Tag Archives: Fennel

Day 8; Fennel

Celebrating… because there is nothing better to do on a snowy February Day.

Fennel soil block 2 February 18, 2018
Fennel might be happier if you direct seed it when you plant peas. But the Almighty has said, …let them (man) have dominion over… all the earth… Genesis 1:26  so, in a spirit of dominion over the earth that I am a steward of, I am forcing some fennel in soil blocks, late in February.

Fennel soil block February 18, 2018 Starting fennel in the green house. Fennel will not be happy if you disturb her roots. Remember that when you choose a starting pot.  I use soil blocks. What ever you choose, it should be 1.5 to 2 inches deep.

  1. Plant 3 seeds per block, one-fourth inch deep. Cover seeds with vermiculite. (thin to one per block or pot)
  2. Fennel likes a minimum temperature of 60 degrees F to sprout (90 maximum)
  3. Keep them in the dark, they have better germination without light
  4. Seedlings will sprout in 7 to 14 days under ideal conditions.
  5. When the seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall they should be planted in the garden. This early in Everett, Washington, they will be put under a cold-frame. They can also be transferred to a large pot and allowed to grow in the greenhouse.

candle February 18, 2018 This little light of mine. I like my old candle lantern for keeping the chill out of the greenhouse. We were snowed on today (February 18, 2018) and have been warned that night temperatures will get down to 23 degrees F or even lower. These old candle lanterns will burn for 10 hours and put out significant heat. I really need to buy another clay pot to put over it, but this will do for now.

Iris February 18, 2018 Today in Everett The barometer took a dive. All those rain clouds parted and baby it’s cold outside! 40/21 (21!) with light winds from the Fraser Valley up north. No rain, just snow. Sunrise at 7:11 AM, 10 hours and 25 minutes later the sun sets at 5:37 PM.

Debs… who will be bringing trays of seedlings into the kitchen for the night.

Tomorrow, #NTin2018 is Mark chapter 8

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Filed under In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

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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Filed under Bible Study, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Monster Kale

Just when we thought it was finished it puts out new growth.

Just when we thought it was finished it puts out new growth.

Honestly, we do not eat a lot of kale, but we have still been impressed. Another box holds our favorite, Red Russian kale. I was fixen to chop this one down (really, I think I need a hatchet) but decided to leave it for a while. The box it is in is tentatively scheduled to grow tomatoes this season so I have some time before it has to go.

Huge

Huge

It will take some work to get this giant out of the box. I almost hate to do it but I suspect there isn’t much left in the soil to feed it. Fennel is coming up under the monster. The fennel parent plants did not do well in the shade of the kale last season. Does anyone know? Seems like I have heard that if I let the kale go to seed I will be able to harvest broccoli like heads.

Red Russian Kale on a frosty morning

Red Russian Kale on a frosty morning

The Russian did not get as large as the Italian but it is a bit sweeter.  After a spring tease the PNW is back to the daily drip. 50:50 chance that it will be raining all day long. 46/37; Sunrise at 6:39, 11 hours and 22 minutes later it sets at 6:01. It is the 24th day of the Snow Moon (3rd qtr) so there is still time to plant your carrots in the PNW.

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

Light Vegetable Stock

Adapted from “Fields of Greens” by Annie Sommerville

This is the flavorful stock I used as the foundation for Celeriac Soup. Why use a boxed or canned stock when this one is so quick and easy. Maybe it is the fresh sage, or maybe the fennel. Something makes this stock sing.

Ingredients for the light stock

Leeks and herbs from the garden with an onion, fennel, garlic and potatoes.

To the stock pot: add 1 thinly sliced onion in about a cup of water. Cover the pot and bring up the heat to medium-high. As the onion and water get hot and begin to cook, add to the pot:

  • 1 large (or about 3 slender) leek(s), chopped and washed.
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves (in their skin is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Stir in the veggies and salt. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium. Steam-simmer for about 15 minutes.

Next add:

  • 2 large potatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh marjoram or oregano sprigs
  • fennel (tops and outer layers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 9 cups water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for an hour.

Pour the stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid as possible from the vegetables. Feed the vegetables to the chickens or compost.

Make soup (try the celeriac soup!)

Light Vegetable Stock

Getting ready to simmer. Light Vegetable Stock

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Filed under Fresh from the garden, Home Cooked, Square Foot Garden