Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Real-Life Farmville 2013

It's that time again, folks... Spring time is here!  Warming weather, flowers blooming, happy people everywhere... But one of my favorite parts about the Spring is starting my vegetable garden.  This will be my fourth year having a garden.  I've learned a lot from my mistakes over the past three years, and I'm ready for this year to be the best yet!  Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, that's what I always say.  No one is good in the beginning, just do it.  Just do something.

So Real-Life Farmville 2013 is underway, and I'd like to share with you what I've got going.  I've been buying my seeds from Seed Savers Exchange every year.  They've got tons of unique, heirloom varieties of vegetables, and they'll send you an amazing catalog showing you everything they offer... highly recommended.  I like trying different stuff since my uncle, who shares the garden with me, always grows the common veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and summer squash.  I'm a little more adventurous.

First up is the herbs... this is a new addition this year.

Herbs: Parsley, Cilantro, Dill

Got this little guy as an Easter gift in one of those easy-grow pots.  It came with blocks of dry soil, all I had to do was add water and plant the seeds and watch it grow.  Can't wait to use this stuff in my kitchen!

For the rest, I got 4 soil-filled flats from my family farm, Botticello Farms.  I've been putting them outside every day and taking them in every night to avoid the cold weather, and they've been doing very well on that regimen.  It's only been a week and a half and they're looking good already!

Let's start with the kale, as this has been my most successful crop over the years.

Kale never fails.  That's what I've learned.  It always grows and it's very resilient; it can be out in below-freezing temperatures, no problem.  It will also grow all summer long and give you a constant supply of leaves.  Good stuff.

Next up... this is my baby... a little yellow grape tomato called blondkopfchen.  


I've had these the past 3 years and I've saved the seeds every year, so I take pride in these little guys.  This is my third generation, and I just can't wait til mid-August when they're ready to be picked.  They're like red grape tomatoes, but with a little extra sweetness.  Sweetness.

Next up I've got some rainbow chard, a new one this year.  


We did plain old Swiss chard last year, but I thought I'd try a more colorful variety.  It's looking strong so far.  Can't wait to try these, chard is great in my morning omelets!

Next!  An heirloom variety of tomatoes called Black Sea Man.

 Ugly looking?  Yes.  But they look super delicious and yummy.

Then we have some onions.

These are Ailsa Craig onions, which is supposedly an heirloom variety, although they look pretty much just like normal yellow onions.

And finally we've got 3 different types of lettuce... Grandpa Admire's, Rossa di Trento, and Oak Leaf.

Now.  They all look the same at this point.
Later. Grandpa's.
Later. Oak Leaf.
Later. Rossa.
This will be my first time trying to grow lettuce, and I've got about 72 of these little guys so hopefully it works out!  I'll be putting those in the ground very soon.

Welp, that's it for my garden this year.  Super excited to be able to use this stuff in my kitchen, there's truly nothing like garden-fresh veggies!

Anybody out there starting a garden this year?  Tell me all about it in the comments!


  1. I thought I would be able to read this post with Aldous Snow singing in the background...I was wrong.

    But really - I wish I could have a garden this year. I'm gonna have to steal some letuga from you at some point :-p

    1. I've got soooo much lettuce you can have all you want. Please take it.