Since snowmageddon is making its way way to us here in Pennsylvania, I thought it would be a great day to do some virtual gardening in case I get buried in the white stuff for a few weeks! By this time of year, I have a big stack of seed catalogs screaming my name. I always carefully thumb through them, earmarking pages of interest, and then start my list. I like to check out the new varieties and add a few of them to my usual repertoire. I tend to buy a lot more more than I need but have found that when stored properly, seeds are extremely resilient and last a lot longer than you’d expect.
This year, I’m planning a little garden for the chickens so a lot of the leftover seeds will be used there. The chicken garden will be in the chicken run and will be protected by a covering of wire mesh so they’ll be able to enjoy the tender green tops without pulling up the entire plant from its roots.
For a gardener, it’s a lifelong education and I’m always learning from and inspired by other gardeners. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Rodale Institute — the birthplace of organic agriculture in North America. The Rodale Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. Set on 333 acres in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, the Institute offers comprehensive programs serving a range of people from farmers to educators to community leaders to children.
Gardens, chickens, and a bee conservancy are just a few of the things you’ll discover there!
Organic gardening may seem like a newer trend to some but all the way back in 1954, Rodale founder J. I. Rodale wrote: “Organics is not a fad. It has been a long-established practice — much more firmly grounded than the current chemical flair. Present agricultural practices are leading us downhill.”
If you’re ever in the area, be certain to stop by for a visit. You’ll be glad you did!