Cotton seeds growing on the dark side of the moon? Apparently it's possible, given that China just made it their mission to bring some seeds up on their last lunar landing. While the coldness of the moon ultimately destroyed the seeds, they did begin to sprout once they were watered... on the moon. So no, we don't have crops on the moon just yet, but it's incredible that we can say China actually sprouted life there.
Some people hate when pumpkin spice everything, from Cheerios to coffee creamer, hits the shelves, but others love it and count down until pumpkin season like it's their birthday. There's even a meme that lists all of the months of the year until September, which is replaced with "Pumpkin," as is October and November! Pumpkins can be found nearly everywhere right now, and the question is: what will you do with yours?
It's almost February, which means it's almost time to get those starter seeds germinating! It's such an exciting time of year and I can't wait to get started. My family and I like to use cardboard egg cartons or starter cartons for our plants so they can just be put directly into the ground to decompose without waste. We've also used TP rolls cut in half in the past! We do our seeds in the kitchen window and move them to the greenhouse later, but our little greenhouse was roughed up by storms this year and no longer has a cover, so we will have to directly plant them this time around.
Gardening is a great way to become self-reliant and have more control of your food, but can be a time consuming task. However, if you have the proper soil prepared for your garden plants, the amount of time you will spend tending your garden can be cut dramatically. The problem is you may be like me, and not sure what you should be using and spend hundreds of dollars on fertilizers and soil. Thankfully I found something even better than all of those things combined, worm compost or vermiculture. Here are some of the reasons I switched to this and will never go back to anything else.
The first thing I noticed is that the care for the composting worms is rather easy. You may think the care for these is rather hard, but it is rather easy to take care of the worms and you only have to feed them and provide them with a bin to stay in. However, you can also keep these worms right outside and they can produce the compost you want to have immediately in the ground for you. I will warn you though, if you are doing this method you need to make sure your worms are protected because many of the composting worms cannot survive on their own outside.
We're at full production in our garden right now. I am bringing in about 3 lbs of green beans daily, arm loads of squash, and more tomatoes than I can count. The onions are in their final in-ground curing stage before harvest, the carrots are ready to come up, and we turning over the potato bed in about two weeks. We even have some watermelon about ready to come in – and growing watermelon in the Pacific Northwest is difficult at best!
Most vegetable gardens are regulated to the backyard, whether by tradition or local codes. Our home is no different. Although we have a decent sized front yard, we only spend enough time out there to mow it once a week. Half of the yard is in deep shade because of a homicidal 50-foot tall spruce tree. Trust me, this tree is out to get me. No matter how often we prune, it always has a branch hidden up there to drop when I walk beneath.
To satisfy my urge to get outside and in the dirt on those nicer days, I decided to dedicate an entire bed to herbs this year. Previously I just grew a few favorites in pots. This usually gave me enough herbs for the summer and fall, but I had to fall back on indoor plants or, gasp!, store-bought herbs in winter. This year I plan to grow enough to dry or freeze for year-round use. Plus I have dreams of plenty of pesto in the freezer, which means I need a lot of basil!