Thursday, February 25, 2010

And we're off!

Yesterday I took a quick peak under the cold frame, and it looks like our radishes are just beginning to sprout. The 2010 gardening season is officially off and running, but we're still waiting on the peas...

I'm surprised by the amount of light that gets through the fleece and by the amount of heat that doesn't escape. The material looks so flimsy, but my high-tech climate monitoring system (a meat thermometer stuck in the soil) shows that the soil temperature is staying around 60 degrees, even with nighttime low temperatures reaching 45 degrees on a few nights!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A "Kickstart" to something great

All winter I've mulled over the idea of selling my produce commercially. I love gardening and most of what I grow goes into the kitchen - I'm certainly not in this for the money! But I haven't had a regular job for a few months, freelance stuff is far from lucrative, and amendments, seed, and horticultural fleece cost money! So if I can sell the produce of one or two beds to cover the cost of the other three I'll be happy. And I'll helping to forge an innovative new food system. I thought I was the only one thinking of this kind of thing (when I bring this idea up in conversation I get a lot of what I like to call "supportive puzzlement") but there are two young women in the Mission district who are taking things even further and looking to make a real, honest, living-wage-paying job out of growing food here in the city. Look over their charming blog, and check out a great little video on their project fundraising page at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More stirrings in the garden

It's February, a difficult month for gardeners in San Francisco, or at least for me. On the one hand, night time low temperatures are edging up into the 50s and this past week we had a delicious amuse bouche of early spring sun. I can practically feel myself germinating! On the other hand, the ground is still soggy and the rain won't officially leave our reliable Mediterranean climate until the end of March at the earliest. I can get around some of this problem by planting reliable cool weather crops like shelling peas and radishes. They thrive in the cool, moist conditions, and actually prefer to be harvested by the time we start getting our first hot days around May and June. But the February planting I did last year got caught by some freak cold weather and got bogged down (quite literally) in some of the March downpours.

As usual, more after the jump

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Some true words...

 ...from James Beard's "How to Eat Well for Less Money". I couldn't have said it better myself, so I didn't.