Crofting: Growing Like Mad!

Pumpkin seedlings

I don’t think any common domestic food-producing plant that grows with the wild abandon of pumpkins and cucurbits-in-general. A little soil, a little water, and they burst out of their flat oval seeds like startled ducks off a pond.

We are in the sub-arctic northeast of the continent, and plants must grow like mad if they stand a chance to produce fruit, seeds, and set up a new generation. Our growing season can be as short as 100 days.

We try to extend that season by starting seeds indoors, and transplanting them to a sun-warmed garden after the last danger of frost.

windowsill tomatoes - Hungarian Heart cultivar

Watering all these plants stuck on tables and makeshift shelves and on the top of the refrigerator involves more than a gallon of water and standing on a chair. I dream of a greenhouse next spring – although that will involve a second woodstove to stoke and fidget over. And buckets of water to carry – but what’s another bucket or two?