Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back to GRUB-bing

The Science Club kids (a.k.a. the homeschooled core of the GRUBS club) got busy planting for spring today. We planted five flats of seedlings with great gusto.

Oddly enough Fiona was most interested in planting sweet peppers; she refuses to eat them, so I can't imagine what possessed her to fixate on planting them. I think she really liked the photo on the seed packet. Noah and his friend B. planted a flat full of quirky choices like different varieties of chili peppers. Sophie and her friend A. planted lots of herbs, marigolds, tomatoes and peppers.

We are lucky enough to have an excellent relationship with the local school. The science room of the school has a huge solarium window, complete with grow lights on a timer, that is almost never used, so the GRUBS, as an inclusive club that welcomes all interested families with children, are able to make use of the space for our seedlings. They'll be installed there after March Break and will, we hope, merrily grow away until sometime around our last frost date in the 3rd week of May.

GRUBS is organizing the second annual local seed exchange in next weekend. We're gradually accumulating, and sharing, dozens of unique seed varieties. I love that our packets of traded and gifted seeds have names like "Jenny's Pretty Striped Tomatoes" and "Rosalie's Prize Drying Tomatoes." They connect us to other people and other gardens in the community. This year we decided we're going to participate in the Canadian Tomato Project, growing, observing and reporting on several recognized Canadian tomato varieties. There was some discussion today amongst the GRUBS about factory farming and the loss of genetic diversity that results; interestingly, the DVD "The Fight for True Farming" is sitting in our Zip.ca pile right now awaiting viewing.

We decided that our big GRUBS project for this year should be a shed. We would so dearly love to be able to leave tools, equipment and supplies safely at the garden, rather than carting them back and forth from home every week. We are looking at this Lee Valley bracket kit that would give us a simple starting point; hopefully we'll get a fair bit of salvaged and/or donated lumber and sheathing.

4 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed "The Fight For True Farming". I liked it better than "The Future of Food". I happened to watch them both for the first time last week. Since most of TFFTF was filmed in Canada, it felt very much "close to home". I hope you enjoy it!

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  2. my kiddos love to plant stuff, i think we're doing a "pizza garden" this year.

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  3. Miranda, We live on an old farmstead in North Carolina. We have several varieties of heirloom seeds. We specialize mostly in herbs which I know would not be good to introduce to your area, but we would like to offer luffa which is more easily confined. These seeds are from plants started over 100 years ago. After the gourds are grown they can be dried ( takes about a month), peeled, the seeds shaken out & then bleached to make wonderful natural sponges or scrubbers...just pop me an email and I'll be glad to send some north...

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  4. Lea, we'd be thrilled! I've always been really intrigued by luffa, and I'm sure the kids would be thrilled to give it a whirl. I'll e-mail you. Thanks!

    Miranda

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