Urban Farmer: Carrots, a true gardening challenge — now, what to do with a good crop?

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward   Carrots.  I have finally figured out carrots.  As it always seems to be with beginner’s luck, many years ago, I somehow raised a very nice little batch of carrots.  I thought to myself, “Well, this is easy, I’ll just do this again”.  Ha. The second year was miserable — nasty little things, all bent and puny.  Awful.  So after that, I sidestepped...

Urban Farmer: Twenty years on the gardening roller coaster and finally figuring out the beans

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward This is something I know beans about.  Beans.  All kinds of beans. Over the past twenty, or so, years I have always raised beans: pole beans, bush beans, green beans, dried beans–you name it. Early on, I always raised pole beans.  It seemed like the sensible way to manage the small amount of dirt that I had at my disposal at the time.  I could raise a...

Urban Farmer: Right at the beginning of the payoff, elated by the look of things (and the anticipation)

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward Here we are. Right at the beginning of the payoff. The garden has been in the ground for about six weeks. For the first time, in quite a few years, I am elated by the look of things in the back yard of the Italianate on Russell St. The plants are all doing well (except the Swiss Chard *sigh*). Even the bug population seems to be a little less enthusiastic...

Urban Farmer: Project Asparagus after Year One — ups and downs to go with plenty of life lessons

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward It’s the end of year one of Project Asparagus.  About one year ago today, I was in the midst of nursing a whole slew of little asparagus plants that I had started from seed. I was invested in this project.  I monitored each little one and fretted over the runts. These unemotional, undemonstrative little beings were like children to me, but my concern and care...

Urban Farmer: Seed-starting process has begun in earnest — what a great time of the year!

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward It’s a beautiful day!  Finally.  The ground is warming up, the peas, radishes and lettuces I planted are coming along nicely, and the seed-starting has begun!  I love this time of the year. Early on, seed starting was something that I had always thought more experienced gardeners did.  There was so much to learn about gardening and it did take a lot of work....

Urban Farmer: With big swings in temps, who knows when to start . . . a gardener’s conundrum

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward This winter sure is weird.  This was supposed to be my first year to have time to really get an early crop garden started.  I was ready for it.  I had mesclun (a lettuce mix), two types of radishes, two types of spinach and peas all ready and waiting to go. But when to start?  In the past, this was a fairly easy thing to decide.  I didn’t really have time...

Urban Farmer: Throwing caution to the wind — and digging up the ‘dirt’ on what’s really in the soil

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Mother nature is playing tricks on us. It’s the end of February and it’s sixty degrees outside! This is a cruel carrot to dangle. I want to go outside and start doing things. But, I’m afraid it will be a premature effort that will result in a waste of seed and time. I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and tempt fate anyway. I’m going to try to start...

Urban Farmer: Deluged by catalogues — it’s an avalanche — and now for the sorting and planning

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Twenty-nine catalogues!!  Unbelievable. I started receiving this bale of paper, in fits and starts, beginning right before Christmas.  They trickled in and then became a deluge around the first week of January. As the catalogues came in, I just tossed them all into a pile.  The stack got so unwieldy, I was somewhat loath to tackle it….but tackle it I did. A...

Urban Farmer: Recharging, gardening is sure-shot therapy; right now, it’s sit back and wait

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist A new year ahead.  New possibilities and new directions, not just in gardening, but in life, as well.  Gardening, as always, is my haven.  It’s my place to go to recharge, be curious, learn, work hard physically, and several times over the course of my life, burrow in and lick my wounds.  Last year, 2016, was a particularly busy gardening year.  All kinds...

Urban Farmer: In a year of ‘firsts,’ count a growing appreciation of ‘real deal’ Farmers’ Markets

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Twenty sixteen has been a year of firsts for me.  It’s the first year in many that I haven’t been consumed with business concerns.  It’s the first year I’ve had the time to garden in the way that I like.  It’s the first year I’ve taken a spot in a community garden.  And, perhaps most shocking — it’s the first year that I’ve been to Covington’s...

Urban Farmer: Taking space in community garden offers chance to experience something new

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist This year, I did something that I never thought I would do. I took a space in a community garden. I had never been interested in doing it before, because I always had plenty going on in my own back yard. I had also developed an smug attitude about the convenience of having my garden just a few steps beyond my back door. It is just so much easier to keep an eye...

Urban Farmer: Gardening can be a real (and wet) roller coaster — and then there’s asparagus

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Gardening 2016 is in full swing.  I got my seedlings started, transitioned them into larger pots a few days ago, and have started the process of “hardening off” the plants.  All is proceeding in a predictable path.  It’s a little wet, but what’s new about that? We journeyman gardeners are used to the ugliness that Mother Nature can throw at us.  Three...

Urban Farmer: Your garden is your universe, but you should probably wait for Mother’s Day to plant

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist A record-breaking temperature of 72 degrees on a recent Saturday did little to cool off my keen anticipation to get on with Gardening 2016. It caught me short. I went outside early afternoon and was astounded by the warmth and beautiful sunshine. I’ve got a bad itch that needs to be scratched. I had to do something. So, since I don’t have a greenhouse (yet!),...

Urban Farmer: When starting seed, figure out what works best for you – and take good notes

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist   The best time of the year is here. It is time to get the seed started.   I made a mistake in the past of starting seed too early. Each year, I have refined my approach and taken careful notes of starting dates, germination dates, varieties, etc… I’m always good at this record-keeping business at the beginning of the season. Then, even with the...