Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Garden Plan

Well, since we all apparently survived the end of the Mayan calendar, we get to create a new food garden plan.  Since I (Shannon) am a weird combination of artist and organized, I really like this part as I get to color and make order at the same time.

4 boxes of seeds

I recently cataloged, organized and re-boxed our seed packages that we have collected over the last few years using an app that Timothy created called Stewardship 101.  I was surprised to discover that we have 282 different varieties of seeds, actually a few more as some of them have duplicates.  Hmmm.... I have a lot of plants to plant or I need to trade some seeds.

Seed list in Stewardship 101 app on Kindle

So once I had all of the seeds cataloged, we then decided what we were going to plant this year.  Even though we have 10 raised beds totaling 320 square feet of planting space, containers and a few small areas in the flower gardens, it shrinks awful fast when you start making your list.  Something had to go and it ended up being a lot of brassicas, because we found that they took up a lot of space, performed poorly and pretty much were Cabbage White fodder most of the growing season, despite my hand picking and squishing.

To do list in Garden Time Advanced app on Kindle

Once the list was created we plugged it into the Garden Time app that Timothy also created.  It forms a chronological list of when I need to start seeds, location, transplant times and such.  No guess work involved here.  Makes it very easy to keep track of tasks and plan ahead.

Garden bed maps for planting 2013

Then I began to allot space for each plant group in the beds.  This is always a puzzle as I need to rotate crops by family.  I try to plant the entire bed with one type of family group as this makes it much easier to keep track of where the solanaceae and brassicas were and where they need to go.  In the end, it all fit and I got to color away on my graph paper.  When I go out in the garden, I take the clipboard with the bed maps with me.  I jot down dates, plant names and positions in the bed on the white space below the bed drawing.  When I come it it is easy to transfer the data to the computer and the Garden Time app.

We have recently started to study more intensively into GMOs, mutated seeds and chemical use on food crops.  This has pretty much solidified our desire to eat whole, recognizable, sustainability grown clean food and encouraged us to continue to grow our own food.  Our role models are Joel Salatin, Will Allen and Micheal Pollen.  They have done some incredible work to encourage, teach and live a sustainable life of eating what is truly good food.

If you are interested, here are some links:

Stewardship 101 Android app
(Free) Stewardship 101 Lite Android app

Garden Time Advanced Android app
(Free) Garden Time Advanced Trial Android app

Joel Salatin - Polyface Farms website:
Will Allen - Growing Power:
Michael Pollen - Author / Investigative Reporter:  

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