Monday, May 31, 2010

Harvest Monday 5/31/10

The harvests are growing slightly larger each week and a bit more varied too. You can see what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne's Dandelions.

On Tuesday I harvested 6.25 oz of lettuce, spinach and arugula for a salad. We had some friends in town from Singapore and they joined us for dinner that night.
I harvested a bit of rhubarb (and forgot to weigh it), and then bought more at the farmers market to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. This weekend I harvested 2.75 oz of lettuce thinnings, 4 oz of arugula for an asparagus/arugula pesto, and 1.5 oz of the first radishes. Harvests this week: 14.3 oz
Harvests this year: 2.3 pounds

Here's the pizza we made with the arugula pesto topped with zucchini, pepperoni, mozerella, asparagus, and our radishes. Before baking,
Ready to eat! We enjoyed it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Blooms

New flowers are opening up in the yard. This year is all about surprises since it is our first year in the house. These flowers didn't make it in time for Gardener's Bloom Day.
Lupine are one of my favorite flowers. I wanted to pick one to bring in, but they are covered with aphids.
Pretty pink columbine
wondered what colors the irises would be. Here's the first one open. I'll have to wait and see what other colors the previous owner planted.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In the ground this week

This week I've been working to get my squash and cucumber seedlings in the ground. I finished digging another whole bed and a half and up to 7 and a half of my 11 beds dug. Only 3 and 1/2 left to go.

Here's the squash and cucumber variety lists:
(18) National Pickling Cucumber
(3) Burpee Hybrid Slicer
(2 hills) Golden Zucchini (Fedco)
(1 hill) Dark Green Zucchini
(2 hills) Buttercup Squash
(2 hills) Delicata Squash
(3 hills) Butternut Squash
Here's a row of the cucumbers. We still need to build a frame for support.

I also seeded my first batch of Romano Green Beans and placed a few Scarlet runner beans near the frames for the tomato supports.

My pumpkins and melons await my finishing of another bed and a half. They are sprouted in newspaper pots and awaiting transplanting on the front porch.
I plan to get them in this weekend.
(2 hills) Jarrahdale Pumpkins
(2 hills) Pie Pumpkins
(2 hills) Minnesota Midget Melon
(2 hills) Iroquois Melon
All these seeds are thanks to Miss M.

After I finish my squash, the final two beds are for my peppers and eggplant and for more brassica crops.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Harvest Monday 5/24/10

The heat this past week sent the tatsoi bolting. So I harvested 6 oz of it and sauteed it with sesame seeds. I'm leaving a bit in the ground to see if it will put out side shoots.We harvested Arugula twice, totaling 4.5 oz. It is getting close to bolting as well.
Harvests this week: 10.5 oz
Harvests this year: 1.4 pounds
You can see what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne's Dandelions.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tomatoes in the Ground

Today was another warm spring day and the forecast for the next week is warm too. It seemed like I could chance putting the rest of my tomatoes in the ground and hope that we don't have one more frost. I'm devoting one whole row to tomatoes. I hope to get many, many tomatoes to can into salsa and tomato sauce.

I dug holes about 8-12 inches apart along either side of the row, amended them with egg shells and a tomato fertilizer and then transplanted 49 tomatoes into the ground.

I planted 7 Purple Calabash from Miss M, which never were re-potted after they sprouted because they had such petite form.
I planted 8 Red Zebra ( and have 2 in reserve). I didn't intend to have this many but the first seed I started didn't sprout so I had put all my remaining seed into 3 or 4 cells and ended up with them all sprouting.
I planted 13 Heirloom Mix from Fedco, 2009.
I planted 13 Amish Paste Tomatoes for my mom.
And I planted 8 Market Miracle from Daphne.
I have 2-4 Purple Cherry Tomatoes from my sister in China to plant after they size up a bit. They only sprouted recently.

My plan for support this year is to have each tomato wound around a piece of twine attached to a stake and a frame. Using some posts and strapping my husband made the frame. He has nails in every 8 to 12 inches. The next step is to get or make stakes and tie twine from the stake to the nail. Then I'll be training each tomato around the twine. You can see the frame we built over the red walls of water.

The four tomatoes I planted at the beginning of the month are doing well and are almost blooming. They are 2 Chelsea Cherry Tomatoes and 2 Green Zebras.

Now it is time to get the cucumbers, zucchini, and winter squash in the ground. The digging for those beds awaits me this week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid-May Garden Update

It has been a while since I wrote a whole garden update. My garden is laid out with 11 beds 3' wide and about 25' long. I have one 6 food bed (Bed 12) at the northern end which is for perennial vegetables (and unplanned surprises). So far I've dug 6 and 1/2 of those 11 beds so I'm more than half way done!

For convenience I'm number the beds, Bed 1 is the southern most, bed 12 the northernmost because that's the way they appear from the house.

Bed 1 is for lettuce, carrots & beets. I have the cold frame which has been giving us plenty of lettuce, arugula, and tatsoi.

My kale is temporarily in Bed 1 until it's final spot is dug. I have some Red Russian Kale that over wintered from the previous owners and is currently going to seed. I'm expanding my seed collection.
Baby lettuce is just too cute.I've recently seeded red leaf lettuce, carrots, red and yellow beets, bright lights chard, and cilantro and sesame seeds in this bed as well. It's getting close to full.

Bed 2 is my onion bed. 2/3 is planted with my 300 or so onions. 80 are white, the rest are yellow. The last 1/3 has a row of All Blue potatoes which just sprouted. There is room for something else once the potatoes are hilled up.

Bed 3 is only half dug. It will be for summer and winter squash which are not yet in the garden.

Beds 4-6 are yet to be touched. They are for fall brasscias, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatillos and other warm weather crops, and more squash. They are all the green weeds in the middle of the picture that I still have to conquer.

Bed 7 is dug and planted with 10 pounds of yukon gold potatoes. They are just beginning to sprout.

Bed 8 is my other brassica bed. It has the two row covers. I had to buy brussels sprout (12) and broccoli seedlings (6) because I left mine in the closed cold frame last week and they dried out and fried. This week, I also planted bok choy and chinese mustard greens my sister sent, along with dill and broccoli rabe. I also transplanted volunteer chamomile between the Brussels Sprouts.
Bed 10 is my tomato bed. It is dug and has 4 red walls of water with two early Chelsea Cherry and two Green Zebra tomatoes. They have buds developing. We are approaching our last frost date and I'm hoping to have my husband help me build a frame this weekend for training the tomatoes and we'll get the rest of my 50 some tomatoes in the ground next week. Here are some of the tomatoes taking in some sun this week to prepare for the move out.
Bed 11 is my beans and pea bed. You can see the posts along the whole bed and the chicken wire strung between them. At the far right side, I have Sugar Snap peas and Coral shell peas, along with some radishes. They are beginning to grab on to the chicken wire to climb.
Bed 12 has an assortment. I have 5 Heritage Raspberry plants, 2 small rhubarb, 1 sorrel, 14 volunteer garlic which I transplanted, and 7 Irish cobbler potatoes which were a gift along with the All Blues. I also have some volunteer strawberry plants which I transplanted there. There is a 6' by 8' section which I am reserving for a future asparagus patch.

So that's the garden currently. I have squash, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, melons and flowers under the lamps waiting to get transplanted out once it is safe. And I have 4 and a half more beds to dig to be able to plant them out. I think I'll have to follow other bloggers leads and update in sections from now on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Harvests 5/17/10

On 5/13 we harvested 2.25 oz of arugula and 2.25 oz of sorrel became a pesto with pecans and garlic. We also had 4.25 oz of oak leaf lettuce, tatsoi, and baby kale greens. Last night I picked 3 oz. of tatsoi to go into a curry.
Total for the week 9.5 oz. With these harvests from the cold frame and other lettuce on the way I think I'm done buying lettuce at the store until the fall. Hooray!

You can see what other gardeners have harvested at Daphne's Dandelions.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bloom Day May 2010

Here's what's blooming in the garden right now.
Johnny Jump Ups Yellow Spurge Violets (Purple also) Lily of the Valley Narcissus Winterbor Kale, overwintered. Ornamental Allium
A few apple and cherry blossoms are still out as well. The sweet cicely is blooming as well but I didn't get a photo of it. And I recently planted pansies to liven up the front porch.
You can see what is blooming in other gardens at May Dreams Gardens.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baltimore Oriole

Last night in the garden I heard a bird song I didn't recognize. I looked up and found a pair of Baltimore Orioles, male and female. . I am always excited by seeing Baltimore Oriole because I grew up rooting for the Baltimore Oriole baseball team. They always seemed like a mythical bird to me because we never saw them in our area. I've now seen them more frequently last year and this year. Last night my hands were covered in mud so I wasn't able to get any photos

This afternoon when I got home I heard the call again and found the male up in the trees and got a few photos. It was eating the seeds or flowers on one of the trees.

Later in the evening there were two males arguing in the lilac. The photo here isn't the best, but you can get an idea of how the bright orange looked in the green and purple.
I'll enjoy listening to them as I work in the garden. I hope they nest nearby.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Goose Egg Quiche

I mentioned that last week the seller of our new home came over to divide some perennials for their new home and give me a tour the plants in the perennial garden. She brought along a goose egg as a gift. We were surprised by how large it was and decided it would be best used in a special quiche. We pricked the shell to blow the egg out so that we can save it.

We enjoy quiche for dinner a couple of times a month in a variety of forms. One of our favorites is a chard-apple quiche, but with time we've learned to improvise good combinations.

We had asparagus on hand and when I shopped at the local Coop Saturday morning they had ramps (also known as wild leeks) which are a real Spring treat. I've been on the look out for ramps because I wanted to plant some to naturalize on our property. So put six in the ground in the shade of some trees and the rest we used for our special quiche.

Goose Egg Quiche

Make one bottom pie crust and pre-bake for 14 minutes at 400 degrees.

Mix together in a bowl:
1 goose egg & 1 chicken egg ( or 3 chicken eggs), beaten
3/4 cup milk
3/4 grated cheddar cheese
pinch of thyme

Wash and trim the roots off 6-10 ramps. Dice the bulb end of the ramps and then separately roughly chop the greens. Discard the ends of 8-12 asparagus. Cut the stalks into one inch pieces, leaving a three to four inch piece with the tip.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add the bulb end of the ramps and saute for a few minutes. Add the greens and asparagus and saute until greens wilt and asparagus is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Place sauteed vegetables in pre-baked pie crust, reserving the asparagus tips. Sprinkle with one tablespoon flour. Pour egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables and gently stir to coat. Arrange the asparagus tips on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 35-40 minutes in 350 degree oven until quiche is set in the middle and nicely browned. Serve warm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Harvest Monday 5/10/10

This week we enjoyed our first garden fresh salad. It was wonderful to taste the different flavors of the oak leaf lettuce, tatsoi, arugula, and baby kale. We picked 3.5 oz.
I'm looking forward to many more fresh salads to come. We bought some bagged arugula at the store a week ago for a potluck meal and I think that's the last salad we'll be buying until fall. I hope I can keep up with succession planting the lettuces and greens.

This week I also got a tour of my own garden from the seller of our house. I'd offered to let her divide some of the perennials to take to their new home. It turned out to be a great deal for me because she let me know what all is coming up in the perennial and herb beds. She also mentioned one area in the back that had been her garlic patch. We noticed garlic sprouting that she had missed harvesting. It looked as though she had missed two heads because there were a cluster of sprouts together. So I got out my trowel and dug them up to spread them out. In the process I missed the roots on a few and harvested about 7 green garlic stalks.
About 14 others were separated and planted better spaced out in the vegetable garden. I may have home grown garlic after all this year!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Last of Seed Starting

Tonight I started my squash and melons.
Here's the list:
2 pie pumpkins
2 Jarrahdale Pumpkins
3 Butternut Squash
1 Buttercup Squash
2 Delicata Squash
2 Golden Yellow Zucchini
2 Green Zucchini
2 Minnesota Midget Melons
2 Iroquois Melons

The pumpkins and melons are thanks to Miss M. I'm glad to have the room to let all these squash and melons grow and spread out in the garden. I think this is the last big batch of indoor seed starting for this year. From now on, everything should be sown in the garden.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Early May Garden Update

This past week was a beautiful week for early May. We had temperatures in the 70s and no frosts all week. With that weather in the forecast I decided it was time to get my early tomatoes in the ground. On Monday night I planted out 2 Sweet Chelsea Cherry Tomatoes and 2 Green Zebra Tomatoes.
We filled up the walls of water to protect them and they seem to be doing well. You can see I only dug the section of the tomato bed where these needed to get in to the ground. The rest will have to wait.
With the warm sunny days and the good rain showers, the onions are coming right along. I like how they look back-light as the sun sets in the evening.
My peas are sprouting and the cold frame is filling up inside. I have oak leaf lettuce & tatsoi in the first window.

Arugula and more tatsoi under the middle section.

Lacinato Kale, Mache (going to seed), spinach, and swiss chard fill up the last section. The kale will be eventually moved to one of the brassica beds but was put in early when this was the only section dug.
Unfortunately the good weather didn't continue and today was rainy and damp. I did manage to transplant in some herbs a friend shared with me ( lemon thyme, lemon balm, & oregano).