This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

photos of my first 2010 sowing

planting 1 planting 3
planting 4
planting 5 planting 6


Blogger Susie said...

THAT is a beautiful thing!!

February 07, 2010 8:47 PM

Blogger kathy said...

yesss!!! I haven;t spotted any sprouts yet

February 07, 2010 8:52 PM

Blogger Kalena Michele said...

Very organized and beautiful! I can't wait to see the sprouts :) I need to invest in some of those labeling sticks. Right now I literally use labels and toothpicks. lol

February 07, 2010 11:12 PM

Blogger Amazing Grace said...

It is really interesting for us to see what we have to look forward to. Here in New Zealand we are at the other end of the garden cycle - Late Summer - harvesting and preserving madly in preparation for winter. I have never been as organised as you about seeds! check out our blog

February 08, 2010 12:06 AM

Anonymous Debbie said...

Can you tell me about the grow lights. I seem to have terrible luck with starting seeds.

February 08, 2010 3:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In India, the premature BT Brinjal(eggplan) project got pulled out due to public safety.

There is a huge shift back to the old heirloom seeds.

February 09, 2010 10:54 AM

Blogger kathy said...


Thanks for mentioning the news about India pulling GM project. It's good to protect and grow heirloom varieties. There's so much fantastic genetic variety available - and potentially available by standard selection methods. Imagine growing a whole mix of hundreds of eggplant varieties on a commercial field, instead of one single engineered variety with tons of chemical pesticide.

But then I'm not a commercial farmer. And I'm not a nation trying to feed billions of people.

By my understanding, (as tiny US a home gardener) genetic engineering of crops has these objectives: 1. To improve biological protection of crops by inserting genes for an insecticide or herbicide. 2. To increase levels of important nutrients (like methionine in soybeans) to make crops more nutritious. 3. To obtain better control of ripening and post-harvest storage life (for marketing). And 4. to modify plants to produce a specific product (like a caffeine-less coffee bean).

Since I lost my past two years of tomato crops to fungi from wet weather, I wonder if there are hi-tech methods available out there to protect my plants in the future. I don't know. And what's wrong with improving nutrients in plants? We add Vit D to milk. Plus I'm a decaf coffee drinker. And I like to grow potatoes, onions and pumpkins that I can store all winter.

Would you buy a GM late blight resistant tomato? Maybe not. (I'd definitely buy one of Patrick's naturally selected ones.)

Too bad food production isn't up to trillions of individual home gardeners. Or at least lots of little local farms.

Then again, it seems esoteric for "hobbyist gardeners" (like me) to complain about GM crops. If my crop fails, I can go the grocery store and buy CA or Dutch hothouse produce. I don't know. But anyway - thanks for the news!

I prefer heirlooms!

February 09, 2010 11:12 PM

Blogger kathy said...


Buy a shop-light bracket at the hardware store and a fluorescent bulb. Suspend it as close to your seedlings as possible and turn it on for about 10 hours per day once the seedlings emerge.

You can experiment with the type of bulb. I alternate both regular daylight bulbs and full spectrum "GrowLights".

I have also done OK with a few trays of seedlings in the south window sills. It probably depends on how far north you are. Maybe also on the glass in your windows as I heard some may have coating that blocks some wavelengths of light.

At some point in the spring, even way up here in Boston, there's enough natural sunlight for the seedlings. I keep thinking maybe someday I'll get a greenhouse or hoop house for my seedlings. Of course, this needs to be heated somehow.... This year I hope to experiment with a cold frame. Hardy plants can go out in a cold frame to make room on your light-shelves for the more tender seedlings.

If you can't provide enough light and warmth, buy your seedlings later in the spring at the nursery. These are great!

February 09, 2010 11:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,

Indians have been self sufficient with their eggplant productions. You can buy a kilo for 10 rupees there($0.25).

These GM seeds are being pushed on to those poor farmers under the disguise of high yields and less chemical input.

According to many experts, that is not true.

And the Indian farmer suicides have been on the increase.

There is more info here:

Thanks for your wonderful blog and pictures. You are definitely and influence to many gardeners out there.


February 10, 2010 3:13 PM


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