Homestead Fever

Chances are, you’ve done a lot of walking or driving, just to get out of the house. And you’ve probably seen exceptionally nice gardens and yards along the way. And something else — veggies everywhere.

The South Sound is filled with new vegetable gardens — many raised beds are even popping up in front yards. Seed companies have had a hard time keeping up with vegetable seed orders, and many have sold out. We’ve heard that garden shops also are selling a lot of chickens, too. Gardening is the outdoor equivalent of making bread.

No worries! There isn’t a shortage of seed (or chicks or flour); there was just a temporary slowdown so companies could restock. They weren’t expecting everyone to be homebound and homesteading, after all, but here we are! Let’s get growing.

Summer Seed Sowing

Did you know bush beans can be planted until late July? Beets can be planted until August! You can direct-seed broccoli until mid-July. It might sound counterintuitive, but summer is the time to sow vegetable seeds for fall and winter vegetables. You can sow seeds of carrot, kale, and green onions. Even parsley seeds can be planted and harvested through next spring. Brussels sprouts take a little longer until harvesting, but if you like them, why not try? Watering is imperative, but it’s well worth the time it takes to have your own fresh vegetables into fall and winter. We’re lucky to be in a region that can grow a year-round vegetable garden.

Read ’n’ Seed: Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff

Read ’n’ Seed

Courtesy Shepard’s Garden Publishing

Both cooking and gardening have taken up a lot of our “free” time. With all of the vegetables to harvest, it’s always great to have some tried and true delicious ways to use them. Chances are, you bought some of Renee’s Seeds. She sells flower and vegetable seeds that nobody else sells. The cookbook, first published in 1993, has been updated and republished. It’s all about the vegetables you have been growing. A family favorite is Fire and Ice Tomato Salad, perfect for a barbecue. It’s a compact cookbook filled with great veggie recipes. Order it from reneesgarden.com | $14.95

Garden Podcasts

Garden podcasts have become welcome respites for gardeners who want to learn, or just be entertained while planting that veggie garden, of course. Here is a handful of good ones:

Collage by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

  • A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach. An interview show that touches on organic gardening and landscaping.
  • Cultivating Place by Jennifer Jewell. Conversations about natural history and the impulse to garden.
  • On the Ledge by Jane Perrone. All about indoor plants.
  • Let’s Argue About Plants by the editors of Fine Gardening. It’s a funny one.
  • In Defense of Plants with Doug Larson is dedicated to botany.
  • Gardener’s Corner is a podcast from Northern Ireland. They visit gardens and take calls. 
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