Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GrowJourney - November 2015 + Get Your First Month FREE!

What: GrowJourney sends 5 packets of organic seeds to help you grow your own edible garden!
When: Ships monthly on your sign-up date
Cost: $11.99-$14.99 per month depending on your subscription plan. Price includes shipping.
Fun Fact: Each packet of seeds contains 10-20% more seeds than you'd find in retail stores!

I had so much fun with GrowJourney last month that I decided to continue my sub this month. Since the weather's cooling down they're sending seeds that favor cooler climates. However, temperatures never seem to drop below 70 degrees in my neck of the woods, and we've been having ridiculously humid weather these past few months so a lot of the seeds GrowJourney sent won't be able to grow. 
Or so I thought. 
I decided to give it a shot and planted the seeds from last month's package anyway. To my surprise all of them sprouted - including Claytonia, which requires 50-55 degree temps to germinate. I can guarantee you that my backyard did not reach that; it maybe got down to 78 degrees at the lowest. I have a black thumb so the fact that everything grew made me pretty ecstatic. That can only mean these seeds were super hardy and/or fresh, I felt invincible. Yup, I was totally going to continue this sub.

November's package came with another five packets of seeds along with the usual two mini packets for gifting. 

ESCAROLE, GREAT BATAVIAN (Chicorium intybus) - Oooh, chicory. Last month we got a packet of radicchio, another chicory variety, and that's happily growing in a pot in my backyard despite the humid weather we've been having. Like radicchio, escarole prefers cooler weather and is entirely edible. I think warmer weather produces plants on the bitter side so I'll probably sautee it with garlic and oil or something instead of using it in a salad...if it grows. (Don't mind the "lettuce" info sheet in the back..that was actually supposed to say "chicory")

LEEK, BLEU SOLAISE (Allium porrum) - Would you believe me if I told you I've never had leek before? Here's my chance! To get the nice white stems you're supposed to blanche it by piling soil around the plant. Good to know. I'll plant this after I transplant last month's seedlings into the ground.

PEA SHOOTS, AUSTRIAN WINTER (Pisum Sativum subsp. arvense) - Not only do these pea pods taste like peas, but the shoots and flowers do, too. Although the pods are best eaten cooked, the rest of the plant can be eaten in salads as-is. The pea seeds came with a little baggie of inoculant containing the Rhizobium species specific for this variety. Rhizobia and legumes have a fantastic symbiotic relationship in which atmospheric nitrogen gets converted into a bioavailable form for the plants to use. I've never had problems growing peas, but I read that this variety is particularly sensitive to humidity. We have lots of humidity here. Bleh.

THYME, GERMAN WINTER (Thymus vulgaris) - Yay! Ever since we moved in to our house I've wanted to plant thyme but never got around to getting my hands on any seeds. Now that the seeds have come to me, I'm planting this ASAP :) I love the aroma it'll add to my backyard. According to German folklore, fairies like to frequent patches of thyme...I'm keeping an eye out for you, fairies!

POPPY, JIMI'S FLAG MIX (Papaver somniferum) - Ah, so pretty. Even tough I can't even look at poppies without thinking about the Wicked Witch of the West... Sleep, my pretties, sleeeeeep. It's amazing how my 5-year-old mind thought that they fell asleep because it was a bed of flowers. Ha! I'm trying to think of an ideal place to plant this where my dogs won't get to it. I can totally imagine them plucking off those glorious seed pods and getting addicted to them. We had this master plan to section off a chunk of yard for a dedicated garden that the dogs couldn't get to and even bought fencing and a gate. And that was it. Every time we looked at how much weeds and grass had to be pulled before we could even begin setting up the garden, we got discouraged and put it off until later, and of course later never happened. The fencing is still leaning against our tool shed and I don't even know where our edging went. So much for that idea.

Whoo, another fun month of new plants! Until the day comes when I grit my teeth and finally set up an actual garden, my plants will remain in pots and the raised planter C made for me when we moved in. It's not big, but at least it'll fit a few plants. I'm not sure if the leek or peas will grow in this climate but I'll try anyway. But the thyme should do just fine and I'm so excited to get that started right away.

If you have a green thumb (or want to), sign up for GrowJourney and get your first month free (just pay $3.99 for shipping). These seeds are certified organic, meaning they were grown with no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. When you get your seeds I encourage you to login to your account to read all about what you're getting - there's some really helpful info on germination, harvesting, susceptibility to pests, and basic background info. Unfortunately, there isn't much customization available yet, especially for the "extreme" zones (e.g. Alaska, Maine, Florida, Hawaii), but if you get something that absolutely won't grow in your Ag zone just shoot them an email and they might be able to send a replacement variety free of charge. If you're into sustainability I'd definitely recommend giving these guys a try. They're going to begin sending spring and early summer seeds pretty soon, so that means fruits and flowers! Yay!

Note: I pay for this subscription and all opinions are my own. Post doesn't contain any referral links.

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