South Dakota is a climate of extremes. Very cold winters and very hot summers. If you’re anything like me, I prefer my garden experience to be comfortable, therefore, much of my outdoor gardening preparations is spent in the comfort of my home. Regardless of what your garden looks like, here are 5 ways to improve this year’s garden wherever you snuggle in!
Take inventory and eat your left-overs
What did you consume quickly this year and what bumper crops did you produce? I don’t need a garden journal to know I ran out of bell peppers in August. On the other hand, I have sufficient pumpkin to provide 4 Thanksgiving dinners. As you’re preparing tonight’s dinner, consider what keeps showing up on the grocery list and what is gathering freezer burn.
Watch a good garden movie
On my list of “to-watch” this week include:
- Chef’s Table – look inside the kitchens and minds of six international culinary stars in this Netflix original six-part docu-series. In first episode, Massimo Bottura explains how a recipe can be used for social justice after the Modena, Italy earthquake of 2012.
- Cooked– As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.
- Forks over Knives– examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
Attend a local seed swap or organize one
We all have unique rationale for the gardens we grow. Some are committed to healthy eating. Others find satisfaction in living off the land. Nothing is more natural than gathering those equally committed to your interests over a meal to discuss a common love.
Make your own seed-tape
Use this simple tutorial to involve young kids and amateur friends and family to help with garden prep. Toilet paper and corn starch/water allows you to perfectly space all your seeds. Ziplock prepared seed-tape and store in freezer until you’re ready.
Label garden stakes
My husband used a wood burning pen to transform scrap wood into labels that won’t fade with the rain or sun. A Cultivated Nest has some other clever ways to consider labeling your garden rows as well.