By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
May means garden season, and this year, amid predictions of food shortages, growing your own food might be a vital source of sustenance.
“I always feel a few pots of easy vegetables or a small garden should be a part of life for any family,” says Sandy Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm. “It’s so easy.”
Yet, many claim they can’t grow food, citing past failures as evidence.
We at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market want you to try again.
Burger Farm and Balet Flowers & Design are selling vegetable, fruit, and herb seedlings to help you start. Others such as Gomez Veggie Ville make it even easier with pre-planted culinary herb mixes in a pot.
Here are some suggestions of my own:
● If you love peas, snag a bag of seeds and plant them now, up against a wire fence or trellis. They’ll start producing pods around July and will flourish for about three weeks. Plant more peas in three-week intervals through mid-July to ensure an ongoing supply.
● Hardy root vegetables such as radishes, carrots, turnips, and beets also are easy to start by seed, though sometimes seedlings are available. Radishes and turnips grow fast and will be harvestable in four to six weeks. Beets and carrots take longer. Plant these vegetables several times, as well.
● Plant lettuce seedlings from Burger or Balet and start harvesting the outer leaves in about two weeks. Keep harvesting like this or wait for the plants to grow larger and then cut all the leaves at the base. They’ll grow back, but you also can keep planting lettuce from seed to ensure a steady crop.
● Burger and Balet also have kale, Swiss chard, pac choi, and other leafy greens seedlings. Plant and harvest the leaves when they are eight inches long. These “cut and come again” plants, produce through late fall.
● You also can get broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts seedlings now. Consider a second planting of broccoli and cabbage in late June.
● After June 1, start planting summer seedlings. These include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squashes, melons, and basil. They’ll begin producing fruit in several weeks and will continue until the fall frosts arrive.
This week’s recipe: Farmers’ Market Green Salad