Back to the Greenhouse!

Last week was pretty busy at the farm – Monday’s heavy snowfall and more snow through the week meant alot of yard (and home driveway) clearing for the boys.  Also, we are now making new mushroom bags three days a week, which ripples down to more mushrooms to pick for me!  I’m not complaining, but it does explain why I haven’t been out to the greenhouse to start planting until today…DSCN8880

My seed order arrived this week (yay!) and I have all my pots and pellets ready. The tomatoes and pepper plants will be started in the house.  I don’t have any growing lights, but use all the window sills we have and rotate the trays every day.

There has been alot of discussion this past year about GMO’s.  I hear people saying, “they’re everywhere!”.  People are being warned to buy only non-GM vegetable seeds, and only from companies not affiliated with or owned by Monsanto.  I would like to clear some of this up now.

First of all, the only crops that are currently being grown commercially using GM seeds are:  corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and some zucchini and yellow squash.  Yes, there had been trials of GM tomatoes and potatoes, but those have been shelved, due to public protest and health concerns.  If you are planning on growing your own lettuce, beans, tomatoes, onions, peas, carrots, etc., you needn’t worry about genetically modified contamination.

And to address the issue of some seed companies being tied to Monsanto, if it’s important to you, choose from the list of companies who are independent and produce quality, organic and heirloom seeds.  There are many independent seed sellers who will attend organic conferences, or Seedy Saturday-type events, so be sure to support them, too.  Many horticultural societies have seed exchanges, so find out when your local club is having theirs.   Another option is to plan on saving some of your own seeds for next year!  It’s easy enough to do, especially with beans, peas and tomatoes.

So back to the greenhouse…..

When I finally made my way to the entrance (breaking through crusty snow that came up to my knees), I had to shovel away the snow to open the door.   Although it was -4 Celcius outside, inside I could quickly remove my jacket and hoodie and work in my short sleeved teeshirt…yahoo!  The first thing I realized was that one of the jobs I had come to do had already been looked after….  A few weeks ago, when we had some very gusty winds, one of the south facing doors blew open, and I couldn’t latch it properly myself.  Ralph only closed it up right before the heavy snow this week.  We might as well have had an “Open House” sign on the greenhouse, as the open door attracted lots of local wildlife.  All the remaining kale inside had been chewed to the stem by hungry bunnies…they had even nibbled many of the stems down to the ground.  The same went for the remaining beet tops.  Just as I was celebrating that my job of removing the old plants and forking the soil was going to be easier, I saw that my beautiful patch of biennial carnations had suffered the same fate.  Boo hoo!  At least there were some seedheads I could salvage to start some new plants for this year.

I spent a bit more time preparing a small area for some lettuce and kale and spinach, and saw that the rabbits had also helped with the fertilizing, leaving familiar little pellets throughout the greenhouse.  This week, I’ll see if Ralph has time to bring down some mushroom compost for me, so I can plant a few more seeds – although I don’t know how he’s going to get past all that snow, let alone dig the compost out from under the snow!


I like to use these little jars, as each one is just the right amount for one pizza.

I like to use these little jars, as each one is just the right amount for one pizza.

Now, more than ever, it is so important to have a secure food source, and to eat healthy, organic and sustainably grown food.  It is SO empowering to grow your own, even if it’s a few tomato plants in planters, some herbs in a window box.  Short on space?  Grow vertically!  Get the whole family involved and in a few short months, you can be eating food you grew yourself!

Now I’m off to bake a pizza for supper, using tomato paste and pesto I made last summer 🙂


2 responses to this post.

  1. I could learn so much from you!!!


  2. Thanks Jennifer! The whole purpose of this blog is to share our experiences – on the farm, what we learn through interactions with others, and what new information we come across. Glad to have you as a reader 🙂


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