Northwood Nutrition BLOG
Hi! My name is Korrin and I'm a Dietitian and self proclaimed foodie.
I love to cook all kinds of food. I love to work with all kinds of people.
On my blog, I strive to share positive, inspiring stories & nutrition information. In addition to some real life events mixed in. Welcome!
It's Friday! And the weather forecast calls for highs around 50 degrees here in Spokane for what seems like the first time in over four months? Spring may be finally settling in. I'm excited to experience my first spring in Spokane and learn all about creating a family garden here. Hooray!
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I started some seeds this week with my daughter. I didn't want to get starts going too early because I am limited on space and presently, I don't have the greatest set up, but I had the gardening itch and felt the need to do something in the soil. So while my son was napping, I took my daughter out to the sad looking greenhouse that we have on our property and rummaged through all of the left over supplies from the previous owners. We found plenty of plastic containers to use for the starts and some flats and we got to work!
After moving to Spokane, we had to restart our compost piles and for that reason we didn't have the greatest potting medium. But I recommend reading this MSU extension article for some great tips on creating the best soil for starting seeds. Once we have some nice worm compost from our worm bins, I will be adding that to the top layer of the starts to provide some additional organic matter and nutrients.
To help me plan out which seeds to start, I used this guide from Old Farmers Almanac. You can enter your location and click change to see a guide for entire year that details when to plant seeds, whether to plant them indoors or outside and also when to harvest. According to my location in Mead, Washington leeks, eggplant, and onions are great choices to get going in early March. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but I love to use leeks in soups/stews and as a more mild replacement for onion. I also wanted to jump start other nightshade varieties and growing culinary herbs and herbs for the chickens
To start, we have leeks, yellow pear tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, thai chili peppers and roma tomatoes as well as some parsley, cilantro and oregano. I found some old heirloom seeds in the green house for some of those varieties so who knows if they are viable. But I thought since I am getting started early that I would give it a try and if they don't sprout then I can always choose another variety. In the past I have usually purchased starts for my garden and on the west side of the state the winters are so mild that I would let some of the plants self sow for the next season. I have a feeling that isn't going to work in Spokane with the harsh winters and colder temps. Also, I think it's really important for families to have seeds and learn how to grow and save seeds for the following year. I find that this skill provides me with a sense of security. In the summer and fall, I don't rely on a grocery store to provide fresh produce and once we have a suitable greenhouse (cough husband cough) then our growing season will be even longer. :)
Now, the flats are living on my kitchen counter where I can keep a close eye out for any sprouts. My daughter loves to use a spray bottle to help me water and we have a large, clear plastic bag left over from postal deliveries that I have fitted over the top as a pseudo greenhouse to encourage the seeds to sprout. We will be starting some more herb and possibly lettuce seeds this weekend. Below is a picture of miners lettuce seeds in a left over herb jar with a little package of desiccant that I repurposed. This is my favorite way to store seeds because it keeps them nice and dry and then I can easily store it in the freezer to ensure viability.
Questions for comment: Have you started any seeds? What varieties are you most excited about? Are there any seeds that you have saved year after year? If you have grown food in Spokane before, what is a type of produce that you find to be particularly challenging to grow? What was your experience growing food as a kid?