February in Oregon means rain, rain, rain. Believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing! Farmers need the rain now to replenish ground water they use during the hot dry summer to grow our food. But while rain is a great thing for our agricultural community, it can mean many gray days feeling cooped up inside with kids who are busting to get out. Here are two things to do this month that will fill your home with hope that the warm days of summer and the bounty they bring are on the way.
#1 - Plant seeds with your kids.
Now is the time to plant seeds indoors for longer season vegetables. In four to six weeks, when the plants get bigger and the days get longer and warmer, you’ll transplant these plants outside. Seeds to start indoors in February include broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes.
If the soil is dry enough and workable, you can also take your planting outdoors. Hardy vegetables that can be grown outdoors starting late February include arugula, fava beans, garlic cloves, radishes, shallot bulbs, shelling peas, spinach, snow peas, and Swiss chard.
Ask your local retail nursery or garden store
for tips on what varieties of these seeds will grow best this time of year within your particular growing conditions.
#2 - Join a Community Supported Agriculture farm.
While you are home planting seeds for your summer harvest, Oregon farmers are planning what types and how many seeds of different fruits and vegetables they should be planting this year. You can help them decide by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.
CSA’s are a wonderful way to help local farmers plan what they will be growing this year for your family. You buy a share, and then receive weekly boxes of farm fresh foods throughout the season. Many CSA farms invite your family to visit or work on the farm. When you know your farmer, you know your food. Find a CSA
that’s right for you!