the grow project: april update

Hello Light-Loving Growing Enthusiasts! 

I come bearing exciting updates about The Grow Project! We're making progress now that the planters have arrived and I've picked up most of the seeds for the items I want to grow and I can't wait to prepare the soil and get planting over the next few weeks. 

...getting ready to plant with these open-pollinated, non-gmo, organic seeds from Harmonic Herbs and blackboard garden labels

Ok, so let's talk about what I've accomplished so far and let's start with the planters. Living inner-city, I don't have an overly huge backyard. It's perfectly charming and wonderful in its own right however, it just simply does not have the space to accommodate the garden of my dreams without forsaking the beauty and shelter of mature trees an overhaul of the pre-existing landscaping. But, just because the garden of my dreams (think Meryl Streep's garden in "It's Complicated") isn't available to me right won't stop the enthusiastic little gardener inside of me from nurturing my very own harvest. I am determined to #Create a thriving little garden patch with what I have ("start where you are", right Linda? That one's for you, if you're reading!) and I'm happy to think outside the box to do it. These planters are a brilliant alternative for us urbanites looking to give our green thumbs a work out. I chose these Leisure Season Raised Planter Boxes from Home Depot. They are available online only-- I don't always love ordering online (especially for bigger items) however, these arrived pretty promptly, right to my doorstep within five days. Assembly was required but relatively easy; my wonderfully helpful boyfriend/ "We-Nest" resident handy-man was able to put them together in under 2 hours and that was while multitasking/ watching the Masters. The planters are lightweight, so really easy to move and position with help or on your own. For other options, you may want to consider these beautiful planter options from Williams Sonoma, Earth Easy and Costco. If you've got the space, you might consider a backyard greenhouse like these sold by Backyard Greenhouses.

For aesthetic purposes, I may stain the planters to match the rest of the wood pieces in our yard but it's great to know that I don't have to as the wood used for the planters is harvested from the Cypress tree family and is naturally decay and pest resistant as Cedar. I've placed my planters on my lower patio, where they will get the majority of the mid-day sun but are also somewhat sheltered from the wind. 

...Leisure Season raised planter boxes, in position and ready for The Grow Project!!

For the seeds, my list of requirements are simple. I want organic, non-gmo, open-pollinated and sourced locally within Alberta (#SupportLocal). For most of the herbs I will plant, as well as the carrots, arugula and kale I chose Harmonic Herbs (available in Calgary at Community Natural Foods). What attracted me to this company specifically was their "Safe Seed Pledge": 

"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. 

The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. 

More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."

Yes! Yes! Yes! You go, Harmonic Seeds. #OfficalHarmonicSeedCheerleader 

I had to order the rest of my seeds (for the beets, tomatoes and peas) online, as these items were sold out at Community. Hot commodities, these little seeds are!! 

I hope you're all as excited as I am for The Grow Project to be taking shape! Stay tuned as I plan the garden layout, go shopping for gardening tools, prepare the dirt for the planter boxes, and of course, start planting! 

With Love & Light, 

.cjd