Sunday, March 02, 2008

gardening challenges

A challenge called The Growing Challenge is being hosted by the blog Elements in Time. Its rules are: To grow a new fruit of vegetable this year that you've haven't grown before. And to grow this from seed. So, I was wondering what am I growing that's new this year?

This year's new veggies:
Tomatoes (I haven't grown these from seed in about 15 years, and I have several varieties I've never seen before)
Parsnips "Cobham Improved Marrow"
Onions "White Portugal" and "Yellow Sweet Spanish"
Round Black Spanish Radish (I tried these last year, but they didn't even sprout)
Fava beans (well I grew these last year, but they were a total failure due to aphids)
Broccoli (this year I'm trying broccoli from seed)

Last year's new veggies:
Capucijner peas (a super veggie to grow!)
Shell beans "Tongue of Fire"
Kale "Tuscan" or "dinosaur"
Soy beans (these were a great new crop!)
Broccoli (a new one for me, but I did buy the plants)

Another Garden Challenge this year is The FoodShed Planet Victory Garden Drive. This challenge is to plant a new vegetable garden this year. Their goal is to encourage 2 million new backyard gardens in 2008.

I plan to start a new vegetable garden this year. On April 1, I will get my new community garden plot assignment. But my space will be previously gardened space, so it really doesn't count for this challenge I think. Or does it? In spirit it does. I am looking forward to digging and growing more and eating lots of my own produce.

Other great challenges: The 100 foot diet challenge: (I love this one!) A meal must be comprised of food grown on your property or garden plot (literally or figuratively within - 100 feet - of your front or back door).

My challenge this year is to grow more of what I like to eat most. I've been looking at the vegetables I buy and I am planning to grow more of these this year. I eat a lot of salad greens: lettuce, arugula, dill and spinach. Also onions and garlic. Some sweet red peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and peas. And in the winter, big beets, carrots and parsnips, a couple of potatoes, frozen edamame, and some dried peas and beans. My other challenge is to make it look beautiful - in nice straight green rows with marigolds and borage flowers and honey bees. Ahhh, I can't wait....


Anonymous said...

It's great to have a challenge - & we seem to get so much more done when working to targets. I still can't decide what new veg to grow this year - & I have not come across your arugula before - so perhaps that will be it!

kathy said...

Arugula is delicious and grows well in cool weather. I recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about the Growing Challenge - wow. It's a growing group of (88!) gardeners, and we're having a lot of fun with it. Many are participating in both of the other two challenges as well, as they go hand in hand.

I like your personal challenge. I've made my decisions this year largely based on growing what we like to eat. Hmmm... but my garden is beautiful in its chaos... neat rows it is not.

I can't wait to see your new garden. You must be getting excited!