We’ve got ambitious goals for this year’s garden, which means a lot of planning and organizing over the coming weeks. (Corey Bullock file)

We’ve got ambitious goals for this year’s garden, which means a lot of planning and organizing over the coming weeks. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm Life: The seeds of tomorrow

Time to plan for the growing season

It’s time to start planning your gardens and ordering your seeds, folks.

Last year there was a huge demand for seeds and quite a few BC and Canadian seed companies sold out by spring. Many people jumped on the bandwagon to grow their own food. Whether it was concerns of food shortages, or simply because people had more time on their hands, seeds were few and far between by May.

This year looks to be similar, so E and I have already ordered all of our seeds and planned out our garden. One of the companies we ordered from said it could take up to six weeks to receive our order, and they are in Ontario.

As Modern Farmer reported, there is no seed shortage at this time, but many seed companies are reporting issues and warning customers that a shortage may be coming. Johnny’s Seeds, for example, is only currently selling to commercial growers.

We’ve got ambitious goals for the 2021 growing season. We so enjoyed last year’s gardening season that we’ve decided to take things even more seriously this year. In fact, you might be seeing us at the local farmers’ markets if things go as planned.

We recently purchased a mini greenhouse and a few lights, so we’ve started growing micro greens. We set up a heater on a temperature gauge so it’s constantly balmy in there. This greenhouse will also be great for starting many of our seeds that will then be transplanted as soon as mother nature allows.

We’ve already processed two cuttings of micro greens (pak choy and pea shoots), and they are delicious. They grow so fast! About a week and a half turn around. It’s pretty awesome to be growing things when it’s -10 outside.

Last year, as many of you know, we grew most of our veggies in raised beds. We will keep those raised beds this year, mostly to utilize the hoop houses we built into them for the more tender plants. We plan on really expanding our operations though, so a lot of our planting will be done directly in the ground.

This means we will need to amend the soil in this new area, install more fencing, and a myriad of other things just to make sure that the space is suitable for growing. This is one of the most important steps to gardening, I’ve learned. Without a healthy and happy base, there’s really no point.

I’m really looking forward to when our seeds arrive and we can start getting our hands dirty. It’s going to be a lot of work, a part-time job truly, but I absolutely love every aspect of it. From these early planning stages, to planting seeds and watching things grow, down to the final harvest, I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced something so rewarding in my entire life.

This pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of so many of us. Perhaps all of us in one way or another. I can say with confidence that my garden is one thing that got me through 2020. And as the stress of this situation continues, I know that my garden is something I can lean into. I can put my energy into it and it will give back to me.

I think we can compare ourselves to the garden. Perhaps that’s why I feel so connected to it. We need sunlight, water, warmth, and care to continue to learn and grow. The yin and yang of the garden, with each aspect affecting another, is very similar to the yin and yang in our lives. Each organism, each tiny critter, the great forces of mother nature, all working together to live in harmony.

P.S. I want to reach out to you, dearest readers, for help. I am looking to purchase a precision garden seeder and some landscape fabric/weed barrier. I would rather buy used than new. If you or anyone you know has these coveted tools lying around, I will gladly purchase them from you. Send me an email!