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April 20, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Pumpkin in a Cup

I bought a bunch of seeds online today, in preparation for the arrival of the greenhouse.  Though up to two feet of snow is predicted for many areas of Montana this weekend, I have my sights on spring.  I got a seed starter kit (a little splurge but easy to use) to get a head start on planting.  Starting seeds indoors is a good idea with certain plants, such as tomatoes. 

I ordered some heirloom vegetables.  Some tasty tomatoes and peppers and eggplants and lettuce and onions and peas and beans.  I got some regular ol’ pumpkins that my son will enjoy this fall (hopefully).  I’m also going to attempt watermelon and garlic.  I bought two huckleberry bushes to add to the exisiting wild huckleberry bush that we have. 

Commercially grown vegetables are usually of the type that make for really good shipping and storage.  If you’ve ever eaten a Red Delicious apple, you’ll know what I am talking about.  Pretty and shiny, they look like they ought to taste really good.  If you ask me, they’re the reason that children prefer fast food.  Bite into one, and you’ll think you’re eating wet styrofoam.  They’re nearly tasteless.  Thankfully many stores are catching on to this and stocking some other varieties – Pink Lady, for example.  However, these tend to sell for quite a bit more. 

Besides providing the masses with poor-tasting vegetables, commercial food growers have all but exterminated many of the unique foods once grown in America.  There are many factors that apply here that I have no interest in ranting about.  After all, why bitch about it when you can just grow your own?  So that is what I am doing.  Part of this experiment is also because I want my children to know where food comes from.  One of the grossest things in the world, to me, is when a child is asked where his carrot came from and he replies “the store.”  While technically and usually accurate, the carrot was somewhere BEFORE the store and that is the answer that all kids should know, if you ask me, which you didn’t.

 

Besides being a really good idea, heirloom gardening is also very popular worldwide.  People with means are starting to get sick of those squishy red apples, and also sick of the fact that many types of foods are disappearing or already extinct.  Check out the Ark.  That’s one way to preserve seeds.  Another way is to encourage gardening as a hobby, especially to kids.  Tell them where their food comes from.  When I was at Home Depot (notice I didn’t go to Lowe’s) I saw that they had some really cute planting kits for kiddos there.  Fun window projects, such as Pumpkin in a Cup. 

While searching for seeds, I came across this site, which had a great quote on it that I am going to borrow:

“The federal government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can’t eat it. We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as ‘progress’, doesn’t spread.”
~ Andy Rooney

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