Tag Archives: Brussels Sprouts

Day 11: Brussels Sprouts

Seeds are starting to sprout!! Onions and Broccoli are showing.

November 11, 2014 (2) Brussels Sprouts
I love Thanksgiving! You would think it would be the people or the pre-Christmas sales that puts Thanksgiving on my list of favorite holidays, but no. What I adore is being able to go out to the garden for the last of the salad greens, pulling a jar of home-grown green beans, apple pie filling and jams from the pantry shelf, finding home grown squash, pumpkins and potatoes from the chill of the garage, knowing that my herbs were grown here on the Toy Box in summers heat. But best of all, frost kissed Brussels sprouts. Mmmm, so much better then the sprouts from California!

Brussels 2 February 21, 2018 To have home grown Brussels sprouts in November, you have to start planning in spring. It is still winter (February 21st), and there is snow on the ground, but I started a small tray anyway.

Three soil blocks of green sprouts and three of purple. 98.8% of my seeds are heirloom or open pollinated. I always have it in the back of my mind that a day may come when it is difficult to order seed because of the country falling apart or because of the dollar crashing. Neither of those disasters has happened, and I hope they never do, but I consider this to be insurance for something I hope doesn’t happen.

Brussels 1 February 21, 2018 Here’s the skinny on Planting Brussels sprouts.

  1. Make soil blocks for a starting tray, or fill 2-inch pots with moist starting soil.
  2. Deposit 1 to 2 seeds (depending on the age of the seed) one-fourth inch deep. cover seed with vermiculite or soil.
  3. Cover the tray or flat with a clear cover.
  4. Wait 5 to 17 days for the sprouts to emerge.
  5. Up pot when your baby Brussels sprouts have 2 to 4 true leaves. Plant out when the sprouts are about 4 inches tall.

Onions February 21, 2018 That’s it! Seeds do what seeds were created to do. Be fruitful and multiply.

After 11 days my onions (link to blog post here) are showing (11 days without electric heat or light), so are my broccoli (link to broccoli blog post here) (5 days). I like planting seeds, but it is watching the plants grow that is really fun for me.

It isn’t too late for you to start onions or broccoli (I’m really early, but I married a man who knows what I want for my birthdays… he bought me a small green house, love it… and him). If not for the green house and all the kewl tools he buys for me, I would be waiting for much warmer weather in a couple of months to scratch my gardening itch.

Sunrise February 21, 2018

Sunrise and Irises

How cold is it in Everett, Washington today? It was 26 degrees F when I woke up at 4AM, and got all the way up to 31 degrees F this afternoon. But it was 65 degrees F in my green house when I went out to plant my Brussels sprouts. Even though it was overcast today, the green house still heated up. We are being threatened with more snow this afternoon, but have been promised blue sky tomorrow. Blue sky is rich with radiant heat. That often pushes the green house temperature up into the 90’s which is perfect for sprouting seeds.

Mark 10 February 21, 2018 Are you doing #NTin2018 with me on Instagram? Today was Mark chapter 10, a chapter chock-full of cases of Y’shua-Jesus seeing people in a different light then those of us in the church see them. I think you may enjoy it.

Debs… trying to keep the tips of my toes warm in this cold city. Burrr!



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Sunday Snow

Just because we expect snow in February, it doesn’t always mean we welcome it.

Snow 2 February 18, 2018
The trouble with putting yourself on bud watch, or bulb watch or with starting seeds is the feeling that spring is coming. I guess snow is a nice change from all of the rain we have experienced in Everett, Washington, but this is not the change in weather that I was hoping for. I am thankful for the slice of spring I experience in the greenhouse!

Seeds February 18, 2018 I want to be that Proverbs 31 warrior, the one who laughs at the snow.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31:10

The regular Sabbath reading for this week is #19, Contributions. I was just reading one of the New Testament suggested readings, feeling a little bit sorry for myself because of my lust for spring. 2Corinthians 9:1-15 speaks of being ready to give, as might be expected from the Torah Portion title. After all of my fussing about forgetting to save some of my seeds and needing to order seeds that I usually save seed for, I came across these verses.

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God 2Corinthians 9:10-11

Why do I worry? The Almighty takes care of me! I get to plant seeds that he provides. I get to watch things grow, I get to harvest and eat the most amazing food imaginable. I get to work outside. And I get to give of what He provides to bless others Hallelujah!

So I will continue with one day at a time planting. Maybe this week I’ll call it celebrating the greenhouse in the snow… maybe not. I will probably light a candle (or three) under a big clay pot to take the chill out of the atmosphere in the greenhouse. Spring is still coming.

The plan for this week, February 18-23

  • Fennel (including how to start seedlings for transplanting: 2/18/18)
  • Red and Green Cabbage (with instructions, 2/19/18)
  • Kale (so simple, you may not need directions, but here they are: 2/20/18)
  • Purple and Green Brussels Sprouts (with instructions, 2/21/18)
  • Dakota Peas (which I did happen to save, link includes my how-to video 2/22/18)
  • Frog Island Nation Fava Beans (February 23, with a dinner to table video)

Now, to find my old hiking candle lantern and a big dry clay pot to keep the frost off of my bay laurel and rosemary… both of which are far too large to sit on my kitchen table. Maybe I’ll be laughing at the snow after all.

Snow February 18, 2018 Winter Storm Warning! In Everett that means more snow and nights so cold that I will either  heat the green house -or- Ray and I will be hauling flats of seedlings from the greenhouse to the kitchen table every night. Suddenly I am glad that I did not use heat to sprout my seeds, they would be too tender!

This Week: Highs in the mid 30’s and lows in the lower 20’s. Do I keep planting? probably. What would you do?

Debs in wool socks.

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Plant some Garlic

The time for planting most of your winter food is gone, at least it is gone in Everett, Washington. We have less then 10 hours of daylight and nights are getting down to 40 degrees F. But not all is lost if you did not get winter food started! Here is what you can do.


I have always planted garlic for the next year on October 31, Martin Luther’s birthday (I bet you have a different name for October 31) At this time of year Ray has sifted the compost and harvested wheelbarrows full of black-gold, home grown compost. I’ve sifted through the dirt in the chicken yard and found another source of rich soil for the vegetable garden. Both are clean and sweet smelling. I shovel it on my garlic bed and press cloves into the soft rich loam.

Do the same with fava beans and shallots. All of these can be planted as late as October 31.


Garlic in March, Everett, WA. Topped with unfinished compost as a mulch. By July, when I harvest, it has all broken down into rich loam for planting.

Other October chores are all about maintenance. Don’t let worms take over your Brussels Sprouts, clean and sharpen your tools, finish spreading compost on your beds and plant those daffodils before you forget.

hebrew-ruwachPelting rain and brisk winds forecast for today.Wish I had not bought so much candy. I expect there will be a lot left over. You can see The Hebrew Word of My Day on Rainsong.

Debs at the Toy Box SubUrban farm where everything seems to be made of pumpkin today.

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Morning Devotions: Psalm 9

Psalm 9 a Muth-labben. Right away I have a question. What is a muth-labben? A little bit or research tells me that it is something written because of the death of a son. We know David lost a son who would have been Solomon’s older brother. He died as an infant. But David was a mighty prophet and friend of the Almighty. The Almighty also lost a Son. I think that it is the Almighty’s Son that David writes about in Psalm 9.

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2 nkj

In this Psalm about the Son of the Almighty, David mentions his own enemies, the aggravation and pain they cause is honestly written by the friend of the Almighty. David knows that the havoc the enemy causes is not forever and they will be held accountable for the destruction they cause. But David will remember the amazing things he has seen the Almighty do and will praise Him for it.

YHVH is eternal (vs 7) but the enemy will come to an end (vs 6).
YHVH has a throne for righteous judgment (vs 7) from where he maintains justice, judging righteously (vs 4) but the enemy will be blotted out in perpetual ruins.

Sometimes when I read verses like these I get an idea in my head that my life will be lived in a bubble of sweetness, filled with kind people. To be honest, there have been seasons like that in my life.  There have also been times when my bubble has burst. The enemy does come in like a flood and even though I believe with all my heart that my enemy is not a flesh and blood person (read Ephesians 6:2), he still manages to use people in my life when he comes against me. It will work that way for you too. If that is how it worked for Y’shua (meaning Salvation, Jesus) who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) then we should expect that our unseen enemy of our soul will seduce others into doing his dirty work.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4 nkj

What do we do at those times? Fight back? Defend our actions and our motives. Honestly, it has not been my experience that fighting for myself is useless. It tends to fall on deaf ears. But let me tell you, I am not without hope! Neither are you. We have a stronghold, a safe place to find refuge, which is a little different than a hiding place, though we can definitely hide for a season in the stronghold. (vs 9) We who trust in the name of YHVH will not be forsaken by Him (vs 10)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

We have a job to do, make disciples everywhere who embrace the life of Y’shua, our Salvation, our Jesus. We have an enemy who will make our life difficult, not wanting fellow slaves of darkness to be set free by truth (John 8:32) Blood, the life of people is required for sin (vs 12) but we have Y’shua (salvation, vs 14) who has paid our blood-price, setting us free.  This is the message we must tell, this is the hope we are compelled to give to those in darkness, even those the enemy has used to stop us. Run to the strong hold, the Word of the Almighty which is Jesus our salvation. He will never abandon you. He will be the backbone need to stand firm against our enemy.
Mrs. Hagerty, November 3, 2015

November 15, 2015 (2)

Purple Brussels Sprouts, all ready for the winter holidays at The Toy Box Suburban Farm in Everett, Wa.

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The Cold Shoulder

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,

The Old Windmill comes alive with the east wind.

The Old Windmill comes alive with the east wind.

Nearly all of Canada and most of the United States are feeling the effects from the back-lash of Super Typhoon Nuri. After crashing into the Bearing Sea it made a wide sweep across Canada and south into the United States. In Western Washington (the state) we usually feel the after affects of a Bearing Sea storm with sweeping north winds running the Pacific coast into Everett. Not this time. This storm is only giving us her cold shoulder. There was frost on the farm but no snow or freezing rain. Time for a few chores to get “winter ready”.

November 11, 2014 (10) The Nuggets spend the night in an unheated chicken house so job one is making sure the girls have the best environment possible. They are well suited for a PNW winter. The most difficult job is keeping their water in a liquid state. Ray cleaned up the Easter Basket and tossed a couple of flecks of hay in the run. They like it best if they can do their own house keeping, which saves us from feeling the need to spread it out.

The old chicken tractor, a little worse for wear.

The old chicken tractor, a little worse for wear.

One perk about spring and autumn for city hens is the freedom to get out of the chicken yard a little more often. We try to keep it interesting in the yard with buckets full of gourmet weeds with treasures like beetles, crushed snails and fat worms, but there is nothing like harvesting your own salad and digging for your own protein snack. I don’t know how many more seasons the old tractor has before we have to do some major fixes. (and by we, I mean Ray, tehe)

Inside the chicken tractor, working the former onion bed.

Inside the chicken tractor, working the former onion bed.

After ten-plus days of being down with the flu it felt fantastic to be out. The beds are in ratty condition and with the cold sunshine I would love to park myself infront of a bed, clean it up, get it ready for next season. But next season is the Schemata, the year of Sabbath rest, so I actually have plenty of time. I’ll let the girls do the work for me. Sometimes I wish all of my labor force thought working at the Toy Box was like having a date night.

Inside the green house, the bay tree was just moved back in.

Inside the green house, the bay tree was just moved back in.

There are so many jobs I am going to have to putz at (it is what I do best). It takes me longer and longer to recover from the flu. The greenhouse walls need a scrub, the floor of the house looks sloppy, the shelves need straightening. There will not be much to do this spring when it would normally be time to plant. There are jobs that can wait until then. I just like getting out there.

Brussels Sprouts, about to experience the sweetening effect of frost.

Brussels Sprouts, about to experience the sweetening effect of frost.

Because of the Schemata, there is no winter garden to brag about or look forward to. No bed of leeks for when the onions run out, no celeriac to brighten winter soup, no bed of greens to fuss over. There are a few kale and chard plants, the Brussels sprout and a bed of herbs but that is all. This is by faith. This year, instead of writing about what the rain provides, I’ll speak of what Abba provides. It is only for a year.

November 11, 2014 Pretty blue sky, brisk, cold wind. Sunrise was at 7:09, 0% chance of rain. Icy NE wind gusting to 19mph. Sunset at 4:36 when the temperature could drop as low as 26 degrees. 8 hours and 27 minutes of daylight.

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