Since moving to the Hudson River Valley, we have decided to fully embrace the farm-to-table movement, eating local and shopping at the farmers market, and even the actual farm when we can. The mild winter and seed displays at the local nursery have inspired me to try growing my own tiny vegetable supply.
Living where the suburbs meets the country has left me with the illusion that I have a green thumb. I had some success in Hoboken with flowers and herbs, but really only fool-proof stuff like basil and hydrangeas. Despite multiple attempts, I was never able to coax an actual vegetable out of a plant. I keep telling myself that this time will be different. Right.
Our backyard looks like it could be a film set for Bambi in the summer, which does not bode well for my potential harvest. I am not willing to fight the bunnies and groundhogs for my produce, so my mini-farm will be limited to what I can fit in pots on the deck.
I started small, ordering only green zebra tomatoes (why not go big with heirlooms on the first try), sugar-baby watermelon and zinnias from the Landreth Seed Catalog to get started. Apparently I am not the first person out here to feel inspired by the area - the local nursery had an entire display of seed germinating kits for dummies at the front of the store. They do everything but actually plant and water the seeds for you. If this doesn't work, I am truly pathetic.
I can do this! Two weeks later, I have a plethora of zinnia sprouts, but only two anemic looking little tomato plants peeking out of the soil. Watermelon seeds will be planted this evening. Stay tuned for updates on how this experiment progresses. Will this be my first and only foray into starting with seedlings, or will I be so successful that a greenhouse is in order to start the variety of seeds I will want next summer?