Saturday, March 8, 2014

We're Planting in a Few Days!

Here is the deal. For all of you out there new to gardening—and all of you people with thumbs so green it could blind a vegan—we're going to grow some food together. We're starting simple with one of my favorite indoor gardening buddies: the snap pea. All you need to do to take part in the challenge is sign up. Once you sign up, you are making a promise to all of the CAF community that you will indeed go out and get some potting soil, a pot, and an agricultural light bulb for one of those old desk lamps you have lying around and grow some food. We're all getting our hands dirty together. And selfishly, I want to learn more about indoor gardening and get some recipes from you fine folks when our peas are hanging heavy on the vine. I think it'll be a fun, cheap, and interesting way to tell winter to go to hell.

We're choosing peas because they thrive in cooler climates (like our winter houses), crawl up windowsills, bloom pretty white flowers, and taste amazing. Unlike other peas - snap peas are delicious eaten whole, pod and all. Now, regardless of all the people out there who will poo poo our early planting - we're going to do it anyway. What's the worse that can happen? Some of ours won't grow and then the rest of us will learn why. But some of us may get to eat something from our own hands for the first time, and share it here. And I think that will be pretty cool. Maybe even inspire them to do it again in May with tomatoes or onions? Success breeds success, right?

We're going to stick all of our seeds into our pots on the same day, March 11th. That gives you 2 weeks to buy, order, or find the few items you need to participate. Really you just need seeds, dirt, a pot and a bulb. I plan on switching out the bulb in my desk lamp with a grow bulb and that's as technical as I'm going to get. A trip to the hardware store and a few dollars should cover this for you.

So that's the plan. Together we'll watch delicious food grow right in our own apartments and kitchen windows. Come March/April we'll swap stir fry and soup recipes, snap photos of our dishes and plants, and have a big time. So what do you say future pea farmers? Eh?

So here's how you sign up:
Post a comment saying you'll do it
Buy some organic sugar snap pea seeds
Buy, borrow, or find some container garden potting soil
Get a grow-bulb if you don't have great indoor light


We'll be soaking our seeds the night before we plant them, and like I said, they'll go under our grow lights/ windows on the 11th. The "challenge" of all this is simple. It is just to take some green action in your life. To take the first steps to a little more self-reliance. If you're already a homesteader or pro gardener, stick around and do it anyway. Teach us new kids how to do it up proper. Show us where to buy seeds, how deep to plant them, all that. I plan on posting updates to the challenge and giving a "snap pea primer" the weekend of the 11th so we're all on the same page.

I don't care where you live, or where you keep your peas, just plant them. Let them rise up cubicles and catering businesses alike. But together we'll figure out peas, and have one garden vegetable under our belts by the time the ground outside is thawed enough to plant more.

So what's the verdict guys? Y'all want to plant something?

104 Comments:

Blogger SC Brown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger SC Brown said...

Allright, the librarians in Oklahoma are in. Off to buy pea seeds and potting soil. :)

February 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Summer Jeanette said...

IM IN!

February 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Summer Jeanette said...

IM IN!

February 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I'm a little ahead of you as I planted peas yesterday. And outside in a pot on my southern exposure on my patio. One small benefit of living in the south.

February 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

This is great! More of you guys sign up! Lets PLANT!!!!

February 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

Count me in.

February 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger VTGrown said...

I'm in... in frozen NH. Can't wait to see green!

February 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Miriam Romais said...

This is only ONE of the things I'm going to do to tell winter to go to hell. I'M IN!!

February 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM  
OpenID catijoefarm said...

Okay, I'll give it a shot. I usually by my plants already started but I got my Seed Savers Exchange catalog and my mouth was just about watering looking at all that beautiful, exotic, colorful produce.

February 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger crb said...

Well, since I live in the Arizona desert, my snap peas went into the ground outside the first week of January. I've already got the AC cranking in here, so maybe it would be cool enough indoors... Still, I'm excited to see how the rest of the (cooler) world does it. And feel free to send some of your chill my way!!!

February 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger marymurphynelson said...

I'm in but I am going to plant outside as I am in Southern California. How will the snap peas like our drought I wonder.

February 25, 2014 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Count me in. This is just the kick start I need to get growing for 2014.

February 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger farm foreman said...

Sure, why not? It's A WHOLE DEGREE ABOVE ZERO here in St. Paul, MN and we could use something green and fresh.

February 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Fun idea, I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger 3 Dogs Barking Farms said...

count me in its time to get planting!

February 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Paradise Found Farmgirl said...

From what I understand a simple CFL bulb is sufficient to grow plants and you don't need a special grow bulb. Regular CFL's produce a full spectrum of light that the plants require, while the old style incandescent bulbs do not.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5673839_grow-plants-cfl-lights.html

Heather

February 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Deltaville Jamie said...

I'm in! Might plant regular peas too since my 7 year old will eat them straight from the pod (ketchup is the only other vegetable like thing he will willingly consume)

February 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Our snap peas are flowering on the vine right now, but I'll be happy to plant more on March 11th! This'll be fun!

February 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Great idea, I'm in! I'll also be planting outside since I'm in the South.

February 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I.AM.COMMITTING. :)

February 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Tanya Taylor said...

I'm in! For for me and the kids. :)

February 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

I'm in

February 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 25, 2014 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Andi said...

God's Whisper Farm is in . . . but we'll probably do ours outside. VA weather. :)

February 25, 2014 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Dominique Bjorlin said...

I gotta do this! We just moved the office so I have the perfect place! Plus, the kids are going to love it! I think I will even have them do a grow journal too!

February 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Pam! said...

I'm in! ... and so is my homeschool co-op. What a fun way to kick off our gardening season, indoors and out!

February 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Bitha said...

I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Peas on my birthday! :)

February 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Desiree Sayers said...

South Carolina here - -I'm in. I'll order from Annies Heirlooms Friday !!! LOVE THIS

February 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

Yeah, I'll do it! I've got the perfect windowsill for peas, and a socket right close by. Do you have a blog badge us bloggers could use if we wanted to document it? I know I would!

-Autumn

February 25, 2014 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I will try. I am just going to use natural light from the window. My house is electricity challenged right now. I am also going to start some herbs and other veggies inside.

February 25, 2014 at 2:21 PM  
OpenID crowdedacre said...

The Crowded Acre is game up at 8000' in Colorado!

February 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger M. Birt said...

Aw, shiz. I just dropped some heirloom pea in my seed starting planter already. Like, just yesterday.

February 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Dianna Maxwell said...

Count me in! I'm expecting my order from Baker Creek Seeds to come in tomorrow, and already have the dirt and cups. Can't wait!

February 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

We are in! We've got our seeds and we'll be planting along side everyone else!!

February 25, 2014 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Abrah Griggs said...

I'm in! The tulips I've been forcing should be done by then so I will need something new and growing (northern VT... so it's gonna be a while before there is any outside excitement).

February 25, 2014 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Heather Hamilton said...

Doin' it!

February 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I'm in. It might be too warm for mine to go in yet but who knows, they might just love that.
I'm in Australia and grow my peas over winter outside in the garden.

February 25, 2014 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kate Price said...

I'm in. I teach botany so I am lucky enough to have peas growing year round inside. Will be starting some soon here in North Carolina but will also be joiningnthis for a little later harvest!

February 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Kevin and Beth said...

I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger M. Pearl said...

There might be 3 ft of snow on the ground but sure I'm in. I've been waiting for spring....

February 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Yes, I will join y'all in your
pea-lympics! This will be fun! I will do them under a grow light at home, and at my office desk. Then I can compare the two.

February 25, 2014 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Francesca said...

I'm in, but I'll just plant regular peas because one, I already have some seeds, and two, I like the taste better. For anyone that's curious I'll be planting Maestro peas. Today I found the first egg of spring and today I'll take some pots and plant peas. After all, it's actually gotten above freezing these past few mornings!

February 25, 2014 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

I wonder how weird it would be if I tried to grow them on my desk at work. I think I'll put some there and some by a window at home. We'll see what happens!

February 25, 2014 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm in!

February 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

My kindergarten class would love to join in. We will be planting Lincoln Peas here in North Carolina.

February 25, 2014 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

My kindergarten class would love to join in. We will be planting Lincoln Peas here in North Carolina.

February 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Kristie said...

I'm in

February 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Sonja said...

I'm in! Although, I'll be a bit ahead of you all. My daughter's science fair project just wrapped up and, lucky me, I am reaping the benefits. This afternoon I transplanted her seedlings into a big pot outside... The rest of them are sitting inside my garden shed waiting for their turn.

P.S. this is off-topic..... but, just got my first brooder box all set up....my first ever chicks are coming Friday! So excited!

February 25, 2014 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Kara Backlund said...

Four Winds Farm is in! If I don't find a packet of snap peas lying around, I'll plant some Sutton's Harbinger from SSE and just pick them young. Zero degrees and icy here in Iowa...feels like walking on broken glass.

February 25, 2014 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Kara Backlund said...

Four Winds Farm is in! If I don't find a packet of snap peas lying around, I'll plant some Sutton's Harbinger from SSE and just pick them young. Zero degrees and icy here in Iowa...feels like walking on broken glass.

February 25, 2014 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Pilgrim Soul said...

I'm in! My 4 year old is going to love this! :)

February 25, 2014 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Mary Wilson said...

I'm in! I'm going to try to get some going outside -- a titch early in the PNW but I might get away with it!

February 25, 2014 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Love this idea! I'm in Washington state and usually plant outside on st pattys day, but will do some in and some out to join in the festivities!

February 26, 2014 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger emcr1229 said...

I'm in on Long Island

February 26, 2014 at 3:35 AM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

I'm in! My seed order arrived yesterday.

Here are a couple of tips. First, you don't have to put the pot under light until the seeds sprout. Pea seeds are buried and don't need light to germinate. That gives you about a week extra to get a light.

Second, if you don't want to deal with staking you can choose a variety with short vines and let them trail over the pot.

February 26, 2014 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Valery said...

I'm in! Starting my tomatoes and peppers this weekend for my spring garden, but jonesing for some fresh veggies!

February 26, 2014 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Katlyn said...

I'm so ready for spring, my mom and I have decided to do the peas, but we're also going to start some lettuce and some herbs! We won't be able to plant anything outside in the garden until late May. We're in northern WI, we have a lot of winter left yet.

February 26, 2014 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Katlyn said...

I'm so ready for spring, my mom and I have decided to do the peas, but we're also going to start some lettuce and some herbs! We won't be able to plant anything outside in the garden until late May. We're in northern WI, we have a lot of winter left yet.

February 26, 2014 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger big dog mom said...

I'm in!

February 26, 2014 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger big dog mom said...

I'm in!

February 26, 2014 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I'm in!

February 26, 2014 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I'm in!

February 26, 2014 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I'm in :)

February 26, 2014 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I'm in! Sounds like a great homeschooling project for my kiddos. My 3 year old daughter is always talking about all the veggies she is gonna grow in her garden. :)

February 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger wisegoat acres said...

I already planted three flats of peas last weekend, but I'll plant some more on the 11th. Count me in.

February 26, 2014 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger T said...

Heck yeah! I did this the first year you had your snap pea challenge.

February 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger By Candlelight Farm said...

I'll do it! What fun!!!

February 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Sammy Q said...

Count me in as well! I may live in a tiny studio apartment in NYC (Lets be real it's just a room posing as a "studio") but I'm sure my pup and I can find room to spare for some sugar snap peas!

February 26, 2014 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Sammy Q said...

Count me in as well! I may live in a tiny studio apartment in NYC (Lets be real it's just a room posing as a "studio") but I'm sure my pup and I can find room to spare for some sugar snap peas!

February 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Count me in! The winter is really dragging on here in NH

February 26, 2014 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Cathy Miller said...

I'm in. I planted my sugar snaps under the grow kites in the basement. Can't wait to see those little sprouts. So much hope in a seed!

February 27, 2014 at 7:55 AM  
OpenID ccm989 said...

I'm in! Planted my sugar snaps last night. Need some hope during these 13 degree days.

February 27, 2014 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Alright! I am in. I have a brown thumb that kills everything but I will try my hardest to get these snap peas to grow.

February 27, 2014 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Amy Lou said...

This is awesome. I'm getting the seeds today. I'm in!

February 27, 2014 at 1:20 PM  
OpenID bysarah said...

I'm in!

February 27, 2014 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger gmar10 said...

Sounds like fun. Ill give it a go

February 27, 2014 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger gmar10 said...

Sounds like fun. Ill give it a go

February 27, 2014 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Angela LaMunyon said...

I'm in! (as is my 2.5 yo son :)

February 27, 2014 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

One more indoor grower signing up from cold and snowy Town Of Wales, NY.

Has been great to eat last summers harvest throughout the winter, canned beets, pickles and peppers, and the blanched kale and chard from the freezer, dried herbs, homemade pasta sauce and stock, but the thought of something homegrown and fresh early in the season is very exciting.

On a different topic, just did a group email to about 50 people letting them know about an open day with visits to the lambing barn at a friends farm later in March, and also added links to your 'first year' video, and the new book trailer, asked the recipients to forward both to other people they knew, and post on Facebook etc.

Final thing that may be of interest, to anyone with National Geographic Wild Channel, there is a new fly on the wall series starting at 10pm this Saturday, March 1st called 'Shear Madness' filmed at Namaste Farm in California which has sheep and goats with award winning fleeces, the farmer Natalie works as a shearer, and from the trailer I've seen looks like the series will feature many different aspects of life on a farm.

February 28, 2014 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Denise @ Thistleberry Patch said...

Count me in. I started some tomato & pepper seeds the other day just to remind myself that warm temps will return eventually.

February 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger WoodsForestHome said...

Signing up...although it's going to be hard to wait until March 11th!

Lara

March 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

Woops, I guess I need to comment here too, I'm in. I'll try to grow some peas.

March 1, 2014 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger stephanie adams said...

Jenna, I'm in! I'm growin' some peas!

March 6, 2014 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger cacapon_mom said...

I'm in.

March 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Got antsy this week and planted a bunch in start pots outside - getting into the 50's here in PNW which has ushered out many gardeners into winter's remnants. Using last year's seed but new innoculant. I'll squeeze some onto the crowded windowsill too on the 11th to be officially in the game. Could put seed in ground here now but always birds of ? steal them before they sprout.

March 8, 2014 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Becky H said...

I'll participate by starting some tomatoes and peppers Monday, I think I'll be getting some peas at a seed swap next Saturday so I'll be a bit behind the group.

March 8, 2014 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm in! Just need to pick up some starting soil tomorrow.

March 9, 2014 at 12:36 AM  
OpenID sheepyhollow said...

I'm in! I'm desperate for green here in frozen Michigan :)

March 9, 2014 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Jenna,
I'm wit you on this one. I need to get the supplies before school tomorrow. Maybe I will do this with my 3rd grade students. I live in North Florida so hopefully we will have a good result. Yahoo! Love your blog!!

March 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Yahoo ! Something I can actually do and not fail! Just for fun, right? I need to do more stuff for fun so I'm excited to participate. Thank you Jenna for your wonderful blog. I have been following it for a couple of years now and it is so inspiring. At 55 years old you make me feel like a youngster again!

March 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I'm direct sowing sugar snap peads in the raised bed in late March, even if I have to shovel the snow out of the way to do it. Does that count for the challenge? :)

March 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Mary Wilson said...

I'm in! Planting some outside, and some in.

March 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

I tried to sign up before but I don't think my comment went through. I'm in! :)

March 9, 2014 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Diane in VT said...

Count me in!

March 9, 2014 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Count me in.

March 10, 2014 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

We are in too! My 10 year old just began a botany block and with the thought of yet MORE snow coming, I can't resist!

March 10, 2014 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

We are in! My 10 year old is learning botany and the thought of yet MORE snow coming....I can't resist!

March 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Tracey Hancock said...

I'm in! Just bought a packet of organic Cascadian snap peas and some container soil. Grow light coming tonight.

March 10, 2014 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Tracey Hancock said...

I'm in! Just got a package of organic Cascadian snap peas and a bag of container soil. Grow light coming tonight.

March 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Susan Mrenna said...

I'm in! Just by coincidence I bought snap peas and set them to soak last night. I only let them soak an hour or so, then put them on a damp paper towel on a plate in a baggie on top of the refrigerator overnight. I got a little ambitious and have 6 dishpans of potting mix and 200 snap peas planted.

March 11, 2014 at 5:52 PM  

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