Monday, February 28, 2011

Harvest Monday - 28 February 2011

Friday was a sad day. I just knew I was going to have nothing to say to you today. Yeah I've been eating my frozen chard. I've been eating some of the soups I had previously made. But mostly I wasn't eating from my stores. I was eating out of the house or leftovers. I was going to make soup on Friday, but then my husband came home and brought me a beautiful fruit and cheese platter. His work was just going to toss it. So half the cheese went to my townhouse mate who cooked a quiche for all of us for dinner on Friday. And for a couple of days I was eating fruit and cheese for lunch. It was delicious but hardly from the garden.

Then Sunday was my saving grace. I went to water the onions and noticed they needed a trim. So I kept their little trimmings and put them into some eggs for breakfast.

A photo. Yes that is what I obviously needed for Harvest Monday. It might be a slightly out of focus photo, but at least it had something I grew in it. This kind of thing doesn't get tallied, but at least it was fresh and grown by me. I wanted to see if anything was alive in my tunnel on Sunday, but after the nice melting rain, we had more snow. So once again it is covered up.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Signs of Spring?

Today we are getting a warm spell. I say that but my weather station tells me it is only 39F as I type. But it will break 40F and it is raining. The rain really does a good job of melting snow. I looked out my window this morning and saw this.

Whoohoo! I can see the garden again. I do believe in spring I do!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Harvest Monday - 21 February 2011

A couple weeks ago I asked if I should separate my fruit tally from my vegetable tally. They are mostly different in how their expenses are done. Vegetables are mostly annuals. Money goes into more seed every year. While fruits are a large expense up front for the plants. Then they take a long time to produce. The few that weighed in on it thought I should separate them. I agree. It will be interesting to see how long the edible landscape takes to produce. And to see how long it takes to pay for themselves. I thought about separating them into perennials and annuals, but I'll just go with what we typically call fruits - not botanical fruits, but what we call fruits in the kitchen. So rhubarb would be a fruit, but a tomato would not be. The scientist part of me is screaming that doing it that way is so wrong, but it seems the right way to get most of the perennials together. The only perennials that won't be counted in this manner are the herbs and asparagus.

So far in the fruit garden:

  • $37.45 from Nourse Farms. Gooseberries: Hinnonmaki Red, Invicta, Trixia
  • $119.05 from Miller Nursery. Dwarf Peaches: Reliance, Red Haven; Cranberries: 6xThunderlake
  • $62.05 from Pinetree. Rasperry: 5xJaclyn; Strawberries: 10xEarlyglow, 10xSparkle, 10xSeascape; Alpine Strawberry seed: Yellow Wonder, Ruegen
  • $142 from St. Lawrence Nursery. Blueberries: 6xNorthblue, 6xNorthsky, Northcountry, Friendship, Patriot
  • 94.66 from Grandpa's Orchard. Dwarf Apples: Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold; Plum: Green Gage
  • $46 from NOFA for fruit tree fertilizer

For a total of 360.55. I'm still missing some things. I need good pruners. I'll need acid loving fertilizer for the blueberries and cranberries. I'll need peat moss to make their soil acid. I'll need three fig trees (two brown turkey and a paradiso) which I will get locally in spring. I will need a support system for the figs and plum since they will be espaliered. I will needs stakes for the dwarf trees. And I will need a rhubarb plant since I forgot to get one from Pinetree when I ordered.

Does anyone in the Boston area have a rhubarb plant they wouldn't mind splitting in the spring? And while I'm asking anyone have Chocolate Mint or other kinds of peppermint? Or any other splittable perennial herbs? It would be fun to have blogging friends' plants growing in my garden and I'd also get to meet you (preferably in your garden or mine). Its not worth anyone shipping to me. I just know I would get offers from far off if I didn't say this. But I can buy all this locally for not too much. It isn't worth paying to shipping plants.

I had no harvest. But I did eat some from the garden. Mostly I was bad this week. I was eating bagels for lunch. I had them with homemade blueberry jam or apple butter. Neither from the garden though. The one thing on the plate from the garden were the pickles. I ate a whole pint this week. I also ate some home canned salsa and tomato sauce from the garden. Oh and yes herbs. I always have garden herbs in some way in the meals. Rarely a week goes buy without thyme, sage, and/or oregano being used. This week I added in my frozen basil which I don't use nearly enough.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Harvest Monday - 14 February 2011

I have one harvest to report - my sprouts. I don't put them on my tally, but I'm going to count them as a harvest for Harvest Monday. Those black lentils that were so bad in the lentil dish I made ages ago, were just fine to sprout. I've found that most store bought beans germinate pretty well. I've even used some Jacob's Cattle Beans to grow in the garden that were store bought. And they are a whole lot cheaper than the so called "sprouting beans". Basically they are just beans. As long as they aren't too old they will sprout. They usually are viable for 3-5 years from harvest.

These were much better to spout than to eat cooked. The first batch I made went into a stirfy.

The second went into fried rice. I almost didn't have a photo for you, but here it is as leftovers for lunch. Most of what you see is some beef stew. Oh how I love beef stew. It contained some of my garden fare too. It had a cup of home canned tomato sauce and some thyme from the garden at my last house.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Harvest Monday - 7 February 2011

No harvests this week. We had two more storms last week. The first one gave us another foot of snow. The second gave us 0.4" of rain. I'm glad the second one turned to rain because it helped a little to melt it out. Yesterday was warm too so we got a bit more melting.

And though my SuperBowl food was not at all grown here, the rest of the week I did OK. I made chili, which uses some of my tomato sauce and tomato juice. Sadly the beans weren't mine. If I had known in the morning I was making chili I could have cooked up my beans as I have both black and kidney in my jars, but I had half an hour which is not long enough to cook them. Next year with more dried beans, I'm going to have to get a pressure cooker. Too often I want to use my beans last minute. So I ought to can my own. The nice thing about beans is that I won't have to do it over the summer rush. I can do it whenever I have time.

I also made a lentil and tortellini soup. It featured some of my frozen squash and applesauce. In addition it had some of my coriander. This was my lunch all week long. I really ought to freeze some and have varied lunches, but I tend to make one thing and eat it for the rest of the week. I'm sure other things that had minor ingredients were made too. I know I made a chicken dish that used some of my homegrown sage, but I have a tendency to forget what I eat. Luckily I take photos some days.

I am starting to buy some plants for next year. I still haven't made up my mind about things, but I think I want to see if I can grow figs along the fence. They don't have a lot of room there, but I'll see if I can keep them pruned to 6'. I'll also get a plum tree to espalier. I can't make up my mind between Santa Rosa and Green Gage. Anyone grow them both and have an opinion? I'd better figure it out soon as it has to get ordered. I'm wondering if I ought to keep the fruits separate from the veggie tally. I never have before, but they are so different. The veggies are mostly annuals and start producing very quickly. The fruit trees and bushes are an investment in the future. Eventually they will pay off, but it will take a very long time. What do you all think? Should I do two tallies? Or one? If I do fruits it might be kept a different way on the sidebar. It would be one that has every year with the outlay and the income. It might be fun to see how long it takes to break even over the years.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . Spring?

Path to the compost

A couple days ago the evil groundhog (who I might point out ate about 8 of my winter squash this year), came out and told us that we wold have an early spring. He lies. Though truth be told I'm sure our groundhog didn't come out that day since it was snowing, sleeting, raining, and generally being a very miserable day. We ended up with another foot of snow with sleet and rain on top. We have two storms coming in over the next four days. The jury is out whether it is rain or snow or something in between.

My tunnel I'm sure has collapsed in there. We will see when things melt out. Yes there is a tunnel somewhere inside there. Or at least a flat piece of plastic.

Upstairs in the nursery however things are going well. In there it looks like spring. The sprouts are growing well. There is now exactly one onion in each little soil block. I had originally planted about four in each. It seems like they all came up. A few came up with eight in each. Whoops! I guess I double dosed those blocks. After they were thinned they were kind of droopy and sad. A bit of water and a couple days later they are happy again.

I really hope they grow well. I've never done well growing my own transplants for onions, but I still won't give up. Maybe this year? Some year I'll have to give up and just buy transplants or use sets. I've let other things go that don't work well, but not this. I want to get onions from seed. I'm growing four kinds this year. Copra, Varsity, Redwing, and Alisia Craig. The Varsity and Redwing are from old seed but still had about the same germination as the others.

I think it was Thomas that was saying that all the snow made him want to bake more. Maybe so. I baked these the other day. It is a take off on Granny's recipe, but I can never follow a recipe. I always have to change it. This ones uses olive oil, more water (I like a wetter dough), and a bit of whole wheat flour.