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So, I Read This Book Today

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Gardening

Wow! Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

It’s that part of the year where all I want to do is be out in the yard, to garden, watch the birds, plant flowers in the yard. It has been a weird summer, cold then hot, wet then miserably dry, then miserably humid. Pah! Let’s see what I have actually accomplished while not blogging!

20160718_084726First, the garden. The constant rains earlier on means a big, lush garden. Some of the plants, i.e., the zucchini, are way TOO big for my garden! I will have to plant them separately in their own bed next year. They are choking everything else out, and I am

having to strip out leaves in order to let light in to other plants. And of course, there is always the one that ‘got away’. In this case, the one nearly as big as Koda!

The peppers are coming along nicely. This is a photo of a Spanish Spice pepper. Yummy!  20160718_084749Spicy, without blowing the top of your head off while burning off all your taste buds 😮 (The pot? An apricot tree!) I even have Corn!!! 20160718_085220

20160718_085634The little flowers you see where I laid a couple of the zucchini I harvested? Yep. Those are morning glory vines. They grow absolutely everywhere, and choke out the other plants unless I rip them out every day. They seem to grow a couple feet a day!

20160718_085437Koda is, of course, my constant companion and helper. I love having his company, and he still adores the taste of mint!

The rare black Russian tomatoes (left photo) seem to be doing well, the ones that starting developing are already about three 20160718_08504920160718_085233inches across. The Zapotecs (right photo) are doing well, and the new, tiny Sugar Tomatoes are making a lot of clusters. I am most thrilled, however, with the Grapes! I have always had one or two clusters a year 20160718_085319that the birds and other critters get first, but as you can see from the photos, the vine is loaded this year! Me being me, I went out and wrapped the branches around where the clusters are growing with dog fur (Shelties really shed!) hoping to scare off the critter so I can actually get most of the grapes for myself!

Here is the fabric for my next quilt project!

20160707_155141I am helping out Jan Krentz, who is wheeling around in a wheelchair right now from a broken leg. I am making the quilt from one of her test patterns, taking photos and checking for measurement errors in the pattern as I go along. I will send photos when I am done. The one below is going to be for sale when it is done… lots more to do on it, of course, but the top 4 diamonds are all sewn.

20160725_011543-1

I “interview” a lot of fabrics for the spaces between the star and the outer ring of stars. These are three of the first I picked out of my “stash”. The light is bad where I have my big layout board, it always turns everything orange! 20160725_183958

Of course, I ‘interview’ several fabrics before deciding on a color palette for the stars as well. Losers?

purplepossibilities

And another:

20160617_061534

This is how I decide if a star is really going to “work” or not. I make one diamond, then use two mirrors to check out the overall flow. These two still have “possibilities” but I wound up liking the one I have on my board better.

I have a ton of reviews to get to, so off to do that! I have been doing edits for Susan Bliler and Michael Angel this summer, as well as some “technical” edits for a couple of businesses (Ugh! Dry, dry, dry stuff!), so I need to get the book edits done, and I have actually read a few books (and listened to more!) since the last time I posted as well.

More soon!

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Still Waiting. . . And Herb Gundell’s Complete Guide to Rocky Mountain Gardening

May 12th. Fifteen days ago, and still no sign of my replacement tablet. I am suffering massive withdrawal. Sigh. I can’t even take photos of my plants to post!

The weather has been terrible, cold and rain, so I actually went out and dug up the pepper plants that I had planted (the very few that survived the fist-sized hail we got the other day) and brought them back into the house and put them under the grow lights. They can stay there for as long as it takes, I don’t want to lose them completely. Especially not the heirloom varieties I had so much trouble getting my hands on. I did lose all my rare, heirloom melons to the hail. I shouldn’t have put them out, nobody to blame but myself, but it had been flat hot for a week, and I thought they would be safe. Sigh. No such luck. So, I will have to find more for next year.

Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a ...I do have some cucumbers that were still in the house, and a couple of zucchini plants that were still inside. No heirlooms though. Pickling cucumbers and the standard green zucchini. I had some patty pan yellow squash seeds that I had put out when I planted the peppers. They haven’t come up yet, but maybe they will when (If?) it gets warmer out. Oh, and I dug a foot down through the bark in the new bed I am making (only half Home & Garden > Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living > Plants, Seeds & Bulbs ...finished) and planted both green and purple asparagus. Laid down a layer of dirt and manure, put in the roots, and added three inches of soil over top. You fill the trenches in over time as they sprout and the asparagus starts to grow. I won’t get any this year, can cut a bit next year, but by the third year they should (hopefully) be growing strong and ready to be harvested.

Herb Gundell's Complete Guide to Rocky Mountain GardeningI picked up a copy of Herb Gundell’s Complete Guide To Rocky Mountain Gardening at a local used book store. There is a handwritten note on the inside front page: To my sweetheart Jay – keep on sewing and reaping – Happy Fathers Day, 6/1989. It brings to mind so many wonderful things that, no matter how much I enjoy ebooks, I fear that many will not come to know in this day and age. Tearing the paper from a gift from a loved one and first seeing the bright cover of a book. The scent of the paper and ink, holding the weight in your hand. Opening that first page and possibly seeing a paragraph such as the one above. Turning the pages, one by one, and knowing the person who gifted the book to you actually gave consideration to the gift and how you would feel about it. Seeing the gift on a table, or the arm of your chair, or gracing a bookshelf, nestled amongst other well-loved volumes. Someone loved this book at one time, loved the recipient. That makes the book that much more special. And it is a special book. Heavy, slick paper, printed with gorgeous photos and line drawings, everything I could ever want to know about how to properly garden in the Rocky Mountains is laid out in a beautifully written manner. Flowers to fruits, annuals to perennials,  even rock gardening and wild harvesting. Did you know that, if you own property in the mountains and want to transplants specimens to your home (if you live in town) you must give yourself written permission to have the plants in your Sunset Western Garden Bookpossession?

If you live in other parts of the country and want to garden, I would highly recommend a book  that specializes in your area. The Sunset Western Garden Book is a good one, and The Southern Living Garden Book was my ‘go to’ when I lived in the South.

I’m going to go quilt. I can still listen to books on my computer, even if I don’t have my tablet!

The Southern Living Garden Book: Completely Revised, All-New Edition

Spring Has (Hopefully!) Sprung

Catharsis: noun, plural catharses [kuh-thahr-seez] The purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.

It has been an “indoors” sort of winter for me. Bad weather just didn’t encourage me to go outside, and I spent most of my time in my chair – hence my spreading backside! 😉 When we did get a couple of good days, well, as you know if you heard about it, a blizzard came along and put the kibosh to that . . . and it looks like it killed my fruit trees a well. Sigh. So, when the weather changed again, I fell on it like a ravening wolf, ready to drink in great drafts of the outdoors – and gardening!

20160422_134621_resized_1 20160422_134611_resized_1The beds were left with all the dead plants rooted in over the winter. I wanted them to rot as much as possible in the ground, and pulling them up now instead of in the fall means I loosened up the soil when I pulled them. As you see from the photo, I have garlic, strawberry and mints coming up, hooray! They made it through the winter! I have already ‘top dressed’ this bed (spread several inches of composted manure over top) and I have one of the other beds done as well as about a third of the third usable bed. I will hopefully finish that one up later this afternoon. I got really worn out yesterday carrying the heavy mulch so I started filling the roughed out beds with mulch.

I have my seeds I saved from last year, and have added to those. My grow light setup came in, but now I have to figure out where I am going to put it. It is past time to get tomato, pepper, etc. seeds started before it is too late. As the setup is only 4’[Lifetime Warranty] LED Grow Light, InaRock 24W Plant LED Grow Light E27 Plant Bulbs for Garden Greenhouse and Hydroponic Full Spectrum Grow LED Lamps long I am sure I will find a spot, but I have to do it today! I also have two other grow lights that I was given to test by the company I will be setting up today. Click on the photos to check out the listings.

20160422_135033_resized_1As you can see, my manure heap is a lot smaller than it was. I want to get more, but you see, I have this little issue – as in a HUGE pile of chopped up trees in my driveway! LOL (And yes, is my finger in the photo – I took it after a looong day of working in the beds, and I was way tired and sweaty. Hey, want to clean out your pores? Garden! Digging in the soul is not only cathartic for your soul, it is works for your skin as well!) You can see how large the pile is 20160422_134810_resized_1compared to my neighbor’s big ol’ pickup. Cool, huh? Free mulch!! A local tree company was cutting trees in my neighborhood after the blizzard and they were more than happy to dump them in the driveway. No having to haul them away and dispose of the mulch themselves. So, I got two full truckloads.

20160422_134727_resized_1 20160422_134736_resized_1These two beds are going to be filled with the mulch up to the top and left to overwinter. Yes, those are ripped up phone books – the phone company will insist on throwing them in the driveway, though they have been asked not to. Ah well, more paper to rot! 😉 That big branch in the one photo has stumped me. My chainsaw will insist on throwing its chain and trying to take my arm off, and I finally gave it up for a bad cause and that limb will have to go to the pile of brush I have in the back corner of the back yard. Small animals like to nest in there – squirrels and certain birds especially. It is fun having a special habitat back there that is completely wild.

The rest of the mulch, after the boxes are filled, I will spread on the yard to rot. The soil here is horrible – just sand and more sand, which means weeds and more weeds.  I am hoping if I can dump enough mulch that over time it will allow grass to grow. But then, as I am careful of water usage, I would be just as comfortable just having the bark mulch stay in place without grass growing. Hum… we shall see. Of course, I am slowing eating away at the yard anyway. 20160422_134933_resized_1Oh, look! All that lumber is still sitting there, waiting for me to build my cold frame! (Didn’t I say I was going to do that last fall?) But I did find a solid glass door to use for a top (free, of course!) so I am putting together a list of the lumber sizes and figuring out what to use for the standing braces to bury in the ground and screw the sides to. But that is for later in the year.

Off to dig again, and I hope you all find a wonderful way to spend your Sunday as well!

Plant List for this year:

Hungarian Yellow Wax Pepper (medium hot orange-red 4,500-5,000 Scoville heat units)
Pasilla Bajio Pepper (chili negro for dried pods and powders)
Mixed Sweet Cherry Pepper (no named – for pickling)
Sweet Coral Belle Pepper (intense orange/compact and reliable
Pineapple Tomato
Mickylee Watermelon (not heirloom but it is small/8″-10″ so doesn’t hog space)
Cube of Butter Summer Squash (tiny baby squash)
Baby Round Zucchini (French import heirloom)
Cascadia Snap Pea (I haven’t grown peas before)
Sugar Pie Pumpkin (The dogs love dried pumpkin chips, and I love pumpkin bread)
Homemade Pickles Cucumber (I remember these from when I was a kid)
Monstrueux de Viroflay Spinach; Ruby Red Swiss Chard; Nero Toscana Kale (I have to tent these so the rabbits don’t get it all!)
Two types of beets, red and golden, no name heirlooms

Saved from last year:
The Papaya Dew melons didn’t work out for me last year, they never ripened, so I won’t sew the saved seeds. I will send them to anyone who wants them!
Pineapple Tomatillo was Delicious!!! I put them in with all the other tomatoes before the first frost, simmered them down with lime juice and salt, and the outcome was amazing.
Persian Baby Cucumber (didn’t get to plant these last year, ran out of room, but I plan to plant them this year in the flower bed in the back yard so they can spread. They are hybrid, so I don’t want them mixing with my heirlooms. My other hybrids will go in the back as well.)
Red Siberian Tomato (Russian heirloom) grew well and were sweet and tasty
Ancho/Poblano Chilie Pepper (Always a favorite)
Black Beauty Squash (Heirloom. They didn’t fruit last year, I think I will set them aside this year)
Black Krim Tomato (Grew wonderfully and tasted that way too. Very juicy, great for canning but too ‘wet’ for sandwiches)
Speckled Roman Tomato (Roma style striped tomato, very flavorful but only grew so-so)
NuMex Joe E. Parker (These, along with several other plants, never came up because I tried to start them outdoors and we had a brutal spring cold snap. Will try these again.)

I only have so much room, so one plant of each is all I can fit in. If I have enough compost I will try some of the hybrids I have in the mix in the back yard. We shall see!

 

Time to Think on my Garden

It is that time… I need to think about what to put in my garden this year. I had marked several seeds as interesting at Sustainable Seed Co. last year, and they just sent me a reminder.

For those of you who garden, and want heirloom quality foods with Actual Taste and NO GMOs, here is what I marked, in no particular order. Now, to narrow down my choices to what will FIT! 😉

Bulls Blood Beet Seeds

Bulls Blood is an heirloom beet from the 1840s and is primarily grown for its tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy foliage, but the beets are tasty when harvested at…

Price: $2.49


Daikon Radish

This root vegetable reported to have originated in the Mediterranean and brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C. Roots are large, often 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 20 inches…

Price: $2.29


Cylindra Beet Seeds

Dark red, cylindrical and about 6-9″ long. This is not your typical beet as it is much longer. It almost resembles the size and shape of a small sweet potato. This long root make for…

Price: $2.29


Burpee Golden Beet Seeds

Burpee Golden Beet seeds made their debut in 1828. If you are annoyed when those pesky red beets “bleed” all over your counters then this is the beet for you. Want to wow your…

Price: $2.75


Tatume Squash Seed

Tatume is a summer squash popular in Mexico and Texas, round/oval med-dark green to yellow fruits with faint stripes. 5-7″ in diameter. Firm, fine flavor with very vigorous spreading…

Price: $2.29


Auld Sod Tomato Seed

Determinate, small bushy plants produce plum shaped, red fruits that are firm walled with some tang. Huge early yields and some blight resistance. This is a very…

Price: $1.99 (High on my “Probable” list)


Columbianum Wildform Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Massive tresses of medium small red cherry fruits. Good flavor and ability to hold on the plant. Originating in Columbia, from Gerhard Bohl, Germany. Produces sweet, little…

Price: $2.99 (High on my “Probable” list)


Organic Darby Red and Yellow Tomato

Indeterminate. Medium sized red fruit with yellow tiger stripes. Excellent flavor, Developed by Dr. Lewis Darby of the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in Littlehampton UK in the…

Price: $2.99


Indian Dhannat Cilantro

Low growing, heat tolerant cultivar from India. Excellent in chutneys or as an addition to a salsa.  It has also been used for generations as a digestive aid as a tea or directly eating…

Price: $2.99


Collective Farm Woman Melon

Collective Farm Woman has a yellow-gold rind with extra sweet white flesh.  Melons grow 7-10″ in size.  Collective Farm Woman ripens early as you would expect from a cool…

Price: $2.29 (Stays on the list. I love melons!)


Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Not only a colorful addition to salads, but it is really fast producing and very flavorful. I was stunned at the size of this particular strain when I went to see it in our grower’s…

Price: $1.99


Dill, Dukat Herb Seed

Dukat Dill has sea blue-green leaves that impart a delicate herbal fragrance. Dukat Dill has a taste is light and sweetly aromatic, but never bitter or overly…

Price: $1.99 (Also stays on the list)


Organic Forest Fire Tomato Seeds

Determinate.  Crazy early tomatoes borne on bushes that were so early the bush was  9″ tall with few leaves.  If you don’t have great amounts of space and want an…

Price: $2.99 (See why it is so hard to narrow down my choices?!)


Organic katja Tomato Seed

Semi-determinate vines. Katja is a large pink slicer that not only bears early, but produces copious amount of large fruit. Plants are semi-determinate which makes them perfect for those that…

Price: $2.99


Organic Black Seaman Tomato Seed

Semi-Determinate.  One of the most beautiful tomatoes in our trials, these dark purple to crimson colored fruits can get up to a pound in size!  Growing…

Price: $2.99


Thessaloniki Tomato Seeds

Thessaloniki produces a dense foliage needed to protect the fruit from the warm Greek Sun. Excellent disease resistance to fungus. Thessaloniki is famous for producing practically uniform,…

Price: $2.99


Striped German Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate vines with potato leaves.  Striped German tomato is a very colorful tomato!  The flavor is very complex, almost fruity. Striped German needs good staking though. …

Price: $2.49


White Wonder Cucumber Seeds

Released to the market by Burpee in 1893, this variety produces nice yields of 6″ to 8″ long white cucumbers. Excellent for salads, pickles, or gourmet…

Price: $2.29


Organic Amazon Chocolate Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. A wonderful flavored, rich colored tomato, this black will get to beefsteak sizes sometimes near a pound.   One of my personal favorites, it sets the standard for me…

Price: $2.99


Organic Coyote Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. with regular leaves. Coyote made its way from Mexico to Pennsylvania and is now cultivated all over. Coyote is a tiny tomato with a big taste! The…

Price: $3.49


Organic Gail’s Sweet Plum Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate with regular leaves. A very sweet small paste tomato that is also a great producer! What really got us in the trial gardens was the taste – quite good for a paste tomato!…

Price: $2.99


Copia Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Copia was developed from a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. Copia’s interior flesh is yellow/gold and occasionally streaked with red. The flavor is highly…

Price: $2.49


Green Moldovan DF Tomato

Green Moldovan Tomato Seeds

Price: $3.99


Banana Melon

Produces a long (18″-20″) torpedo shaped fruit that can weigh in excess of 5lbs. with a yellow skin that’s smooth with little netting.  Some say the name came from its…

Price: $2.29


Watermelon Radish Seeds

Watermelon Radish Seeds

Price: $2.79


Scallop Yellow Bush Squash Seed

Scallop Yellow was domesticated by the Native Americans and grown by northern tribes.  Delicious when harvested about 2-3 inches in size. It is delicate, tender and beautiful when…

Price: $2.29


Romanesco Broccoli Seed

Has great spiraling designs and shades of apple-green color whirling together to form some of the best tasting broccoli. Grown almost everywhere in Italy for its amazing flavor. Especially…

Price: $2.29


Black Hungarian Pepper Seeds

A great showpiece that can be used as a flowerbed border or the main attraction!  The emerald green foliage is highlighted by purple flowers and later red…

Price: $2.49


Rosemary Herb Seed

Rosemary is a perennial herb that grows upright into a profusion of fragrant needle leaves. Rosemary is drought tolerant, loves full sun, and grows back vigorously after cutting. Plants…

Price: $3.49 (I will look for Rosemary plants instead – seeds don’t take here very well but this is a reminder)


Cornsalad “Mache” Herb Seed

A nutty green used in salads in France for many years, “Mache” is also called lambs lettuce.  Liking cool weather similar to spinach, this tasty green has 3 times more vitamin…

Price: $1.99


Large Leaf Sorrel Herb Seed

Add a lemon zest to any salad with these tastey greens!  Very prolific perennial, Sorrel is an herb missing from most American’s diets – and to their loss!  Best with fish…

Price: $1.99


Hyssop Herb Seeds

Hyssops makes a delightful 2′ hedge producing dark blue flower spikes that are sure to attract any self-respecting butterfly, hummingbird or bee! The foliage is dark green and slightly…

Price: $2.29


Sugar Ann Snap Pea

Sugar Ann Snap Pea

Price: $2.49


Round Zucchini Seeds

Round Zucchini Seeds

Price: $2.29


Organic Red Stuffer Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Prolific, producing red-orange fruit with 3-4 large cells inside.  Similar that that of a sweet bell pepper.  Removing the seeds is a snap – fill it with your…

Price: $2.99


Petrillo Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate tomato vines with regular leaves. The USDA says they acquired this tomato in the 1950s from Puerto Rico, however it is rumored to originally have come…

Price: $2.99


Abe Lincoln Tomato Seed

Released in 1923 and hailed as “The Giant of all Tomatoes”. Produces loads of meaty, 8 oz red tomatoes late in the summer in clusters of 4-6. Real true tomato flavor lost in most of…

Price: $2.29


Organic Baby Pak Choi

Who can resist Baby Pak Choi!  Juicy, succulent stems and leaves in only 33 days.  Also called Shanghai Bok Choi.  Pak Choi is fast growing and…

Price: $2.75


Big Rainbow Tomato Seeds

Six foot plus indeterminate plants bear huge ribbed, yellow-orange fruits weighing up to two pounds. Golden fleshed with red streaks and a rainbow of colors. As juicy as it is sweet. Makes a…

Price: $2.39


Tenderette Green Bean Seeds

Tenderette is a delicious, stringless, high-bearing green bean that produces over a long season. Reaching 20″ tall, it bears long, straight, consistent 5″ long green beans with a…

Price: $2.29


Pasilla Bajio Pepper Seeds

Also called “Chile Negro”.  The name in Spanish means little raisin which refers to the wrinkled skin as this pepper dries.  Although classified…

Price: $2.49 (Had these last year. Delicious!!)


Giant Aconcagua Pepper Seeds

Aconcagua is said to be from Argentina where things are known to be spicy, but this pepper is not! In fact it is considered to be very sweet and fruity in flavor. A…

Price: $2.29


Corno di Toro Pepper Seeds

An old Italian Heirloom that is also known as “Bull Horn Pepper”.  Has long 8-10″ fruits that turn deep red when fully ripe.  Very sweet…

Price: $2.49


Mini White Pickle Cucumber Seeds

This cucumber produces loads of small white fruits on short 3′ vines.  One of the absolute best white cucumbers as it has no bitterness.  Excellent for salads, pickles or any…

Price: $1.99


Sakata’s Sweet Melon Seeds

Sakata produces 3-4″ melons that are oh so sweet. They have a high sugar content and edible skins. Crisp flesh and a bright yellow outer skin. Excellent…

Price: $2.99


Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon Seeds

Georgia Rattlesnake is said to have been developed in the 1830s. It has been an old Southern favorite for a long time. Georgia Rattlesnake averages 35-50 pounds….

Price: $2.49 (As much as I would like to grow watermelon, they don’t do well here, at least in my garden. Maybe I am doing something wrong? Anyway, looks like I will be shopping the organic melons at Whole Foods instead. Sigh)


Organic Braising Greens

A growing trend at fine eateries and farmers market is a high quality braising mix. This is a unique blend of different mustards and arugula. Sure to please the most refined palette. A very…

Price: $2.75


Dill, Bouquet Herb Seeds

This variety of dill is one of the earliest and most savory. Reaches 2-3′ tall and produces yellow umbel-shaped flowers.  These flowers are a magnet for many butterflies like the…

Price: $1.99


Texas Hill Country Red Okra

The okra is red in color and “The Texas Hill Country” refers to the limestone hills surrounding Austin/San Antonio area. This okra grows 4-6′ tall. Has 3″ bronze red fruit…

Price: $1.99 (I love fresh okra, but I don’t have space for more than a couple plants. But, since Whole Foods rarely has it, I think I will plant it in the flower beds!)


Sweet Pickle Pepper Seeds

Compact, bushy plants reach 15″ tall and are covered with clusters on 2 inch long fruits, fruits color (through maturity) yellow to orange to red to purple….

Price: $2.49


Mulato Isleno Pepper Seeds

Mulato Isleno are excellent for stuffing as rellenos, very fat, 6 x 3 in. diameter at stem, mild and distinctive flavor. These peppers turn from dark green to red…

Price: $2.49


Marianna’s Peace Tomato Seeds

Marianna’s Peace is an old Czechoslovakia heirloom that produces a 1-2 lb pink beefsteak tomato. The flavor is deep, creamy, very complex and sweet. Just what you would expect from an old…

Price: $1.99


Flame Tomato Seeds

Flame Tomato Seeds

Price: $2.29


Black Spanish Round Radish Seeds

This radish was around when the Mona Lisa was painted! A true heirloom with a snowy white interior and jet black skin. Black Spanish is a great fall/winter planted…

Price: $2.29


Soapwort Flower Seeds

Soapwort Seeds

Price: $2.49


Crosby Egyptian Beet

Crosby Egyptian Beet

Price: $2.29



Organic Purple Tomatillo

You may be familiar with green tomatillos, this is the purple version.  Very hard to find these days.  A wonderful surprise awaits inside the papery…

Price: $3.25 (Deeee-licious!! I made tomatillo salsa last year and it was awesome… didn’t last in the freezer!)


Peppermint Stick Celery Seeds

Peppermint Stick Celery Seeds

Price: $2.75


Double Yield Cucumber

Double Yield cucumber was developed in 1924 by Joseph Harris & Company of Coldwater, NY. Very early. The fruit is perfectly symmetrical, very straight, blunt…

Price: $2.29


Organic Dancing With Smurfs

Who wouldn’t love a blue tomato with a name like “Dancing With Smurfs”! Amazing tomato that is sure to be to talk of your block. Stunning purple/blue tomatoes that turn…

Price: $3.99 (OK, I have to do these for the organic growers group I belong to!)


Basil, Spicy Globe Bush

Spicy Globe Bush Basil

Price: $2.29


Basil, Purple Ruffles

Purple Ruffles Basil

Price: $2.49


Yukon Chief Sweet Corn

Yukon Chief Sweet Corn

Price: $2.99 (Don’t have the room, or the heat, to do sweet corn. Tried it last year and it never ‘took’ so I suppose it is Whole Foods again!)


Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme

Price: $3.49 (I plan on replacing my front lawn with creeping thyme when I can get my head around the work it will take to rip out the grass, fertilize and then get my thyme going. Lots of work, so …… maybe dead grass is OK after all! But wouldn’t it smell and look amazing?)


Organic Pichit Pepper Seeds

Pichit is a New Mexican type pepper from Thailand.  Fruits are moderately spicy with a nice sweet flavor.  It made a great addition to fermented hot…

Price: $2.99


Organic Limòn Pepper Seeds

The Limon pepper is small and yellow with a fresh citrus flavor that is hot like a scotch bonnet. It dries well and makes great hot sauce. Limon is so well loved on the biodynamic farm in…

Price: $2.99 (Ouch. HOT! Do I really want to make my own hot sauce? Hum…….)


Pineapple Tomatillo Seeds

Pineapple Tomatillo

Physalis ixocarpa

Price: $2.99


Organic Clackamas Blueberry Tomato Seeds

Organic Clackamas Blueberry Tomato Seeds

Price: $3.99


Organic Basque Pepper Seeds

Organic Basque Pepper Seeds

Price: $3.49


Organic Athens Tomato

Organic Athens Tomato

Price: $3.49


Sustainable Seed Co.
Phone: 877-620-SEED
URL: Sustainable Seed

I Want A “She Shed” For My Own . . No! A Rockin’ Roundhouse!

DIY Studio Garden Cottage to build, link to plans to build yourself a fabulous place to create, FlowerPatchFarmhouse.comBut maybe I will call it my “Haute Hut”? Pamela at Flower Patch Farmhouse builds the coolest toys, and has the most beautiful gardens! I have all these plans to mimic some of her things. I gathered free woodIMGP1890 for her Potting Bench from a building site in the neighborhood, and though I didn’t get the bench built before the snows, I did get two garden beds finished, and three more started. I still have the wood for the bench set aside. I will need to pick up 2″x2″ pieces to build garden obelisks (about $20.00 worth of wood if you buy new wood, maybe more if you buy Picture of Build a SeedHouse/MiniGreenhouse!redwood and leave it raw – I want to paint mine wild colours so I will need paint, but just cheap wood for the obelisks themselves).

I also need to build a covered seedbed for my starts for the spring. I founA Connected Greenhouse for Easy and Productive Gardeningd this on Instructables.com. I have one window I found at the Habitat for Humanity store, but I want to make a really long one so I need more windows toBuild an Easy 5 x 5 Home Greenhouse for under $25 make a really long box so I pile hay bales around it in the winter and try to overwinter plants. I would like a greenhouse like this:

But I imagine I will end up with something like this given my budget. Although . . .

Look what else I found on Instructibles! Earthbag Roundhouses, by Owen Geiger. He built this one in Thailand (no, the grass roof definitely wouldn’t work in Colorado!)  but other than that, it would be perfect to build a studio for my quilting and dyeing!

And if I extended the square footage, I could put up a half-wall inside and do my gardening on the other side… I bet I could get sliding glass doors from Habitat and install them across the back of the garden extension.  Hum….. The measurements for the house, as it stands: 18’ exterior diameter; 15’ interior diameter; 177 sq. ft. interior floor space; total cost of materials: $2,045, which is about $11.50/square foot. Gravel bags are used for the footings and partway up to allow for drainage. Fill dirt and gravel for the rest. There is a gravel pit not too many miles from me, and I bet I could find fill dirt free or cheap if I look on Craigslist. Hum….. (Note to self: you need more garden soil and manure for garden beds anyway…. hire a dump truck again in the spring to haul gravel, dirt and manure!)

Bring in a work sink (already have one) connected to a hose (Have that too), install an on-demand water heater ($151.06 at Home Depot. Those have Really gone down in price!), put up shelving built from recycled wood, a good space heater or two, use the worktables I already have, and there ya go! Recycled materials means no newly dead trees or new chemical wastes from factories manufacturing plastics, etc. Putting up plastic and PVC over my garden beds would mean new plastics . . . ISuntuf 26 in. x 8 ft. Polycarbonate Roofing Panel in Clear would love to build out covers for the beds so I can keep plants wintered in for next winter . . . hum…. 26 in. x 8 ft. Polycarbonate Roofing Panels from Home Depot are $21.62 each. If I use those for both the Roundhouse and the garden bed greenhouses, that would be inexpensive. Steel T-Posts are $6.98 each. Six per garden bed (one at each corner, one at the middle of each long side) with one Panel on each long side, one panel cut in two for the ends. Throw in the fitted braces to hold the panels, “The Sunlite 24 in x 96 in. Sunlite 24 in. x 96 in. Polycarbonate Clear Twinwall Roof PanelPolycarbonate Twinwall Roof Panel features an air layer that bolsters its insulation strength, making this a powerful roofing option.” ($35.63 each and maybe I should consider those for the walls as well, since they are insulated?? Yeah, maybe!), recycled wood to build roof braces…. a couple of recycled house fans to move air… Yep. This could work! Now, if I just had a couple big strong Shifter Boyfriends to do the hauling stuff around for me! ROFL!!!Bear Shifter | RP Chars: Wolfcry Chronicles | Pinterest

I have a studio in the basement – but the thing is, it is in the basement, and even though it is finished and really cozy down there . . . there is no sunlight! And I really, really miss sunlight!

Why am I talking gardens at three in the morning when it is 15 degrees outside? Simply because it IS 15 degrees outside and three in the morning! BRRRRR!  And besides, that whole no sunlight thing….. my office is down there as well, so no sunlight there either.

Sunlight! I need Sunlight!!!!

 

 

 

A Tiny Bit of Morning Garden Bounty

20150830_062113A bit of what came out of the garden this morning. Back left, Zapotec Tomato, a “ruffled” tomato from Mexico. Back right, Green Zebra, a green tomato with darker green stripes. Next row, left, Pablano Pepper, tiny unnamed sugar tomatoes, a partially dried Pimento Pepper, Marmande tomato from France, Spanish Spice Pepper (from Spain, of course!) Then two tiny pimento style peppers from Germany, unnamed heirloom, and a green tomatillo still in the husk.20150824_201830

Koda decided to pull his Taz slipper over beside his bowl and take a nap after breakfast. . .

And now he is “helping” me work.

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Garden Shots!

Photos taken this morning in my garden!

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Lettuce starts need replanting…
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so do these
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an heirloom sweet melon, sort of a cross between a muskmelon and a cantaloupe. haven’t tried it yet, but if it is good, i am hoping to gather a lot of seeds!
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“fairy melons” – the are somewhat larger than my hand span. Very cute!
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a fist sized heirloom pepper from Hungary
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Every time we come out Koda sticks his face into the spearmint. Can’t blame him, I do as well!
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a striped heirloom tomato from France
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Pretty peppers. I have to look up the name on these, but they are heirloom as well
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One lousy carrot. The pups and I love fresh carrots, and of a full packet, only 1 came up! will have to plant more. sigh. these weren’t cheap either, a mixed bag of heirlooms from several countries – mixed colours. what do you want to be this one is a plain old orange?
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a tiny little cucumber – cute, huh?
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look how huge the leaves are on the heirloom melon!
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the photo isn’t very clear, but from the left, my mango tree is doing well, and that is spicy oregano in the ot with it. moving left front two cherry trees and an apricot, and behind the two avocados are doing well, and that fan shaped plant is an iris
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starting a new bed. you can see the cardboard on the bottom, and those are tree limbs and bark, and grass cuttings I am pouring in. a couple more wheelbarrow loads and i will be able to start covering it with manure and dirt. this bed will be for flower seeds and bulbs I will plant in the fall for spring growth.

A Message From RareSeeds – Defeat the DARK Act”

dark-act

Defeat the DARK Act!

Watch our special message featuring Dave here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPs1EpV7Cj4

To no one’s surprise, the US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, with no debate, on July 14, 2015 voted to send the DARK Act on, for consideration by the full House of Representatives. More properly known as the HR1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, this insidious piece of legislation has been dubbed Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK – Act, because of its draconian implications. Not only would this Act deny consumers the right to know what is in their food, it is a flagrant attack on our democratic institutions.

Introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), developed by food companies including the Grocery Manufacturers Association to further their own agenda, the Act would:

prohibit the states from enacting mandatory GMO labeling laws’

prevent states from regulating genetically modified crops, including measures that are designed to protect communities from exposure to pesticide drift from spraying GMO

weaken the FDA’s regulatory framework

create a GMO safety review system based on industry “science”

block all non-GMO claims that have not approved by a new USDA certification program that could take years to establish (so that foods could not even be labeled as “non-GMO” until and unless the new system is implemented)

would allow the regulated term “natural” to be applied to products that include GMO ingredients

If approved by the House, the bill will then move to the Senate for consideration.

We see this legislation as a desperate and blatant bid by Big Food to circumvent growing public opposition to genetically modified foods, and to the movement to require labeling of such foods so that those who wish can avoid purchasing them. It also attempts to preempt states’ rights, which has long been a cornerstone of American democracy and governance. (Several states including Vermont, Connecticut and Maine have already enacted labeling requirements for food products containing genetically-modified ingredients, and many other states are considering such legislation. )

But the underlying implications are more sinister, and are truly frightening. Combined with pressure to fast-track TPP (the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership), and the recent removal of “country of origin” labeling (allowing US-grown livestock to be exported to countries like China for processing, and be re-exported to this country with no labeling requirement informing consumers of the food’s history), we see the DARK Act as the next move in an unprecedented consolidation of corporate power world-wide. We wonder: what’s next? 

(NOTE: China has NO CONTROLS for food safety – just look at the poisonous dog foods and treats they have been shipping here!!!)

If we’re looking at the end-game of a corporate power-grab, then we need everyone to play, and fast! It is vital that you contact your Congressman immediately and go on record with your opposition to the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Any of the following links makes it easy:

Go here to contact your congressman directly: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Or visit these links to help spread the word.

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14356

http://signforgood.com/stopthedarkact/
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-congress-to-protect-2

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/stop_dark_act/


National Heirloom Expo:

In a matter of a few short weeks the 5th annual National Heirloom Exposition, will be held (September 8-10) at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa California.  Many new and exciting elements are being added this year, and are sparking further interest from vendors, educators, chefs, and farmers!

Education about heirloom growing, sustainability, market farming, and risks of genetically modified foods will be a prime focus of many of the speakers, exhibitors, and vendors.  An impressive line-up of nationally and internationally recognized speakers will include Dr. Vandana Shiva from India. More than 100 on-topic speakers will engage audiences on all things related to ‘pure-food’, ‘gardening’ and ‘farming’  throughout the entire three days.

The exhibit hall will be filled with displays of thousands of varieties of heirloom fruits and vegetables.  Some of the most innovative minds will showcase items of interest to inspire others. Please bring yours!

Everyone should make an effort to attend this sharing of information about pure-foods, sustainable living, organic growing and much more.

www.theheirloomexpo.com

Happy Planting!

Jere

Rain, Weaving and a new Quick and Furry

I have been in a reading slump. Pick it up, put it down, pick it up, sigh, put it down again. So, I have been weaving and really enjoying it. Since it has been raining so much I haven’t done much gardening, but I finally got out today and wrestled the lawnmower through the knee high grass…. Ouch.

I laid in the tub for a couple hours after that, and enjoyed the newest Celia Kyle/Mina Carter “Quick and Furry” – number five of the series. Hey, quick is good, though I did have to refill the tub before I finished. Ah, the benefits of hot water and Epsom salts! And I actually read without putting it down, so kudos to finally getting back to reading. Maybe tomorrow I can get back to my normal reading schedule (already in progress)… and if you aren’t old enough to remember that, well, that just shows how old I really am. Sigh. Anyway, my review for Wanting A Mate: Quick and Furry #5:

Wanting a Mate (Quick & Furry, #5)Giggle time! Celia and Mina’s fifth in the “Quick and Furry” series was just what I needed to snuggle into tonight. Giggles and grins with a side of yummy.

“Free therapy in exchange for the willingness to be included in a study. ‘The Inherited Intricacies and Deficiencies of the Familial Mind.'” Yep. Chloe has one whack-a-doodle family – the kind that stalks you and breaks into your house when you aren’t looking. . . well, mom is an oddball, but the brothers aren’t so bad – just sorta, well, stalkerish and overprotective. But hey, things could be worse, right? Your mom could break into your house in the middle of the night to inform you she has set you up with the M&M Mating Agency, cause she really does want grandkids. Er, Grandcubs? Whatever.

Oh, yeah. That actually happened. (Facepalm)

Cougar | Wildlife Info and PhotosWhat happens next had me giggling out loud. Well, and enjoying the hottie hotness that Celia and Mina are famous for. This is one cute entry into the Quick and Furry pantheon. If you haven’t read them, why not? Funny, hot shorts sure to help you relax after a long day. So. Much. Fun!

I received this book from the authors in exchange for a realistic review. SCORE!!! 😉 (Happy Dance!)

 

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