Looking Forward

I’m as optimistic as a spring catalog and looking forward to another growing season just around the corner. The sun is climbing a little higher in the sky each day and not spending as much time hiding behind the pine trees.  We’re trying more heirloom tomato varieties this year and the baby tomato plants are putting on their first true leaves. It may seem strange to start tender tomatoes in January but that’s what we must do to have them ready to set out in March.

Long nights and cold days give us more time for reading.  Bob and I are currently enjoying Michael Pollan’s, “Second Nature.”  Some of the chapters are a hoot, others more philosophical.  Certainly a worthwhile read.

We have an army of cardinals in the front yard since we’ve been throwing sunflower seeds out.  They’re so pretty to watch and we feel better that they won’t go hungry in this cold weather.

Stay warm and order some vegetable and flower seeds.

Happy New Year 2011!

Happy New Year!  Hope your holidays were filled with laughter, love and enough to share with someone.  Lesa has decided to make a few resolutions.  The first is to stay in closer touch with you through this site.  Another is to purchase fewer items that come in non-recyclable containers destined for the landfill. Also, to do more to help people who are less fortunate.  The gap is enormous and growing between those who have and those who have not on the planet.

We want to tell you about a book we just finished by Barbara Kingsolver titled, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”.  It’s full of information about how her family ate local and grew much of their own food for one year.  It also reveals much about the “industrial-food pipeline.”   Loaded with wit and humor, it’s a great read.

Concerning our current garden we enjoyed some blessed rain and hope it’s a sign we’ll have normal precipitation for 2011.  We’ve been hit hard a few times with some lows in the teens, which did some damage, but the plants recover when better weather comes.

The fall garden was started later and is smaller but the good news is we have plans for a large spring garden; more lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant, fewer peppers. Most of the snow and snap peas have been planted. We’ll keep the greens going for as long as possible.  Lesa has declared a moratorium on broccoli and summer squash because they require lots of space and have so many bug and fungus issues.

Hope this year brings lots of good things to your house.

Garlic Buds Are Coming In

Garlic budsEvery year around this time we look forward to these tasty little morsels.  Each garlic plant produces one flower which is “nipped in the bud.”  They cook quickly, like asparagus, but with a mild garlic flavor which is great sauteed or in stir-fries.  My favorite recipe is to steam blanch them for just a few minutes, cool them, then douse with Italian salad dressing or your favorite vinegarette.  They keep a long time in the refrigerator and are great in salads or as appetizers.

They’re only available for a few weeks so don’t miss this springtime treat.

In Tall Clover

CloverThe Crimson Clover in the lower pasture is a gorgeous carpet of red and green.  The upper pasture is knee high in rye grass with white Alyce Clover.  Both clovers fix nitrogen in the soil, attract pollinators and look beautiful.  I don’t recall seeing the blueberries set so much fruit.  The pear trees are loaded as well. Everywhere I turn there are flowers and verdant growth.  We’ve been putting in long hours gardening and soaking up this perfect weather.  What a time to be alive!

We’re Back

We’re back from our marvelous trip down the St. John’s River.  We trailered our little Catalina 22 to Palatka and sailed south to Hontoon Island State Park.  The riverbanks were so beautiful with new leaves on the trees and Spanish moss swaying in the breeze. We saw lots of bald eagles, egrets, pelicans, red-shouldered hawks and osprey.  In fact many of the waterway markers had osprey nests on them with young. We also saw lots of gators and even some manatees. We took one full week and are so glad that we went.  The weather was good and we even met some old friends on the way back.

Martha took great care of the garden while we were gone and everything has really grown.  We have lots of gorgeous lettuce and new beds of spinach and arugula are ready and look great. We’ve been setting out tomato plants since we’ve been back and are nearly done with that. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Blueberries in Bloom

Hurrah for Spring!  It’s been a long, cold winter.  Every day we see more buds opening as the days grow longer and warmer.   These blossoming blueberries brought a smile to my face just this morning.  The kales are growing again, and we’ll begin harvesting mache this week.  If you haven’t tasted mache yet, you’re in for a treat!  It’s a pleasantly mild salad green with a smooth texture and slight nutty flavor.  We will also have our first baby radishes in this week’s salad mix bags.

More new pictures are now posted at the top of the produce page. Go check it out!

Organic Gardening

Try Organic Gardening Magazine’s website.  I’m recommending Eating with the Seasons by Lauren Sloane and The Pleasure of Eating by Wendell Berry.  You can also find landscaping and gardening tips, recipes and other interesting information.

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