Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sowing Seeds

Today I planted my seeds! The weather here is still pretty cool, so I only planted a few things today: tomatoes (supice and brandywine), broccoli, cilantro (slow bolt variety), carrots, onions, and Kentucky Wonder green beans. I'm super excited. In another month or so, when it's significantly warmer out, I'll plant my peppers, squash, eggplant, basil, and cucumber. And then when fall starts, I'll have all new things to plant, like pumpkins and garlic. Mmm. So, my first veggie seeds have been sown and watered. Yay! Now, we wait.

I have a weird feeling that this may be one of the most important projects I ever do...important for me personally. I can't think of any other project that I've dedicated so much time to or researched for so long. And I'm actually going through with it, which means it must really be important to me. Someone once told me that unless something is actually a part of your life, you don't really believe in it. Like, if you talk about how recycling is important but don't actually recycle, you clearly don't value it as much as you say. That piece of wisdom has always stuck with me. And we do recycle, thank you very much. Anywho, I've been on my high horse about food for so long, and now I can realize for myself that it is actually important to me. It's so important to me that I've started a garden of food, even though I've never had much success growing anything because I get lazy and forget to water the plants. But that won't happen this time, I now know....too much is at stake for me. I've worked too hard too long to let this thing slip out from under me. There was something about sticking those tiny seeds into the ground and covering them with the soil I had mixed myself. They're little lives that will give me life, in more ways than just food nutrients. Those plants and I are part of a cycle with each other and the earth. That means something. And I think their growth will give me new confidence to try other new things and perhaps cure me just a little of my fear of failure. I'm not gonna let those little guys down.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Healthcare or whatever...

I don't care to get too deep into the conversation about the healthcare bill, mostly because conversations about the bill are scarcely actually about healthcare. But I would like to say this: we need change.

And, health insurance should not be linked to employment. Period. Employers shouldn't have to help pay premiums. Self-employed and unemployed people shouldn't have to wonder how they'll get good coverage.

And how about this? What if we didn't need so much healthcare all the time?

1. Eat fresh veggies and move around for at least 30 minutes each day.
2. Don't eat processed food.
3. Drink plenty of water and don't have too much soda or juice.
4. Don't eat so much sugar and sodium.
5. Increase your chances of not needing the doctor so much.

Americans spend too much on healthcare and too little on food. We eat cheap calories and pay for it by having all sorts of diet-related health issues. So...while Congress spends a bajillion years trying to figure out a way to make changes in the way we do healthcare, let's all eat and live better, for our health.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Starting the Spring Garden

So I've been researching and talking about starting my own vegetable garden for around 8 months, and now the time has finally come for me to actually do it. This is really exciting and a big deal for me, because I have this crippling fear of failure that sometimes keeps me from trying something totally new. It's not very often that I jump into a project that I know nothing about...especially if it's a big project. I mean, trying a new recipe or going to a party with strangers is no big deal....but for me, deciding to grow my own food is. I went through kind an emotional rollercoaster as it got closer to time for me to build the garden because I was afraid I was going to chicken out and not do it...for fear of it not going well. But, of course that's stupid and I know this, so I buckled down and started it anyway. And, here I am doing it and it feels so good! Yesterday, Doug helped me build the frame for our raised bed veggie garden, and today we added the soil mixture. Here's what we've had to buy so far:

3 cedar planks: $45
landscaping fabric: $10
galvanized nails: $3
soil mixture stuff: $45

So...right around $100 for the materials to build a raised bed. Cedar is naturally rot resistant, so we used it instead of any kind of treated wood, because chemicals from treated wood can seep into your soil. Yuck. Most gardening people in my research suggested using 1/3 existing soil (we have red clay, so we bought topsoil), 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat moss for the perfect mixture. Compost can take weeks or even months to decompose enough to be usable, so we bought some. But, we'll start a pile in the yard to use for next season's garden. Build your frame to whatever size you like (mine's 4 ft. x 8 ft.), place it over some landscaping fabric, and mix your soil in. You're ready to plant! Yay! On to seed ordering.