Friday, March 18, 2011

no robo tomatoes for me

these are hydroponic tomatoes. aren't they gorgeous? my co-worker has a few plants in the greenhouse and i snagged these babies, rinsed them off, and they made the best end-of-winter sandwich topping. i refuse to buy grocery store tomatoes. they are effing gross. no robo tomatoes for me.

have any of you started your gardens yet? if not, it's time to start your seeds. there's no better way to stick it to the man than to grow your own food. fresh produce prices are not going to stop rising, especially organically grown produce. in early spring one can start spinach, peas, broccoli, lettuce, herbs, kale, and chard. contrary to popular belief, the best way to start seeds ain't by plunking them into the ground. i like getting a potting mix or super starter plugs and placing the seeds in flats. then i rest them on a propagation mat and under a shop light. then i put the seedlings in the ground after they've grown their first two sets of leaves.

a vegan diet is awesome, but so is obtaining your produce locally. if you don't want to take a second mortgage out on your home, just grow it yourself. the world of hydroponics isn't as cerebral as you think it might be, there's passive hydroponics--(doesn't require electricity and produces gorgeous results), or you can rock out your small space with container gardening. trust me, i work in the industry.

as vegans, gardening can be tricky: most plant food contains animal by products. ask 10 vegans if a plant food is vegan and you'll likely get 10 different answers. me? i do use worm castings, which could make the vegan police grumble--but they don't have to live my life. i do. plants aren't vegan, they like to eat organic matter no matter what the source is. unfortunately, some of the sources of animal derived byproducts are from slaughterhouses. ick! in chemistry terms organic doesn't mean natural or pesticide free, it means that the food source is carbon based. don't you remember the coneheads referring to humans as carbon based life forms?

the best source for vegan plant food is growing comfrey and using compost that contains zero animal products. grass clippings are a great source of nitrogen. if you want to up the ante, here are some great vegan plant food sources you can buy. if you buy them from my place of employment, you'll increase my job security-(nudge-nudge, wink-wink):

  • rock phosphate-you need phosphorous for fruiting and flowering--make sure it is 100% rock phosphate!

you can also look for food that contains liquid seaweed or neem cake. just check the label to make sure it doesn't have bone, feather, fish, blood, or meat meal.

what are you waiting for? get growing and brag about your haul at the next potluck. and for the love of heirloom tomatoes, stay vegan.


Glo said...

We planted 12 jalapeno starter plants last week and a row of bush green beans - I wish we had more garden space and sun, but you work with what you have. I LOVE a fresh, warm vine ripened tomato!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Aw, tomato heart!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Thanks for this post. My father-in-law gave us chile pequin seeds and he told me about compost tea, but I'm so glad there's some vegan stuff.