Green, frugal, sustainable, simple, healthy, happy... No matter what we each call it, we come together here to support and learn from each other.

We are preserving our planet with our lifestyles. We are creating sustainable communities for our children. We are living the lives we want to live. Please join us!


All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

Join Us Here, Too

Buy Sustainably

Join us in saving our family budgets and helping our local communities thrive.

10,000 Steps

With numerous environmental, physical and emotional benefits, what are you waiting for? Let's start walking!

Green Your Insides

For your family and our planet, start greening your own home.

Great Reading

The Growing Challenge: Check In, Everyone!

The Growing Challenge:  From Seed To Seed

The Original Growing Challenge

According to a Reuters article yesterday, “43 million US households plan to grow their own fruits, vegetables, berries, and herbs in 2009, a 19 percent gain from 36 million in 2008.“  Are you seeing an increase where you are?  At our neighborhood sustainability meeting this month, we had a guest speaker come teach about container gardening – and as a result, our meeting grew three times its normal size!

Also, I’ve heard seed companies are overloaded with orders.  Very exciting to see people taking it into their own hands.  If you see someone who’s thinking about growing their own food, give them a few resources, encourage them to participate in a challenge, and help them any way you can!

Check In, Everyone!

Please check in and let us all know what you’re up to in your garden. Are you germinating seeds?  Have you planted out yet?  Are you preparing for summer or winter in your neck of the woods?  Tell us all about it!

If you’ve written about your garden recently – or gardening in general – please feel free to link to your post here.

And thank you for your responses to our last check-in. I’ll create a list of all the great seed-saving resources we’ve talked about and put them in the next seed-saving post.

Who Are We?

So far there are 135 participants signed up for The Growing Challenge: From Seed To Seed, and we’ve reached nearly 200 participants in The Original Growing Challenge. Together we’re an awesome support network for learning new things! Welcome, everyone who has recently joined. And if you haven’t already, please join us in taking a new step toward sustainability by growing your own food from seed to seed.

New participants of The Growing Challenge From Seed to Seed are in orange at the bottom of the following list, and new participants of The Original Growing Challenge are listed here.  Let’s visit, support, and learn from one another!

  1. Jules, The Garden of Plenty, Melbourne, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  2. Jena, Married To The Farm, Caro, Michigan – zone 5
  3. Amanda, You Reap What You Sow, South Central Pennsylvania – zone 6-7
  4. Jen, Toward Arcadia, Michigan – zone 5-6
  5. Deb G, Bee Creative, Pacific Northwest – zone 7
  6. Greeen Sheeep, Wisconsin – zone 4
  7. Kory, Kicking And Screaming, Central New York – zone 5
  8. Abbie, Farmer’s Daughter, Connecticut – zone 6-7
  9. Margaret, Margaret’s Ramblings, Nottingham, England – zone 8
  10. SusanB, Southern New Jersey – zone 6b-7
  11. Karin, Fleecenik Farm, Central Maine – zone 4
  12. Kelsie, Hobbit’s Feat, Kentucky – zone 7
  13. Monica, Northern Ohio – zone 5-6
  14. Jen, Aaron-N-Jen: Living Life Simply, Iowa – zone 5
  15. Di, Path To Greendom & World of Yardcraft, Southern California – zone 10
  16. TomB, My Simple Home Garden, Central Massachusetts – zone 5b
  17. Judy, My Freezer Is Full, East Central Iowa – zone 5a
  18. Julie, Towards Sustainability, Newcastle, NSW, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  19. Dina, Hip Chick Chronicles, Portland, Oregon – zone 8-9
  20. Alana
  21. Milkweed, Milkweed Diaries, Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina – zone 6-7
  22. Melanie J, Ember’s Lighthouse, Jacksonville, Florida – zone 9a
  23. Risa B, Stony Run Farm, Western Oregon – zone 8
  24. Maureen, Fotos By Meg, Central Valley, California – zone 9
  25. Amy Crump, Crump Family Blog, Chapel Hill, North Carolina – zone 8
  26. Rob, Rob’s World, Burien, Washington – zone 8
  27. The Rachface, This Evolutionary Life, Virginia – zone 8
  28. Janice, Going Off Da Grid Janice, California – zone 8-9
  29. Green Bean, Green Phone Booth, Bay Area, California – zone 9
  30. Daphne, Daphne’s Dandelions, Winchester, Massachusetts – zone 6
  31. Briel
  32. Jimmy Cracked-Corn – zone 5
  33. Lisa, Domestic Accident, Southern Coastal Maine – zone 5-6
  34. Hannah, The Purloined Letter, Takoma Park, Maryland – zone 7
  35. Suzan, Scrub Oak, Rocky Mountain southern foothills (6,700 feet) – zone 4
  36. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener
  37. Onemotherslove, What’s He Up To Now?, North Central Texas – zone 8
  38. Red Icculus, – zone 5
  39. Jocele, Knitting On Call, Idaho – zone 6-7
  40. Matt, Florida – zone 9
  41. Sara, Mama Craft, Canada – zone 3a
  42. Tyra, Tyra’s Garden & The Greenhouse In Tyra’s Garden, Vaxholm, Sweden – zone 6
  43. Inadvertentfarmer, The Inadvertent Farmer, Western Washington – zone 8
  44. Lauren
  45. Melody, Merrie Melody, Utah – zone 6
  46. Melinda, One Green Generation, Seattle, Washington – zone 8
  47. Michelle, Alpaca, Chook, Garden, Travel and…., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  48. Laurel, Nefaeria, North Bay, Ontario, Canada – zone 4a
  49. Mary, Freedom Gardens Journal: Mecar, Crete, Illinois – zone 5
  50. Susan, How Green In My Garden, Southern California – zone 8b
  51. Mary, Cat’s Fiber Adventures, Oregon – zone 8-9
  52. WIlla, Plants And Animals & Yumminess Ensues, S. Central Pennsylvania – zone 6A
  53. Jenn, Attempted Simple Life, Osgoode, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  54. Shibaguyz, Here we go! Life with the Shibaguyz…, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  55. Tina, Bee Content Ranch, California
  56. Cassandra, The Urban Trowel, Southeastern BC, Canada – zone 5
  57. Nico, Self Sufficient Life, North Germany – zone 8
  58. Sadge, Firesign Farm, Carson City, Nevada – zone 6
  59. Leanne, At The Good Life, New Zealand – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  60. Jenny, Studio J
  61. Sarah S, Life At The Ranch, Northern California – zone 9
  62. Sarah Z, Ward Road Garden, Northern California – zone 9
  63. Christy O, Farm Dreams, Georgia – zone 7
  64. Jason L, Vegetable Garden Planner
  65. Annette, Ward House, Hot Springs, Virginia – zone 6
  66. Paige, Clausen In The Hausen & Out In The Garden, Saint Peters, Missouri – zone 5
  67. Rhonda, FarmHouse Style, North Georgia Mountains – zone 7b
  68. Kelly, Taurus Rising, Adelaide Hills, Australia- zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  69. Laura, Mas Du Diable, France – zone 9
  70. Christina, A Thinking Stomach, Altadena, California – zone 9b
  71. Latigoliz, Cowgirl Up, Enumclaw, Washington – zone 8
  72. Lisa, Natural Gardening, Upstate South Carolina – zone 8
  73. Chris, Chattagarden, Chattanooga, Tennessee – zone 7
  74. Mary B, Tampa, Florida – zone 10
  75. Kathy, Birmingham, Alabama – zone 7-8
  76. Kathy and Skippy, Skippy’s Vegetable Garden – zone 6
  77. Katrien, MamaStories, suburb of Boston, Massachusetts – zone 6-7
  78. Maggie, Mama What The
  79. Christa, Lazy Toad Farm, New Hampshire – zone 4-5
  80. Emma, The Berry Patch, Sydney, Australia – zone 10 (Aust. 4)
  81. Jenny, Seeded, Toledo, Ohio – zone 6
  82. Melissa, Rabbit Hill Farm, rural North Carolina – zone 7-8
  83. Jessie Earth Momma, Pacific Northwest – zone 7b
  84. Catherine, Love Living Simply, Texas – zone 8
  85. Ian, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – zone 6b
  86. Christy, Growing Human, Coastal Virginia – zone 7b
  87. Amanda, A Homegrown Life, California – zone 9
  88. Robbie, Going Green Mama – zone 5
  89. Pamela, Suburbancrunch – zone 6-7
  90. Beth, Potager Gardening, Columbus, OH – zone 5
  91. Tammy (+ her 6 cherubs!), Simply Beck’s Bounty, SE Tennessee – zone 7
  92. Ottawa Gardener, The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined, Ottawa, Canada – zone 5a
  93. Laura Chandler
  94. Lisa Cohen, Life Is In The Details
  95. Darlene, Stover Lane, Kansas – zone 5-6
  96. Sherri M, Sherri’s Mad Blabber Blog, Erin, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  97. Chad M, Minnesota – zone 4
  98. Shelby, Eat Local Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM – zone 5-6
  99. Linda, Garden Girl, Chicago, Illinois – zone 5b
  100. Stacy, Canada – zone 5b
  101. Joan, Young Girl, Old Life, Northeastern Missouri – zone 5
  102. Kim & Victoria, Living And Gardening In Idaho, Boise, Idaho – zone 5-6
  103. Sinclair, Nature With Me, Oregon – zone 7
  104. Jenette, Sacramento, CA – zone 9b
  105. Jennifer, Jen & The Bean Stalk, North Idaho – zone 4-5
  106. Laurie and Tim, Golden Gaits Garden, Colorado – zone 5b-6
  107. Phoebe, Cents To Get Debt Free, Southern Missouri – zone 5-6
  108. Megan, Raised On Sunshine, Dallas, TX – zone 8a
  109. Crunchy Chicken, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  110. Jenn, Jenn’s Coop, central valley, CA – zone 10
  111. Veriance, Michigan – zone 5
  112. Sande, Sow This, Sew That, Southeastern Michigan – zone 5
  113. Jenn, Newlyweds!, Texas – zone 9
  114. Carri, Home Of The Petersonclan, South Central Kentucky – zone 6
  115. Amber, Cloud9 Design, Texas – zone 9
  116. Jo, Little House By The Railway Line, England – zone 8
  117. Andrea, Colorado – zone 5-6
  118. Kendra, A Sonoma Garden – zone 9
  119. Stuff, Proactive Bridesmaid – zone 7
  120. LiBBy BuTTons, US – zone 6
  121. Healing Green, Gaylordsville, Connecticut – zone 6
  122. Carpe Diem, British Columbia, Canada – zone 3
  123. Trish, The Promised Land – zone 8-9
  124. Diana, Backyard & Community Gardening, Northern Colorado – zone 4-5
  125. Tricia, Little Eco Footprints, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  126. Juliette, Abielle A Miel, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – zone 8-9
  127. Ciera, Ciera’s Garden, Pittsburg, PA – zone 6a
  128. Kara, Garden of Eatin’, Canada – zone 4
  129. Vickie, In The Acorn, Winnetka, CA – zone 9
  130. Paula, Buckets Of Gardening Ideas, Idaho – zone 4-5
  131. Jennifer, Seeds In The City, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10
  132. Anne-Marie, Cheeseslave, Los Angeles, CA – zone 10-11
  133. Shea, The Lion And The Little Red Birds, Australia – zone 4
  134. Vermontmommy, McKinney, Texas – zone 8
  135. Christina, Closer To Fine, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10

I’ve added everyone’s name, blog, location, and hardiness zone. Please check your info to make sure I have it right as I had to guess on some of them.  And if I’ve left you off, be sure to tell me.

Chat Away!

Similar Posts:

55 comments to The Growing Challenge: Check In, Everyone!

  • We have started everything from seed this year for the first time. Usually, we buy our tomatoes plus a few of the brassicas. Not this time!

    Here’s what’s going on so far:

    Hot room (newly converted downstairs room with racks and lights)
    1. peas
    2. four types of basil
    3. sage
    4. thyme
    5. chives
    6. Chinese garlic
    7. Peas
    8. Leeks
    9. Heirloom tomatoes – 1,000 seedlings so far and counting

    Starter bed (outside)
    1. broccoli raab
    2. Chinese cabbage
    3. lettuce – loose leaf and head
    4. peas
    5. kale

    In ground
    1. peas
    2. lettuce – loose leaf and head
    3. broccoli
    4. kale
    5. cabbage
    6. brussels sprouts – red & green
    7. turnips
    8. carrots
    9. kohlrabi
    10. cauliflower
    11. chard
    12. radishes – three kinds (?)
    13. beets
    14. onions (yes, we started them from seeds and from sets)
    15. broccoli raab
    16. Chinese cabbage
    17. Jerusalem artichokes
    18. potatoes
    19. spinach
    20. cilantro
    21. I can’t remember what else right now… LOL
    21. OH!! Jason threw a cherry pit into the back area last spring and it came up! We potted the little one and it is AMAZING how well it is growing. This is a seed we got from our own cherry tree so it counts! Jason grew a freakin’ cherry tree!! LOL Can you tell… I’m a little overly happy about this?

    Okay… that’s it for now I think. This year we have expanded quite a bit and are planting in seven different plots. Jason still works his regular day job but I am a full-time urban farmer now. And, yes, there will be either a tomato plant sale or we’ll be selling our tomatoes… not sure which yet! LOL

    Stop over to our blog where we have everything documented fully. Leave a comment of feel free to ask questions if you like… good luck to the rest of the Growing Challenge participants!!

    talk to you soon…
    The Shibaguyz

  • M

    Our challenge is going well. We’ve planted into our garden lettuces (2 types), scallions, shallots, carrots, tomatoes (2 types), tomatillos, hot peppers (2 types), fennel, leeks, basil, and thyme. Here in the south everything is taking off! Reports and photos available on our site.

  • Christy from Growing human checking in! I’ve just posted my State of the Garden for 27 April 2009 on my blog.

    I started every single thing this year from seed and 3 types of tomatoes from seeds I saved from last year’s plants. I’m happy to report they are doing well, but the proof of the pudding will come later when I get a tomato off of one of them to see if they bred true.

    Even though I’m fighting the good fight against the cabbage moth caterpillar, everything else is doing well. I have my first tomato blossom on a Black Krim! Pea blossoms, radishes, early beets and baby carrots as well as delicious lettuces are already coming to be happily devoured!

  • I’m hoping the frost we had yesterday is the last! Planted everything but beans and corn yesterday, either in the ground directly or as a start.

    I decided that I’m going to try saving seed from my round zucchini this year, so I’m prepping a bed as far away as I can get from all the other squash. I’ll also save seeds from tomatoes, beans, and peas.

    For the Growing Challenge, as a new crop, I’m growing Ramps, or Bear Garlic; lentils, and cress.

    Picture of the main part of the garden here:

  • Well my blog is all about vegetable gardening so most posts tell you something about how the garden is going. Monday’s post is always my seedling update post so it does show much of what has been planted already and what will be planted soon. As to specific challenge plants. My peas are up and my lettuce is up. I will save seed from some of my peas, but I’m not sure about my lettuce yet. I’m thinking about it :>

  • I’m seeing my first sprouts on everything but the spearmint. I planted basil, cat grass, chamomile, marjoram, spearmint, and tomatoes. Went to a Green Expo here in Jax this past weekend, and came away with lots of wildflower seeds, more tomatoes, and some Kentucky Wonder beans so I’m thinking of expanding my little garden. But I have more roadblocks ahead…Husby tells me the reason the cat goes so nuts around the vertical blinds at the porch door in the mornings, is because our porch has become a stopping-off point for squirrels, who are currently destroying my sunflowers. Not cool! Now I’m going to have to build a greenhouse out there, on a porch that’s probably 2½’ x 6′, that’ll withstand not only weather, but pesky critters as well.

  • Challenge is going well. Tomatoes are slow to start from seed; however, the cucumbers and squash were up within a week of being in the pot. LOL Lettuce is up in the cold frame along with the brussel sprouts and some dill. Mint, yarrow, sage and lavender are enjoying the warm temps. We have a plan for the last frost. =)

    So exciting!

  • Di

    going well! Planting for summer here, tomatoes just went in. Peas are coming out this week, more trellis going up and more summer plants getting put in. I am harvesting peas, oranges, chard, beets, turnips and spring onions.

  • Emilio

    Hi everyone,

    I don’t have access to a garden, but I want to be close to ppl that do garden and that are inspired to be leaders in their communities to promote it. I will be participating in local projects as the weather improves (snow storm yesterday) and will mention anything that might be of interest.

    Much gratitude and admiration for all of you.


  • Can’t wait to check out the other gardens. Our garden is coming along very nicely, we had about 6 inches of rain last weekend, that was needed but almost a bit too much. So far we have picked 1 banana pepper, and we will have zucchini squash ready this week, yea.

  • Well, I still have a foot of snow in my yard, but it is melting fast (thank goodness!)

    Husband has been busy building the new greenhouse and the heated garage and kitchen window are filled with seedlings – tomato, peppers, pumpkin, watermelon, cabbage, leek, and cucumbers. Unfortunately, all the corn we started died off for some unknown reason – perhaps they just were not getting enough light.

  • We have tomatoes, peppers and brussels sprouts germinated from seed. Still too early to set them out.

  • SusanB

    Due to a temporary heat wave here in the East, all my seeds planted last Sunday have sprouted and are going gang busters in my upstairs attic office (where temperatures are more than balmy), I’m providing a little supplemental light now that they’ve sprouted and despite the current heat it’s too early to go out — three kinds of tomatoes (new girl, brandywine, and some free seeds from Heinz courtesy my mom), three kinds of peppers (bell, red roasting, and jalapeno), echinicea, oriental poppy, four kinds of basil (globe, italian, thai, shiso). Outside my late late planted fava bean and a little late planted peas are showing their heads (those that survived the squirrels), my tarragon and sage planted last year are flourishing, the half the rosemary bush survived the winter, the indoor overwintered pineapples and others are starting to make the transition, and sigh, the tulips have succumbed to the heat. We harvested our first lettuce (okay we purchased starts) and the kale and chard are starting to really grow. Somehow emptying the dishdrainer turned into organizing a kitchen cupboard which meant not getting much new done outside this weekend — but it was too hot for me anyway.

  • Our beets, lettuce, squash and peas are doing very well, and my ‘new plant’ for this year, fava beans, are doing beautifully! All of these were ‘seed planted’.

    However the disappointment so far has been the basil. Last year I had an ecstatic amount of basil – it was glorious! This year, I’m not able to keep the starters going, nor the seeds. What is happening? The starters were eaten (by bugs, it seems but will have to examine the remains), the seeds never came up. It’s back to the drawing board…also, our tomatoes are not growing – they’re in arrested development. So a few good things and a few concerns so far…

  • We just finished planting 26 tomato plants and 12 peppers (not from seed, those died….sigh) and are adding more this week. Corn and beans are in the ground; squash and more beans are going in today. Our new crops this year are winter squash (not very original but we never planted it before – not sure why) and oats to make our own oatmeal.

    Our biggest ‘new’ thing this year is that we have expanded into our neighbors unused back yard and are ‘sharecropping’ land for veggies. She is thrilled that we are transforming her once weedy expanse into something usable and (hopefully) beautiful, and we are thrilled to have more usable garden space…..very exciting :)

    We have a separate blog for this project…..

  • I am a little late on starting my plants this year (zone 5), but this is my first year, and we just got the house and had to do some garden prep first. I am really excited. I just planted carrots, radishes, scallions, chard, bok choy, cilantro, spinach, brocoli, cauliflower, cabbage, snap peas, and shelling peas. Hope to get the asparagus, chives, and lavender in this week too. You can see pics here:

  • monica

    Wow. The weather is great–so much for spring–we have practically summer now!

    I have edible pod peas and green beans. I am not sure about the variety though, I just thought they tasted good from last year. All kinds of things are popping up in the garden! We wanted to try rhubarb this year–2 roots have sprouts! They bring so much hope to an uncertain economy. If we can manage to hold on, we should be able to eat pretty well at least.

    The best part of this year’s garden: We have Chickens!! We moved them out to the brand new Chicken Condo last night (note the capital letters! & pics to surely follow at some point. I can’t wait for the first egg–i’m about to bust!

    Good luck to everyone with their garden adventures!

  • Hi everyone,

    I’d like to join the seed to seed challenge. My recent garden exploits are here: I’m also growing runner beans this year, from seeds saved from last years crop (which were given to me by a friend from his previous years crop!

  • Parsnips are up in the “greenhouse” along with peppers, lettuce, kohlrabi, and eggplant. Peas and potatoes and such as beets are up in the garden. We’re living on last year’s kale, onions, chard, parsley, lettuce and garlic and broccoli and red cabbage, wintered over. The kale, which did very, very well, will go to seed soon and I hope to collect the seed.

    I got distracted while sunning the baby tomatoes and they got sunburn and were set back. Farmers who don’t also have full time job in town have the advantage in matters of this kind, I’ve noticed.

    more at
    (IDC challenge response per Casaubon’s Book)

  • I’m (finally) officially joining and checking in….I’m in zone 6a.

    We’re seeing spring (and summer) a little bit earlier than usual this year, which has let me jumpstart a few things in the garden. An update on what’s growing from seed: peas (snap and english) are about 3″ high so far, pumpkin and cantaloupe are happy indoors for now, but will go out in the next week or two, pole beans were planted Saturday, bush beans will go in next week along with carrots and beets. Potatoes went out (after being “chitted”, I might add) on Saturday as well. The garlic I planted last year is doing quite well – greens are about 18″ tall – so I have high hopes for tasty organic garlic this summer / fall.

    I just can’t seem to get tomatoes to grow successfully from seed, so I broke down and bought two plants this weekend. Other store-bought transplants include collards, broccoli and chard – all purchased from an organic grower at our local farmers’ market. I’m on the hunt for organic tomato and tomatillo plants, which I should be able to find in the next couple of weeks.

    All in all, we’re doing pretty well so far. It helps that we’ve had 8″ less rain this spring over last….

  • I’ll have to post a thorough update on my gardening puttering, but here’s a recap. (I’m in northern Virginia, by the way, straddling Zones 6 and 7. I forgot to give you my location previously.)

    I have six raised 4×4 beds, three of which are planted. Baby lettuces and peas are coming up, as well as some Swiss chard, which is a new one for me. I have no idea what I’ll do with it when it grows up. Some flowers – poppies, blue boys, columbine, and purple coneflowers failed to come up, so I’m going to tuck in some (late, I know) yellow rock onions sets where the flowers were to grow. I hope to do that today. This past weekend, I planted my carrots, radishes, some onion sets, bunching onion seeds, and big yellow onion transplants in my deep bed for root veggies. I had an extra square, so I tucked in some cukes, though it’s probably too early for them.

    I also planted my tomato bed with about twelve varieties of tomatoes that I’d started a couple of months ago. So far, despite insanely unseasonable heat (we’re up in the 90s right now), the tomatoes are holding up and standing tall. I bedded in some marigolds I’d sprouted earlier, too, to keep the tomatoes company.

    My herbs are almost all thriving. Most of my herbs I’m growing in containers. I’ve started a mint collection, with chocolate, banana, apple, pineapple, ginger, lemon, lime, bergamot, sweet pear, peppermint, and spearmint. I think I listed them all, but I might have missed a couple. I’m rooting cuttings of each variety in yogurt cups on my window sills. I also have sweet marjoram, oregano, rosemary, lemon balm, bee balm, stevia, salad burnet, and Provence lavender. Oh, and several basils, including sweet basil and a delicious lime basil that I can’t wait to add to salsa. I have a couple of English ivies, too, that I’m rooting, as well as cuttings from virtually all my herbs. Despite the low-rent look of the yogurt cups, the little plants swimming in water on the window sill over my bathtub really adds a nice ambience.

    I also have a large container with some lettuce mixes, and I just made my first salad with my homegrown greens last night. I’m awaiting blueberries and strawberries, which should come any day now, and will plant those next weekend.

    Of my seed potatoes, only a couple of plants have come up, which is disappointing. But I’m new at growing potatoes. I’ll try again next year.

    Lots of work, but lots of fun, and I hope it’ll all yield lots of food down the road.

  • Spring has sprung here in Oregon and I’m up-potting my seed starts and putting a few hardy veggies in the garden which hopefully won’t be eaten by our bumper slug crop – again! Will have a real blog post up this week with details.

  • Going good here in Burien. Got a lot planted Bay Laurels, chinese cabbage, cabbage, Evil Broccolli, Sunflowers ((for the birds), zucchini, and my peppers, peppers, patio tomatoes upside down, Still starting, waiting for the next phase- Tomatoes, Summer squash (syrian- or rather a very simular style to my late Aunt’s that she made syrian stuffed squash out of), Watermelon. ]
    As far as more people gardening, I couldn’t say except that the lines at the local nurseries are longer, and I see a lot of folks with veggie starts and seeds.

  • I’ve got tomato (8 varieties), peppers (6 varieties), eggplant and tomatillos up and looking great. I’ve got peas and potatoes planted in a friend’s garden but we just purchased an acreage a week ago and haven’t managed to plant anything but strawberries out there yet.
    I’ve now got an 85×26 foot garden space but we just had 2 inches of rain so it’s too wet to do much with at the moment. I borrowed a friend’s rototiller and tilled the top few inches but it needs worked again. It had never been worked before so it is quite the effort to get rid of the weeds.
    Hopefully it will dry up soon so I can get working in the garden. Of course, we have so much work to rehab the house there so we can move in, that garden time is at a premium. I did get notice that my second type of potatoes that I ordered have finally shipped so I’ll have to work a space to put them. Sometimes motivation is a good thing.

  • My organic challenge was ruined by my Maine Coon kitty. In the mean time, I started some more sweet pepper mix plants in organic potting soil. I will update on my blog soon.

  • Pamela, Swiss chard is super yummy cooked in a little olive oil with onions, diced tomatoes and bacon (if you aren’t vegetarian). Also good in minestrone.

  • We have all of our cool season veggies planted here…except for Swiss chard. Chard will be sown soon, as soon as the soil dries a little from the last rain! Sown so far: 3 varieties of leaf lettuce, English peas, arugula, carrots, radishes, parsnips, beets, spinach, mache, spring wheat, cilantro, broccoli. Everything’s up except the mache and cilantro. Peas and beets are exceptionally slow to germinate…may have to re-sow some of the peas. Garlic (planted last fall) is getting taller. Potatoes are in the bottom of their trench, and haven’t shown aboveground growth yet. In the cold frame, lettuce has been great and is starting to bolt. Mache is flowering (hope I can save some seeds!). Spinach and arugula are still going strong.

    We had some of our first asparagus harvest of the spring for dinner tonight. Delicious…well worth waiting for!!!

    Under lights in the basement, two varieties of tomato seedlings are doing well, and are ready for potting up. Will transplant into the garden in two to three weeks. Bell peppers are also ready for potting up. Onion and leek seedlings are growing s-l-o-w-l-y. Guess that’s normal.. It’s great to hear about everyone else’s gardens!

  • We’re doing well, though I wish our outdoor garden progressed quicker – or that we had turned the soil and filled the beds last Fall!

    Nonetheless, we just harvested our first lettuce (from the coldframe) and our three-year-old daughter, who never eats vegetables, took three bites! I blogged it, with pictures, here:

    A success already!

    Happy gardening everyone!

  • Inside the house, my paste tomatoes, green chile peppers, habenero peppers, and three kinds of kale (blue, red, and lance) from my own saved seeds are up and growing under lights. My saved eggplant and okra seeds weren’t viable (guess I didn’t let the fruits mature long enough), so I used purchased seeds for them. Outside, I had to replant my lettuces (about half from saved seeds), and peas (purchased) after birds ate the new little sprouts just as they came up. I have the entire replanted bed covered with netting now. The garlic, shallots, and leeks, set out last fall from dividing my own plants, are thriving.

  • I posted here with a few photos:

    But more succinctly… (I’m in zone 9)

    I’m harvesting lettuce everyday — from a self-seeded row! Corn, beans and squash have sprouted in the last week and look good. A few pumpkins and tomatoes self-seeded in last season’s compost pile, and I’m leaving them there! Potatoes are sprouting, and the onions and garlic are doing great. Peas are blooming, I just hope they have time to seed for a while before it gets too hot. Just planted watermelon, cantaloupe and winter squash (butternut and delicata) directly in the ground. It was 75 today, so should be perfect for awhile.

    I started tomatoes and peppers from seed AGAIN, because the first batch didn’t do so well. I don’t have a good place to start indoors, and the early spring weather was too chaotic, hail and wind, etc. Still have some herbs to plant, and our carrots and celery are hanging in there in the winter patch.

    I did put in a six-pack of tomatoes from the garden center, because I HAVE to have tomatoes and was worried they wouldn’t come up. So, we’ll see how they compare, hopefully!

  • Growing great! My weekend garden update can be found here:

    plenty of photos! viva la garden!

  • hhhmmm… we posted on here a whole list of what was in where… now it’s gone…

    Check out or blog for where we are so far. There are several posts on there with our growing updates. Everything from seed this year.

    talk to you soon…
    The Shibaguyz

  • Glad everyone’s plans are going well so far. I’m in Zone 5. I posted a summary of my plants so far on my blog:

    Keep it up! :)

  • We finally got our partial order in from Pinetree Garden last night – order was placed six weeks ago! – so yes, there is a run on seeds.

    So we’re behind this year. There were several things we’d planned to start indoors and just won’t be able to.

    We do have our blueberry bushes in, and have started planting some of our seeds. Waiting on dh to finish our 2nd raised bed though.

  • We are eating fresh garden produce already!! We managed to overwinter a few things this past winter, enjoying parsley, arugula and even a carrot here and there before now. But now the deluge begins. The sugar snap peas are coming on strong with the snow peas close behind. I have lots of spinach, lettuce, the rest of the overwintered carrots, spring arugula, radishes and green onions ready for harvest or already in the fridge. I have some strawberries ripening up now though the birds and slugs managed to get the first. My daughter got the first for human consumption as payment for helping me harvest the green stuff.

    The heat’s suddenly come on this week, the arugula has started to bolt, so we’ll be eating that up and out of that this week. Here’s hoping the rest of the spring veggies hold out for a few more weeks. We’ve barely started the summer garden.

    As far as seed saving goes, the overwintered arugula is about to give up some seeds and I have parsley budding now, too. I’m excited about the arugula in particular because I gave away my last purchased seeds.

  • I just made a starter post to my blog about the Growing Challenge: Seed to Seed, so I hope folks will come over to read what we’re up to! No pictures yet, but I have that capability, so hopefully will get some up soon…

    Looking forward to the camaraderie of folks hoeing the same path :-)

  • Deb

    Hi Melinda,
    Geesh, I figured it out. I think. :)

    We are in zone 5a and it’s been a *very* cold dry spring. My “garden” is all in containers. I have only one spot sunny enough to grow veggies, and it’s 6 x 8 ft. So my son built tiered plant stands large enough to hold two 16″ pots on each of six shelves. And, for an area which gets morning sun and dappled afternoon shade a 4 x 4 vertical plant stand which will hold herbs, edible flowers and salad greens.

    My broccoli raab, Chinese kale, perpetual spinach, Brussels sprouts, bok choi and spring onions have all been planted into their containers and are thriving. I was brave and planted out one tomato plant. The quail ate it the first night.

    I started eight kinds of tomatoes, three (Brandywine, Purple Prince and Roma) are doing well, Starfires and Sweet millions are small but sturdy. Yellow pear, Gardener’s delight and Tumblers came up and quit growing. Not even a set of true leaves. Same with the green peppers. All have same soil, water, growing conditions. The Thai Basil is doing well. It’s still too cold to start any other warm weather crops yet. My “greenhouse” is jammed.

    I blog about my garden several times a week, just because I’m using it as my garden diary. Visit at

    Good luck everyone!

  • We are expanding our garden this year from one 4×4 garden bed to two 4×4 garden beds AND a 2×4 bed for little things like radishes, etc.

    So far we’ve gotten our radishes, peas, carrots and lettuce all planted. I think I sowed them back in late March – they are all coming along nicely except the carrots…can’t get them to do much.

  • Some great looking gardens!

    I just posted an update on my progress here:

    In brief. In the garden I have from seed: mustard spinach, rocket, silverbeet and broccoli. I’m already harvesting the mustartd spinach and roccket. In pots ready to go into the garden i have cauliflower and broccoli.

    I collected seed from native spinach (Tetragonia tetraganoides) (a relatively common Australian Bushtucker) and will try and germinate some soon.

    Hope others are having as much fun as me :-)


  • Mary B

    Excited to enjoy yellow wax beans and my first zucchini this past week!!! Tomato plants have dozens of tiny green tomatoes and a bunch of caterpillars I pick off every day. Two pepper plants have a a ton of green peppers waiting to turn red. So far not too much damage to the plants. I planted 12 sweet potato slips today and finished mulching and fertilizing the new blueberry plants. This seems to be the first year I’ve planted on time in Florida, I grew up in NY and have lived here 18 years.
    Experiencing a drought here in west central florida and recently installed a rain barrel to be able to water the gardens, the grass must fend for itself!!!

  • Jo

    I’ve got everything planted now. My peppers and tomatoes came up beautifully, but have been eaten by pests (either slugs/snails or ants – we’re not sure) which was extremely disappointing. I’ve planted more of them, but it’s probably too late for them to have a chance of ripening. My squash seeds are just starting to come up, which is exciting, and my leaf beet is looking good (though I don’t think I’m going to be saving the seed from that one, as it requires over-wintering). My courgettes haven’t made an appearance yet, but the beans are coming up beautifully (those are non-real seeds, though, so I won’t be able to save the seeds).


  • I have most of my garden planted now. We are putting in the corn and winter squash today.We are planting a couple of new(to us) heirloom melons and winter squash .I have not decided which one I will save seed from yet.The beans,okra,cucumber and melon seed have little sprouts already and we just planted them last sat. If we manage to get some rain or water they will go gangbusters.Of course the weeds are sprouting too.

  • Let’s see…I started some seeds indoors a few months ago and planted all of them except the tomatillos. They all did pretty well.

    Everything is growing it seems. Check out my blog it’s easier than trying to list everything! :)6+

  • ???????? ??????, ?????? ?????? ???? ?????????? ?????????? ?? ??????.????? ????? ?? ???? “??? ?????”. ? ?? ???, ??? ??????? ?? ???????????.

  • Stacy

    Hi everyone!

    It looks like everybody’s garden is going well!

    I just got my community plot today, so I hope to start planting tomorrow. I have had good luck with my perennial flowers coming back up this year, so that feels good! I wasn’t sure if they would make it. My Iris went crazy! It’s doing really well.

    Tomorrow I will plant my mesclun mix lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, and bok choi from seed. Then after Victoria day I will plant the transplants for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Can’t wait!

  • Hi Everyone! I just signed up this morning to the Growing Challenge. My veggies are still in the house in seedling starting trays, and my soil is not yet turned over… is still too wet….should have done that last fall….the learning begins already :)

  • Wellll, things were moving along swimmingly until the deer visited not once but twice this week, They’ve demolished my tomatoes, peppers, greens, argh!

  • This is totally fun! Love reading about all your gardens.

    Shibaguyz, I’m so sorry – just found your comments in the spam filter – Akismet got a little spam-happy. Let me know if it happens again, and I’ll be sure to take a look asap!

    Green Bean, oh no! I’m so sorry! I’m sure some of us here have loads of tips to keep out deer – I’ll ask everyone soon so you can take precautions. Fortunately there is plenty of time to restart (particularly in your warm zone!)… I hope you’ll restart!

  • Here in Zone 5 or so our last average frost date is still two weeks away. We’ve decided to cut back from our original plan to plant our entire backyard, because we discovered how much it’s costing us to amend our bad soil (very alkaline and claylike–no drainage). Even though we’ve gotten some free materials (wood chips, aged goat manure), we’ve had to buy a lot of peat and topsoil. We are still planning to plant a little of just about everything we’d hoped to plant in a little more than half the space, just not as many of each item and in smaller beds. Since this is our first year, we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew, and we still have plenty to do.

    Yesterday we planted our first seeds directly outside–peas and rutabegas. My indoor seedlings are getting big and clamoring to go outside. Some that can go out before the last frost will be planted in the next couple of days. Others we are putting outside each day to “harden off” before planting, and because they are too big for the light station. :) The tomatoes are huge, and I’ve had to stake them in their pots. I’m reading and learning about “determinate” and “indeterminate” tomatoes and how to prune each.

    I bought the Maxi 4″ soil blocker and have had fun transplanting the 2″ blocks into the larger blocks. It took some practice to make the large blocks successfully, but finally got the process down so they don’t fall apart. The seedlings that were transferred into larger blocks are doing very well, and the peppers, for example, look just as big and healthy as the ones I’d started a month previously in small cells. I’ve read more about soil blocking, and discovered that some things can be “multiplanted” with several seeds in each block, so I’m experimenting with that procedure.

    There is more info on my blog, but this is the “Reader’s Digest” version.

  • I forgot to sign up for this challenge, Melinda, I’m on your original one! I’m in CO in zone 5-6 (would that be 5.5?). We have a greenhouse this year that we built last fall and I LOVE it! I started everything from seed in there and it all is doing great and many flats of diff. greens & brassicas are being hardened off now. I transplanted many tomatoes and melons this weekend into bigger pots bec. our last frost date is the 15th for those to go outside.

    We direct seeded sev’l beds in the garden already and we expanded that this past year, too so I have sev’l new beds I get to plant and we put in used bricks as the pathways and it’s a much better layout now (fenced in garden). We also added another bed on the side of our house and planted some asparagus crowns there and a concord grape and still have room for more plants.

    My husband keeps coming home with more berry plants and this weekend was blackberry and another blueberry. We have lots of berry varieties going now in this huge trough (and strawberries in the garden) we built for sunchokes but dug them up and transplanted them into whiskey barrels (otherwise they will take over your yard and fast!).

    In front of my house, we have 3 huge flower beds and will be adding more herbs there, too. We are talking about taking out the last remaining grass and growing mother of thyme instead with other plants mixed in. I need to grow a hedge or bushes to make a living fence to keep people from helping themselves to my front garden when they walk by which happened last summer!

    I will be updating garden info on my blog this week. Our focus has been getting the movable chicken coop/tractor built and it’s almost done and looks beautiful! My 4 chicks are getting big and want to move out of where they are now! Then we will be building a potato condo for growing fingerlings.

  • Well–we are doing okay. I haven’t been able to get all my herbs going like I had originally planned. Hoping that I can still get them going and on their way. I recently did a post on my blog that you can find here. This week is looking to be more rain…agh! I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll be begging for it though, so I should take it as it comes.

  • [...] And thank you for your responses to our last check-in. [...]

  • My check-in post is here. I’m new! I think I still need to be added to the master list (I left a comment on the original challenge site). :)

  • One click later I found this, today I will sleep in peace, thank you for writing this. Kopek mamasi

  • [...] The Growing Challenge: Check In, Everyone! | One Green Generation – An update on what’s growing from seed: peas (snap and english) are about 3? high so far, pumpkin and cantaloupe are happy indoors for now, but will go out in the next week or two, pole beans were planted Saturday, bush beans will go in … [...]

Leave a Reply to Susie Seymour




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>