Valley Bounty: Plant Starts

It seems hard to believe (as I write this, snow seems to be lingering in the forecast like a party guest overstaying their welcome by a full two months), but the season of summer farmers’ markets is now upon us. Today is the first day of the Amherst Farmers’ Market, both the Tuesday and Saturday markets in downtown Northampton open next week, and more markets will be opening around the Valley in the coming weeks.

Aside from year-round staples like honey, meat, maple syrup, salad greens, storage crops, and so on, farmers’ markets at this time of year are a great place to pick up some starter plants for your home garden. Even the yardless among us, myself included, can get in on the action by making mini-gardens on windowsills, tabletops, or, if you want to get really fancy, vertical gardening boxes designed to fit the most plants possible into the smallest floorspace. Personally, I’m going with herbs on the windowsills (oregano, basil, mint, and parsley to start, I think), and I’d like to have a couple cherry tomato plants as well. There are some great resources online that can help you get the most gardening done in even a tiny space.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)