Returning to Our Roots // Picking Out Seeds
Picking out the seeds for our garden was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. It started with figuring out our planting dates. Did you happen to catch my last post on the kitchen garden? It was all about figuring out which fruits, vegetables, and herbs to plant in your garden. If you didn't read it, go do that now! It will help explain why frost dates and knowing your growing season are important. I also mentioned that I was hoping to get The Freckled Hen Farmhouse's planting calendar (which is currently on sale!) for Christmas. My family pulled through and surprised we with my very own planting calendar and the 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac. I was smitten. It took me a little while, but I eventually dug through the book and discovered what our frost dates, growing season, and suggested planting dates are! It was so fun, and I was incredibly proud.
If you are in the same regional area as I am, then you'll be happy to know that I can let you in a little information... our last predicted frost date is April 25th! I was a little confused when I read that the best planting dates for some vegetables (Parsley, Peas, Radishes, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce, and Onions) was around the end of March. After reading more into it, those types of plants can handle a light spring frost and will be just fine! As for our other plants, I've nailed down around April 15th and any day after to be the best planting dates for the rest of our garden. That means that we will need to have our greenhouse built sometime in mid March. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this happens! If not, we'll be getting a little creative with seed starting indoors - either way it will be a fun experience to share with y'all!
There are all of our seeds! It's a lot, I know. My dad and I traveled out to the good ol' Menard's over the weekend. They were the first garden center to have their first seeds out. I was hoping to purchase them from the Amish, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity... also, the Amish store doesn't hand out coupons LOL. We were lucky to have a rebate and coupon with us. After the seeds rung up they were around $60. With our coupons, we were able to cut that down to $20! It was a little shocking to find that a handful of seed packets could add up that quickly, and they would have cost more if they hadn't been 40% off to begin with! But, I took a step back and analyzed our weekly grocery bill. We generally spend more or close to that price just for fresh produce (and other dry items, of course). Once we are growing our own vegetables, it won't be too often that we're spending that amount on fresh food from the store!
Our dream of becoming sustainable has been a little daunting when it comes to upfront costs. We've been lucky to save quite a bit on the windows for the greenhouse as well as our first seeds! As a family, we've been talking a lot about where our money has gone in the past year and how we hope to change our habits even more so than in the past. I think the best way we can do this is to not think of our lifestyle in terms of how much we're saving money but in how we're saving the earth and enjoying our lives. Does that make sense? I really want to try and create a waste-free home this year.
We've done a great job at becoming minimalist when it comes to purchasing items. We went through our closets this year and barely had anything to donate (other than some baby items!) and we didn't purchase any new furniture. We all sat down and asked ourselves, "Do I need any new clothes this year?" and the answer was, "No!" It was actually so refreshing! We're going to try really hard to not purchase anything out of want but instead out of necessity. As for waste free? I have some ideas brewing. To give you an idea, we are recycling, composting, and eliminating as much plastic as possible! I can't wait to share more.
As for our seeds, well... I was nervous! I didn't know if most of these vegetables could even be grown by us on the first try, and you know what? They probably won't! I'm sure we will fail at most of these, but I'm going to try anyway! I am hoping to make this blog like a journal so you don't have to fail. If you're going to garden along with us this year, I would love to hear all about it!! We can do this! (: