Farming is a little like fashion: you always have to be thinking at least one season ahead. We’re in the depth of winter (or what passes for winter in central Alabama, where it’s not uncommon for the temps to warm up to t-shirt weather in the afternoon before dropping below freezing that night). It may not feel like it, but it’s time for us to focus on seed.
This is the first year we’ve had some of our own saved seed to plant. Here’s Amanda holding a palm-ful of rattlesnake bean seed. Needless to say, we’re anxious to see how all this saved seed does. We’re also continuing to buy seed each year, although as with all things we get from off the farm, we’re hoping to reduce purchased seed each year.
We’re hoping to build on last year’s success with starting seed. This year, though, we are resolved – committed, mind you, committed! – to do a better job tracing seed from when we start it right through to the produce we enjoy (or sadly sometimes, never see) from it.
We’re also resolved to do a better job bumping our tomatoes, peppers, and perhaps other nightshades before planting them. Last year we put tomatoes in tiny soil blocks directly into the soil, but tomatoes really like to build a stronger skeleton before planting outside, so we plan to bump them first from tiny soil blocks to larger soil blocks, and then into 5-6 inch pots. THEN, we will take those larger, stronger plants to Veg Hill.