Thursday, December 27, 2012

I know, it's been a while

My sincerest apologies, reader(s)!  It has been a busy summer and I have been lax in my blogging duties.  Since my last post, I was able to gather a few more petite peppers, before Hurricane Superstorm Sandy hit.  I do have to say that the scallions grew fairly nicely and it looked like the garlic was well on its way until the storm.  Unfortunately, the beets didn't have a chance to develop fully.  My lettuce mix grew quite well, but were promptly eaten up, probably by bunnies.  The broccoli was looking really good until Sandy came and destroyed it.  I also think I should have planted it earlier in the season (well, duh, I was starting the garden in July!).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harvest time!

So you've seen the gigantic summer squash that I was able to pluck from my garden.  The vine that traveled across the garden and over the fence of the opposite side was actually pumpkin!  I discovered this when I was cleaning up and decided (stupidly) to cut up the vine running through the middle of the garden.  I was cutting off dead/decaying vines and got a little shear-happy...and really should not have cut this little baby off :(

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pickling Radishes and Peppers

We just got lots of radishes from our organic farm share and I really didn't know what to do with them.  So I thought I'd try my hand at a very quick and simple radish pickling recipe from Bon App├ętit.  I've never canned or pickled, so I had to go with an old spaghetti sauce jar for this one.  The 2 cups of vinegar didn't fit in the jar, so it was about 1 and 7/8 c of vinegar.  We also got some HUGE cloves of garlic from the farm share so we only put 7 of those in instead of 10 (the recipe said '10 cup garlic cloves' but I think that was a mistake).  I also stuck a couple petite bell peppers in there that I picked from my garden for fun :)

So excited! Will let you know how they are in 3 days...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Closing out the summer with a little smoke

Recently J bought a smoker. I will post a little more on the modifications he did to it in a later post, but I just wanted to say in the past month we have really enjoyed using this little baby!

So far we've done two pork butts, two chickens, and a nice hunk of salmon. Wow there is nothing like smoking your own salmon! And all I have to say is brining is awesome. Especially for the chicken and salmon that we did.

A few teaser pics :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Finding Humor in My Plants

It's been a while since I've written, but boy have things changed!  I was traveling for a few weeks and didn't have much time for my plants.  Well it seems like a certain few squash plants decided to take over my garden.  Besides the squash, the following are still growing: beets, lettuce mix, scallion (which we transplanted), and peppers. 

I can see squash and I can see peppers, can you?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finished Composter

I cannot believe we were able to finish building the composter today.  Well, I shouldn't really say 'we' so much as 'my husband' haha.  We threw our first few scraps in there this afternoon :D  So it starts!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nothing but vegetables (and a few herbs!)

"A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables." Gertrude Stein
I find that quote so hilarious.  Oh my do I have an update for you!

First up: Basil Cutting
I didn't really believe that this little experiment would work, but I've been changing the basil water every day or two and am seeing roots forming (gasp) right where they should be!  In the next few days I'll get these babies into the ground.  Actually, strike that, I'm thinking of taking the thyme in my SFG, basil that you see here, and some mint my dad just gave me and planting them in the rectangular terracotta flowerpot(s) J bought me.  This way I can bring them inside during the winter and have fresh herbs throughout the winter!  Wouldn't that be delightful? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update on our composter...

WOW this composter is hard to put together.  So far J has put two hours into it and it's still not done.  The composter arrives flat-packed, which means nothing is assembled.  In addition, none of the holes are pre-drilled so you have to do it yourself.  So to make thing a little easier, we put the barrel together with bungee cords and drilled the holes and then took it apart, attached the pieces to the frame, and then started screwing them together.  What stinks is that the pieces don't fit perfectly together and there are gaps between the pieces.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More growth!

I can't believe it's only been two weeks since planting my little seeds into the ground.  My husband and I've been watering them every 1-2 days and keeping an eye on our little sprouts.  I now think that the sprouts I originally thought were spinach might be broccoli.  Seeing as how I've never seen either in its infancy, I'm excited to find out what they become haha.  I'm constantly surprised at how little I know about where my food comes from and this experimental garden is fast becoming more to me than just a side project.  I think about my grandfather's garden in the middle of a concrete jungle in the Bronx and how lucky I was that his garden thrived and that I was able to take part in caring for it.  I daydream about the afternoons we spent tending to his tomatoes or winter melons, the amount of pride my grandmother now takes in continuing that garden and how huge her pumpkins and squashes she meticulously collects seeds from the 'best' produce for next year.

Now that I'm staring my own garden, I'm hoping their green thumb has been passed down to me.  It appears that some of my plants continue to grow..continue reading for pictures!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just in...Compost Tumbler!

We received our new composter, the Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler (80 Gallon) in black. 

I have to tell you I never thought in a million years I'd buy a composter, much less be enthusiastic about using it!  Although it looks like a pain to assemble since you have to put the thing together yourself (it's flat-packed), we hope it'll be worth it in the end.  

We had a few requirements:  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes!

And my garden has more sprouts! I'm so excited to actually see things popping up all around the garden.  It looks from my estimates of where the grids were that we have some of the Summer Squash, Pumpkin, Lettuce, and Spinach poking through.  It's hard for me to tell without the actual grids  because I'm so bad at eyeballing things.  But right now I don't care too much because I can't stop smiling! (more pictures after the break)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Doh! Life Made a Little Easier

While perusing the Square Foot Gardening Foundation Facebook page I noticed that they are having a letter-writing campaign to convince Home Depot to carry Mel's Mix in its stores nationwide by 2013.  They  have until July 26th to get as many e-mails and letters as possible. 

As I mentioned before, one of the main tips in the updated Square Foot Gardening book is the use of raised beds filled with a mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 blended compost.  By starting with "Mel's Mix," you decrease your chances of weeds growing in the garden since you're not using the existing soil around you which probably has weed seeds in it.  You also don't have to research your existing soil and its suitability for what you want to plant.  In addition, the mix is very light and fluffy and according to the book it is very hard to over water! 

Back to the point of this post...while reading through the comments on the SFGF Facebook page, I noticed people mentioning that Mel's Mix was available in certain stores and sure enough it was already available at Lowe's and smaller local stores.  The Lowe's near me don't carry it, but if you're fortunate enough to score some at a retail store it will make your life so much easier than having to buy everything separately and then mixing it on a tarp!  Here's a link to the Lowe's listing.  If you find it, let me know! You might just see me in line with 10-20 bags haha.  I believe the FB page said SFG was looking to offer the mix at HD for $10 for a 32-quart bag.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An experimental planting

Just for kicks I decided to plant garlic.  I know you're supposed to do it in October for the best results, so I'm labeling this an experiment just to see if it'll grow.  Why?  Because I have two 4x7 boxes to fill and I'm feeling daring :D

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sowing my seeds

I got down and dirty yesterday night.  Literally.  I was so excited to plant my seeds/plants.

First I had to 'visualize my garden'.  I keep forgetting that the boxes are 4x7 and not 2x7 so when I drew up my initial plan I only drew two rows of plants.  Oops.  I'll get to the next two rows some time in the future.  Here's my very first sketch (as you can tell I'm a bad drawer)

The foundation...

So I know that our garden right now isn't a true Square Foot Garden yet.  :(  We don't have the grid on and we had to make some compromises with our first box.  Oh..I haven't gone through the boxes yet, have I!

J is making me four boxes (what an awesome, supportive husband, I know).  All four are 4' x 7'.  Two are 12'' tall and two are 6'' tall.  The 12'' tall ones have galvanized 1/2'' wire mesh on the bottom to keep burrowing animals away from my veggies ;)  He didn't think a weed cloth on the 12'' boxes were necessary since the weeds wouldn't be getting much sunlight to grow in the first place (we'll see how it works out).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

So it starts....

After a rather unsuccessful visit to the Farm at Green Village, we went to Home Depot and picked up a few packets of seeds and a couple things to transplant.  It's a weird mish-mosh of things mainly because it's almost the middle of July and no one intends to really start a garden in July...right?

Here's the list of things we got:

- Gourmet Blend Lettuce (Five varieties, full sun, 45 days to maturity)
- Detroit Dark Red, Medium Top Beets (full sun, 59 days to maturity)
- Waltham 29 Broccoli (full sun, 74 days to maturity)
- Triple Treat Pumpkin (full sun, 110 days to maturity)
- Common Chives (full sun, 18'' height, 89-90 days to maturity)
- Oregano (full sun, 18'' height, 90-200 days to maturity)
- Summer Squash/Zucchini (full sun, 57 days to maturity)
- Razzle Dazzle Hybrid Spinach (full sun, 30 days to maturity)

- Yummy Bell Petitle Bell Peppers (full sun, 73 days to maturity after planting)
- German Thyme (full sun)

Finding seeds and plants...

Yesterday we made a trip to the Farm at Green Village to see what they had.  I've been wanting to go since I've heard of them.  It's a 32-acre beauty, with all different types of flowers, trees, shrubs, gardening accessories, a lake with swans and ducks, white peacocks, roosters, rabbits...crazy, right?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Starting a Garden in July?

Our latest project (and first to be documented here) will be a backyard garden (yes, I know it's July already).  We've owned our current house for the past two and a half years, and almost every day I've stared wistfully out our kitchen window and thought about the couple that used to live here and the stories I've heard about the fantastic produce that grew in the fenced-in garden.  Sadly, the garden was unattended for quite some time before we bought our house and had become completely overrun with weeds.  We tried weeding, we tried throwing huge tarps over the entire garden in the heat of the summer (to see if we could fry them), but the weeds were relentless.  When they came back, we knew we needed to call the pros.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hello, world

I admit it, my husband and I are a little on the nerdy side.  Although we may not be experts at a lot of stuff, we like to try our hand at everything and aren't afraid to laugh at ourselves in the process.  We recently went through a very stressful home renovation, mainly because there were several aspects of the renovation we chose to do ourselves.  For example, my husband re-wired several of the rooms in our house, and he and our families put our entire kitchen together (minus the floors and counter tops) including running the gas line for the stove, all the kitchen cabinetry, and ceiling speakers (including the wiring for said speakers)!

Up next for us is a backyard garden so stay tuned...