Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Garden Year Anticipation

The ever insatiable desire to garden is probably greatest in this lull of short days or am I ever garden full? I've made my first seed & plant orders this week:
Pinetree Garden Seeds- lots of veg stuff
Stark Brothers Nursery: 2 Honeyberries (Cinderella & Borealis), 3 Red Gooseberries (Hinnonmaki), 3 Anne Golden Raspberries and 3 Royalty Purple Raspberries~ to go in orchard beds and in the old garden, which is now the semi-permanent plant garden.

I've been thumbing through the tomatoes- what to add, what to keep. I've pretty much decided to continue the focus on Roma-sized, a couple cherries and a couple beefsteaks. I don't need much for mater or pepper seeds and I've decided 40 tomato plants will be the goal and filling almost 1 entire row in the garden. They are the most used and versatile fruits of the garden. This morning I started my pepper seeds with the technique I started using last year (baggy method on heat). I'm reusing last year's baggies and see 12/25 written on them. I guess I get the pepper itch this time of year. The pots of chilies are doing very well. All have kept their greenery. They are yellowing a bit and the Chiltepins have ripe fruits. 

Winter weather
Winter has been relatively mild so I've had days here and there to do a little yard work- still raking, cutting dead stems & tossing some seeds here and there. Tonight it is suppose to be around 14F, which will be our coldest night yet. The Dome still hasn't gotten below freezing, but maybe I should pick lots of chard tonight just in case. We can have it with our favorite roasted beans & sweet potato gratin. 

Yesterday morning was absolutely gorgeous. The world was sepia & frost. 

Winter Solstice Excursion
I know I posted on the Solstice already, but it was before our hike to Salt Lick Nature Preserve, where we hiked the Salt Lick & Johnson Trail loop (5 miles). 
 Kentucky Coffee Tree pods
dangle over the cliff

 Salt Lick Trail

 Playing with Puffballs

 Looking up from the Johnson Trail

Wild Yam

 KY Coffee Tree pods
and seeds extracted below
We scarified and planted along the creek at the Nature Park
KY CT are not abundant and declining.
We hope this helps.

Food Stuff
Made this soup & froze for later eating. 
It was very tasty and almost all of the ingredients
came from the garden (fresh or frozen).
 Chard, White Bean and Potato Soup

Totally Homegrown Breakfast
 Potatoes, Corbachi peppers, green onions, thyme & an 
egg from Rosa

Jerusalem Artichokes
made them like hashbrowns
I'm hoping to establish another bed of these.

Five weeks + < 1 packet of seed + < 2 square feet of space = first Indoor Salad
I picked this salad this morning from the basement.
It's pretty amazing what you can grow for very little in a small space
and without much money. I cut this first salad hoping for further ones from the same pots.
I guess I'll have to see how many salads for 3 I can grow from this planting.
I attempted to grow this another winter years ago and realized I left the lights
on too long. This one was done at 8 hours, which seems to be a good number. 

The setup.

I think this motivates me to start another round. 
5 weeks to grow a salad isn't bad.
I'm also starting some spring greens for the Dome greenhouse. 

A rare visitor for us: Red Bellied Woodpecker
The regular Downy Woodpecker had
to wait her turn for the first time.

I gave Hubs a Trail Cam. Maybe I will have future night critter posts in addition to the day active ones.

Wishing you garden bounty in 2015!
-The Perpetual Gardener

No comments: