Archives for the month of: February, 2011

 

Herb Box 4x4

We were able to finish our herb box yesterday.  We planted oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, and chamomile.  It’s been rainy and cool here the past two weeks.  One more cold night tonight and hopefully we’ll get into our warm growing weather.

Between Rains

Haven’t been able to do anything.  It rained last weekend and the forecast for this weekend is more rain.


Broccoli

Okay, yes, I am doing this for all the good reasons; to be healthier, know where our food comes from, etc.  It’s when I taste a vegetable from my garden and it’s like I’ve never had that vegetable before that I really connect with having a garden.  Broccoli from our garden…  WOW…  Just WOW.  And I didn’t think I was doing the right thing.  I’ve only been exposed to broccoli at the market, it has a very tight head.  But as it grows the head actually loosens and the florets separate and will eventually bloom if you leave it long enough.  So when my broccoli heads started to separate I didn’t know what was happening.  I thought maybe I waited too long before harvesting, maybe it’d be bitter.  I’d never seen broccoli like that before.

After harvesting, all we did was steam it and I put a little butter on mine, Noemi put a little garlic powder and black pepper on hers (Noemi is raw vegan).  I’ll have to plant an acre of it next season.  It was wonderful.  I’m so excited about the new tastes that we’ll get to explore.  All of the veggies taste different from what you get outside of your garden. The kale and collards have soft tastes, easy to put in a salad.  Our dwarf kale has a lemony accent to it.  And the broccoli had a sweet note to it.  For me it’s like, before I liked veggies, now with the veggies from my garden, I love veggies.  Mmmmm, Mmmmm, can’t get enough.

Dwarf Kale

I was talking to my co-worker Bev, who is the Bevmo! She showed me the magical scarf she is knitting for me and I learned she had a huge garden when she was living  in Idaho. She planted corn, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb. She said she wanted to plant rhubarb here, but it doesn’t get cold enough.  Apparently rhubarb has to go dormant.  That’s what I love about plants, they all have their little particulars, okra likes heat, broccoli doesn’t mind a little frost on it’s head, they’re like little green people, each with their own story.  It’s fun learning about their ways.

1st 4x8 Box

Just finished planting our second 4×4 box, so our first 4×8 box is fully planted!  Woohoo!  It’s really happening. I planted onions, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, more spinach, kale and lettuce. This is the fun time, we’re past our last frost so I can plant all those wonderful spring/summer plants.

I’ve been starting with seedlings, and it’s been working out.  Our next 4×4 I’ll plant with seeds. Ooooooooo. I’ve started seeds indoors before, they didn’t do too well because I didn’t give them enough fertilizer and I didn’t know about the hardening process. Lots to learn.  But, I’ve never started from seed outside. A new learning curve!  Yay!  Hopefully.

1st Full Sized Broccoli Head

Hey, we’ve met a milestone, we no longer have to buy lettuce. Our little lettuce plants are really producing. We’ll see how it goes, our summers are very hot and lettuce doesn’t do well in the heat. I’ve heard of people being able to keep their lettuce plants through the summer, I’ll have to hunt them down.  Oh, did I say our summers are very hot, yeah no actually it’s like being in a oven that’s on 500 degrees. Uh huh, yep, fun.

Gandalph and Xena aka The Culprits

If something isn’t working or has a  piece missing, it was one of these two. How many computer cables, extension cords, handbags, baskets, I could go on, have fallen prey to these two ne’er do wells. Run, don’t walk, they just ate your favorite shoes!

Frost Blanket and Lights

Thank the Goddess we made it through the frost and didn’t lose anybody. Some of the lavender flowers died, but the plants are fine. Thursday night the forecast was for a low of 28 degrees. So I put christmas lights in the boxes to keep the plants warm, it was a tip I found online. Whew! Frost is scary. We have a couple of cool nights this week, definitely not as bad as last week.

I started planting my herb box and the 2nd half of my 4×8. Just a few plants. This weekend the sisters said they would have some tomato plants! Yaaaay! Nothing says backyard garden like tomato plants. Noemi only likes little tomatoes, cherry and grape, I like heirloom tomatoes and the little ones. I love those cute little pear tomatoes, they really add visual interest to a salad.

I’ll really have to show some self-control regarding tomato plants, I always want to buy them all!

All Tucked In

Every morning I make my lunch for work. And as I’m running through my morning routine I dream wistfully about being one of those people who prepares things the night before and instead of racing through my morning to get ready for work, do some yoga and meditation, feed the bunnies     (Noemi feeds the dogs), make breakfast, make lunch, water the plants, and put the dogs away, I could walk slowly around in a state of bliss and love and appreciate my garden, and sip tea and instead of dumping the bunnies’ food on their heads (because as soon as I put their pellets in their bowl , they start to eat and it’s hard to put their hay in their bowls without getting some on their furry little heads), and finish that novel I never started, write an award winning broadway play and figure out how to bring about world peace… If only… Lol

While we were busy dreaming, we are very cold here. Last night the temperature got down into the 20’s. We covered the plants with frost blankets, but when I checked this morning it didn’t look good. I couldn’t water anybody because the hose was frozen. The lettuce plants were stiff, I don’t know if they’re gone or they’ll revive. Trying not to think the worse. It’s supposed to be in the 20’s again tonight. Scary times.

Fully Planted 4x4

WoooHoo!  Our first 4×4 box is fully planted!  I finished it off with lettuce, red fire and salad mix. It has taken some effort. It takes a lot of plants to fill up a 4×4 box.  I used advice I got from the sisters and Sweet Corn Nursery and I sprinkled some MegaVeggie in the little hole I dug for each lettuce plant and then I poured some MegaSea on them after they were planted to reduce root shock and it seems to have worked.  They looked strong and sturdy after planting.  See, I’m learning!

Noemi has finished another 4×4 that I’m planning to use as my herb box.  This box is close to the kitchen door. For some reason I think that herbs need to be right by the kitchen door.  I’m so excited, I already have rosemary, lavender and sage waiting.  And she also started laying a line for our irrigation.  You don’t understand, this is huge.  When I first met Noemi she was against being handy.  I grew up an only child and I always “helped” my father when there was something to do around the house.  Noemi grew up the only girl with two brothers so she didn’t have to be handy.   But over the years, (after overcoming much resistence) she has really come around.  She says next year she’ll probably build a house.  I’m not sure I want to live in it though…  (sssshhhhh don’t tell Noemi!)

We have approximately 9 sq feet of space for our lettuce plants, with approximately 4 lettuce plants per sq foot.  Since we can’t harvest from all of them yet, I don’t know how close we are to our goal of not buying lettuce for the season.  I think we may need to plant a 4×4 box to be able for both of us to have a salad each day. And then the bunnies, you know they’re looking for their lettuce too.  And the dogs don’t mind having a leaf here and there.  Yes, we’re talking about a lot of lettuce plants.

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