Free Seed Project

Anyone in the US that want to grow healthy, organic food for their family but can not afford to get started, can get a free starter kit from the incredible Free Seed Project https://www.robgreenfield.org/freeseedproject it is legit. There is a link to their GoFundMe page if you’d like to contribute to the project (I support this project.) There is 10 000 kit to start a complete beginner food garden available. I’ve been following their Youtube channel for a few years, and it is very inspiring!

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – Week 8

Welcome to a new Weekend Coffee Share. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? Hot chocolate? 

It is actually not very cold at all it is about 2C/36F at the moment, we had a high of 9C/48F a few days this week. It’s been absolutely beautiful. Some days were cloudy, but we did get a lot of sun as well. My face burned a little after snowboarding with the kids at work on Tuesday, even though I did use sun protection. Yesterday I noticed a few freckles as I was washing my face in the evening. Spring is definitely here in Dalarna, Sweden. What is the weather like in your area? 

Speaking of spring, my daughter and I planted the first veggie seeds for the season. I like to practice succession planting, so I do not plant all my seeds at the same time. 

Succession planting is the practice of seeding crops at intervals of 7 to 21 days in order to maintain a consistent supply of harvestable produce throughout the season.

Succession planting also involves planting a new crop after harvesting the first crop. The second or third crop can be the same as the prior, or different.

https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-news/succession-planting

Today we planted; bell-pepper, three varieties of tomatoes, two varieties of squash, kale, and basil. It feels great to get an early start on the garden. Only one night this week had freezing temperatures. The balcony/greenhouse is pretty warm now. Even though I am going to start all my seeds inside on my windowsill, it wont be long until I safely can take my little seedlings outside. Some of my neighbours are starting their seedlings on their balconies straight away. 

It has been a great week here so far; beautiful weather, snowboarding, work have been very productive and engaging and I even got a pay raise on my monthly salary (retroactive a few months so it was a fun payday yesterday.) How is your week? I hope you are enjoying a fabulous weekend 🙂

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – Week 7

Welcome to a new coffee share hosted by our gracious host Natalie. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? Hot chocolate? 

We’ve had a warm week and I think you know what that makes me think about..yes, you are right – GARDENING! There is still snow outside my window, but March is approaching fast and it’s soon time to start planting some seeds. This year I have a greenhouse/balcony and I will be able to start my container gardening much sooner than last year. I am visualising growing plenty of vegetables vertically. The balcony is 180 sq ft, and the glass walls are 8’10 high. I already have closer to 30 big, sturdy, black planting pots that I invested in last year. I have many seeds in my seed collection that I am planning on growing, but I also ordered two new varieties of tomato seeds today. 

This is the entrance to my balcony, from my living room. Now you have a visual of the area where I am planning my container garden this year.

I am trying to think about what vegetables we eat the most of in our family, and grow them. Tomato is the number one vegetable we eat. We eat the tomatoes warm right of the wine throughout the summer, we make pizza sauce, and I use it as a base in many soups and stews the whole year. It makes sense to grow a lot of tomatoes. Cucumber is another vegetable we eat. I like to have cucumber in salads, and on my sandwiches. My daughter loves pickles. 

I also use winter squash, zucchini and bell-pepper in my soups and stews, so it makes sense to have some of that as well. Celery is something we all enjoy to eat raw as a snack. I freeze the celery greens and use it in many dishes. I like using fresh herbs when I cook, and the herbs we use the most are basil, oregano, thyme, and cilantro they are must haves in the garden. I have a big sage plant that are surviving the winter out on the balcony right now, I like to make tea out of fresh sage. Tea is my main use for sage, I only rarely use it in food. 

The only plants in my container garden today (February 2021.) Sage plant to the left in the photo. The other two pots are fig trees.

I am planning on having a few big pots with the three sisters; corn, beans, and squash. I have never grown corn in pots, or in Sweden before, so that will be an experiment. My squash and beans did great in pots last year. I have two young fig trees in pots that I am going to have in front of the shortest wall at the balcony, that is the wall next to the door, and it has a window towards the living room. I think fig leaves are very beautiful to look at. I am visualising the tallest crops, that can grow vertically growing closest to the glass walls, having a net made out of burlap for extra support (doesn’t take a lot of space, eco friendly, sustainable and cheap.) 

I will have another row of pots inside them, with enough room for the sun to shine on all the plants, in this row I will place low growing/bushy plants. I might have the herbs in this row, and most likely some salad greens (I love kale.) One wall of the balcony is a plain wall, with a small window (towards my daughter’s room) high up, I am going to place some typ of furniture here, so that we can enjoy the space. 

My daughter really wants strawberries, and olive trees, we’ll see if there is room left..I’ll probably find some space for strawberries as they do great hanging as well, the olive trees… well, we’ll see about them. There are bushes that would do well in this space, and that I really would enjoy having, but I want to see how this turns out first. This country girl that is currently stuck in the city, is actually super excited about gardening this year 🙂 

Why don’t I get you a refill on your beverage, and then you’ll tell me about your plans for this spring! Do you have any gardening plans? Places you long to see? I hope you are enjoying a fabulous weekend 🙂

Love,

Maria