Tag Archives: parsley

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

February 13th, January check-list done

1january-21-2017-2
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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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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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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Scratch the Gardening Itch; January

The Maritime Garden in January…

You cannot just look at all the seed catalogs showing up at the house and not want to start SOMETHING. The sun always comes out between “systems” to call us out to the garden. It is really too cold to do much but here is what we can do in January (Everett, Washington)

  1. Start onions, shallots and leeks from seed. If you have seed, 4-inch plastic pots, potting soil (I use what I find in last years flower pots) and a heat mat for seeds, then you can grow any kind of onion you want. At The Toy Box  we usually grow New York Early for winter storage and the pretty red Italian Tropea for a summer onion. I usually try something new every year.
  2. Winter Sow herbs, artichokes and any “difficult to grow from seed” plants. The only difficult thing about winter sowing is patience.
  3. Grow a pot or three of micro greens. 
  4. Scallions, radishes, and Asian greens will be slow but they will grow in a pot or box in the green house. I love picking something bright and fresh for my bentos and winter dishes. We have also grown lettuces but tender lettuce suffers from extreme cold and radiant heat of an unheated green house. The slugs come to clean them up, which always makes me madder then a hatter. I start spinach in the same box but it is hit or miss because of how hot it can get in a small green house. Give them a try if you have the space, by March you will be happy that you did.
  5. Keep harvesting winter vegetables from the garden. We have leeks, beets, herbs, kale and some broccoli that is hanging on. We also have turnips, and various greens. Neither my  celeriac or carrots survived past August because of the heat and drought of summer 2015
  6. ….what’s that you say? You do not have any winter veggies in your garden? Now is the time to start planning your 2016 garden, make room for them.

Debs…. who really wants to apologize for the quality of this first video in over two years. But I am laughing too hard. We will get better!

January 9, 2015 (1)

The Garden Journal

January 16, 2016 and I am glad we got out while it was pretty out to make the video last weekend. Today it is raining…. cold, bone chilling rain. After all, it is January.  50/44 F but it is so damp it feels much colder. Sunrise at 7:53; sunset at 4:44 giving us 8 hours and 9 minutes of day light. It looks like it will be cold and wet for the rest of the week.

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Subsistence Farming in January

December 31, 2015 (5)

I always get the itch to start… right before my fingers get numb and painful.

January in Everett, Washington

There is something empowering about seed catalogs.  Summer hues, flowers, lush fruit, abundance. I feel like I can grow anything in January. Honestly it is still too cold and even though my favorite weather page is telling me that the days are getting longer, I’m not really feeling it. I still have the itch to get started.

Here’s what I do to scratch that itch.

Seed Inventory

January 2, 2016 (1)

Seeds stored in the crisper drawer. Some are eight years old and still come up strong.

Before I start to memorize those catalogs, I take an inventory of what I have.  I have a file on my computer called “Seed Inventory” and a drawer in my refrigerator full of seeds with just a few of Ray’s Mason Bees. I am LOUSY at organizing but I do enjoy sorting. Before I make a single seed order I’ll go through my list, comparing it to what I actually have.  If Ray were in charge of  seed storage they would be in some kind of order so that I wouldn’t have to go through EVERYTHING every couple of weeks in the early season when we start our garden. His efficiency doesn’t stop there. When we plant together he puts in more then twice as much as I do because I fuss over every rootlet and pause to figure out what bird is singing that song. I tend to sit back and mentally write my blog or take pictures. He gets the job done.

January 2, 2016 (3)

A pocket size (or at least fanny-pack size) notebook for two of my passions. Bible-Hebrew study and dreaming about the garden.

 Somewhere between seed inventory and the green house I also inventory the things I need to make soil blocks, the condition of my flats and 4-inch pots. I’m probably going to need more.

Winter Sowing (link to an essay on my early attempts at winter sowing from my original blog, Rainsong) While going through my seeds and supplies I’ll be looking for the things I always winter sow. Artichokes, parsleys, tricky herbs like chamomile and echinacea (Purple Cone Flower). This year I am going to add snap-dragons and pansies to the Winter Sown list.

Job 3 The Green House

March 7, 2015 (6) Greenhouse

This is close to how it should look in here.

What a mess! The walls get green (despite the name, it is the plants, not the house itself that should be green). It does not smell right. It has become a storage shed for everything I don’t want getting wet, for seeds that need to be threshed and a bunch of other junk that needs to be tossed or put in its place. The green house is the one place that I love to keep orderly.

Job 4 Late Winter Salad

March 21, 2015 1st day of Spring (1)

March 2015 (from a late January planting) Radishes made my grid. Scallions and spinach did well but the tender lettuces did not like the radiant heat during the day and the near freezing temps at night. Just a couple of slugs ate those stressed babies.

There is a small square box in the very back corner of my greenhouse. During the summer it will hold eggplants or peppers, maybe cucumbers, but early in the season, well before I should, I will plant hardy Asian greens and mustards, radishes and scallions…. just because I can. Most of them will go into bentos, sometimes a slug will have a feast before I remember to sprinkle Sluggo, but sometime in early March, there will be a salad, far better then anything Costco or Trader Joe’s can ever hope to sell to me, that I will love more then the birthday cake I’ll have.

Are you ready? Then get out and get dirty! Afterwards, make something with the leeks and celeriac still growing in your winter garden!

February 6 uprising 2014 (2)

Uprising Seeds from 2014, almost time for 2016

Shabbat Shalom! January 2, 2016: clear and cold. Pretty to look at, brutal to be in. Sunrise at 7:58 and 26 degrees F. I saw a (Ruby Crowned?) Kinglet flitting about in the one surviving artichoke plant. The temperature got all the way up to 38 degrees. Sunset at 4:27 for 8-hours and 25-minutes of cold daylight

Debs

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What’s a farmer supposed to do on Rainy Days?

I’ve be waiting for a rainy day to get my starts going.

2014 in the greenhouse

2014 in the greenhouse

Late February, and I’m starting….

  • Artichokes (usually winter sown, so I’m crossing my fingers)
  • Parsley, both curly and Italian
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Onions, Italian Torpedo, Cipollini (need to buy more yellow storage: New York Early)
  • Salad, (we have a lot to choose from!)
  • Leeks and Shallots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Maybe a few peas in soil blocks instead of pots.

That’s what springs to my mind, what are you planing to start indoors this month?

Robins have returned to Everett, WA

Robins have returned to Everett, WA

Every grove of trees in Everett is alive with returning robins arguing over the best camping spot until they can get a permanent nest built. They will be building those nests in the rain today, Friday, February 20, 2015. The chill in the air probably means the rain will soon be replaced by blue sky, but today the forecast is at 70% chance of rain, 51/39 Sunrise at 7:06, Sunset at 5:39 giving us 10 hours and 33 minutes of wet daylight!

 

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