Monday, June 28, 2010

Garden happenings

In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it. ~ Frank Mckinney Hubbard......

This quote is very true and I'm sure it is true of all things we are very passionate about. With gardening you can't just start some seed and forget about must attend to it daily....and such is the reason I haven't had much time to blog lately... I have been living "in it" for sure....In addition, I started a new job and we are working Saturdays at the farmer's market.....then there's all those summer time chores....I finally found a few minutes to share some pictures of what's going on in the garden so goes...

The Nasturtiums are needing to get in the ground...after all they ARE already blooming...sheesh...where does my time go? This gardening season has been a rough one with all the rain and cool temps so hopefully everything catches up soon.

With the help of Bent I was able to get about 80 pepper plants in the ground on Sunday...good thing because as you can see they were putting on peppers in the greenhouse. We have several varieties: Ancho, Jalapeno, Serrano, King of the North, Orange Sun, Orange and Purple Bells, Tollis Sweet Italian, Red Habanero, Red Cayenne and Bulgarian Carrot Peppers.

I am very pleased with the Hill Country Red Okra (from Seed Savers Exchange) is doing quite well and putting on little baby okras : ) Okra is rather difficult to grow in our region because of the short season...but it appears to be right on track.

This is my first try on growing Broccoli looks interesting but it is quite a bit behind the regular varieties. If anyone has tried the Romanesco, I would love to hear if it tastes like regular broccoli.

The purple tomatillos are starting to produce little babies as well. These are also new to my garden. I grew one regular tomatillo plant 2 years ago and we had them coming out our ears. This year I have some great tomatillo salsa recipes to try them in : )

The Totem Patio Tomatoes are doing well. I started these under grow lights in late February...they just need to ripen now....(yummy)

Last but not least....the spuds...(we are from Idaho ya know?) Let's hear for the potatoes!!! ....they are doing very well despite the nasty freeze they endured...we have Red Norland, Russett, Yukon Gold and Red Lasoda.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vitamin D please!!!

I have not had time to post lately as I just started a new job and I'm still doing the farmer's market as well. Quite frankly, I'm just too tired to today is a mostly picture blog kind of the rainy weather has me a bit down in the dumps...I'm a summer kind of person and today is SUPPOSED to be the first day of summer. These shots were taken about a week ago. We have had pretty much nonstop rain and cooler temps for way too long...As a result, things are moving slow in the garden and some of the veggies are kind of yellowing and waterlogged....I held off transplanting my peppers and other sensitive plants and I'm glad I did!

This quote may ring true once in a while : "Rain in the spring is as precious as oil."...Chinese Proverb. Ummm....but I say we all pray for sun... I need some Vitamin D please!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The little things

In honor of Father's Day 2010, I want to let my dad know just how much he means to me. I usually buy the typical Father's Day card and write a little something in it but I have come to realize with the recent passing of my mother that sometimes you never get around to truly telling your loved ones how important they are in your life until the opportunity is gone.

So Dad, here's to all the little things....the little things you have taught me and shared with me on this path called life...they are really the big things...the things that mean so much to me:

Thank you for the family hikes, the family bike rides, and the family picnics at Farragut State Park...and thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to take us kids fishing at Hayden Lake (even though it was me you were usually fishing out of the lake).

Thanks for teaching me how to mow the lawn, how to pick potato bugs, wash the car and clean the pasture. Thanks for teaching me that girls can do anything boys can do. Thanks for teaching me that it's okay to dig in the dirt. Thanks for teaching me how to be tough...physically and emotionally. Thanks for helping me build the kite for my 6th grade kite building competition....we made it from one of the large black plastic garbage bags...It flew like no other kite...I won that competition.

Thanks for our road trips to Canada. Thanks for driving all the way back to Kelowna's Flintstones theme park because Wendy, my best friend, left her coin knew it had sentimental value.... .and thanks for listening to the same 8 track recording of the band Queen the entire way there and back. Thanks for putting up the Boy Scout tents in the back yard and letting my friends and I sleep out during the summer.

Thanks for not getting angry at me when I dented the Buick...(it was really Jeff that did that by the way) Thank you for letting me date Jeff even though he had long hair and his car burned oil...ha ha.....Thank you for walking me down the aisle, for loving my children, and spending quality time with them. Thank you for always setting the example and thank you for not judging others for making mistakes...Thanks for being there for me when life was rough. Thanks for helping us kids out with major home improvement projects both physically and financially.

Thank you for loving my mother...for loving my brothers, and for teaching us to be honest, respectful and hardworking. Thank you for the wonderful home you provided us...thanks for all the cats you let me adopt......thanks for the incredible amount of patience you taught me.

Thanks for letting me build stuff out of your wood scraps when I was little...and years later doing the same for my kids. Thanks for being a hero in my eyes: I was pretty young but I remember when you climbed that fire escape to alert an elderly couple that their apartment was on fire. I thought that was courageous.

Thank you for being a wonderful son, husband, father and grandfather, and thank you for keeping our family traditions alive. Thank you for making the family garden a reality....for buying us a greenhouse and building raised beds...thank you for protecting the garden when Jack Frost threatened to destroy it. Thank you for monitoring the propane in the greenhouse.

Thank you for the way you would joke around with mom and the kids and make them laugh so hard that tears would pour down their cheeks...Thanks for being amused when the kids would play with the toy sunflower that sang the tune "You are my Sunshine" for the umpteenth time. Thank you for cooking breakfast for mom and doing the dishes after you retired...she really liked that. Thanks for staying with me at the hospital when I was sick.

Thanks for being supportive of your family...Thanks for teaching me that life is so much more than fancy cars, exotic travels and expensive homes. Thanks for teaching me to do what's right.... and most of all... thanks for teaching me "Family First" matter what. I love you with all my heart for all these "little things".... Happy Father's Day dad...You are the best.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Please don't hate me family....I couldn't resist the temptation....Yep, you guessed it....I ate the first ripe strawberry of the season...I feel so guilty... I must say it was very tasty....but not as tasty as the first snap pea was Lol! I will try to keep my hands off the broccoli....Short post today as I'm off to prepare for tomorrow's market : ) The weather is supposed to be mostly sunny and 80F so I hope to see you all at Mostly Sunny's booth # 29 !

Monday, June 7, 2010

Slowly but surely....

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activities.....Between the farmer's market and Bent's barbecue competitions things have been kind of crazy. I feel like I'm way behind schedule with getting my plants in the ground....Last week my sister-in-law, Melanie, and I started to transfer the tomatoes from the greenhouse to the garden and I fully intended to have the rest of them in the ground by now....but that didn't happen...that was in part due to the huge amount of rain we have been getting....the ground has been way too soggy. Yesterday the sun finally made an appearance and I was determined to get at least half of the 128 tomato plants to their new was close but no cigar.....too many other things to I know why farmer's wake up at sunrise lol! If the good weather holds then I should be able to finish today. Some tomato varieties we planted are Nyagous, Cherokee Purple, Chocolate Cherry, Razzleberry, Totem, Yellow Peacevine, Tangerine Red, Costoluto, Carmelita, Super Beefsteak, Persimmon, Amish Paste, Polish Linguisa, Super Sweet 100 and Komohana Grape.
I'm excited to try the Cherokee Purple and Komohana Grape...Thomas (A Growing Tradition) was nice enough to send me the seed.

I am very happy with how our lettuce box is filling out. In the pic is a really pretty variety called dad kept telling me he thought there was something wrong with it because it had! Other favorites pictured below are Yugoslavian Red lettuce and Buttercrunch.

The broccoli and cabbage raised beds are exploding....most of them are producing heads now. This year we grew both the Pac Man and De Cicco varieties. I thought I went overboard on broccoli starts but we nearly sold out of them.

The potatoes got hit with some frost a couple weeks ago but you could never tell now....thank goodness : ) We planted Red Norlands, Russets, Lasoda, and Yukon Gold.

The Totem patio tomatoes are the first to set fruit. Now they just need larger containers. I will get right on that.....yeah sure... : )

The carrots are starting to come up as well...This year I tried the carrot seed toilet paper method and it seems to be working well....less thinning is always a good thing! Our carrot varieties include Ya Ya, Atomic Red, Red Dragon and Sugar Snacks.

Now I'm off to the garden to finish what I started....slowly but surely it will get done : )

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A fun-filled gardening weekend with a touch of redneck.

Our family spent Memorial Day weekend playing in the garden. Even the grandkids got in on some of the action...the pic is our grandson Liam. I initially gave him the job of watering vegetables in the hoop house... that is until I realized they were literally drowning....Lol! I quickly gave him the new job of watering the shrubs...hopefully you can't over water shrubs.....We accomplished quite a bit on Sunday before the torrential rains set in for the rest of the long weekend. We transplanted some of our 120 tomato plants and all of the cauliflower from the greenhouse to the garden. I'm still too nervous to put all the tomatoes out as we had frost a little over a week ago. The weather forecast looks like the lows will stay in the 40s so I'm probably being over cautious but one more week of waiting is probably worth it. In addition to planting, we weeded out one of the new beds and prepared it for the big planting day. To end our garden filled day we had a fine home cooked meal prepared by Bent. (Of course this was a bbq meal)....On the menu was grilled Copper River Salmon, potato salad and grilled sweet peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon. On a bit of a redneck note....Bent does not typically cook on a gas grill....unfortunately that is all my dad owns so we would have to bring our own grill. Our dilemma was that all the family trucks were unavailable so we had no way to haul it. The pic is Bent's solution to that little problem...needless to say I wore dark sunglasses and ducked down below the dashboard so no one could identify me. (sorry the pic is from a camera phone so I couldn't get it to size up properly.)

I'm excited to see the garden take shape....the peas are starting to form, the lettuce is almost ready to harvest and the broccoli and cabbage are forming heads. We also found our first red strawberry this weekend....and in the bottom pic the purple podded pole beans have really started to take off...