Thursday, April 11, 2013

Garlic Sprouts in the Snow

See those little spiky things sticking out of the snow? Those are my poor little garlics shivering in the ground. Lured out by warmer weather and tons of rain we've been having, I sure hope they can withstand cold and ice. It's absolutely miserable out today, temperatures hovering around zero, freezing rain and snow. It's enough to make me want to crawl back into bed and never get out.

Thankfully there are a few bright spots keeping me from succumbing to permanent hibernation. One is this lovely package of heirloom beans that arrived in the mail earlier this week. A gift from KB over at My New Old House, there are a dozen different varieties, including some rare ones! Nothing I like better on a lousy day than a little seed research...

Speaking of seeds, gazing on these other little beauties also makes things a little less dismal. I held myself to eleven varieties of tomatoes this year and gambled on a single pot of 2 seeds for each. Considering the poor germination I've had in the last few years it was a pretty big gamble but so far it seems to be paying off.  At the moment I've got at least one healthy seedling per pot; only the Jaune Flammes have yet to emerge and may have to be reseeded. Nothing from the peppers yet but I sowed extra of those and they always take a little longer. I started everything much later than usual but considering the spring we're having I think I'm right on target to have things ready to go when the gardens and weather are ready.

The garden themselves are in the middle of an overhaul. As you can see from the top photo I've finally decided to build raised beds out back. An opportunity came up for us to obtain some free wood from a reno project a few houses away. It's old and weathered but still solid lengths of true 2 x 10's,  which would cost a fortune to buy so I am happy to save it from landfill and save my wallet. When it stops raining we'll hopefully be able to finish 3 boxes so I can fill the beds for planting. I have plans to do a modified hugelkulture, creating a bottom layer of chunks of wood, sticks, twigs and other plant matter before filling it with compost and top dressing with a coir and organic soil mix. More on that as it happens!

I promised Farmgal I would post the directions for making homemade mayo in a mason jar. It's been all over the internet recently but if you haven't seen it, it is quite possibly the easiest thing you can make in a jar! The Russian puts mayo on everything so it's been a real time and money saver at our place. This version requires a hand blender but I might try to see if it's possible to replicate using my eggbeaters, if they'll fit in a jar. Here's the link to Northwest Edible's post where this video is from, with recipe and full directions.

Looks like we have a few more days of nasty weather to look forward to so I'm grateful to be warm and dry with things to do inside, even if I'm eager to be outside. There's a pot of turkey stock simmering on the stove, a stack of library books to be read and garden designs to be finalized. April, do your worst!

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