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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Spring Gardening Update

Greenhouse Just checking in about the seed starting calendar I put together earlier in the Spring. So far we're right on schedule. We're just about 7 weeks out from the last freeze date here in the Spokane area so everything is planted in the greenhouse except the Zucchini and summer squash. The picture to the left is what the greenhouse looks like at this point. If I cranked up the heat some more I could get things growing more briskly but I don't like to run the heater all the time. The barrels with water pictured to the left are full of water and are designed to absorb heat during the day and slowly release heat at night. Our greenhouse is the Costco sourced kit that sells for about $700.

The peas I planted in the garden about three weeks ago are now popping up as are the radishes. No sign of the parsnips or beets. It's going to get pretty cold later in the week so I may put some plastic over these sprouts overnight just in case.

I went to Northwest Seed & Pet last week and bought my seed potatoes. Legend has it that you're supposed to plant your seed potatoes on Good Friday. I mentioned that to a real potato farmer one time and he laughed and said, "Yea, That or when the soil reaches a temperature of 52 degrees." (I actually can't remember the exact temperature.) I think I'll stick with the Good Friday rule. I've said it many times but I recommend planting funky varieties of potatoes, like purple or fingerling or pink. There is nothing more discouraging than growing Yukon Gold or Russett type potatoes only to go to the grocery store and see them being sold for .50 cents a pound. We've still got about 50 lbs of potatoes left from last summer's harvest.

One of my special projects for this year is to grow native wildflowers from the seeds I gathered last summer. There is something really satisfying seeing them sprouting up in the Greenhouse. The wildflowers I'm growing from seed include Fireweed, Blanketflower, Lupine, Blue Flax, Hooker's Onion, Yarrow, Deer Vetch, Buckwheat, and Arrowleaf Balsamroot. Everything has popped up so far except for the Arrowleaf which I was told is notoriously hard to start from seeds gathered in the wild. I have a bunch of other native flowers I am starting from store bought seeds.

Richard Bohn, a local artist from the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden group stopped by Saturday to get some of the seeds I gathered to include in the wildflower border we're planting around the garden. Go here for an update on the garden and to for the whole scoop and to sign up to volunteer. Click through to read a nice poem Richard wrote about planting the seeds on Saturday.


A little seed for me to sow

A little earth to make it grow

A little hole, a little pat,

A little w...ish, and that is that,
A little sun, a little shower.

A little while -

And then, a flower!

The first wave of wildflowers fell to earth Saturday afternoon.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at