Tag Archives: Fava Beans

Good by Snow Moon

2february-11-2017-2
Somehow we came to the end of February and the chores are all checked off of my list.

  • Soil Blocks made. I can see broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage sprouting
  • Winter Sowing didn’t get to those, but we did plant artichokes, and parsleys.
  • Fava Beans were the last to go in , but they are in!
  • Potatoes were beyond Chitted, we found our seed potatoes had sprouted.
  • Onions had a hair cut
  • Fruit trees pruned

Just made it! I had to put our yellow potatoes into dirt. There is a huge pot of yellow potatoes in the green house and a tub of potatoes growing just off of the deck. As I write this they are being snowed on. Last hurrah for the Snow Moon.

2february-23-2017-1 Late start on the greenhouse salad because of rat wars. YUCK They are not gone yet, but they seem to be out of the greenhouse. Thanks Ray! If I look closely I can see mixed Asian greens from Botanical Interests. Grab a pack if you ever come across them. They make a lovely spring mix. We like them while they are still tiny. I also see French Breakfast Radish from seed I saved a couple of seasons ago. Still waiting for winter Spinach and Scallions.

2february-23-2017-5 Artichokes and parsley are doing a nice job, Onions have had a hair cut, even the Tarragon has been divided and repotted. I was worried about my Tarragon. I’ve had this plant for as long as we have lived in Everett. If I had to buy a new start it would not be the end of the world. I guess it is a matter of pride that I’ve kept it alive and fresh all this time. Wa-hoo Creation!

2february-232017-3 Outside, under our kitty kover, the garlic and shallots are doing great! Every time I flip the lid off for the day the scent of the herbs inspires me to make soup. Yes, I see weeds, but they are not ALL weeds It looks like the chamomile is already coming back. I think it liked wintering under the kitty kover.

2february-232017-1It was late when I pressed the last Fava Bean into the chilly loam, but I promise the day was clear and bright when Ray and I went out to putz in the garden. Ray pruned our trees. There is a video but I have not tackled that yet. The new plum is covered with buds. On the espaliered apple tree I think he might have removed as much wood as he left. We still need to tackle the the different cane and vine berries, they are waiting for us. I planted my Fava beans near by that day. Now and then he wanted my opinion on what did I think about what he is cutting. Isn’t he awesome! Look at the beautiful soil under the chips. Sadly, the rows look a little red neck (I r redneck). There are not many open spaces for the dogs to run in the garden. The mini fences and blue bailing twine is to discourage the dogs from running through the new bed of beans.

2february-25-2017-1 Just a hint of whats happening in March, under the Worm Moon. Why Worm Moon? It is going to start warming up enough to make happy worms!

  • Choose your tomato seed
  • Get a bed ready for peas
  • Choose pepper seed
  • Get ready to plant onions
  • Are your early potatoes ready?

Now, Whose going to teach me about Dahlias?

febuary-toy-box-copy

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Fava Beans in Fall

Reformation Day (October 31). How do we celebrate? 

I already mentioned that we plant Garlic, We also plant Fava Beans.

fava-beans

On a lazy summer day, Fava Bean Salad is the ultimate slow food. It takes a bit of work to free the nutty goodness from it’s fuzzy pod and thick protective layer, but once you do, you will have one of the delights of early summer!

Prettier that they look in the picture. Fava Beans are easy to handle when your fingers are freezing. We plant some for Reformation Day but if we happen to miss the fall planting day, then we watch for the first crocus to poke its pretty self out in the icy air. When the crocus’ bloom, it is time for spring planting Fava Beans. Honestly, fall planted Favas are only about 10 days earlier to harvest then spring planted. I just like my traditions.

January 30, 2016 (3)

My Garden Journal for February

If you do not have Crocus’ one of your neighbors probably does. The good news is that now (late autumn) is also the time to plant crocus for early spring flowers. You are in Luck!

I have not tried this yet but I watched a video that assured me that I can eat the tender beans shortly after the flower fall off. Something I keep forgetting to try. Apparently the leaves are also good food. I’ll have to ask my chickens.

Ray and I have done fava beans in Square foot gardens and in our Back to Eden garden. We were successful in both. I’m told that both black and green aphids are a problem with fava beans. I hesitate to report that we have not had a problem with either of these. Paul Gautschi of Sequim, Washington (the Back to Eden man) tells us that aphids are a problem in a garden that is too dry. Maybe that’s it. Back to Eden protects soil moisture even in dry years, and it was seriously wet the years we grew them in Square foot gardens. But enough of what can wait until summer. Just get out and get dirty ….plant some Fava Beans.

november-2-2016-jenny-e-il-piccolo After you are done in the garden, if the weather goes chilly and wet, come on over to Rainsong and read today’s post. Amy Carmichael’s Edges of His Ways for November 3. Ray and I went to the funeral of a beloved family friend last night. Today’s post was a source of joy.

The sun is shining brightly in my window this morning, I’m told it will keep shining for at least another day. We have less then ten hours from sunrise to sunset, but there are still nearly 11 hours of actual light if you count twilight… and I do.

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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.

garlic-2

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.

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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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The First Half of April in the Garden

April 2, 2016 (2)
April at The Toy Box. I cannot say that I have been working hard to get where we are this month, I like to putter about for a couple of hours after school every day. Maybe it would be better to proclaim, I have been diligent. Yep, that’s it, I am going with diligent. We have been checking off the jobs that need to be done in the days working up to where we are. Getting trees planted or trimmed, adding wood chips, running flats of seedlings in and out of the weather, protecting them from frost and floods of rain. April is when the “diligence” comes together. We are already eating some of this years salad with the last of last years herbs, leeks and kale.

April 1, 2016 (7)

Morning Prayer

Just when it seems like Ray can sit back and enjoy the beauty of our Suburban Farm, I come up with another major, pain in his back, plan. This season it involves moving two established SFG’s (square foot gardens) to make room for more BTE (back to Eden) growing areas. As subsistence farmers we want to get as much food from our little bit of land as we are able. I (Debs) started out as a foodie/hobby farmer. Best use of space was not part of my plan.

April 1, 2016 (2)

Winter Sown Artichokes (up-potted)

Seedlings: We have soil blocks of tomatoes waiting to be potted up. I have been saving that job for a rainy day. As of today (April 2, 2016) I am on the last weekend of Spring Break from school. The weather has been beautiful so I keep putting that job off. I am reading that rain is coming. The job will get done. The salad greens (romain and mixed reds) have been planted in the front yard SFG, one of the pots of sweet-pea starts were planted in the front garden. Our broccoli and cauliflower are huge and ready for planting out. (suddenly I am feeling just a little bit overwhelmed).

April 2, 2016 (8)

Swiss Chard makes a comeback

Everett, Washington had a very mild winter. We are not quite safe from a “last frost date” yet so I am still holding my breath. We garden just north of “don’t worry about killing frosts in spring” land. I stand amazed watching winter food become beautiful plants. The Swiss Chard in this picture is one example. Light frosts and heavy rain reduced is to an unappetizing mess that I was sure I would be digging out; but look at it. Instead of digging it out I need to dig out my recipes! We have grown the white stem type of chard ever since we have grown it. I have not learned to enjoy it raw yet so the beautiful colors available have not found a place in my chard patch… until this year. I am looking forward to a new variety labeled “Peppermint Chard”. It looks like it has a red-pink base and white upper stem and veins. Am I the only goofy ol’ woman who gets excited about a different color of chard?

April 2, 2016 (5)

Spring Artichoke

One Artichoke survived winter 2015-16 in our Everett, WA garden. In truth we have had roots survive to send up fresh growth but we have never had a whole plant survive the winter. One hard frost could bring it down so I am trying to not get too attached. But I cannot help thinking how totally kewl to have 2nd season artichokes this summer! I also have a beautiful, thick stand of delicious red celery growing in the same garden. It smells awesome! I have not read any good reviews about red celery yet…. here is mine. YUM.

April 2, 2016 (10)

Leeks and (umm) chicken food

The last of our leeks and celeriac have been lovely! This year the guys did not get out to gather fallen leaves so I never did get leaf mulch piled around my root crops, they were fine. There was only one day that I went out to harvest for a winter dinner that turned into a fail because of frozen ground. The last few leeks I have harvested have had woody centers, a sigh that they are getting ready to bolt so I need to use them as quickly as possible. The garlic I planted last October is beautiful. I made such a dumb mistake.

April 2, 2016 (9)

Green Roman and Valentine Mix Lettuce

I remember Paul Gautschi of the BTE film saying that I should put my very best potatoes right back into the ground for the next harvest; which I did. What I missed is that they will come up the following March, which they have. Mean while I thought the replant of potatoes was a total fail and planted my garlic over the former potato bed. While the potato sprouts are still fairly small, both are doing fine. Last year all of my garlic was volunteer. The garlic I planted was from the best of those cloves. This season I found dozens of new garlic volunteers while cleaning up a bed for early pea plants. I should have plenty of garlic this season (assuming everything goes well in my garden world). We have made so many soups and put up so much stock that we are plum outta garlic already! Lately we have been clipping green garlic with our parsley (another winter survivor) when we make a dish that needs a spicy boost.

April 2, 2016 (11)

Climbing pea and bean frame

For the first time since moving to Everett, I will not be planting my main crop of peas in a SFG. We have a whole system of support to attach to the SFG beds. Back when I planted tall peas in Robe Valley (east of Granite Falls, WA) I quit planting tall peas because they were too difficult to keep upright when the vines were heavy with our famous rain combined with the occasional wind storm. Ray has built a frame for the BTE garden that we have high hopes for. The legs of the frame go a little more then a foot into the ground. I have planted peas on the port side of the frame and plan to plant green beans on the starboard side in late May. There will be a short season when both are growing on the frame, but the peas should be done by mid July when the beans are just taking off. We are hoping for a fantastic harvest (knees bent, fingers laced!)

April 2, 2016 (12)

Fava Bean sprouts

Strawberries are coming up through the wood chips, raspberries are making buds, the logan and marian berry vines are already looking lush. Still no sigh of Asparagus, but I guess it is a little early. I have spotted early leaves of Rhubarb and it is beautiful. The comfrey is fixen to take over the berry beds. I’ve also seen early signs of deer damage. Gurrrr! The fava beans (also known as broad beans) we planted in February are looking great, except for one little problem. The garden looks so empty in February that I tend to plant far too many of , well, everything that gets planted early. Good thing we love Fava beans! (they are not really a reason to drink Italian wine… or so the  theory goes).

April 2, 2016 (13)

A living grid in the SFG

A living grid of carrots, radishes, spinach, mixed greens, fennel, scallions, bok choi, and I forget what else; was the plan for one of the tomato beds. Somewhere in the planting, I forgot that I was making a grid and started squeezing in as much as I could. Looking at the bed now, if everything grows, it will be a tight fit but I am sure I can still get those tomato plants growing and keep them happy. Some mistakes are happy accidents. That is what I am hoping for this one.

April 1, 2016 (5)

First, a cuppa jo, then we work

We have entered a time of year when there is a new check list every two weeks instead of every month. We are still looking for a multi-espaliered sweet cherry tree. Does anyone even make those? Beds need to be moved, seedlings planted out, framework put up for the tomatoes, maybe a new tomato tent if we have a sudden cold snap. The pepper bed needs more soil mix and the kitty kover should go over that bed. I really need to get busy on the new herb garden since Ray has terraced the hill side with the stones his mother chose for her porch so many years ago. It just needs a good weeding and the plants I’ve been growing for it. Beet seeds need to go in…. somewhere. So many happy puzzles to figure out.

April 1, 2016 (1) For as long as this post is, this is the short version of how my garden grows. How about you? Be sure to include where you garden and let me know how you are feeding your self (or making the world a beautiful place with your flowers!) where you live. I hear that the strawberry harvest is already over in Texas.

Debs… who only has time to sit because it is Sabbath. Tomorrow we will be getting out and getting dirty, with joy!

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Fresh from the garden, Square Foot Garden, Urban Farm

Late March at the Toy Box

March 6 2016 (1)
March is stressful. I am anxious to get my garden growing but at school, children are starting to realize that if they want to avoid summer school, they better get cracking! Somehow I have managed to get most of my chores done.

The early peas are in, so are the carrots and greens. Fava beans are showing but there is still so much to do.

March 2, 2016 (3) I love my greenhouse. It lets me go out no matter what the weather is. By doing just a little each day I feel OK about being ready to plant. Those onions are a little disappointing this year. I usually have water from an aquaponics tank to water the greenhouse. Fish tank water is powerful and makes onions fatten up fast! Not so much this year.

March 20, 2016 (5)

Broccoli and Cauliflower hardening off before going into the ground.

March 20, 2016 (2)

Winter-sown artichokes up-potted. I have no idea where I will put them all, but I am confident that I will find a place.

March 20, 2016 (4)

If only I could find a day to plant the sweet peas out.

March 8, 2016 (3)

This little bed is doing well. Early in March I put in mixed greens, peas and lots of volunteer garlic. Every thing is growing well. We have actually been harvesting small salads from the greens.

March 18, 2016 (1)

Sunrise at The Toy Box Suburban Farm. We are still here and trying to share what is going on in Everett, Washington. Sometimes we just keep up with the work and do not have time to write. Never mind, only nine weeks of school left. We will be back soon enough!

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Fresh from the garden, In the greenhouse, Square Foot Garden, Urban Farm

February Chores Done!

January 30, 2016 (3)
Pretty Cold” meaning it was a pretty afternoon and it was too cold to work without a hoodie and long-sleeve shirt. The crocuses have been in bloom all week but it has been raining in Everett. Finally a beautiful day, so I ran out and planted Fava Beans. If the squirrels do not dig them up, and the dogs do not run them over, and if the deer do not eat them, we should have fresh favas for 4th of July.

February 10, 2016 Potatoes Potatoes chitting in the kitchen window. Everything I planted in the soil blocks video is up and looking hopeful. I love seed saving but for some reason I am such a skeptic about being successful with my own saved seed. I seem to have the mind set that if it doesn’t come from a professional it will not be any good. Peshaw! The seed that I saved is coming up strong!

February 20, 2016 (4) Putting all my sweet peas into one container (per the royal sweet pea society) seemed like a fantastic idea on a cold February after-school-noon. Now I am looking at all those sweet peas and wondering, “what was I thinking?” I have two more tubs just like this one. Normally I plant about two and a half foot long row of sweet peas. This year I am going to be sweet pea central! All of them are the tall climbing type because that is what what I could find at planting time.

February 8, 2016 (12) bento I like to keep my menu as seasonal as possible. Obviously this bento has more then home grown or local foods. The tomatoes scream “south of the boarder!” But look again. see those cute little tartletts? They are made from Toy Box eggs, leeks and kalette which were harvested just moments before being chopped and baked with Toy Box parsley into those tarts. Thanks to Foodie Laura for the fantastic idea. I tend to think of quiche as complicated, but with the filo tart shells, easy-peasy.

February 23, 2016 Weather I am a teacher, it is Tuesday, but looking at the weather prophecy, it sure seems like a good day for the Blue-Sky-Flu. I won’t do it but I am thinking about it.

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Root Division of Tarragon

Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm means dividing Tarragon.

So many tarragon lovers take cuttings of mature stems. Honestly I’ve never tried that because early in February, when there isn’t much to do on a NorthWestern urban farm, dividing up a pot of Tarragon is a pleasant way to count down the days until Spring. It is a simple, no fuss way to spend a chilly day in an (almost) warm greenhouse.

The video starts with the onions getting their first hair cut… hang in there for the Tarragon.

February 6, 2016 Weather February Garden To-Do’s

  • Make a tray of “soil-blocks”
  • Start blocks of broccoli, cauliflower and peas
  • Plant Fava Beans
  • Start a mini tray of lettuces
  • Finish (or start) garden plan

In Everett, Washington we are less then 15 minutes shy of the “ten hours of daylight” time. Assuming the weather co-operates, things start growing in ten hours of daylight! Whoot!

Debs…. off to make a Leek Tart with a few of those fat leeks standing proud in the garden and the eggs the chickens are still laying (Thanks Foodie Laura).

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