By Elizabeth Malone
Gardening is a family tradition I always wanted to keep alive so this summer I decide to document the progress of our garden and hope that it might inspire someone to start a family garden too.
Since it is a family ‘project’ my parents and I made group decisions on what to grow and some compromises had to be made. My mom wanted every species of tomato, my dad wanted every degree of temperature for peppers and I wanted an abundance of herbs and a lot of lettuce. Then came the next step of what to start from seeds and what to purchase as transplants. We decided to start almost all from seeds and purchased our seeds from Seed Savers Exchange . We knew that they also offered most of their tomato and pepper seeds as transplants so we had a back-up plan (always necessary when doing a garden).
We knew we wanted to do an organic garden and that it would not be an easy feat. We found Olsen’s Discount Nursery up island that had a very knowledgeable staff on growing organic and they helped us even out our soil as our test showed some levels to high and others to low.
Once we had our organic soil and fertilizers we started our seeds in a starter tray and when the seeds got bigger we thinned them and transferred to larger pots. When we transferred the plants we also started a whole new set of seeds so we could have crops throughout the season!
Once the last frost had passed we rototilled all the fertilizer into our existing soil so it could settle and ‘cook’ before planting our seedlings and plants.
Once tarped all of the natural heat would bake the dirt and prepare it for our herbs and vegetables and be ready for a few fresh herb salads.
Stay posted for Seasoned Fork Chef’s next recipes using items from the garden: Lebanese-style Fattoush salad with garden herbs and Tomato-tatin, a savory upside-down tomato pie, perfect for lunch or dinner.