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Transplanting

April 23rd, 2018

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Maine, it was sunny and warm (in the low 60’s). I finally was able to transplant seedling into the garden. It seems spring may finally have arrived here in the NE, we are all very happy about that.

I transplanted a flat of spinach, some fennel, radicchio, endive, and a few other greens. Fingers crossed they’ll survive any cold night we have and we’ll be eating these lovelies in a few weeks.

Are you harvesting anything from your garden yet? How’s spring coming along for you?

Oh Celery

November 13th, 2017

I’ve been growing celery for years as it’s a main ingredient in my home canned tomato soup. Each year it gets better and better and this year was the best year yet. Most often, my celery is OK for cooking, not so great to eat raw. Celery can be a picky crop, it’s greedy to be sure. Lots of water and lots of food is what makes it thrive. If it’s not provided with the perfect conditions, it’s hollow, tough, and only fit for stock. This variety is ‘Tango’ which was sourced from Johnny’s Seeds.

I’ve been harvesting stalks from my plants for a few months now, we like them sliced on top of salads. When the weather decided to dip down below freezing every night, I decided it was time to harvest all these lovely plants (10 in total).  They will be paired with a few roosters from the coop to make a wonderfully rich chicken stock for the freezer. It’s quite exciting to finally master growing something and to find your homegrown product is leaps and bounds over what you can buy.

What crop have you struggled to grow in the past?

Transplanting Brassicas

May 10th, 2017

This year I’m trying to keep better track of how long things need under the grow lights. Brassicas are one of those things that germinates and grows very quickly, that means they are very efficient when it comes to grow light usage. Since they can take cold temperatures, they can be put outside very early on, sometimes they never need grow light space. These brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts), were ready in four weeks.

In fact, I could have transplanted them a week or two ago but I didn’t have the fence up around the garden (and those wild turkeys LOVE brassica seedlings). I’m hoping to build myself a cold frame this summer, which will allow me to not have to put any brassicas under the grow lights. I’m always looking to maximize the light real estate I have, any plants that can take the cold are moved to make way for tomatoes and flowers, which aren’t able to take any amount of frost.

What are you transplanting this week?

My Favorite Season

May 9th, 2017

Salads are one of my favorite meals, I can eat them every single day and never tire of them. I love that you can top lettuce with a wide variety of protein, fruit, and vegetables to have a different meal every day. In the spring, I plant enough seedlings so that I can harvest a leaf or two from each plant and have enough for at least a side salad for each of us at dinner.

That makes for a lot of lettuce plants, but they grow when nothing else needs garden space. As soon as the plants are growing more quickly and producing more leaves, some of the lettuce plants are removed to make way for other crops.

What’s your favorite vegetable to grow yourself?

Peppermint Stick Chard

August 5th, 2014

This spring a packet of ‘Peppermint Stick’ Chard arrived with my seeds from Renee’s Garden.  I didn’t think much about it, I just seeded them a flat along with everything else this spring.  They were transplanted in the garden at the appropriate time and I completely forgot about them.  Chard is one of those vegetables that gets forgotten with all the succulent lettuces and spinaches on the market.  Yet it’s a perfect vegetable, able to withstand very severe cold and still produce bountiful leaves when the days heat up as well.
peppermint stick chard (1)Not only is this variety a hardy vegetable to grow, it’s a showstopper as well. Look at those variegated pink and white stalks. They practically glow when you catch them out of the corner of your eye. Chard isn’t one of those vegetable that I grow a ton of, but there are always a few stands growing in a corner of the garden. This variety is quite lovely and is one I will keep growing year after year, even if it never graces my plate.

What is a vegetable you’d grow for beauty even if it didn’t produce fruit you liked?

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About

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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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