Posts Tagged ‘garden’

a historically inspired Jardin

February 17, 2014

I picked up a few experiments for the garden this year. Sesame for one which has been on my list for some time, it was very popular in historic souther kitchen gardens, including, not surprisingly, our historic gardening friend TJ.

teosinte

It seems to that our recent trip to Mexico (link) has influenced my seed-buying shopping spree this weekend more than i expected. I found myself drawn to Amaranth and squash in particular, the cultivation of which we learned about in our visit to the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. Oaxaca, one of the most biodiverse regions of the Americas as far as plants go, is home to the earliest evidence of squash and corn domestication in the Americas. 10,000 year-old squash seeds were found at an archaeological site called Guilá Naquitz. We were shown living examples of teosinte (right) a wild grass ancestor to modern corn.

maize

Squash grows so well at Sunshine with little attention that I racked up on a couple winter squash varieties for my absentee garden: butternut, a funny looking pumpkin, and 2 kinds of acorn squash!

Amaranth, meanwhile is an ancient grain that was a staple of the Aztec diet. In my search for seeds, I realized that some varieties of Amaranth are not so unheard of, grown as flowers even as far away as Northern Europe, but this ancient grain plant had shown up in my seed catalogs back in my introductory year to gardening, and that is what I’ve secured for Sunshine this year.

(Where I will plant these seeds is still tbd though it may be time to dig up part of the front or back yard because I’m not sure I’ll have time to “till” up space in my old garden or maintain the weeds.)

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seed shopping for Atlanta

February 15, 2014

The ice has mostly melted and the sun is out, so I went off to Farmer D’s this morning. After weeks of dreaming it was really happening, compost, vermiculite, potting soil–I’m determined to start some seeds off right this year, something I haven’t done since my dedicated first adventure in gardening at Sunshine.

IMG_1098I stopped at Lowe’s too for some cheaper dirt and compost which I unloaded, bag by bag at the community garden on the way home. This is the community garden 3 days ago, today it’s just muddy. I’ve got plans for some snap peas and Mexico Sour Gherkin (look like miniature watermelons) around the perimeter for everyone to enjoy with some haricot vert bush beans in my plot and some sunflowers, something I haven’t planted since Sunshine, but did so there with great success. Eventually there’ll be okra (burmese), tomatoes, summer yellow squash and a long Italian zucchini, a Ping Tung Long eggplant and some herbs…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some seeds to sow!

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