Friday, May 11, 2012

Cucumbers started

There is an app for that, but paper is still so darn nice.

The cucumbers are going in today (and some a week ago). There well be much pickling this year of things go according to plan.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pea season nears

The first planting of peas (Feb 8) are blossoming rapidly now. These are Super Sugar Snaps here, the best snap pea I've come across.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2nd salad

The first salad was eaten before the camera crew arrived. This salad is composed of backyard sourced lettuces, chard, chives, oregano and raspberries (via the freezer). The tomatoes and cottage cheese  were imported.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cutting potatoes

Cutting potatoes for planting. Two sprouts per piece, says grandpa Larson.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beautiful germination

A soil block site told me that there was no reason to cover the seeds when using blocks. It went on to say that there's plenty of  moisture in the block to let it germinate properly. I've tried this a few times and can say that it  works very well (lettuce is especially quick to germinate in this fashion). It also gives you a great perspective on what is going on just after germination. I find these little broccoli beautiful.
Newly emerged broccoli

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bolting toward Harvest Monday

Even though the overwintering crowd has started to bolt toward the barn doors, they remain plentiful and tasty.

The Brussels Sprouts are popping open in small explosive blooms, spurring me to pick clean a few of the plants. Nature works, though. I didn't get them all. Some had bolted entirely, some I just missed. These would bloom if left to their own devices, and may still, though it will be from the compost bin.

One cabbage came indoors, the last remains in the field, its seemingly chaotic splatter of long-packed-together leaves reaching in every direction. The chard is putting on new growth, the kale stretches skyward and the rest of the garden residents are trying to remain unseen as they edge toward the doors.

Spring is near, though it is under a cover of frost this morning.

Leeks, sprouts, spinach and chard await the pizza stone.
The sauce is from our canned summer stores.

We still have squash in the larder. This pint is being
dried to satisfy work snack cravings.

(Go see what else is bolting at Daphne's Harvest Monday site).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sprouts for breakfast

I continue to try to eat my way through what remains. Our Brussels sprouts, leeks, and garlic join with some tasty mushrooms for breakfast.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Harvest Monday

There is more cabbage and Brussels in the garden than it seems. That's not to say that I can feed an army, or our small family day-in and day-out, but there is certainly enough that I need to work it into as many meals as I can during the week. That works out to lunches during the weekday and a couple evening meals. It is a good problem to have.

Spring is amazing. I suppose that goes without saying, but here I go. The longer days and nudges toward warmer temperatures have brought new growth all over the garden. The Purple Sprouting Broccoli looks noticeably more lush. The peas I put in the ground on the 5th of February are poking out of the ground. And the remains of winter Brussels and cabbages are starting to open in preparation for active bolting. Our kale is also preparing to go. We have some time, but the end is approaching.

It has been a good winter ride and now the sprint through Spring is upon me. No, its not a sprint. It is steady, even pacing. Now to have the discipline to maintain a good pace..
A beet in the hand.. also worth two birds in the bush?
The brassica dreams of seeds
Spaghetti for dinner. Just add red sauce.
Only a couple more to go.
A lunch buddy for days

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Planting - Lettuce / Broccoli

Broccoli, take three

I started the first round of lettuce and spring broccoli this evening. I've had nothing but problems trying to start broccoli the last two years. Those years, I started the broccoli outside in the greenhouse. I think the wide swings of temperature in the greenhouse were too much for the young broccoli. This year they are in the house with nice stable temperatures. I'm interested to see what I get this time around.

Soil Blocks

I've had great success with soil blocks and will use them for everything that can be started in them. Last week I started tomatoes in 2" blocks. Today I used the 3/4" blocks for lettuce and broccoli. Blocks of this size are easily out grown, but they are also compact and allow me to start a lot of single seeds, resulting in more than enough plants, even with spotty germination. As it turns out, I've had great luck with germination in this manner and will have enough starts to share with all interested.
3/4" soil blocks - 160 total

Top Row (Left->Right): 
  • Mascara Lettuce (x20); Territorial Seed
  • Drunken Woman Fizzy Head (x20); Territorial Seed
  • Marshall Lettuce (x20); 
  • Italienischer Lettuce (x20);
Bottom Row (Left->Right)
  • Valmaine Lettuce (x20)
  • Fiesta Hybrid Broccoli (x20) (Pelleted)
  • Broccoli Sampler from Cedar Grove Nursery (x20) (Not sure the exact variety)
  • Blank, for now.

Spinach dreams - planting

The garlic bed, center, got some companions today:

Left to right:
Mustard - Wild Garden
Spinach - Spaulding (x3)
Spinach - Olympia (x2)

Behind them is our winter bed of kale & collards. In front is a Purple Sprouting Broccoli that its showing good spring growth.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Harvest Monday

We, through not aggressively eating our way through the garden, are still pulling much from it.  There are still beets, a few cabbages, loads of kale & collards, green onion, and Brussels. The carrots are mostly gone and the last of the broccoli was picked and its bed cleared in preparation for peas.

This post is part of the Harvest Monday collection over at Daphne's Dandelions. Head on over to see what is left of other people's winter gardens.

From a Brussels' point of view

Cabbage and Brussels on the block for the wok

Spring fever, first planting

We've been experiencing a full-on spring weekend. The sun was bright, non-shady areas warm. We planted the first round of peas in response. It isn't terribly early. They normally go in around Presidents day.

What went in:
10' each:
  Alderman (west, bear row)
  Super Sugar-Snap

Monday, December 19, 2011

Harvest Monday

There is much in the garden waiting to be picked these days. I realized this week, that's where it is staying. It's not intentional, though. It is easier to make and eat bread, fatten up on nuts, than to go root out a couple beets. With that now in mind, it was a pleasure to pluck a couple beets, carrots, and leeks from the ground yesterday for dinner. They met up with an apple and found their way into me through the juicer. Breakfast was a scramble of Brussels, leeks, spinach and garlic. 

This, and much more interesting Monday posts are inspired by Daphne Dandelions.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bright Autumn skies

There are beautiful days about. The rain has held off more so than normal. So has what we call cold. Luke and I took advantage of this and found ourselves a windfall, quite literally I suppose. The sun was warm, the shadows chilly, and the day good.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Garden super stars

The first of Brussels Sprouts were snapped from their stalk this week. Steve Solomon waxes poetic about the power of Brussels Sprouts, 'each a little package of vitality'. Brussels are super hardy, super cute and super tasty Are they the super stars of winter? It sounds like Brussels are an old friend of mine, but really we've just met. Like many other vegetables, Brussels and I got off to a rocky start. We met in an overcooked slop of misunderstanding. It is no wonder that I never put that small green bag of leaves anywhere near my mouth. I was young and they were stinky and strange. Brussels weren't alone. Beets were also barred entry, asparagus, too. I'm not sure if I had even heard of chard or kale, but I'm sure that they'd have been immediately black-listed as well. Though, I did love my spinach, peas and corn. I've always loved creamed-corn, which is odd, because it is the leader of slimy food movement. In any event, Brussels, beets and I have mended our fences. They now carry most-favored vegetable status and a prominate place in the garden. We have two variety of Brussels in the garden this year, Franklin and Roodnerf. All of them have put sprouts on, but one variety (Franklin) had the time to swell their sprouts to perfection, some nearing golf ball size. They snap off the stalk with a satisfying pop and do seem to be packed with vitality and courage.
Brussels chatting with broccoli and onion, plotting
their escape from the wok.

Cabbage also made another appearance in the kitchen this week. The first one was picked last week, and another came in with me yesterday. The remaining cabbage variety is savoyed, meaning its leaves are crinkly. Savoyed is an interesting word. It brings to mind dancing, rather than vegetable. I barely looked to see what else the word conveys. Wikipedia doesn't do it justice. I'm not certain where on the scale of slightly-to-heavily savoyity our cabbages are, but they are photogenic. Their leaves are a varied variety of healthy looking green. With the brilliant sun of yesterday on them, it seemed like everything was right in the world.

This post link linked to from Daphne's Dandelion's Harvest Monday post. Head over there to see what others are growing this time of year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harvest Monday

Our sole Danish Ballhead. All of the others
are a savoy type that I need to pin back to
an actual name.
We picked the first of the cabbages this weekend. It was on the small side, but it was more than enough for the pumpkin curry recipe it was plucked for. The pumpkin curry isn't pictured, but it certainly warranted being captured. I have some for lunch today and I expect that it'll be as tasty as before.

Also not pictured are some truly gorgeous Collards that Shari picked yesterday (their leaves are a deep uniform green and look super healthy and tasty after the recent frosts), as well as the smattering of carrots, chard and onions that made it into the week's meals.  Not pictured for better reason are the few straggling tomatoes we managed to pull from the greenhouse. Actually they probably should have been posted, just to commemorate their fortitude.

For many well pictured posts, head over to Daphne's Dandelions for many Harvest Monday contributors.

Baking interlude

The hours of light are short. The temperatures have dipped. The sky its dripping. It is time to bake. It has been years since I've made bread on a regular basis. I let my sourdough starter go and turned my attention elsewhere. I have some attention again and have acquired part of a great starter from a friend. It is nice to turn some attention back to bread.
Multigrain just before baking.

A country-white, the essence of bread:
flour, water, starter, salt.

Multigrain cooling, delicious potential at 

Bagels with a nice chew.