Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthday bloom

A birthday gift, a blooming hellebore on January 15th.  I knew they were supposed to bloom in the depths of winter, but must admit I had no faith.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taking Stock

Before I get too enthusiastic about the sexy things spread out before me in the seed catalogs, it is time to take stock of the year past.  Here is my seed order from Baker Creek last February:

Broccoli "Early Purple Sprouting"
Cucumber "Solly Beiler"
Cucumber "Marketmore"
Huckleberry "Chichiquelite"
Ground Cherry
Kale "Blue Curled Scotch"
Leek "Giant Musselburgh"
Pea "Lincoln"
Winter Squash "Red Kuri"
Cosmos "Sensation Mix"
Dahlia "Unwing Mix"
Nasturtium "Moonlight"
Nicotania "Fragrant Delight"
Yarrow "Parkers Variety"
Sunflower "Tarahumara White Seeded"

And how did they do?  Not well.  Of the above, I actually ate (or admired, in the case of the flowers):
- Cucumbers (but not very many)
- Ground cherry.  Ate one and pulled the three big plants out.  Yuck.
- Leeks.  Just ate them.  They made one leek tart.
 - Peas.  Hooray for peas!
- Cosmos.  They hung around forever, not blooming, but finally got on it in August.
- Dahlias.  Pretty!
- Nasturtium.  Eh.  They bloomed some, but didn't knock me out.

The sprouting broccoli never sprouted.  The huckleberries never took off.  I have no recollection of the kale.  Maybe I never planted it? The Red Kuri was gorgeous, until it was murdered by bugs before any harvest. The wormwood was to slow, and I too impatient. Nicotania, yarrow, and sunflowers didn't come up when direct seeded.

I resolve to focus my food growing on things that I can eat when the CSA is not feeding me.  And maybe I should just buy seedlings from Behnkes when it comes to the flowers.  But oh, those seed catalogs!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Following the Light

Noah went back to school on January 2nd, but I did not.  For one blessed day, the University was out but school was in, and I had an entire day to myself.  I spent it in garden construction, first making this little shelf over the kitchen sink where a few plants can sunbathe in the winter light.

For the rest of the day (or at least until my body protested loudly) I did serious heavy duty garden stuff.  I pulled out five year old weedblock that had become weedhold (infested with a rhyzomatic grass); moved rocks and stones; built raised beds out of old boards; and rolled a huge, ugly work table end over end into a less visible corner of the veggie garden.  It looks better back there, with more structure and straight lines.

The garden catalogs began to arrive yesterday, and now I am dreaming of beach plums and scupernogs...