First plantings are in for 2009

We have begun growing food at the Pennsylvania Avenue Yard-Farm! After a trip to locally-owned Tiger Lily (formerly Sweet Earth) on Forest Home Ave., we came with about $250 worth of plants. We have a whole tray of cold crops, which are mainly plants from the cabbage family, such as brussels sprouts and kale, as well as cucumbers, and zucchini. [I had previous described cucumbers and zucchini as being part of the cabbage family, which is not correct. Cucumber is in the gourd family, while zucchini is in the squash and pumpkin (or cucurbita) family of vegetables.]

The half-dozen strawberry plants will nicely compliment the raspberry plants that we found coming up around the garden perimeter. (Thanks to our friend and neighbor Ken for the gracious gift of a seventh strawberry plant!) Another tray was filled with several types of sweet and hot peppers, and many herbs. Considering that we’re still going through the oregano and basil that we grew in relatively small quantity last year, we should be eating very well for the next two years. [Read this post to find out what we did with these plants.]

(And already, we need more beds…)

Still to come is a wave of seeds and tomato plants. We had tremendous results from tomato seedlings last year, and look forward to having our home yard-farm filled with tomato plants. Four of the five beds were placed up against the fence, which provides a free trellis for climbing plants such as peas and some kinds of beans.

Oh, and catnip! I picked out a very tall catnip plant and put it next to the western-most bed. Suffice to say, my 15-year-old cat Miranda had a serious “NOM NOM NOM” moment after discovering it.

My community gardeners can rest assured that that there is still plenty of room to plant tomatoes and other such crops in, as two of the beds are still largely unused. Even in the other three, the cold crops will take months to grow, so we can fit lots of lettuces, radishes, and other faster-growing plants.

Pictures shall come tomorrow!

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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