Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preparing the winter garden

Last Wednesday (Aug 6), youngest and I started some seeds for our winter garden. We planted beets (32), carrots (64), and peas (30) directly in grow box containers; mizuna (20), cress (40), lettuce (80), kale (40), arugula (20), corn salad (20), cabbage (20) and choi (40) in miniature seed blocks. Everything has sprouted except the lettuce, cabbage, and corn salad. The greens sprouted within a couple of days; the peas, carrots and beets began to appear on Sunday. We transplanted most of what sprouted into 2" inch blocks on Sunday (started with 3/4" blocks).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring is springing, finally...

It is my favorite time of year color-wise on our quarter-acre. The intense red of quince flowers with pretty blue forget-me-nots at their feet. Yellow forsythia surrounded by violet vinca flowers; daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinth; and peach, pear and apple blossoms.

The spring has been much too busy for starting vegetables, but I am hoping to plant some greens, herbs and roots before it gets too warm.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fruit retrospective

Some images of fruit from this past season. This was the first year for peaches and grapes.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Autumn greens, willow, and apples

My daughter started some kale, lettuce and chard for me in a pot on September 5. As the photo from October 6  shows, the seedlings grew well through the fair weather of September; however, something devoured all of the lettuce shortly before transplanting. Fortunately, the kale (~40) and chard (~12) made it into a garden frame and under cover before the cold weather started (Oct 20). We won't be able to pick any of the greens this winter but we will have an early start in the spring. The kale would need to be planted in late July/early August in order to be mature enough to nurture and harvest through the winter cold. Maybe next year...

I ordered several varieties of willow this spring, but didn't get it planted until September. After spending several months in the refrigerator I didn't hold out much hope for them, however more than half of the cuttings sprouted leaves and appear to be thriving.

We picked about 50 lbs of Gala and Braeburn apples from our trees in late-October. They have a lot of blemishes but these are mostly skin deep and the sweetness and crunch of the apples once peeled is unexcelled. These apples will last us into January with daily consumption. The best place I have found to store apples is in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. Technically the best storage conditions are 32 degrees F and 90% humidity, but the refrigerator will keep them in good condition until we have finished eating them in January.