Did They Tell You You Should Grow Up When You Wanted to Dream?

I’ve been daydreaming about growing things this weekend – so much so that I finally cracked open the various seed catalogs I’ve received so far this winter and carefully avoided. If you have never seen a seed catalog, they are essentially page after page of crack for the garden dreamer. Plant porn.

Purple and orange cauliflower; eight different kinds of kale; chard stems that scream color to rival the most vibrant sunset. You can guess what happened next, right?

I proceeded to add seed packet after seed packet to my shopping cart, using my holiday bonus from work upon checkout. Greater self-sufficiency seems like a good thing to spend one’s work bonus on. Chard, squash, artichoke, kale, nasturtium, cauliflower, and some sunflowers to round it out. This is on top of the peas, beans, turnips, beets, tomatoes, chives, and a whole bunch of other seeds I still have from last year.

Next up will be picking up seed starter from Worm’s Way, which is the only stuff I’ll buy after last year’s seed starting debacle with the organic mix from Lowe’s. Someday I’ll make my own seed starter mix, but I just don’t have it in me this year.

I bit the bullet today and followed actual directions for how to start sweet potato slips for planting. Last year was my first stab at growing sweet potatoes, and I’m excited to get them in the ground much earlier this year. I cut some of the vines from last year’s batch and plunked them into water, thinking they would root. And, well, they haven’t. Not really.

20121004. Sweet potato slips for next spring!

So, like I said, I bit the bullet, bought two sweet potatoes from the grocery store, cut ’em up, and threw them into a few jars. Each potato should produce many slips, which, in theory, will each become their own plant with oodles of sweet potatoes growing off of it underground. Sweet potatoes are kind of magical, right?

20130113. Starting the sweet potato slips.A rainy weekend spent daydreaming of sunshine and cool breezes, the smell of dirt, tiny seedlings turning to giants to fill my pantry and my belly, and converting more of our yard into useable, edible space? In case you were wondering, it has been lovely.

Did they tell you you should grow up when you wanted to dream? Did they warn you, better shape up if you want to succeed? I don’t about you, who are they talking to? They’re not talking to me.

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11 thoughts on “Did They Tell You You Should Grow Up When You Wanted to Dream?

  1. Oooh, I know what you mean, catalogs are garden porn. I have ~100 varieties of tomatoes in my collection but only plant maybe 40 each year. Then there’s the peppers, beans, squash, my own breeding projects etc. Is it spring yet?!?

    • 40 tomatoes each year?! Remind me where you live again so I can just “happen to be in the neighborhood” sometime this July or August. I would love to see that in action!

      I managed to get on the mailing list to test grow “cabin” tomatoes from Jimmy Cracked Corn this summer (http://jimmycrackedcorn.wordpress.com/), and I’m really excited to try them out. They’re his own variety, and they grow HUGE. I’m also really keen on learning how to save seeds this year – I must admit I haven’t learned that particular skill, and I feel a little doofus-y for not knowing what I’m doing in that whole realm.

    • Ah, VERY interesting on those tomato seeds! I was kind of wondering and hadn’t really gotten the story on them. I’ve also not been introduced to that site – free seeds? What’s the catch?!

      Thank you so much for sharing the seed saving link, too. Oxiclean? This world never ceases to amaze! 🙂

  2. We, too, cracked open the seed catalogues a couple days ago. There’s something about the darkness of January that makes me start longing and pining for spring and sticking my hands in the dirt.

    I’ll have to try your sweet potato slip trick. I lurve sweet potatoes and anything I can do to eat them sooner in the year will be a good thing. My friend Betty also starts some of her onions as bedding plants in March, so that they grow exceptionally huge and lovely.

    I’ve been considering venturing into seed saving this year as well. I’m sustainable in that I can grow my own food, but I’m still dependent on someone else to provide the seeds. However, seed saving is a whole new level, and a whole new level requires more time, so we’ll see about that one.

    • “Seed saving is a whole new level, and a whole new level requires more time, so we’ll see about that one.” Yes, indeedy. I hear you on this one. If this summer is as bad as last summer, by July/August I was just doing all I could to keep myself, the chickens, and the pitiful, dried out, heat soaked plants from kicking the bucket.

      Last year, we went to a potato bin workshop in June, and, while we got some delicious sweet potatoes growing, June in Indiana was pretty late to be planting them. I’m hoping the slips start growing and I can get them in the bin around, oh, March or so this year.

      Sweet potatoes… mmm…. I could really eat sweet potatoes and cauliflower all winter long.

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