of sprouts, seedlings and shoots.

May 23, 2011

 This weekend we had our share of seed-ish things.  We started with a full day of seed planting at the Schmidt family garden.  First up were the peas and beans.  And with those came the need for some sort of climbing apparatis so Andy & I built a pea trellis from spruce branches (we have spruce trees ad nauseam here).  Last year our trellis succumbed to the weight and height of our ambitious peas and toppled over half way through the summer season.  We attempted to secure it with yarn (note, yarn does not retain any sturdiness it may have had [which isn’t much] upon getting wet), a random length of blue pex pipe left over from the previous winter’s frozen water pipe adventure, and a number of clamps from Andy’s wood shop.  This brilliant cluster of items looked like a 4-H project gone horribly wrong.  And, needless to say, our most creative effort failed and we ended up picking many a pea from a sprawling mess of green vines on the ground.  (I assure you, they still tasted FABULOUS).  So this year we set out with both guns blazing.  No tower of babble for this year’s peas, no sir.  Andy made stakes and we pounded those into the ground alongside the spruce poles and screwed them together.  We used an entire package of twine to tie it altogether…overkill perhaps but all  said and done, we now have a fine trellis that boasts mightiness. Bring it on sugar snap pea! Your gumption is no match for the brute strength of our trellis. 

the mighty pea trellis.

the mighty andy securing the mighty trellis.

We also managed to plant beans, arugula, spinach and lettuce in the garden.  All root vegetables to follow this week.  Our green house is already full of lovely green things and we anticipate a fine salad on our dinner plate within the week.  I can hardly wait!  We are planning to sell at the farmer’s market this summer along with our friends Corrie & Ben.  The things planted in the green house over a month ago are in full swing and will hopefully afford us some early produce to sell.  We are depending on Sparrow to be extremely cute to peak customer interest, luring them over to our booth from across the parking lot like a siren where we will then capitalize on their delirium and take their money.  They will walk away feeling immensely satisfied having given money to the parents of such an adorable creature and then they will realize they also have an armful of delightful veggies.  Everybody wins!

arugula basking in sunlight.

Our next seedling adventure was at Grand Portage Indian Reservation just up the shore.  The elementary students at Oshkiogimaag  had their annual Seedling Sale to raise money for their school.  Andy has been teaching environmental education in the classroom and as a part of this, spearheads the seedling sale.  Starting with plastic trays of dirt and packets of seeds donated from fabulous places like Seed Savers, he walks the kids through the entire process of seed to plant.  It has been a great success and the kids really get into it.   The lesson culminates with the sale, a Saturday morning fiasco complete with blueberry pancakes and bacon from the lodge, rambunctious kids anxious for customers (while simultaneously being very anxious for the sale be over…patience is not a virtue of any 12-year-old I know) and an obnoxious number of those terrible biting black flies northern Minnesota is so well-loved for.    The sale went well and everything left over will be planted for use by the Elderly Nutrition Program.  *I should note that the seedling sale is so well received in part because of the Community Garden Andy started 3 years ago.  We are pleased that the garden has expanded yet again and at the most recent meeting there were 12 new interested gardeners.  I plan to take a trip up there one of these (nice) days to get some pictures.*

doing the math.

 Andy is also very happy to announce that we have approximately 20 asparagus sprouts down the hill by the creek. He counts them everyday (do you think we are excited to eat fresh asparagus??). Asparagus is one of those plants which requires great amounts of patience and, when it comes to asparagus, Andy & I are much like the 12 year olds we worked with this weekend. Asparagus takes approximately 2 years to fully mature and sprout enough roots to offer a substantial crop. In other words it’s not ready to harvest until the second summer after a fall planting. This is our first summer and it is mighty hard to wait. I never thought that a vegetable could cause me to want time to pass more quickly, to be unsatisfied with the now and wish, desperately, for the future. Oh, spindly green shoot with crown so daintily waving, please hurry up.


 And, last but NOT least.  Our little seedling.  She was 8 weeks on Sunday and, I’m pleased to announce, celebrated by giving her mama and papa  a gift–a 6 hour stretch between feedings last night.  Nevermind that mama lay awake in bed for an hour before hand waiting for her to wake up.  Seriously annoying.  But thank you, little Sparrow–let’s have a repeat tonight.  Or maybe I should stretch my luck and ask for 6 1/2 hours this time.  or 7.  or 8. or 9–now I’m just being ridiculous.

Happy seedling.


2 Responses to “of sprouts, seedlings and shoots.”

  1. Rock Valley Livestock Co. said

    Dear Mason Jar Farm,
    I really like your win-win strategy for luring new customers with your young offspring. I have five reasonably adorable kittens but I am not actually their father. Do you think this marketing strategy could still work for me?

    Thank you,
    Rock Valley Livestock Co.

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