Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Treats for Our Furry Friends

And now we wait.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The growing station is doing well.  The micro-greens have fed the bunny and found themselves on my eggs in the morning.  Aren't they just gorgeous?!?  Tonight I may even put together a micro-salad with dinner.  And speaking of salad, the lettuce mix is coming along nicely as well, a couple more weeks and it should be ready to harvest.  My sample seeds to grow and review arrived yesterday from Renee's Garden:

I am looking forward to growing these out and keeping track of their progress here on the blog.  I am most excited about the Tronchuda Beira Kale (a blog article here on using this kale for some authentic portuguese soup, and Cat Treats Gourmet Mixed Greens.  Our cat has shown some improvement over the last few days and we really hope he pulls through and gets to sample these treats!!  (I know a bunny and three dogs that will also be partaking in the treat sampling.)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When the snow finally flew.....

It wasn't much, but the kids did what they could.  They managed one run each on the sled, and this miniature snowman before the rain washed all the white stuff away.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Seed List & Garden Changes

I am a 'variety is the spice the life' kind of gal, so that being said there are some new things coming our way this year in the garden.  Mainly we will be adding 10 more lowbush blueberries since they are just divine, and 3 more smaller highbush varieties that won't get much past three or four feet tall to our yard.  The berry bushes will be planted along the outside border of the garden now that the dogs are no longer roaming that area.

The strawberry line-up will be updated as well with an everbearing variety (Seascape) being grown.   I am curious to compare flavor to that of my favorite Honeoyes.

Seed List:  (sourced from Renee's Garden unless otherwise noted)

Greens mixes, too many to list; 
some are cut-n-come, some for braising or stir-fying; some sweet, and some spicy!
Caesar Duo
Portuguese Kale
Lacinato Kale
Russian Kale (Johnny's)
Bright Lights Chard (Johnny's)
Baby Pixie Cabbage
Claytonia (Fedco)

Pontaic Red Potato,
LaRatte Fingerling Potato,
& Purple Viking Potato (ME Potato Lady)
Baby Belle Peppers
Pizza My Heart Pepper
Corno di Toro Pepper
Spanish Padron Pepper
Tam Jalapeno Pepper (Baker Creek)
Carmen Pepper (Johnny's)
Fairytale Eggplant (Johnny's)
Little Prince Eggplant
Chianti Rose Tomato
Amish Paste Tomato (SSE)
Sungold Cherry (Johnny's)
Black Krim Tomato (Mariania's)
Ella's Pink Plum Tomato (Diane's)

Green Fingers Baby Persian Cukes
Spanish Musica Beans
Dragon's Tongue Beans (Baker Creek)
Magda Summer Squash (Johnny's)
Trieste Bulbing Fennel

That about covers it.  I have been immersing myself in garden planning to distract my weary heart from the new diagnosis of our precious kitty-cat Bob.  He is not well, and it looks as though he has FIP, which is a fatal disease for which there is no treatment.  He is fading on us a little bit each day and it is so hard to watch.  He and my kids had such a special bond from the beginning, I just hate that this is happening.  It was not that long ago we watched our dog Travis fall ill, I am not ready to again make the decision of when to take another animals life and stop their suffering.  So in the midst of my grief I obsess over seeds and bed composition, and do lots of yoga.  Lots.  (I even was out changing the configuration of a bed the other day,  laying down burlap where the blueberries will go, shifting cobblestones to their new place in twenty degree weather).  Physical work clears the mind I guess.

I will leave you with a picture that sums up how much we will miss this creature that has been with us for such a short time, sweet Bob laying on Ella's legs while they watch a show on the iPad.  This was taken last week, before we knew he was so ill.

Happy Gardening.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing Greens

Grow light system arrived today, and it was perfect timing.....the seeds have sprouted and are reaching for the sky.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Garden Plans

Though the garden does not look like this now, I have found a photo of the beds when planted- but not in full swing- to be the most helpful when planning for the next season's layout.  This photo was taken in May of last year before things became unruly, and I can tell for the most part what is growing where, and how much space it was allowed.  This is my mock up for this year's plotting:

Some changes are happening this year.  First, we invested in a CSA (full share).  Second, due to this share we are adding more fruit to the garden since that will be the one thing that won't be included in our weekly bounty.  The devastation caused by hungry rodents late last summer and through the fall is the main reason for the CSA.  I want back-up if my garden gets mowed again.  The other reason is that my kids and I just plain love the produce this farm puts out, and we certainly could use more veggies in our lives.  The farmer is very focused on nutrient density, and you can taste the difference.  This takes some pressure off my garden, and we can have fun trying some new veggie varieties and focus on increasing fruit production.......coming our way are 10 more lowbush blueberries, seascape strawberries, and another Liberty Apple on Bud 9 in the event we lose the tree that was just damaged by rodents.  I really hope our poor tree makes it.   It has a few years under it's belt, and starting from scratch would mean we lose fruit from it, and likely from it's apple buddy E. Spitzenburg as they bloom together for pollination.

I fell in love with the greens mixes from Renee's Garden last year, and so I went a bit overboard and decided to try doing just about the whole garden from her seed catalog.  I am hanging on to a few favorites from the past like Sungold & Ella's Pink Plum Tomatoes, Carmen Peppers, and Bright Lights Chard.  But other than that the garden will be full of new and unusual varieties of peppers, squash, greens, and cukes.  Fun, right?

Seed list and micro-green set-up coming soon.  :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year gardeners, bloggers, and friends!   My how this last year flew by.   I was hoping that 2012 would make for a fresh start in the garden, but sadly on the first day I found one of my dwarf apples dug up and partially girdled.  I just about wept.  We stood the tree up and filled in the hole, but there is so much damage I think the tree is not likely to survive the winter.  It occurred to me then as I was outside in New England on the first day of January in a long sleeve t-shirt that THAT was part of the problem.  Normally the ground would be frozen and a rabbit could not dig up a small tree to get to the tender bark.  The creatures are certainly desperate this winter!  This destruction brought reflection on our recent study of the pilgrims landing in Plymouth.  We went to see the Mayflower II just after Thanksgiving, and it was brutally cold.  One can appreciate the struggles of finding/building shelter and trying to get some fertile land and a source of nourishment growing all the more when brutal winter is at your back.  I am thankful for not going hungry this past year because other things ate what we sowed.

In other news I ordered something I had been considering since last winter-  an indoor light set-up that would enable me to grow micro-greens.  Indoors.  Where rodents won't eat them first.  I googled the topic and happily came across an article in Organic Gardening (click here) mentioning particular seeds as being good for this application.  Well I just happen to have multiple packets of said seeds and I took that for a sign that I should go for it!  I will post more once the greens nursery is up and running.

I hope you all have been enjoying perusing the seed catalogs that have been rolling in since November.  I am just now finding time to sit down and look through the growing pile.  Dreaming up the garden plans over seed catalogs next to a warm fire......winter life just does not get any better than that for us gardeners, does it?

(P.S.- Somebody send us some snow!!)