Biodiversity of plants can help with a wide range of problems in the garden. Say you want to get more calcium into the soil so your tomatoes don’t get blossom end rot. What many farmers and gardeners might choose is to add some lime, or, perhaps on a smaller scale, eggshells. Another option is to plant a dynamic mineral accumulator such as comfrey, dandelion, or nasturtium, all of which draw calcium from the soil.
Starting Seeds is high on the current to-do list for getting the garden going. In our last issue we visited Sawmill Creek Farms, and they had greenhouses bursting with seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, and other plants.
This time of year finds us in a bit of a cold spell after some warm, sunny days. Gardeners with greenhouses can be starting seeds of tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Direct seeding of beets, kale, radishes, carrots, potatoes, chard, collards, peas (best if pre-sprouted at this date), and spinach, can be done now. Think of all those delicious, tender greens that you can harvest in late spring.
We asked Lee Callender, a farmer at the sustainably-farmed GRUB CSA Farm in Chico, what activities were going on at the farm, and what types of crops they'd be growing for their community this year. He said this patch of warm weather (we've been having warm, sunny days, with cold nights), and the soil draining from (modest) rains will allow them to get the soil tilled and prepared for planting.