Sunday, May 22, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Early May 2011

So, I’ve always wanted to see if I could sustain myself without a grocery store within 10 feet of my home.  I know it is impossible, I could never live far from a grocery store, but knowing that, doesn’t mean I can’t try, just this once, to grow some of my own food.  So, this is the summer to do it, before I am so old and decrepit, that the thought of bending down, to put a seed in the soil would break my back.  How difficult can it be?  Well, let me tell you, extremely difficult, if you weren’t taught all the particulars before embarking on this kind of adventure.  So, before I even start, I have to have all my excuses firmly in place.  My Father sold insurance, as did his Father, My Mother was a housewife, for the most part, but did grow some killer tomatoes, once.  Otherwise, she knew very little about gardening.  Her Father worked in a casino, in addition to being a soldier in WWI, but I digress. 

I’m more than half way through my life, and living where we have beautiful fertile soil and a decent sized lot, so it has to be now or never.  If I don’t at least try, another one of my life’s dreams will go unfulfilled.  I should have started this blog weeks ago, as I’ve already spent hours and hours reading pages and pages of books, seed descriptions, and particulars about the Puget Sound area of the Pacific Northwest.  The King County Extension Office Web Site is very helpful.  O.K.  I should be able to grow anything, basically, if you stick it in the ground here it grows; alright, already.  I still think it is important to understand what you are doing.  When I decided to do this I was definitely in the Unconsciously Incompetent group, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know and certainly didn’t imagine it to be so involved.  If I would have imagined it, I would have opted for some bushes, and weekly trips to the wonderful farmer’s markets; which we still may be doing.  I have moved slightly towards the Consciously Incompetent group with all this reading.  I am seriously jealous of the Unconsciously Competent Gardeners who don’t even realize what they know, they just do it, and successfully to boot.  I hope to become Consciously Competent someday.  Let’s see how close I get this summer. 

My fantastic husband has helped, he is much bigger and stronger than me so can pull out sod so much more efficiently.  We have mostly removed the sod from an area approximately 29 feet by 9 feet.  The entire garden is completely in shade from the neighbors house, on the right in the photo, in the morning and our house starts to shade the garden by 4 in the afternoon.  The front 10 feet get sun from late morning to 8pm or so.  I might already be screwed by selecting this site, as I said, I have no idea what I am doing. 


I ordered seeds from Territorial Seed Co in Oregon their web site is wonderful, with sowing, thinning, watering, fertilizing, Ph and other information about potential pests, diseases and problems for each so I printed those sheets out for each and have created a spread sheet to help me keep all this information handy as my brain is more like a sieve than a repository of information these days. 

I am also lucky to have a couple good gardening nurseries to get advice and products from.  The closest is Bellevue Nursery and another great one is Molbaks Nursery

My goal is to grow all the various plants without any chemicals and to use only organic products.  The seeds may not be organic as I am looking for hybrids that grow well here.  I can use all the help I can get.


  1. Peggy, I am so impressed with your effort. Of course you know I grew up on a farm, but my 'research' into the gardening I have done all of my life (and have out my back door as I write is)can be put into 4 words. "Plant, water, weed and pick". :) Makes me wonder how much more I could harvest if I actually researched some of this. But....all I ever saw my parents do and lucky for me, I overflow with vegtables every year (as long as the hail doesn't hit). Keep working, it is worth every minute. I love my garden! Kay

  2. 'm not sure about bigger and stronger, just a little thick headed. I'm looking forward to the rewards of your hard work. Lyle

  3. Kay is one of those 'Unconsciously Competent' and in more areas than just gardening. I imagine if you researched, it would just wreck it!