March 2016: Planting Seeds, Pea Recipes, & Cage-Free Eggs

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“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” – Wendell Berry

This month, many of us are planting seeds and planning our summer gardens. With foresight and careful attention to the seedlings, you can seed nearly your entire garden! There are many choices for seeding trays, or you can even use an egg carton. Seedlings need warmth (60-65’F), water (moist but not wet), and loads of light (a south-facing window, greenhouse, or grow-light). Seedlings enjoy around 14-16 hours of daylight. Try to pick local organic seeds, ideal for your climate. Keep in mind planting dates- that’s when you’d harden off your seedlings and transplant them into the garden. See a full tutorial from Peaceful Valley here.
March 2016 Whats Fresh Peas

This week Jimmy Sherfey of Eater took a closer look at the new cage-free egg demands in the US. Chains like McDonalds and Panera have announced goals to go cage-free in several years. California voted 63% in favor of Proposition 2, which ordered conventional cages to be at least 116 square inches (over the old average 75 square inches). Cage-free, on the other hand, does not necessarily mean happier birds.


To quote Sherfey: “Matt O’Hayer of Vital Farms, an Austin-based brand of pasture-raised eggs, finds the lack of outdoor access for cage-free problematic. ‘The consumer is not getting what they think they’re supposed to be getting,’ O’Hayer says. ‘One square foot per bird in a packed building where the ammonia levels are so high it makes your eyes water, walking through manure their whole life: That’s what a cage-free barn looks like; not a pretty scene.‘” If you dream of raising your own egg-layers, consult the fact sheet “Keeping Chickens in San Diego.” It points out: “Backyard eggs contain 25 percent more vitamin E, 33 percent more vitamin A, and 75 percent more beta carotene.”

Citrus, peas, chard, & Farmer Jazz in this spring Point Loma garden.