Tag Archives: onions

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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Day 2, Onions

Celebrating Ten Hours of Daylight in Everett, Washington

Still recovering and taking it easy. That and I’m TRYING to not do too much too soon in the Garden.

Onions 1
My tradition has always been to plant onion seed in mid January. By mid-February I am usually giving my onions their first “hair cut” but I am just getting started this year (2018). In addition to Torpedo (my favorite summer onion because it can be used at any stage) and New York (a storage onion that I am successful with in Everett, Washington), I thought I also had seed to start some Alisa Craig, a sweet onion that we grew for the first time last season (2017). LOVE! I am pretty sure I can pick them up downtown Everett at the Natural Foods Co-op… if they ever decide to put out their seed racks.

You can grow onion from seed! Here is what you need and what to do.

  1.  Find a 4-inch pot. Four inches is the minimum. Any pot will work, they are not going to live here very long.
  2.  Onion Seed: this is actually the fun part. Order from your favorite catalog, or find a packet on a seed rack. I am always amazed at all the different varieties. Try something new! The only onion I do not start in late winter is Washington’s famous Walla Walla. They need to be started in August, not February. Otherwise, go wild!
  3. Potting Soil: It really is ok to just scoop some from your healthy garden but you can also buy potting soil or special seed starting soil. Your onions will not care. What ever you choose, I find it helpful to wet it before planting in it.
  4.  Optional: If you have a heat mat (NOT a heating pad like you might use on your neck) your seeds will sprout as soon as 3 days. Vermiculite is nice to cover onion seed. It keeps moisture near the seeds and makes it easy to see those pretty green sprouts
  5. Plant your onion seed: Fill your pot (with moist soil) up to a half inch from the top. Sprinkle on your seed, cover with more soil or vermiculite (about a quarter inch deep). Label you pot. Wait for sprouts!

New York It was another beautiful afternoon. I lasted a little longer then yesterday AND I did not hurt as much when I did come in.

Artichokes are on the schedule for day 3, Monday the 12th. If you are doing the New Testament in 2018 (#NTin2018) with me, we will be reading Mark chapter 3

Debs, recovering in Everett, WA.

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A Garden Journal for March

Perhaps the most anticipated month of the season, March is when things start getting real. The tomatoes that we all fuss over all year long are started. Actual outdoor gardening begins.

March the 17th, sleep the 18th has long been my personal motto. Not for the reason you may think. On St. Patrick’s day, after putting on a creamy green soup and popping soda bread on a cooling rack, I head outside to plant peas, potatoes and onions. Some years it is with a slicker and golishes (an old word for rubber boots), other years it is in shirt sleeves and tenny runners. Both give me joy under the Worm Moon.

Vivi at Vivie’s Kitchen Garden Adds a tray of celery to the list. That sounds good to me! On it.

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February 13th, January check-list done

I hope doing January in February does not describe my season! Usually I am so anxious to get out and get dirty, but I’ve been hanging back a bit this year. FINALLY got things checked off of my list.

2february-14-2017-5 I did manage to get my onions started, even put up a video! They are doing what they do. Joy! What I am late on is moving them out to the green house. It isn’t horrible when onions stretch for the light of a window, I’m going to clip them off anyway. And it has been freezing the first couple of weeks of February. It will not be long before they stand up straight in the light of the green house.

2february-13-2017-1 Next on the list is Winter Sow. Pretty sure I missed that window. Instead I just started small trays of both curly and Italian leaf parsley. I also started a small tray of artichokes. My big, beautiful, three year old artichokes froze to the ground last season. Just in case it was more then just the tops, I started a new tray.

2february-13-2017-3 By this time of year I am usually looking for that first tiny radish or micro green for my bento. This year I am just introducing baby seed to soil.

There are scallions, spinach, mixed Asian greens, radishes and cilantro. C’mon spring!

I am ending with an older video on what to do with those onion plants once they are a little bigger then threads. By the way, I googled the nameless dandelion tool mentioned in the video. It is called a Fishtail Weeder. I find it useless for weeding. (I have a hand shovel with a “fishtail.” The curved blade provides leverage to lift up tap-roots) The video features leeks but leeks and onions are planted the same way. Hope you have some raisinettes on hand. This is too short for popping corn.

1january-30-217-journal-2 Next: It is already February 15 as I post this and I have started checking chores off of this list… but that is another post.

Now, get out and get muddy! …unless you have a greenhouse. February 15, 2017 in Everett: the few days of sun and warm weather disappear again. We are back to rain with occasional showers. 52/47 F, 100% chance of rain. If you need to go out, you WILL get wet. 10 hours, 17 minutes from sun up (7:14 AM) to sun down (5:32 PM) The Snow Moon is waning. Remember to pray for the farmers and families in the Sacramento Valley who may be loosing everything! Maybe we should all plant a bigger garden this year.

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Every season starts with onions

1january-21-2017-2 Tiny onion sprouts. I need to look closely at the container of dirt on the window sill. The morning that they suddenly show themselves my new garden has begun. I am a long way from onion rings or soup, but hope spring up with the onion sprouts.

It is almost obscene how many stony black seeds will be sprinkled on the plastic container of soil. In January I do not need to worry about where I will plant, or what I will do when I discover that I have far too many babies to find homes for. My eagerness to get dirty overcomes any good sense that may have been passed on to me. I will worry about that later. Today I just want to plant something.

1january-21-2017-7-onion-seed Just in case you wonder (and the video titles roll by too fast)

  • Cipollini: a small speciality onion that Ray loves in a roast. The right balance of sweet and pungent. Even these tiny bulbs need a full season.
  • Italian Tropea: or Red Torpedos as most Americans call them. These are somewhat sweet, purple to pink summer onions. They can be used at nearly any stage… and should be since they do not store well. We start using the biggest torpedo in the onion patch about mid June (really they will still be scallion like) and continue to use them until late September when they can get to the size of a small nerf football. Beautiful!
  • Ailsa Craig: A huge sweet onion that we put in everything from Late September to mid November. They are good enough to give as gifts. I no longer bother much with Walla Walla’s AC’s are so good (and do not need to be started in September for best size!) No real store-ability, eat them fast, eat them often.
  • New York Early: The very first storage onion I have had success with (in wet Western Washington) I’ll stick with what works. In a good year we have had New Yorks into March.
  • Ed’s Red Shallots: I do plant cloves of shallots in the fall, but these shallots grown from seed are just as amazing!
  • Leeks: This year they are the Italian Gigantia. Just when your storage onions get scarce, it is time for the garlic of the onion family… make sure you cover them in fall with straw and leaves so that you can still pick them with out a pick-ax from the frozen ground.

That’s it… here’s the 2017 Movie.

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Last of the January chores done!

January 19, 2016 (3)

Right to left, two rows of spring onions, Long standing spinach, Red spinach and french breakfast radish.

There should be fresh greens by the first day of Spring.

January 19, 2016 (6) Onion Seedlings

Most of this years onion plants.

These are the onions I started when we made that first giggle-box video from this year. If I do not look at that first pot, they look alright.

January 19, 2016 (5) Tarragon, Rosemary

I always find some kind of surprise. If you look very carefully, you will see tarragon springing up. Won’t be long before it will be time to divide it all up and start new plants. I do not use much of it, but I like that I can keep it up after all this time.

The other “green” is Rosemary.

January 19, 2016 (9) I’ve quite being surprised when I find a potato. Now when I find one I just look for more. Sadly this is the only one I came across in the greenhouse box.

I think last year I dumped a pot of potatoes in the greenhouse box to make sure I didn’t miss any spuds. Guess I better get my glasses fixed.

January 19, 2016 (10) Yep… 100% chance of rain in Everett today. It was a great day to have a greenhouse to work in.

That sound on the roof of the greenhouse? I love it! That’s why the first blog was called “Rainsong”

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Hebrew Word Study: ‘esher (happy)

May 31 'esher (1)
Blessed are you if…

If? Sometimes I have the odd thought. I wonder things like, isn’t “if” a flag word for a cause – effect relationship? So I wonder, aren’t blessings by the “grace of God”? Was Y’shua-Jesus telling us that there are conditions to blessing?  And why do some people insist that the word translated “blessed” should be translated “happy”?

Back to Hebrew. Did you know that there are two Hebrew words that we translate “blessed”? The one most of us are familiar with is barak something given to another in worship. It means to kneel, to praise. It is the exact opposite of curse. The other word for blessing, the one that is often translated “happy” is ‘esher.

‘Esher is an action verb. You are doing something if you ‘esher. It is something you do with a goal in mind. The reason it is sometimes translated “happy” is because you do something that leads to bliss. It is a human (believer) word about our choices and the bliss-joy that follows those choices. While it is not “unmerited favor” it is important.

Here is today’s sample ‘esher verse.

Proverbs 8:32   Listen (shama) children, bliss–joy comes to those who guard The Way.

What choice must we do to be happy? Guard The Way, the path of life. Do not let anything into your life that is not of the Almighty.

Does that mean you will feel joy not watching the movie that everyone else is going to see? Maybe not. But when you see Y’shua face to face , the joy you will experience because you do not need to hang your head in shame will be bliss!

January 24, 2009 It is a good day to work in the green house today. 100% chance of January rain. I have a place ready to start onions, spinach (red and green), radishes (pink and french breakfast) and even some mustard that I finally got around to coaxing out of its pods.

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