It's time to plant peas!

The trellises are in place, so we are ready to plant our peas next week.  Peas use tendrils to climb the trellis.  These thin, wiry structures along the plant's stem actually wave around until they come in contact with something they can grab onto.  Once they've made contact (and in this case, with the netting) the tendrils curl and form coils, allowing the plant to pull on the support.  Kathy LaLiberte, in her article on  How Plants Climb,  likens it to a rock climber in need of footholds in the form of horizontal supports.  Peas enjoy the cool weather of spring and will be finished with their harvest and ready to be pulled out to make way for tomato plants at the end of May.

The trellises are in place, so we are ready to plant our peas next week.  Peas use tendrils to climb the trellis.  These thin, wiry structures along the plant's stem actually wave around until they come in contact with something they can grab onto.  Once they've made contact (and in this case, with the netting) the tendrils curl and form coils, allowing the plant to pull on the support.  Kathy LaLiberte, in her article on How Plants Climb, likens it to a rock climber in need of footholds in the form of horizontal supports.  Peas enjoy the cool weather of spring and will be finished with their harvest and ready to be pulled out to make way for tomato plants at the end of May.

The Rotary Botanical Gardens....

...are a gem. And it was here in Janesville, WI that I met  in person  my gardening mentor, author, and founder of both The Creative Vegetable Garden and The Flavorful Life Garden Club, Megan Cain.  Her presentation was so enthusiastically received by a sell-out crowd at the Spring Symposium yesterday and we all left with dozens of new way to think about herbs and how we should be using them!  Thank you, Megan!

...are a gem. And it was here in Janesville, WI that I met in person my gardening mentor, author, and founder of both The Creative Vegetable Garden and The Flavorful Life Garden Club, Megan Cain.  Her presentation was so enthusiastically received by a sell-out crowd at the Spring Symposium yesterday and we all left with dozens of new way to think about herbs and how we should be using them!  Thank you, Megan!

Miss Rumphius and lupines!

One of my children's much loved childhood books was  Miss Rumphius  by Barbara Cooney.  In the story, the town librarian sets out to make the world a more beautiful place by planting lupine seeds wherever she goes.  This made me wonder if we could have some of Miss Rumphius' beautiful lupines on our farm.  Have started seedlings in the greenhouse from seeds obtained on the "exchange" of the Seed Savers.  We have Suzanne Ashworth to thank for sharing her purple wild lupine seeds with us!

One of my children's much loved childhood books was Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.  In the story, the town librarian sets out to make the world a more beautiful place by planting lupine seeds wherever she goes.  This made me wonder if we could have some of Miss Rumphius' beautiful lupines on our farm.  Have started seedlings in the greenhouse from seeds obtained on the "exchange" of the Seed Savers.  We have Suzanne Ashworth to thank for sharing her purple wild lupine seeds with us!

If it's not in the soil...

...then it's not in your food, and if it's not in your food, it's not in YOU!  How true this is....and it IS all about your soil's health.  This year, rather than throwing on all manner of organic supplements, I am being more strategic.  And that starts with sending in soil samples for testing.  Logan Labs, based in Lakeview Ohio, does a terrific job in sending you a complete analysis of your soil, and all within 3-5 days! Now to decipher it...

...then it's not in your food, and if it's not in your food, it's not in YOU!  How true this is....and it IS all about your soil's health.  This year, rather than throwing on all manner of organic supplements, I am being more strategic.  And that starts with sending in soil samples for testing.  Logan Labs, based in Lakeview Ohio, does a terrific job in sending you a complete analysis of your soil, and all within 3-5 days! Now to decipher it...

Brodhead...the spring break capital of the world?

There are literally hundreds of these Dark-eyed Juncos under our bird feeders, devouring anything that the woodpeckers let fall.  Why all the sudden activity? Although they've been here since October, they seem much more active, perhaps getting ready for their April journey home to the woods of northern Canada where they will breed. Is it possible that they are the original "snowbirds"? ( image courtesy of Wikipedia)

There are literally hundreds of these Dark-eyed Juncos under our bird feeders, devouring anything that the woodpeckers let fall.  Why all the sudden activity? Although they've been here since October, they seem much more active, perhaps getting ready for their April journey home to the woods of northern Canada where they will breed. Is it possible that they are the original "snowbirds"? (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Itching for Spring!

The longer days and milder weather are making me long for spring! Hyacinth bulbs growing in water has me wondering if that would work with lily of the valley?  Filled the Wordian case with herb seedlings to see if they would thrive. The grow lights in the barn, as seen in the background, are providing spring-like conditions for onions, leeks, kohlrabi, celery and a variety of herbs and flowers.

The longer days and milder weather are making me long for spring! Hyacinth bulbs growing in water has me wondering if that would work with lily of the valley?  Filled the Wordian case with herb seedlings to see if they would thrive. The grow lights in the barn, as seen in the background, are providing spring-like conditions for onions, leeks, kohlrabi, celery and a variety of herbs and flowers.

Lime basil....

or  Ocimum americanum  has a zesty lime flavor and aroma! It is delicious in salads, salsa, and fish and chicken dishes...and the plant is more heat tolerant than sweet basil.  I started this one from seeds obtained from the Seed Savers Exchange.  These plants were started earlier than normal, in order to be ready for Operation Jason....a plant give-away at Calihan Catering on May 11, to honor the memory of a friend and former employee.

or Ocimum americanum has a zesty lime flavor and aroma! It is delicious in salads, salsa, and fish and chicken dishes...and the plant is more heat tolerant than sweet basil.  I started this one from seeds obtained from the Seed Savers Exchange.  These plants were started earlier than normal, in order to be ready for Operation Jason....a plant give-away at Calihan Catering on May 11, to honor the memory of a friend and former employee.