Thursday, January 01, 2009

indoor garden and the big plan.


As this winter goes on, we are enjoying our indoor 'garden' we started in November. The tomato plants are slowly getting bigger in the window, the parsley, fennel and cabbage are still going strong and being used very often, the cilantro is yummy, and the greens...


We harvested the first large tray of greens including different lettuce, swiss chard, micro chives, mustard greens, and cilantro. This was the treat::


Soooo good! We are starting a new tray of greens and we will also be starting some small containers for micro greens (more on that soon). The boys don't eat salads (yet), but they like the planting and growing process, and of course, the watering. It is so wonderful to cut fresh greens while the snow is piled high outside!

All of the gardening books are starting to arrive from the library as we shift into our post-holiday garden planning mode. The boys always help every year. They have grid paper, we draw the house and yard, what is in ground, and what we want. They pore through the catalogs with me, reading descriptions and looking for unique and unusual veggies, herbs and fruit to expand our garden. They learn about zones and soil and heirloom seeds and open pollination and companion planting as we read and sketch and chat through the dark of winter. Fun for the whole family, really.

Usually the moment the holidays pass I start to think of the garden and can't wait for seed starting time - but this year, with the greens and all of the herbs I think I'm happy snipping and eating my way through to March!

21 comments:

ladybug-zen said...

i'm right there with you. we only planted the parsley and rocket, but both are growing strong and i am so happy to have them to add to salads, soups, or to use for juicing.
it really does make a huge difference.

Tara said...

I think you have found the key to lifting our spirits through the long winter doldrums.
I noticed it looks like you had the greens under flourescent lighting- is natural light enough if Owen and I want to try just herbs??

Stephanie said...

Yay!
The garden is so beautiful.
I lost my dang basil! So bummed.
Watered it and the tiny thing just disappeared. :(
Maybe I'll still start some lettuce and spinach. If I have the heart.

Aimee said...

SO Cool!!! All that freshness looks wonderful!

Dawn said...

Those fresh greens look so delicious. Way to go on the indoor gardening!

Julie said...

Wow! I'm jealous:) What a great idea!

We are planning on starting all of our garden plants this year from seeds. Just starting to decide what we want to order.

Sara said...

Looks amazing! I start my herbs and some others inside for the Spring planting but I haven't tried keeping them all year. I should since we have such a short growing season here. Like Tara, I would like to know what light you use a well.

Anet said...

Great way to beat the winter blues!
Your salad looks wonderful!!!
Let me know any tricks for getting the boys to eat salad, I can't get Noah to eat it yet. :(
Maybe if I sprinkle Skittles on it!

Annie said...

How wonderful! That salad looks so good. I'm still looking through my seed catalogue!

Penelope said...

I'm loving your indoor garden updates. We are sooo doing this next year!

denise said...

Thanks everyone. I'm thrilled with how everything is growing.

Tara & Sara - I do have two lights I am using on the kitchen counter (just small 18" kitchen florescent lights, one with warm bulb, one with cool) but it isn't enough for all that I am growing size wise, so we do have all of the herbs and tomatoes in the window and they are doing just fine. I think the most important time for light is in the first week or two as they sprout and develop their first leaves. The counter light keeps that 12 hours/day light on the seedlings and prevents them from getting leggy. But yes, the stuff is growing great in the window! I honestly don't have enough window space to put any more plants, so the counter is working well for me! :)

I think that certain herbs would grow better in a winter window...I think rosemary and basil, for example, just like more heat and sun. But I am growing parsley, cilantro, chives, and fennel - and starting thyme, which all seem fine!

Anet -Yeah...I figure that if the boys help plant/grow/harvest, and visit farms and help in the kitchen that as they get older they will try more foods...like salad. We'll see how that goes! :)

My seed catalogs are coming in and I'm happily flipping pages planning for spring.

Eluciq said...

that is a whole 'lotta' yumminess...how fun to have a your own greens in winter.

brianna said...

oh Denise, that sounds so fun. i desperately want to get into gardening but i'm just too chicken. do you start everything from seed indoors?

RunninL8 said...

Ok, I'm inspired to stard an herb garden! I actually feel apprehensive about this upcomming year's gardening! We had such a miserable summer last year and one pathetic crop!!!
Oh, well. I lived VERY vicariously through all of the bloggers gardens!!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

What a way to celebrate the first day of the year... a salad fit for a King and Queen... And such a smart idea to involve your boys in charting a plan for growing things in and around the yard.

Mandy aka Mandaroo said...

Everything looks great! I'm looking forward to outdoor gardening as well... I'm thinking of having a large lavender garden section this year.

denise said...

Mandy - Me too! I have lavender sensitivities but want to grow some alternative types organically and see if it makes a difference. I am reading a book on medicine wheel gardening now, and think I might make a big herbal garden circle...

Brianna - I do start many things from seed inside. I also buy seedlings and fruit canes from the farmer's market. I usually have a few hundred I start from seed (a few trays). It isn't hard, really. Even if all you do is toss some seeds into a plot...it is a start! Plants like to grow. Makes it easier for us! :) Then you can learn and experiment as you go!

Thanks Gwen. Your garden is one of my inspirations this year. MORE raspberries! :)

Dawn said...

Oh, I so very wish we had space for a garden and between the cat and the two dogs nothing is safe inside!

Yarrow said...

Sounds so great! I wish I had thought of that. I can't wait to get started gardening this year.

Stephanie said...

I forgot to tell you that I linked to your indoor gardening posts at Growing Naturally the other day!
:/

denise said...

Stephanie - Yep! Saw that. Cool! :)