Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Let the planting begin!

It has been a long, cold and snowy winter so far. The mini-greenhouses are still producing lettuce, cabbage and kale and the carrots are buried under a foot of snow, protected by their row covers on hoop frames. Most of the seeds that I ordered have already arrived and it is just about time to start the tomato, pepper and other seedlings.

This year I wanted only organic (non-hybrid) and heirloom seeds because I am planning on saving seeds for future seasons. I purchased seeds from Johnny's, Seeds of Change and Bountiful Gardens and ended up getting several varieties of heirloom seeds that have come from generations of farmers, saved by Seed Savers Exchange to preserve their legacy. I am also making the shift to biodynamic gardening - recognizing the soil and the garden as living organisms and growing in a way that replenishes the soils nutrients instead of depleting them. There are a couple great books available, How to Grow More Vegetables and The Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm & Garden Log Book by John Jeavons of Ecology Action, that discuss the Grow Biointensive method, a sustainable farming and gardening program.

Another project I have been working on is to create a record keeping system. One of my goals is to someday operate a small organic farm and, like most gardeners, I have always struggled to find a system of record keeping that works well for me. I wanted to have a place to store all the useful information I have collected over the years and be able to add to it and access it easily. I have tried simple composition books, loose leaf notebooks,  and garden planner software, but they all seems to have their short-comings.  Over the winter I have developed a database where I can keep all my information, record and keep data for the seeds I purchased, the suppliers, the information on germination and harvesting, crop planting dates, germination temperates, maturity dates, and harvest (yield) records. I have all my information in one place and can easily create and print reports if needed. This will be my first season using (an most likely modifying) my database so it will be interesting to see how well it works.