Friday, March 3, 2017

Indoor gardening

Our very mild winter will be coming to a close shortly which means that we will soon be starting seeds under lights in the basement. The past few weeks, we have been getting our kitchen in order and growing quite a few things indoors. Our Omega Juicer has made it very easy to regularly make whole wheat and lentil sprout bread. Once the wheat and lentils are sprouted, it is simply a matter of running them through the juicer with the blank insert, then squeeze into a loaf, coat with sesame seeds and bake at 250 deg for a couple of hours. One of the best things about this bread is that it can be baked in our mini-crockpot, thus saving energy and saving worry about having the oven on for an extended period.

We are also regularly growing trays of sunflower and buckwheat microgreens, and jars of alfalfa, broccoli, and cress seed mix. I am putting together a spreadsheet that will help me to figure out how to have a steady supply of these indoor greens and that will allow me to report on cost and yield.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2016 Garden Review

We finished the last of the kale from the garden last night, lightly sauteed with garlic and shiitake. I have some choi in the refrigerator and that will be the last of the harvest from 2016. I kept a spreadsheet of savings last year and, even though it was a difficult year, we saved over $600 in groceries by having the garden. Much of that was spent investing in the irrigation system and materials for building more frames, but next year we should be able to save more.

January has been very mild with most daytime temperatures above freezing.

If I were on top of things, I would have greens growing in the basement and plants started for the spring, but I have been taking a break to focus on the Holidays and decluttering the house. Perhaps I will be able to start some plants in a couple of weeks.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Two December Harvests

We have had two December harvests that have been supplying greens for salads, juicing and braising. I would say that the experiment this year in growing celery was a success and works well in salads and for juicing. The stalks are not as big as store-bought celery, but that may have something to do our struggles with tree roots.

I covered some of the greens with burlap or Agribon and that was enough to get them along this far. One frame containing several kale will be covered with plastic to protect against the deep of winter for an early spring harvest.

I managed to build one of the new frames that is really just a big container, but it will prevent the tree roots from invading and will provide a large surface for succession planting various greens.

By the time I was ready to move the fish, the pond had frozen over, so I am going to have to keep a hole in the ice for oxygen until spring and hope for the best.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Late November update

The last four cherry tomatoes that I picked several weeks ago finally ripened up and were enjoyed in a quinoa salad last night. We haven't had a killing frost and subsequently are still enjoying greens from the garden. I haven't found the time to build the new garden frame and transplant everything that will be overwintering. With luck, that will happen this weekend and we will continue harvesting into January. I am also hoping to move the fish indoors this weekend.