bits and bobs here. Fingers crossed Mat from LVPC will also do some short courses on gardening tips in collaboration with our “Meet the Producer” monthly events. Please do pop in for your springtime planting needs and if I’m around, let’s have a cuppa.