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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

garden chat

hoophouse_april

Little by little our spring veg garden is coming along. I’ve felt really relaxed about it all this year, and it’s been coming together naturally and at an easy pace. I am sure I’ve overlooked some things, and still need to do a bit of direct sowing, but I think I’m almost finished planting starts. A lot of them are in the hoop house, soaking up the extra warmth. The hoop house is almost weeded of the grass that runs up the sides (in the sections not shown in the photo) , which got pretty thick this year, and the garden is holding us over with kale, small treats of arugula, and the last few carrots while we wait for new greens and peas to start picking up the pace.

cucurbits_basil_april

I just planted cucumbers and squash last week. In the past I have tended to plant them a little too early. I’m hoping the timing aligns, so that once they are ready to go in the ground, we are past the threat of excessive soaking rain and coolness. I saw the first sign of basil germination yesterday. I wish I might have started basil a little bit sooner! I like to grow a lot of basil each year, in a few successive plantings. I did pretty well last year, and we still have a little bit of pesto in the freezer to look forward to. One of my favorites.

tomatoes_april

Since moving the tomatoes from the house to the hoophouse, I am seeing visible growth by the day. Some of them seem to have doubled in size since this photo was taken less than a week ago.

rhubarb_april

I keep talking about making a rhubarb galette or pie of crisp or what have you. It’s time to actually do something about that.

fruit_trees_april

We were able to take the fencing down from 2 of our fruit trees this year, as they are finally tall enough to reach out of harms way of nibbling deer. A deer can strip a little tree of new growth pretty quickly. We expanded the fencing around the other 2 trees and all of them are looking pretty happy for the changes. We should have quite a few pie cherries this summer, and I think we might have our first small set of plums this year.

carrots_kale_april

This is a fairly regular harvest these days – though more so on the greens than the carrots.

carrot_tops

What’s happening in your part of the world? Are you growing food this year? Anything you’re particularly excited about? A funny little thing I’m looking forward to is parsnips. This will be my first time growing them.

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april

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rhododendron_april

 

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transplanting

elderflower_april

Spring-induced bliss is happening here (or, possibly a pollen-induced stupor).

I am liking April a whole lot.

 

 

 

 

 

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eggs

kale

eggs and greens are a match made on earth.

 

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I learned something new last week. A crustless quiche is one of the easiest, tastiest, most satisfying meals to throw together. And it’s equally suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty much perfect, right?

With springtime eggs and greens in abundance, this is an affordable, nourishing meal that even my not-so-egg-friendly man enjoyed quite a lot.

 

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My friend Amber‘s chickens have been laying on the regular again, and I’ve been so lucky to have received quite a few eggs from her recently. They are seriously the best eggs I have ever had, and I’ve had a lot of fresh eggs! Her chickens are no doubt happy, healthy girls.

Our garden doesn’t offer a whole lot this time of year, but we can always depend on kale. It loves the cooler weather and is super delicious and abundant right now.

 

On the day I made this quiche, we were even lucky enough to share this meal with my chicken keeping friend.

 

No-crust kale, cheese and mushroom quiche

2 Tbs of butter

1/2 – 2/3 large red onion

12 ounces kale, chopped

5 medium crimini mushrooms, chopped

7 fresh eggs

3 cups grated cheese (I used pepper jack)

1/4 tsp sea salt

fresh thyme and black pepper to taste

 

In a large sauce pan or skillet, sautée your onions in butter until soft, then add your kale. Sautée the kale until brilliant green and softened.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat your eggs.

Add grated cheese.

Add the onion and kale mixture.

Add chopped mushrooms, salt, thyme, pepper.

Combine well.

 

Pour the mixture into an oiled 10 inch pie pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes – until the eggs are set.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

 

This meal is even more delicious with toasted sourdough… recipe coming soon.

 

And just for fun, cuz I’m like that :) whoever can first name the leafy plant coming into the top of the frame on the kale image above (2nd from top) – I will send you a gift! :)

Hope you all had a great weekend xo

 

Update: It’s an artichoke! I’ll be in touch soon, with those of you who guessed.

PS asonomagarden, your email doesn’t work so please get in touch if you’d like to receive your gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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vernal equinox

equinox_6a_pruneThe Stanley Prune is starting to flower. Maybe we will have our first fruits from this tree this year. There were tiny bees – which I think were mason bees – buzzing around the new blossoms today.

feb25_apricot_blossom_0Flowering apricot. The prettiest pink.

equinox_5The first of the sugar snap peas, with so many more to plant! We’d like to grow more of these than ever this year.

equinox_2One single tomato seed has sprouted. Just today.

equinox_6We have been hitting the weeds hard the last couple weeks. This is the best time, while the ground is soft and they are relatively small still. They grew like crazy this year, with our mild winter.

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Winter was pretty mild – even for here – and spring has been coming gradually and gracefully. I am so grateful for this time of year, with warmer, longer days; meals outside again, with fresh herbs at an arms length; coffee time in the sunshine; camp fires in the yard; digging in the dirt. I feel like an emerging young plant – sort of sleepy still from the dark of winter, yet bursting with life and ready to bloom. I won’t even start with my excitement for summer!

 

Happy Spring friends, even if it doesn’t quite feel like it yet where you are.

xo

 

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asparagus_0

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This week we brought home 10 asparagus crowns, purchased on an impulse at our local nursery. You can read about our whirlwind project over at Tend today. We are feeling happy to have this bed made and planted. It feels like we just made a big, exciting investment, though it cost almost nothing and will provide food for many years. If our plants are healthy and happy, the asparagus patch could be a longer term resident of our home than we are!

 

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spring things

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april_bags

lunch_apr28

basil_purple_green

Hi there. I have been a bit absent here! I think I could blog everyday with a little something about the garden, but I am trying not to completely flood the blog with garden talk :) Life has become relative to being outside these days, and anything that isn’t outside seems to get a wee bit neglected. This spring has been pretty incredible. It’s been gentle and soft and just plain lovely, and I am feeling so grateful for it, spending as much time in it as possible.

I have been carving out time to work on a collection of new works for the shop as well. It’s been super fun, though relatively slow, with lots of stops and starts. I’ve been trying to just have fun with it, without pushing too much; going at it a little differently than I might have in the past. I’ve been a little bit discouraged lately with all the sameness out there. It can seem like a thousand reproductions of the same few bags are coming out of the woodwork, and it’s getting a little bit strange and a little bit frustrating – particularly when you see some of your own work, and the work of your cohorts, in some of those reproductions. That’s a topic for another time though, and that aside, I guess I’m glad for the nudge toward making some changes. One of my favorite things about working for myself, is the freedom to explore.

This week we’ve been watching the swallows come and go from the boxes we put out for them last year. So far it seems like we have more of them this year. They are great for keeping the bugs down and it’s impressive to see their acrobatic, aerial maneuvers as they snatch bugs from the air. A very pregnant doe laid in the yard for a few hours last week. She looked so relaxed and restful, with another deer close by to keep an eye out. It’s getting close to the time where there will be baby deer bouncing around again. Ah! and right this minute I see an osprey flying over, with a big branch in it’s grasp. They are building their nest across the cove, in the same tree they do every year.  So much activity right now!

 

How’s your spring looking? What gets you excited during this time of year?

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purple_broccoli

I realized that in my previous post, “garden notes,” I actually didn’t include a single garden photo, but rather my surroundings while in and out of the garden – a break on the porch, a cold drink on the patio, some deer that wandered through.

mustard_cover

Sometimes I think I would do well to have a little gardening business, just so I could spend more time out there. I love the work of the garden so much. I like the heavy digging, the weeding, the moving of plants, the tending of plants. I don’t mind troubleshooting and I enjoy garden research. Even though there have been frustrating challenges, I have been able to rise to the challenges and even find interest in working through them (like pests for example).

rearranging_0

Maybe it’s the perfect balance of physical labor, which I do so well with (I am a JUST DO IT kind of girl), and the parts that require me to slow down and think things through, plan things out (which I don’t always  have the patience for when I just want to do it!)

march_turnips

Gardening has taught me a lot of patience. And as an organic gardener, there are rewards of that patience showing up in ways I hadn’t known how they would look.

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The work of providing for ourselves in a way that is direct, foundational and basic – such as feeding ourselves – is so simple and animal, free of superficial complications. Maybe this is why gardening is like meditation for so many people.

I actually sat down to just share a few photos, but I guess I had some thoughts to share too. Gardening, particularly growing food, is like nothing else for me. It’s satisfying to me in a way that is hard to describe. Maybe you know what I mean.

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I will be sharing over at Tend this year, every Tuesday. I’ve been following Tend since it started 2 years ago, and am looking forward to sharing in this year with them (and you!) as a contributor. Hop on over there if you’d like.

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