Garden Adventure Ahead

It is our hope that the Buckets, Bales & Bushels blog will become a resource for you to explore new ideas, become more familiar with the farms & farmers in your area, as well as broaden you knowledge about the foods available to you every day. Connect with others in your community as you take the opportunity to "Learn, Grow & Share" with us!

Whether you're currently a vegetable gardener or you have aspirations to learn a few things about gardening we are glad you are here! Let's celebrate spring together with vegetables.  Not that we are counting down the days or anything.

For the aspiring gardeners approaching your first growing season, great! Welcome aboard.  It might be the warmer temperatures, the promise of sun or just a good reason to be outside but it is easy to over commit to a garden early in the season. Then life happens, and the garden can become a source of guilt or stress every time you pull into your driveway.  The best advice I can give is to start small and grow from there.  It's better to have a small but successful garden rather than being disappointed with a large unproductive garden.

So, for the new garden adventurers maybe you only want to commit to trying a few containers of something. Lettuces and spinach are cool season crops that grow relatively quickly and can be grown in a variety of containers.  These plants tolerate light frost and require at least 4-6 hours of sun daily.

If your life allows for more than just putting your toe in the water, go ahead and chose some crops that you commonly find yourself purchasing at the grocery store. You might consider trying out Square Foot Gardening or dabbling in gardening in straw bales. Both topics we will offer more information about later in the season. In the event you can't wait, you can check out the Washington State University Extension Straw Bale Gardening Fact Sheet or do a quick search for Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

Perhaps you are long-time vegetable gardener and looking forward to another season of drop and dash zucchini sport.  If that is the case, maybe this is the year you try a new crop in your garden. Pick a unique cultivar of a crop or try an entirely new crop. Have you already tried yard long beans, Romanesco broccoli, Rat-Tail radish or vegetable amaranth? Plant a few things to make your neighbors ask questions. Go ahead, give them something to talk about...and eat for dinner.

Check back later this week for the first installment of our garden "Grow Along" posts featuring the nutritional powerhouse: broccoli.