Monday, March 17, 2014

Garden Planning 2014

Sometimes things fall into place.

Sean and I have talked a lot about what this year's busy schedule is going to mean for us; time spent in our ministry, time spent with our children, time to share with extended family, time for caring for farm needs, time creating products, time at markets and craft events, time to sleep if we get everything else cared for. Time is one commodity that is always on our minds. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. I suppose we are not alone in this. Regardless of your pursuits in life, your desires or focus, time is a commodity high in demand and seemingly low in supply. Mindful of our responsibilities, Sean and I are trying very hard to spend our time wisely. We've decided that some things can be delegated or hired out so that we can focus on the people and animals that require US without burning the candle at both ends, so to speak.

Last year, we approached a local green house owner to see could we pay her to begin some of our seeds for us? Her greenhouse was full and it was just not possible for her to do it. We started our own seeds and used some of our time to nurture them into seedlings. It was an enjoyable usage of our time, planting seeds and watching them grow into plants. But, let's be candid. The seeds we plant couldn't care less who waters them and makes sure they are getting the right amount of sun, water, and food so long as someone is. 

This year, by chance, we met Cameron Depaolo of Depaolo Succulents at the Krafty Flea in Bangor. Cameron grows some of the healthiest plants I have ever seen. I seized the opportunity to talk with him to gauge his interest in using some of his greenhouse space to start some of our seeds for us this year. Some seeds will be direct planted and we'll care for those. The direct planted seeds have an asterisk beside them in the list below. To satisfy this year's CSA plans, Sean and I have calculated that we need to grow this many plants in our vegetable gardens:

* 60 Bean plants
* 60 Beet plants
* 20 Broccoli plants
* 400 Carrots
24 Pickling Cucumber plants
12 Straight Cucumber plants
* 2 lb Corn seeds
* 40 Lettuce plants
* 200 Onions
* 200 Pea plants
30 Sweet Pepper plants
18 Hot Pepper plants
* 40 Spinach plants
24 Table Tomato plants
18 Cherry Tomato plants
24 Paste Tomato plants
* 200 Radishes
* 100 Garlic plants
* 30 Kale plants

In addition, we'll have several plantings of basil, mint, sage, thyme, dill, rosemary, lavender, and chives available in our herb garden. Through agreements with local growers, we'll again provide strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, cranberries, apples, and pears in season. 

It will be worth every penny it costs us for Cameron to start some of our seeds so that we can focus on other necessary spring tasks. Through the next few weeks and months, I'll be updating you on the progress, sharing the images Cameron captures.

We have one CSA share still available or two half shares available for the 2014 season. A half share portion for last year included an average of at least ten items each week and looked something like this: 2-3 med tomatoes or a pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 head garlic, 1 med zucchini, 1 med summer squash, 2 cucumbers, 1 head lettuce, 10 oz kale, 1 pound carrots, 8 oz broccoli, 12 oz peas, 2-3 onions or bunching onions, 10 oz string beans, 6-8 radishes, 2 sweet peppers, 2-3 hot peppers, a pint of blueberries, strawberries, stalks of rhubarb, or other seasonal fruit and an assortment of herbs. The cost for a half share is $250 for the season (averages to less than $20 per week). A full share provides you with twice as much produce as the half share and should comfortably feed an average family of four. The cost for a full CSA share is $450 for the season (averages to less than $36 per week).

If you are interested in participating, please contact Sonja at 207-323-4982 for more information. 2014 Enrollment forms can be downloaded HERE. A deposit in the amount of $125 is due at the time of enrollment for either share. For a half share, the full payment is due before May 31st. For a full share the payment schedule is: $125 down payment, $125 due April 31st, $100 due May 31st, final payment $100 due June 31st.

Though the weather outside is howling and very, very cold. I am dreaming of fine spring weather and the garden planting to come. If you grow a garden, what are you most looking forward to growing this year? If you participate in a CSA, what has been your experience?

Thanks for visiting today, friends. We're sure glad you are here.
~Sean and Sonja ♥

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