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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pruning great ideas

Have you ever had a really great idea? One that grew to great proportions, in your mind at least. Last winter (09) I decided that we should have a bigger garden. Be more self sufficient. In fact we could be a Mini-Farm (picture us in American Gothic). Since we already had a credit account with John Deere, the next logical place to go was Tractor Supply. Within a few months everyone at our local TSC (45 minutes away) knew our names. There were things we NEEDED. Sod busters, spreaders, pine rakes, and most importantly a 4' PTO powered tiller for the back of the tractor.

Next was scouring the seed catologs. Everything looked so good (to eat of course). Many dollars later we had so many different varieties of veggies we were having trouble finding room to plant them all. (Lesson 1 in Farming 101- Plants need space. They like to feel the gentle summer breezes blow through their leaves. The spacing given on the seed pacakages are not there as a suggestion). I also decided that it would be smarter to start our own seedlings than buy them, so without a green house (and just finishing a plant propogation course at the local college) I dedicated some space in the shop to a growing area complete with grow lights with timer. BUT starting 4 species of tomatoes, 5 species of peppers, broccoli, eggplant, and anything else I happen to find, was taking a lot of space, time, and electricity. Thus hatched the dream of a green house for all this starting activity.

After a long growing (and learning) season (Lesson 2- A normal person needs only ONE zuccinni plant) and a harvest of over 500 pounds of veggies, and canning and freezing, I spent the winter researching Green Houses.
Finally the perfect one was found. Only 6 feet by 8 feet. Just right for a starter table in the early spring, an area to grow salad veggies all winter, dry the herbs in the summer. And only $700.00. Of course then there was the question of where it would go. Easy, just widen the herb garden, remove some soil, add some sand, lay some patio blocks (not available in the winter) and put the Green House kit together. Oh and by the way, running some water and electric to it from the barn would be nice too. What a plan!!!! Couldn't cost more than a thousand bucks.

Yesterday as I was going over the list of what we wanted to grow this year and planning how to space them out, and how many plants we would be starting, Beatrice reminded me of how much we OVER grew last year. Of how the neighbors started to hide when ever they saw us coming with bags of produce that we would never be able to eat. Then there was all the weeding and watering and work we did to OVER produce last year. Plus the fun of freezing, canning, pickle, salsa, and sauce making. AND most importantly, how we had decided on just 2 species of tomatoes, 1 species of pepper, and eggplant this year. AND only start 6 of each plant. A lot of ands in there wasn't there. Well, after rumaging through the barn loft and finding the Bio-Dome starter box (the 60 hole one) I realized that the Green House dream might end up being a financial nightmare.

And so the great Green House idea was pruned down to a starter box in the shop again this year. Of course it would look really great on the old mantle piece I saved from the house that just needs a little stripping, sanding, restructuring, re-coating, and of course enlarging. And the grow lights could be re-hung. AND..........
Next time pics of this project.

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