Sunday, February 1, 2009


So 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 all going to grow some food together. We're starting simple, humble, 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. The point of this is to get everyone out there who reads about me doing this stuff also doing it. No more passive voices or living vicariously son, we're all getting our hands dirty together. And selfishly, I want to learn more about indoor gardening and get some sick recipes from you kids 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 can be 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. However, 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?

We're going to stick all of our seeds into our pots on the same day, February 15th. That gives you two 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 over my kitchen table 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
Order some organic sugar snap pea seeds online
Buy, borrow, or find some container garden potting soil
Get a grow-bulb if you don't have great light indoors

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 15th. 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 15th so we're all on the same page, but I'm not a professional - I'm a chick with some raised beds and an open mind.

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?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm game i'll be ready on the 15th.what the heck i'll give it a try! tracy

February 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...


February 1, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

P.S. My goal is to get 45 snap peas potted across America. 43 to go!

February 1, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm in!! Awesome -- and fun! -- idea, Jenna. :)

February 1, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger yarnaholic said...

I have a black thumb... but I'll give it a go.

February 1, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

count me in.


February 1, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll try and plant some at work too,if i can get away with it. it will be fun people asking what i,m doing. i'll let you know how that one turns out. tracy

February 1, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

40 more! let's do this thang.

February 1, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for little blooms climbing up my window! The perfect way to send winter off.

February 1, 2009 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm in! I was planning to plant some out in my garden (it's time for that here), but the seeds were backordered at the place I tried to order them. This will motivate me to find another source!

February 1, 2009 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a black thumb, and I've killed mint, but I'll try snap peas!

February 1, 2009 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Oh heck, count me in...

February 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. I'm seriously needing to grow something anyway. I'm tired of snow!

February 1, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. Winter can shove it.

February 1, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Melonie said...

Count me in. I need to get the garden in anywho - thanks for the kick in the rear. And look, that takes the challenge international too. heh heh (Or you can count me from Washington - that's where I absentee vote from. Or California (ew) - that's where our mail heads to us from. If you need more states lemme know - I'll tell you all the ones I've lived in. Or would that be fudging? *chuckle*)

February 1, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I love this! yes-- there will be snap peas growing in Virginia! (by my count, that's only 32 more to go...)

February 1, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

32, we can lick this. It's in the bag, right?


Guys, I am so excited. We will confuse the hell out of the people at for our random snappea orders.

February 1, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

How about 45 across America and one in Canada? Please?

February 1, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

canada and japan are welcome, encouraged even!

thanks guys!

February 1, 2009 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

i have a brown thumb but i'm up for the challenge.

February 1, 2009 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

Well I am kinda on a different time line. It is time here in N TX to plant snap peas outside. So my timing will be off a little. I am there with you though.

February 1, 2009 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger spotted dog farm said...

Count me in! I was just planning a garden anyway and will probably start some other stuff too. It will be fun to do this as a group!

February 1, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will try although I am telling you I have no luck planting things indoors. My house is a dark cave.

February 1, 2009 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger girlandcat said...

This is a great idea to bring all the lurkers (like myself) out to get involved. I will get some snap peas and some other stuff growing here in NYC. I didn't have much luck with apartment gardening last year hopefully things will work out better this time.

February 2, 2009 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger Ang said...

I'm in. This will be fun. I'm planting them at the office--oh yeh.

February 2, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clarksville, NY is in...have the Sugar Sprint peas from Johnny's Selected Seeds already...enough to start some in the greenhouse and a few in the house under the lights...

February 2, 2009 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

We're in!

(Although I'll have to move the spinach... LOL)

February 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Ava Apple said...

You can count Vashon Island, WA in! How many does that make? Too lazy to count!

February 2, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we'll give it a college try in nc!

February 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Jenna, I'm up for this in NH, will let you know how it goes! I say winter can lump it for sure, all we New Englanders know it's been a tough one so far, and I'm for growing a little summer reminder. I have great success with highmowing seeds as well, I'll be using a few from last season's leftovers. Can't wait to see everyone's pictures. By the way, have you read Food Matters yet? Just got it at the library, am a bit into it and it's good. A nice fireplace with a glass of wine and cheese read. ~Vonnie, NH

February 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in, too, from Cleveland, OH... Can't wait to start :)

February 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in, upstate NY. 6 more weeks of winter!

February 2, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm in too, but I'm with sweethearts mom - I'm in Texas, and mine will be going outside. Might be going in a week earlier, too. I hope that's okay! It's like spring here now, and it will be hot before we know it.

February 2, 2009 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've never used growing lights, being in Texas our season starts sooner. So I'm definitely up to this challenge.


February 2, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. I've had enough snow in eastern Washington and I'm itching to plant something!

February 2, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm in love peas

February 2, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll give it a go. I love peas!

February 2, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm in from Nanaimo BC. Canada

February 2, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a sunny windowsill in my office that is crying out for peas.

What a great idea!

I've convinced the guy I share an office with that he needs to grow peas too - do we count as 1 or 2 for your list?

February 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'll give it a go - peas weren't originally on my "to grow" list, but my son loves them, and I think he'll have fun watching and helping. We're in Ohio, too (Gambier).

February 2, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll play. we're putting the snap peas in seedling pots this Friday, though, along with onions, radishes, lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, daikon, and all the brassica, for transplant into the yard by the end of February (i live in a place where peas die a horrible scorched death if they get in any later than Feb). do i still count? :)

February 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. Love your blog. From the Pacific Northwest -- I am in for the Snap Pea Challenge.

Finding your challenge is the perfect remedy to Punxsutawney Phil's six more weeks of winter. Bah to that. We'll grow peas!

February 2, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Kim in Vermont said...

I'm in! Kim from Bennington

February 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in on the challenge!

February 2, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to ask if you knew about this campaign:
Elsie, again

February 2, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Ya know ya got me! North Idaho will have at least one house with snap peas on the window sill.

February 2, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm up for some snow pea planting - my hubby loves them so it will be a special treat for him!
Wendy A
in PA

February 2, 2009 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

Count me in! I live in phoenix so i might be off from you guys but it will be fun! i am excited!

February 2, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger C said...

I'm in too! SOunds fun.

February 2, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger RayMan said...

I'm in too. But, that means that I will have to plant them again since it's nearly too late here in FLA. Also. Jenna -- is there an E-Mail address that I can send a picture with your book in it?

February 3, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

February 3, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll do it too, especially since i usually start my peas outside and don't usually get to harvest them until july!


February 3, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Darx said...

Another Ohioan signing up for the challenge. I have left all the growing up to my SO up until now, but I really think it would be good to get more involved, so okay, I will try it. He says we have some pea seeds already in hand. I would love to know more about these agricultural light bulbs of which you speak.

February 3, 2009 at 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to do it! Do you think a college dorm room window is enough?

February 3, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

I'm SO in! I was just put on bed rest and keep staring out the window from my couch to see the garden that will not be planted this year. This is a great idea to block that view and get my hands in the dirt. THANKS!!

February 3, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay ... signed up a few days ago, but got my seeds, window box, and a light. I threw in some radishes for good measure.
And the light was on sale too.

February 3, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm game. I live in Atlanta, Georgia in suburbia with a small garden patch in my backyard. I may end up transplanting my sprouts outside as March is good pea growing weather around here.
Good idea -- cyber pea vines connecting each one of us.

February 3, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

very cool guys. I need to buy a new bulb, and potting soil too - but i have seeds ready and waiting. This will be a hoot. i'll write up more the friday before, so people still have the weekend. anyone know what the count is now? did we hit 45?

February 3, 2009 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Horticulture Prostitute said...

Love it! I'm in... built some of your beer can/soda bottle green houses this weekend so I'm ready, set to go.
Thanks for the early inspiration. Winter really can go to hell in my opinion.

February 4, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so in! Just bought my stuff today. It's going to be hard to wait until the 15th! Does anyone know...will a regular compact florescent bulb do the trick?

February 4, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I'm in, too! Just ordered the seeds today, I hope they come in time. Now all I've got to do is figure out how to keep the cat away from the seedlings.

February 4, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Tina Cardone said...

We're in. By 'we' I mean all my high school math classes. They don't know it yet, but I just decided that we'll be doing a science experiment starting right after vacation (so we'll be a week behind everyone, sadly).

February 4, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too! This will be a fun challenge for my kids as well. I am going to attempt my first garden in the Spring, so my kids can be involved with growing their own food. This is a great warm up!

February 4, 2009 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

Count me in! I may plant mine outside since we don't get much of proper winter in this part of Texas.

February 5, 2009 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger kd said...

I'm in!
Every year I want to grow some vegetables on my fire escape but always think about it too late. This'll be a good start.

February 5, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're game! We includes myself, my 5 year old daughter, and 4 year old son.

February 5, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna - count us in. We love snap peas and sounds like a great homeschool project as well. Shari and the Z's

February 5, 2009 at 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't even THOUGHT about the possibility of growing snap peas indoors, but yesterday it was -11 and I could feel the snot in my nose freezing as soon as I stepped outside and spring is still a long LONG way off so. . .yeah. . .I'm in.

February 5, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Count me in, one from central Virginia! I can't wait to see this all pan out!

February 6, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Count me in! Ann from Ontario, Canada

February 6, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I will give it a try. One question tho... Can someone point me to a place to buy unadulterated seeds ?

February 6, 2009 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably cheating, but I am planting 60 snap pea seeds outside tomorrow along with many hundreds of other heirloom seeds. We do that all year here in the Caribbean.
I didn't look in on your blog for a few weeks because posts about the cold and snow give me the shivers.
Good luck to all with the snap pea projects.

February 6, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ok Jenna....I got my seeds this afternoon and I'm in Syracuse along with Judy.

February 6, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Yart said...

Count me in also. I would love to try and get them to grow. Need to get a grow light.

February 7, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Malorie Brooke said...

I will definitely participate. I love snap peas, so this really isn't a chore at all. :)


February 7, 2009 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger joan said...

I'm in. Just have to figure out how to keep the cats from eating the plants.

February 7, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Susan Mrenna said...

Okay, I'm in!
I have the seeds, soil and pots so am good to go.
I will be blogging along at

February 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Jenna... I'm in... I have everything but the seeds...I'll get some this week and be ready for Sunday! Stephanie

February 8, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger yogainthegarden said...

I'm in. I'm dying for some fresh green stuff.

February 8, 2009 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Crafty Bookworm said...

I'm in! I need some green to help get me through the winter. Just started reading your book, I love it! Caitlin in New Hampshire

February 8, 2009 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. My daughter and I are going to work on this project together. This will be fun! John

February 8, 2009 at 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anchorage, AK....I'll give it a go. With a grow light and 8 1/2 hours of daylight, I can't miss. Thanks for the challenge. Devin

February 9, 2009 at 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am IN!

February 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

I show 76 positive responses, a few with additional folks like classes, family, kids, etc. But, this means you're way over your goal of 45, Miss Jenna!

February 9, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Okay Jenna. I've been quietly reading your blog for months now, and it's time to come forward and let you know that you rock! Count me in!

February 10, 2009 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am in !!!

February 11, 2009 at 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally in on this. Moved to a huge house in the woods last fall. Have a beautiful yard, and have been aching to get some planting started! This is a great idea! Going to get the girls to do their own as well!

February 11, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. Will stop by Ace on the way back from work.

First a strumstick, now this...

-Girl On a Mountain with a Chicken

February 11, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings from Portland, OR!

I am IN on this! My hens and I all love snap peas. Elsbeth

February 12, 2009 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Sollfire said...

By pure chance, I found you! A friend sent me a boat load of seeds, including snap peas. I just could not wait to dig in dirt; so, I planted everything! That was just last Sunday! Just a few days ago. I soaked on Saturday; I planted on Sunday; and I'm researching on Thursday, because MY PEAS ARE GROWING ALREADY!! I'm envisioning a gorgeous, vine-ridden front window and delicious stir-fry dinners!

I'M IN! Nicki in Monticello, NY, where there is still A LOT of snow on the ground

February 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my peas are not growing yet. What r u doing to them ?

February 20, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger jhcampbell said...

Hello Jenna I read your blog today and thought i would just say hello.I came across your book by chance while reading a backwoods home magazine.I had the library order it so i could read it and found it a very good read and enjoyed it very much.needless to say i now read your blog almost every day.I long for my own place in the country to live this self reliant lifestyle.I seem to enjoy all the same things as you and your readers. bye for now JIM IN ILLINOIS

July 24, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
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