Fresh from the Farm: A Seedy Time
A Seedy Time at the Open Gate Farm
If you live in the country long enough, there are weather patterns which become evident. For example, the 4th of July is usually cold and cloudy. That’s a good background for fireworks but wear sweaters and coats. The week before Halloween is lovely and then on the 31st it turns cold enough to make a pumpkin frown. Now we are into the February “sucker” weather. It suckers gardeners into planting seeds that really should not see soil until the end of March. Soon storms will come and blow these days away. Oh they’ll be back with forgiveness on their breezes; but this peek into spring is so seductive. It’s not too late to plant garlic and onions, though they would get bigger if planted in the fall. And those cold weather warriors of the garden, peas, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and maybe some beans are good to go into the dirt now too. Yesterday we found ourselves planting squash seeds in the little boxes at the base of the fenceposts along Russell Road. If it doesn’t get too cold, we win. If it does, then we replant. These came from a huge blue squash we were given last fall that we’ve finally cracked open. Saving seeds is fun. Just rinse the seeds in water and dry them before the fire, tuck into envelopes and plant when it’s warm in the spring. One pumpkin produces plenty for planting now and replanting in a month. And lettuce will give you thousands of seeds for next year. Don’t worry too much about the expiration date on those seed packets either. Almost all the seeds that grow around here are good for several years. You can test by wrapping some in a paper towel, stick the other end in a jar of water and look at them after a week and see how many have germinated. So, go forth! Plant! And re-plant!