Monday, April 23, 2012

Harvest Monday....Brrrr

Well I am glad I didn't put the tomato, pepper, and eggplants in the ground a week ago when it was so nice.  It has been chilly here the last couple of days.  On Saturday it was nice for the first part of the day and I got some borlotti bean seeds in my new beds in front of the garden.  John also transplanted some of our raspberries into the new side of the yard beds he extended.  Last year when we got the retaining wall put in in the back of the yard, John put in a small retaining wall on the side of the yard near the fence line.  A neighbor gave us some raspberries and we put them in our first bed there. We acquired two grape vines through free cycle here and they have begun showing signs of life!  These are in the second fence line bed. This past weekend John did 2 more beds along the fence line--one with the raspberry transplants and we decided to put tomatoes in the last one.  I will have to take some pics of all of this and post them soon.

Last Thursday I had to re seed my Tuscan Kale and Swiss Chard--the transplants were way too delicate.  Perhaps they were too young as well.  The other problem was that they were my trial run in egg cartons and I didn't like it.  It dried out very fast and I noticed that the roots were attaching to the egg carton. I figured that I could have planted the carton in the ground, but worried that it wouldn't really degrade fast enough and then the roots wouldn't have room.

On to Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Monday.  We have been enjoying lettuce, fennel, and spinach salad from our overwintered veggies....need to do more of them for sure.  A new simple dressing we are enjoying is just EVOO, a little seasoned rice vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Sometimes we add parmigiano region cheese.  Thanks to our friend Michele for that recipe! Also enjoyed Jamie Oliver's suggesting with the swiss chard greens and sautéed them with garlic (as usual) but also added the fennel tops, celery leaves, chives, and even a little bit of romaine lettuce.  It was very yummy.
Lettuce, Spinach, and Fennel Salad

Hey Gardening crew out there... what are your favorite and most successful lettuces?  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rule #14: Give it time

So first up is to announce that our 11 month old Mckinley is finally crawling!  This is big news in our house.  She is loving her new freedom and pulling up on everything now, including mommy's legs.  In other "give it time" news Larkyn has really started taking off with her fine motor skills. This has been more difficult for her as it doesn't seem that she has decided which hand is dominate. However she is very excited to use her scissors and doing well with it.

On to gardening news and Harvest Monday. For various reasons I have been unable to participate in Harvest Monday, but was bound and determined to add my name to the list today. If you don't already know, Harvest Monday is a chance to share what you are harvesting and see what others are harvesting around the world. It is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  So to update on my gardening first, all the baby plants have been doing well and I have planted my Swiss Chard, Kale, and one Broccoli Rabe transplants in the garden this weekend.  Why only one Broccoli Rabe?  They are older seeds and that is the only one that came up.  I sowed the rest of the seeds in the garden this weekend, hoping for a few more.  I don't think I will start Swiss Chard inside again, they are delicate seedlings and I am not sure they will survive. The kale is a bit stronger so I may do that inside again next year. Saturday and Sunday (April 14 and 15) I sowed three types of lettuces, Tatsoi, Arugula, Peas,  four varieties of Green Beans, Broccoli Rabe, Spinach, Carrots, and Beets.  Now we wait to see how things come up. This year we used a locally created Leaf Grow to our garden. The compost was not ready, but hopefully we will use it in the fall or most likely next spring. This mix has proving very successful for my neighbors so I am hoping my seeds and plants do well. Recently I have harvested arugula, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, and my one fennel. Why only one?  I didn't plant that many in the fall and didn't  care for them very well since Mckinley was still very young.  This guy survived the winter outside of the hoop house!  I guess that wasn't too hard since it was a pretty mild winter. I plan on doing a lot more fennel this year. (Excuse the crazy Picture layout...haven't figured all that out and don't know when I'll get around to that!)
A surprise last bit of Endive I harvested a few weeks ago. These were a lot of work to clean so I am not sure that I will do the curly leaf Endive again!

Swiss Chard
Close up of Fennel
Spinach making a come back

Can I crawl on this stuff?
Easter Egg Hunt

Chef Larkyn and Lella on Easter!