Category Archives: Urban Farm

Ray made hot-sauce!

The peppers were all grown in my greenhouse from seed carefully chosen from a local, PNW seed company, Uprising Organics. We had a bumper crop! Ray harvested them and, though he is not a fan of heat in food, he was not going to let them go to wast.

20181024_122607788591955.jpg Thanks Ray, I love it!
Debs in #EverettWA…. whose nose isn’t even a little stuffy now.

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Filed under By Ray, Fresh from the garden, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Celebrate Something!

March 17th is a minor big deal to meSo much to choose from, especially this year (2018) the weather looks like it will be beautiful.

Gram'ma's Cup March 17, 2018

Gram’ma (or maybe great grandma’s) tea cup. Mint green with pink for… everything!

Saint Patrick’s Day

selfie, March 17, 2018 Most of America puts on something green, drinks green beer or maybe has a green milkshake. My own children loved this day. So do I. As a child my mother would tell us that she was Swedish, and the Swede’s wear orange, not green. As a child, school children were serious about giving a good pinch to anyone who did not wear something green on March 17th. My mother is kind and had mercy on us. We always wore green despite her objection to the Irish (?).

My Husband is Scottish. The Scotts also wear orange on March 17th. My sons are almost militant about this. My youngest is deeply in love with a very Irish woman whom we all fell in love with. So this year, I’m all about orange and Kelly-green.

The New Moon

Pink March 17, 2018 In Hebrew, the month is Nisan which apparently indicates that creation has come into bud, new life is about to begin. It is also the month of Aviv, which has to do with barley being in full head but green. In America, we take the name the eastern native-American tribes give this moon cycle, calling it by the romantic name, The Pink Moon, which I’ve read has to do flowering trees. Wherever the name comes from, it is all about Spring!

Pea Planting Season Ray and I built a structure for our Peas yesterday. I usually plant peas on the 17th of March (no matter what the weather), but pushed it ahead a day because this year the 17th is Sabbath and the 18th is not a day not a day for dirt in my fingernails. I planted half a row of Cascadia Snap Peas and half a row of Maestro Shelly Peas. Both are semi-dwarf, meaning that they do need something to climb but they only get about 4-feet tall. Even being a pea hater (exception made for fresh snap peas with plenty of ranch), Ray came and made a chick-wire tunnel to discourage birds and really lazy squirrels. I’ll get back to you in 5 to 14 days with baby pictures.

Shabbat Shalom

Luke March 17, 2018 And Happy New Year, New Moon. It may sound busy, but it is still all about rest in the Almighty and His word. This Parsha (reading) is called VAYIKRA (and He called)

Levitus 1:1 — 6:7 with Ex 12:1-20

Ezekiel 45:16 — 46:18 and Hebrews 10:1-18 and 13:10-15.

It is also the first day on the religious calendar. A day of new beginnings. And, as mentioned earlier, the New Moon, so watch for the waxing (growing) crescent moon. When it is full it will be Passover, start getting ready!

March the 17th, Sleep the 18th!

March 7, 2015 (3) Cake My favorite reason for March 17th? It’s the day before my birthday. Thanks to my mom for always making it a special day. I’ll be 61 this year and it still feels special. Ray is the one who makes it a special these days. So do my children. My brother even sent me a text offering to buy me a drink.

My Peas are all planted, so I am free to do whatever I want to do. I am blessed!

Debs at the Toy Box Urban Farm

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Everyday Adventure, Urban Farm

Peppers Planted

May 24, 2015 (29) Frog peppers
Guardian of the Pepper Plants.

I always start my tomatoes the first week of March and my peppers the last week of March. That is just how I do things around here. Had a little switch up this season. Peppers planted; I still do not know what tomatoes I am NOT going to plant. I love them all, but honestly, can a girl live all year on tomatoes? I suppose the same can be said about peppers.

Peppers March 6, 2018 Peppers are tricky in the PNW. Unlike tomatoes, if I am forced to pick them before they are ready, they will not ripen up on the side board. Most peppers need 80 to 90 days of decent weather to make fruit. Decent seldom describes summer in the PNW.

Normally I hate plastic in the garden (that was not always true) But if I want peppers they will go through different sizes of plastic pots before they go to the garden. Then they will live under a plastic tent to boost the air temperature. Some years it is mid July before summer finally comes to Everett, Washington. Without the plastic I would see few peppers.

Fat, thick walled bells and big, luxurious chili peppers come from the store. For homegrown sweet peppers we grow Italian frying peppers. For chili we grow short season Czech Black (67 days instead of the normal 90!) But even our blacks do better in a sunny season. We can grow a decent amount of Spanish Pardons which are supposed to be eaten immature. They have a nice spice. I am quite impressed with my season if it includes a few ripe peppers.

Loved this video from Donna at Rainbow Gardens. She is a great pepper teacher!

Luke 3 March 6, 2018 Now you know as much or more then I know about peppers. Thanks Donna!

See the little Anna’s hummingbird in the picture? He (she?) hoovers by my office window and taps on it with her beak when the feeder is empty. If I step off of my deck and into the garden she chatters at me. I think she is telling me I am trespassing. Spunky little hummer!

Debs in Everett, Washington… where I spent my morning making soil-block-mix, up-potting peas and broccoli, and planting my peppers in soil blocks made from brand new mix.

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Peas on the Porch

My gran’ma wouldn’t shell peas on the porch with me. I tended to eat more then I shelled. Now that I’m 60 I wonder, what was all the fuss about eating raw peas?

June 28, 2015 (7) Peas
Honestly, the smartest idea in vegetables during my life time, has to be snap peas. They are absolutely meant to be eaten raw. Raw peas are like eating green candy.

Peas 1 March 5, 2018 I do like lightly cooked, deep green peas, but only on crisp autumn days with salmon and roast potatoes. All of them cooked with lemon and dill. But autumn peas come from the freezer (no canned peas in this house!) To have frozen peas, someone has to sit and shell peas, eating less then they save.

I married a man who hates cooked peas. He would rather eat the dirt they grow in then eat peas. I really do not understand that kind of rejection. But because of him, I can get away with growing enough peas in a large pot.

Peas 2 March 5, 2018 Just add a tomato cage for support and give them plenty of sunshine and time. Just 8 pea vines will give me plenty of green candy. But just in case I want more, and I always do, I plant more pots of peas.

When the vines are taller I will top dress them with worm castings and add green wood chips on top of the soil. Right now it doesn’t seem like I put in enough dirt, but I need room for the chips.

Peas 4 March 5, 2018 I only grow dwarf and semi dwarf vines in pots. I think I could grow six foot vines in a pot, but the dwarfs are easier to keep upright in a strong wind. You could grow peas in pots directly from seed. They will do what they were created to do, “grow and be fruitful.” I even save seed from potted peas. It is as simple as forgetting to water a pot of ripe peas. More about that later in the season. For now, the job of planting peas in pots is the joy of watching them grow. It is far more interesting that watching paint dry.

Luke 2 March 5, 2018 46/35 F in Everett, Washington today. 11 hours, 17 minutes between sunrise and sunset. It is energizing!

I love the book of Luke! It is fun going over it again, re-reading my old notes, even though I have to pull out a magnifying glass to see what I wrote in such tiny hand writing. Tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 6th I’ll be on instagram praying through Luke 3. Hope you find your way there. God Bless!

Debs in Everett, Washington…. where peas are not the only thing to be up-potted. Solstice Broccoli has been up-potted to 4-inch pots. Whoo-hoo!

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Up Potting Special Sweet Peas

On January 25th my sister-in-law had her last radiation treatment. Hallelujah! 

Sweet Peas March 4
First, I need to get this out of the way… I hate the multi-million dollar cancer treatment cartel as much as I hate cancer. I could not say that while my sister was getting her treatments. I respect the road she chose. I fully support her. Now that she is done, I can say what I feel. Done!

Sweet Peas March 4, 2018 I wanted to do something to mark the moment. I am a simple woman. When I say I am simple, I mean that I am not clever or talented. I know how to embroider but I do not do other crafts, so something cute and crafty was out. I have a talent for making fussy cookies (who doesn’t?) but sugar feeds cancer, so that was not an option. What could I possibly offer? What could I do?

Sweet Peas 5 March 4, 2018 I know how to push seeds into dirt!

In late January what was I going to plant for someone who is good at planting gardens. Humm, there probably wasn’t anything I could grow that would reflect well on my talent (pushing seeds into dirt) but never mind, I would plant something to celebrate “No More Radiation! But what, other then onions, can I grow? (who celebrates onions besides me?)

Sweet Peas 4 March 4, 2018 Sweet Peas! Peas don’t seem to mind cold weather or short days. They can handle a light freeze. I’ll grow sweet-peas! It was easy to find a dwarf variety to put into large pots. Little Sweetheart.

So into the deep-root break-away planters went a package of (soaked overnight in a wet paper towel) sweet pea seed. I waited.

Sweet Peas 3 March 4, 2018 Every year I think I have lost my green-thumb. Let seed stay hidden in the ground just a day or three longer then the early germination day and I start to panic. How did I kill the babies before they could even arch up out of the dirt?

Silly me, they always come up eventually. And my sweet peas did eventually come up. Bright and cheery! A promise of flowers to come. Maybe I’m not a killer of green life after all.

Sweet Peas 2 March 4, 2018 Today, I divided the little green plants into two nice, big planters. A heavy blue stone pot and a light weight foam planter that isn’t as difficult to pick up and move when I need to. One will probably go to Sheri’s beautiful house for the summer. I’m jazzed!

While I was at it, I planted a big planter of spring salad (with a viola to finish my salads!) and put a root-bound pot of crocuses into the side garden. What a great day!

Luke 1 March 4, 2018 I came in, washed up and sent a picture of the up-potted sweet peas to Sheri, letting her know that I am still celebrating! She shot a text right back at me letting me know that she is feeling like her old self again. She thought the pot of baby sweet peas looked great!

Oh, by the way…. she asked if I had heard that her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I have to remind myself that God is good even though cancer is a mean monster. He loves, He is merciful, and is coming again soon. I also remind myself that our tears are precious to him.

Debs in Everett, Washington… crying, praying, feeling strong and encouraged. Some times it is like a cycle, wash, rinse, repeat. Even so, it is well with my soul.

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Filed under I'm just saying..., In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Hello March!

Forget the lion and the lamb… March is the month when I need to make my final decision on what tomatoes I am going to plant and which tomatoes I am going to put back into the drawer. I am amazed at how difficult the decision is. I chose them all and love each them for different reasons.

March 1
After weeks of February snow and rain, even hail and wind that never quite blew the gray clouds away, March 2018 begins with the blue sky my soul has been longing for. Suddenly there are buds swelling in the trees.

Lettuce 2 March 1 The last week of February has been all about starting a tray of lettuce. I had to run down town to the Natural Foods Co-op to get packets of seeds that I did not realize I was out of, but as of today, Thursday, March 1st 2018, I have a full tray of lettuce. Of course it still looks like I have a tray full of dirt, but never mind. Soon enough I’ll be stressing over who will be thinned out and who gets to go on to the next stage of salad garden.

Lettuce 3 March 1 I was seduced! So we went to the Food Co-op to pick up two packages of seeds. There I was, minding my own business when I spotted the organic plant starts on a rack in front of the co-op that had not been there the day before. First it was the lavender violas that will look pretty in my morning yogurt or on my salad. Then I spotted the little tray of organic spicy mesclun mix! It nearly sprang into my hands while I was telling Ray about the small planter with red-leaf mustard that needed some friends. I’m telling you, I was as surprised as Ray when the little box of greens found its way to the check stand. <grin>

Mark 16 March 1 Tonight I’ll celebrate the  1st of March with a Tomato Soup spiced with Cognac… or at least Apple Jack. A small salad for me and baked Macaroni and Cheese for my men-folk and we will call it dinner. Maybe a glass of screw-top wine while I make my preliminary choice of tomato seeds to plant. Life is good…. and is brightened up by eleven full hours of day light from sunrise to sun set. It’s crazy how sunshine on my face energizes me.

Debs in Everett, Washington, starting the book of Luke in the morning!

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Filed under Home Cooked, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Saying Good-by to February

February 28, 2018 I cannot say that I’m sorry to see this February go. I think I’ve been either down with a painful flu or sinus infection or trying to recover from them for more February then I have felt good. If anyone is going to catch whatever bug is going around, it will be me, but this has been worse then ever for me. I am ready to feel strong again. Even so, I managed to keep up with daily readings in the book of Mark for #NTin2018 and I was able to plant at least one sort of seed daily.  Amazing!

On a happy note, my sister-in-law, Sheri has finished radiation therapy, hopefully forever. I planted sweet peas to celebrate. But on a sad note, her mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Damn Cancer!

Seeds February 18, 2018 I love planting seeds. In the past I’ve had marathon planting days, but with a full time job that was what I had to do. Loosing my job was extremely stressful but it has allowed a change of seed planting habit. Every day in February I started one small container of seeds. That was great! Even when I was “head-between-pillows” sick, I still got out in the fresh air for a few minutes. Hope my dirty hands counted as “grounding” (Thank you Patti!!!)

Baby its been cold! Its been rain, rain rain all month, when it hasn’t been snowing. Crazy! I’ve been so thankful for my greenhouse.

Snow 2 February 18, 2018 On the few days that the clouds parted and the sun shined, the greenhouse would heat up to 90 degrees F. On cloudy days, with a little bit of help from candle lanterns, it still heated up to the mid 60’s when it was in the low 30’s outside. Great for spring dreaming. It feels so good to get up in the early morning and see all of the food that has been started for this season on my kitchen table. Ray and I brought everything inside while it was still freezing at night. Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, onions, onions, celery and so much more. Outside the autumn planted garlic and fava beans are looking happy. The trees have been trimmed for the season, daffodils and crocus are coming up… there is so much more, life is good! Poverty feels like wealth when food is growing. The chickens are not any happier with the wet and snow then Ray and I are. Still, the old girls are giving us a few eggs. While we stay in Everett (we want to sell everything and travel the USA while we still can) I hope to provide a big chunk of our food for the year. That is the goal anyway.

Mark 15 February 28, 2018 Looking forward to the merry month of March with outdoor Pea planting (as well as potatoes and the first salads) and night time temperatures in the 40’s. Tomatoes and pepper seed will be planted in the greenhouse and I’ll celebrate my 61st birthday with bouquets of daffodils and longer days. OH, and we will be starting the book of Luke this month. Yea!

Debs… ready to trade in the wool socks for bare feet in the dirt (probably will not happen in March) and layers of sweaters for sundresses.

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