Easter Egg Radishes–Not So Hot

My first radishes started maturing this week, a month after sowing. With so many crops that take two or three months to start producing a harvest, it’s nice to have something that feels (almost) like instant gratification. Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed with the result. I planted Easter Egg Radish Mix, for the variety…

Asparagus, Part 4: More Seeds

The Great Asparagus Experiment has now become two experiments. Of the thirty seeds I started between two wet paper towels on Feb. 10, twelve have become healthy plants, growing multiple stems and reaching up to 8″ high. (They are getting a little floppy, though, which means they’re ready for some outdoor weather: sun and wind…

Almost-Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve been making a shortcut chicken pot pie recipe and am slowly working up to making one that is completely homemade. This is the closest I’ve gotten so far, but I still haven’t come up with my own sauce recipe or made my own pie crust. That’s next on my to-do list. Here’s what I…

So Many Ways to Plant Potatoes

It seems like everyone has their own favorite way to plant potatoes. Some presprout their seed potatoes, some don’t. Some cut their potatoes ahead of time and let them cure, some don’t. Some dig holes for the potatoes, and some just lay them on top of the ground and cover with a heap of compost….

First Harvest!

A couple of months ago, I built my first cold frame, from 2″ x 6″‘s and Plexiglass. I started some lettuce seeds indoors, and on February 27–three weeks earlier than you’re supposed to plant lettuce outdoors–I transplanted them into the cold frame. Well, the cold frame was useful for about a week and a half….

A Welcome Mat for Slugs?

I’ve never had a slug problem before. I figured it was too dry for them here in central Virginia. And when I read about slugs ravaging other people’s crops, I thought, “Well, thank goodness I don’t have that problem.” But in the last couple of weeks, when I’ve gone out to stroll the garden in…

Rhubarb from Seed

A couple years ago, I spent the summer on a farm in Brittany, France, doing some gardening, raising some chickens, and picking baskets and baskets’ worth of fresh fruit from the trees and bushes tucked around the property. There was a wild-looking, unstaked raspberry patch about 4′ by 6′ that yielded bowl upon bowl of…

The Plants Must Go!

Since last week, I’ve begun to worry about my indoor nursery…that it’s getting a bit crowded. Particularly in the brassica department. The lowest shelf in the picture to the right is the brassicas about ten days ago. They’re in 2″ pots (which is small), but they’re growing up a storm. I planted the seeds Jan….

Jewish Agricultural Advice

There’s a Jewish proverb that says, “If you’re planting a tree and hear that the Messiah has come, finish planting the tree, then go and see.” I like this saying for several reasons. One is that it seems humorously skeptical about the prospect of deliverance: if someone tells you things are about to get a…

They’re Alive!

Last year, I had a terrible time with peas. Very low germination. And, of the plants that came up, at least half mysteriously withered within a couple of weeks. All in all, I got about ten pods for fifteen feet of row. Meaning I would have had better results if I had just left the…

Honeyberries, Limes, and Other Experiments…

Nothing improves spirits on a rainy weekend like an email saying your spring nursery shipment is on its way. Rain, rain, go away. Come again after planting day. Well, the rain stopped late Monday, and my box of treasures arrived Wednesday. Take a look. I know I probably shouldn’t have ordered this many new plants,…

Asparagus, Part 3: Xmas Tree Farm

Gazing at my asparagus seedlings this morning, I realized that the last time I posted about them, they were just barely emerging from their seed coats. I was burying them in pots of dirt, worrying if I’d ever see or hear from them again. Well, I have–half of them, at least. 13 out of the…