seedling update

tomato and parsley transplants, from dirt to dish

Tomatoes and parsley transplants started from seed only 7 weeks ago.

I know, I know.....I've been a lame ass blogger lately. Truth is, I've been spending more time toiling in the dirt than cookin' in the cucina. Since planting the first seedlings back in mid February, a lot has happened. The broccoli and cabbage had to be culled, as they grew too 'leggy' and were apparently destined to produce puny amounts of food- simply not worth the real estate available come planting time. Otherwise, it has so far been a smashing success (leeks, parsley, kale, fennel, eggplant and 4 varieties of tomatoes to date..... all thriving, with heaps more to follow). Keep in mind that I am not going this alone, but am operating under the careful watch of my fabulous gardening advisor, Sylvia Pendl (we have been sharing costs and will be dividing all transplants equally come planting time). These days, I am simply following ongoing instructions and am as surprised as anyone when witnessing each phase of this great mystery unfold.

Currently, most of the action is taking place in my little south facing sun room. What started as 3oo little seedlings taking up less than one square metre of surface area has exploded into a full blown nursery. Since mid March, I have been gradually transplanting the various seedlings, each into their own 4" round pot, and not always alone. Sometimes Sylvia drops by to inspect their progress and also to partake in the transplanting. Now the sun room is so packed with pots, I've been outfitting makeshift tables from old doors and pieces of dry wall propped up on cinder blocks and improvising 'side tables' by turning wooden crates on their sides. I'm telling you- it's a jungle in there.

At the same time all of this has been happening, I have also been slowly chipping away at prepping what will soon become the next home for this village of transplants. I am fortunate enough to have a juicy, south facing plot to work with (5 feet deep x 30 feet long), though it has required a Herculean effort of weeding and aerating. I had foolishly estimated this task to take an afternoon or two. Not! I've been chipping away at it for well over a week now, despite the generous assistance I received from a couple of pals. After hauling over one hundred pounds of clumpy weeds, vines and gnarly root systems to the back alley compost, the plot is finally ready for the 3 raised beds plus 4 cubic yards of amending soil that shall make up the next phase.

Stay tuned for more dirty talk and heavy lifting.

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