Monday, February 25, 2013

Rule #31-When it's too cold outside you can still plant your starter seeds inside!

The basement is also the perfect spot to plant inside with the kiddos.  Mostly the baby just wanted to make a mess but that was ok too.  We got in our tomatoes, celery, peppers and eggplants.  John planted some sunflowers.  I really need to get some parsley planted as well.  I have the worst time with parsley and celery transplants so we shall see how it goes, but one of the parsley plants I bought last year actually overwintered and seems to be doing pretty well.  I may even get a good bush out of it yet!  We enjoyed our first round of borlotti beans from the freezer and I have to say they are amazing.  Will plant a bunch more this year as John will be (yet again) expanding the garden.  I put EVOO, garlic, salt and parsley on them when they were still hot.  P.S.  The radicchio and other assorted greens are doing well!


Borlotti Beans

Puntarelle Progress


Radicchio and Carrots


Monday, February 18, 2013

So, it's been a bit cold and windy here and...

the hoop house has been a bit compromised!  The high winds seem to have made it possible for too much cold air at night to get in and the greens have definitely suffered some frost bite!  Hopefully they will recover.  As you will see in the pictures the Puntarelle have continued to grow and I hope they will be ok.  Time will tell.  The Treviso seen to still be doing fine so I will have to dig some more up and force them.  Here are a few shots of the Puntarelle.

The smaller one

The larger one

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rule #30: Gardening surprises can be super exciting!

When I went into the hoop house the other day to pick some radicchio and check on how things were looking under there, I was not shocked to see that many of the chicory had rotting leaves and the Puntarelle chicories were not doing so well.  I was not surprised since when it turned very warm here I just could not even get out to open the door and air out the heat because the girls were both sick with the flu and other secondary infections.  I cleaned out the bad leaves, picked some radicchio, and didn't have time for more that day (that was a few days ago).  Then tonight I knew I needed to get in there really quick and tackle the Puntarelle.  I just cut them down because they were mostly beyond saving and many interior leaves were slimy and brown.  I was able to collect some leaves to cook.  Then I noticed a few that were doing ok and actually opening up more.  I did some investigating and could not believe what I was seeing.  After trying to force some in the garage with little success, I kind of gave up on figuring out how to get the "points"(at least for this year) and was happy to eat the greens.  But it turns out that  two are actually starting the points and these look very different than the ones that started to force in the garage.  These are looking like the beginnings of what I have seen online in the Italian markets!!!!!!  We shall see how it goes, but I am very optimistic. One of the plants needed some cleaning up but the other is totally healthy.  The one problem is that I used two different varieties (Brindisina and Galantina) and I just am not sure which one this is!  During the sowing process I did have an idea which variety was where, but due to lack of time I didn't keep track when I transplanted!  I'll be sure to keep track next growing season!
The healthier of the two

The points inside starting to form
I had to trim this one up a bit

The inside