Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Inspiration

I've greatly enjoyed reading a few new gardening books which my dad bought me earlier this week. They've given me some new inspiration and ideas to try.

The first one is Growing Chinese Vegetables by Geri Harrington. I like it because it gives detailed growing information on some non-traditional vegetables like bok choy, soybeans, luffa, water chestnuts, sesame and ginger. Also she's based in Connecticut so the growing information is similar enough. I've been inspired to plant a piece of ginger root in a pot. I hope it sprouts. I'm also trying to start some sesame seeds. I'm being cheap and trying to use the ones from my spice collection rather than order the seed. I'm giving it some time in wet paper towels under the grow lights to see if they sprout. The ginger is supposed to be given two weeks before you dig it up to check on it. I'll probably give the sesame seeds a week or two also.

The other book is one that I've read about on many other gardeners' blogs. It's Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest. I'm not yet finished with it but, I'm enjoying his stories and his clear ideas about how to extend your harvest. I'm excited by the different plants to try for wintering over, but I'm waiting to buy seeds because we don't have a cold-frame. I'm trying to convince my husband to use his wonderful carpentry skills to build a cold-frame that we could use this fall. The hard part would be clearing out space in the summer crops to have room to start the fall and winter ones. In the meantime, it has encouraged me to just go ahead and put some radish and pea seeds in the ground. We covered them with some floating row cover we got for free. Hopefully that will help the soil warm up and they will soon sprout.


Amanda said...

Hi Emily,
Since you have raised beds, you could get away with some freecycled windows as your cold frame - just something to keep in mind if the carpentry suggestion doesn't pan out! I *love* Four Season Harvest.

Cool idea about the ginger - I want to try that!

Dan said...

Good reads. I just finished Four-Season Harvest a few weeks ago, really informative book. The coldframe design he has in the book is a really good one. He just came out with a Four-Season Handbook this month as well.

The oriental veggie book looks interesting. I am growing bok choy this year which I really like but have not grown before & Tatsoi that I received in a seed trade.

Cheryl said...

I've got some ginger growing (slowly) right now. It was a store bought piece that started sprouting on its own. It's my first time too. Good luck with yours.

browneyes said...

it would be amazing if you could grow your own soy beans and then make fresh tofu from them! i've been eating fresh tofu frequently over here in China, and it's so much better than what you find in the states.

i'll also have to share some recipes with you so you can use those chinese vegetables well!