Sunday, March 28, 2010

Planting continues...

In addition to saying hello to the greenhouse cat, this week we planted several trays of hot peppers and sweet bell peppers. (Those marked with * are varieties sown from seed saved by Ginkgo — that is, we didn’t buy the seeds, we saved them from plants grown in previous years.)

Sweet bell peppers
  • Bull Nose
  • King of the North
  • Wisconsin Lakes
  • Yankee Bell [not grown in 2009]
  • *Orion [not grown in 2009]

Medium-hot peppers
  • Poblano
  • Jalapeño

Hot peppers
  • *Thai Hot
  • *Red Rocoto (a Peruvian variety)
  • *Aji Cristal
  • *Yellow Mushroom and *Red Mushroom
  • *Fish
  • Habañero

We’re going to wait a week before sowing the tomatoes. Last season we sowed them a little early, they got spindly, and once they were planted at the garden a windstorm hit, destroying many of them. We’re trying to learn from our mistakes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We’re starting to plant!

Thanks once again to our friend Kirsten Akre, who runs three organic greenhouses for the Chicago Park District, Ginkgo has been able to get a headstart on seed-sowing this year. This was a great help for the 2009 season: we were able to take strong, happy plants to the garden once the danger of frost had passed (which in Chicago is, surprisingly, mid-May) instead of just beginning to sow seeds directly in the ground then. And, of course, despite having had a mild week, it was sleeting and snowing on our first Saturday in the greenhouse.

Nonetheless, we started by planting our ever-popular greens:
  • Georgia (southern) collards
  • Rhubarb swiss chard (red)
  • Red Russian kale
  • Dwarf Siberian kale
  • Dinosaur kale [not planted in 2009]
  • Winningstadt cabbage
  • Utah celery [not planted in 2009]

And we also planted some herbs:
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet basil (some labeled Genovese and some not)
  • Dark purple opal basil
  • Tarragon
  • Italian dark green parsley

Kirsten and her volunteers had already started trays and trays of seeds in anticipation of Kilbourn Park’s annual organic plant sale (May 15-16). It was very inspiring to see how well her plants were already doing.