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Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

April 6th, 2016

This past weekend I started loads more seeds, I think the total number of soil blocks I made and seeded was 420. Amazingly, I still didn’t get all the ones seeded I wanted to. Once the weather warms up and I get my onions planted outside, I’ll have room under the grow lights for the rest.
starting seeds 2
Typically, I don’t start quite the many, but then I don’t usually grow a ton of flowers from seed. This year I have almost just as many flowers as I do vegetable. Now that I have space for them in the garden, I’m happy to have a few flowers to cut for bouquets. I especially love to have flowers to take when I’m invited to dinner.

Are you adding anything interesting to your garden this year?

Forcing Spring

April 4th, 2016

This is the first year that I’ve been really good about continually cutting branching of different trees/shrubs to force blooms and leaves. So far, I’ve been able to have flowers in the house continually for a month and will continue to have them for at least another month. I cut branches of: lilac, apple, flowering almond, pussy willow, birch, wild cherry, red twig dogwood, and of course forsythia.
forced branches 1
forced branches 3
forced branches 4
forced branches
They don’t just have to be flowering branches either, the stems with leaves are just as wonderful when there’s no green in the garden. I’m also enjoying the process of learning how long each variety takes to bloom. Forsythias are definitely the quickest, so far lilacs are taking the longest. Forcing branches is definitely something I’ll be doing a lot of every single winter now that I have a wide selection of options.

Do you force anything for winter interest? What’s your favorite?

Friday Favorite: Spring Rolls

April 1st, 2016

Spring rolls are a favorite around here. I love that you can stuff them with a wide variety of herbs and vegetables and you end up with a healthy and delicious meal. Last week, I found a watermelon radish at the farmers market, with the lettuce & carrots in the fridge, nori sheets, herbs in the windowsill, and carrots in the avocado in the pantry, we ended up with a wonderful dinner. I also love to add Maine shrimp or smoked salmon if I have it.
spring rolls 2
Since we love these so much, I got Vietnamese cilantro and Thai basil from Renee’s Garden to plant this year. I’m thinking of having a corner of the potager dedicated to spring roll ingredients. In the summer I love using zucchini noodles in them.
spring rolls 1
Of course what makes the spring rolls is the sauce, I love to mix up ginger, garlic, hot pepper, cashew butter, tamari, fish sauce, and toasted sesame oil.

Are you a fan of spring rolls?

Slowly, But Surely

March 31st, 2016

All those seeds I purchased last fall and stratified for months in the fridge are finally starting to germinate. I have three tiny osage orange seedlings and one Dutchman’s Pipe that has germinated so far.
osage orange seedlings 1
osage orange seedlings 2
I’m still waiting on three more varieties to germinate, hopefully they will soon. Some of the varieties I started can take up to 3 months to germinate. One thing I love about gardening is this exact thing, someday, when these osage orange trees are big, I’ll remember the tiny seed emerging from feta cheese container that I kept in the fridge over the winter. It’s so fun to try germinating different types of seeds to see what happens.

Have you started any interesting trees/vines from seed in the past?

Turkey Eggs

March 30th, 2016

Someone asked on Monday whether or not the turkeys are laying – YES!!! I’m actually drowning in turkey eggs, which isn’t bad because they’re delicious!
turkey eggs 1
Turkey eggs are beautiful, large, slightly pinkish, and speckled. The yolks are huge, they pretty much taste like chicken eggs.
turkey eggs 2
I’m planning on using these beauties for ice cream, when we have a flush of eggs I make semifreddo, because it’s so much easier than ice cream. This recipe from Food 52 I usually use as a starting point.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy extra eggs?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.