Sunday, April 27, 2014


We returned to the greenhouse on Friday to check on our seedling babies and plant a few more trays.  A few notes from our afternoon in the wonderful warmth . . .

I was thrilled to find fifty kale babies growing strong!

I have never grown cleome before.  Although I don't necessary love the way it looks (sort of like a flower with a bad hair day), I added it to our seed order this year for the bees.

I laughed at this evidence of little hands helping out with the seeding: a mini forest of baby chamomile plants!

And for my record keeping, this is what we planted on Friday, April 25:

50 Basil blocks ( 20 Genovese; 20 Sweet; 10 Lime)
20 Tomato blocks (5 Sungold Cherry; 5 Amish Paste; 5 Weinsnicht's Ukrainian; 5 Rose De Berne)
30 Pepper blocks (5 Sweet Pimiento; 5 Hungarian Hot Wax; 5 Hidalgo Serrano Hot; 5 Some Like it Hot; 5 Banana; 5 Jeffrey's Special Italian variety for Pickling)
30 Cabbage blocks (5 Gunma; 10 Chinese; 10 Des Vertus Savoy; 5 Golden Acre)
10 Swiss Chard blocks (for a neighbor who loves chard!)
10 Melon blocks (5 Hannah's Choice Muskmelon; 5 Diana Watermelon)
30 Craspedia globosa blocks (I fell in love with this flower after seeing it in bouquets last summer)
20 Gomphrena globosa blocks (these were in my hair, when Jeffrey and I were married . . . and around Maude's neck!)
20 Purple coneflower blocks
10 Horehound blocks (Jeffrey has plans for this herb)
20 Butterfly Weed blocks
20 Cosmos blocks
30 Zinnia blocks
50 Sunflower blocks

If I've done my math correctly, that should add up to another 350 blocks.  As you can see, I'm planning to put in a lot of flowers this year.  I am hopeful that these flowers will nourish the bees, fill our bouquets, and also line the fence row.  I have visions of creating a wildly abundant flower garden intermixed with all sorts of annuals, perennials, and herbs along the white fence in front of our house.  I fully admit that Tasha Tudor's garden is one of my inspirations.  

Tasha Tudor says, "It takes 12 years to make a garden."  We are entering year three — very grateful for and very humbled by how much we have yet to learn.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Early Spring Planting

While the girls played in mud puddles, the chickens rediscovered their favorite places, and Harry followed the chickens around — we planted.  Two pear trees; a peach tree and an apricot tree; two blueberry bushes; three varieties of grape vines; and hardy kiwis.  Kiwis?!  You'll have to ask Jeffrey about that if you're curious to learn more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little Hands

"Mama!  I need some seeds!" she called to me, proudly pointing to the muddy holes she had made in the garden.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In the Greenhouse

A wonderful way to begin April: in the greenhouse.  We are so grateful for our friend Reid, who generously lets us start seeds alongside his own on Second Spring Farm.  I have been looking forward to this day for weeks; it is such a pleasure to talk with Reid about his farm while I put my hands into the soil for the first time this year.

In my enthusiasm, I may have gone a bit overboard . . . but my hope is to have plenty of baby plants to put in our garden and to share in the coming weeks.  For the purpose of my record keeping, today we planted: 

100 Onion blocks (35 Clear Dawn; 30 Copra; 35 Redwing)  
50 Kale blocks (10 Dino; 10 Russian; 10 Dwarf; 20 Afro)
35 Broccoli blocks (15 DeCicco; 10 Arcadia; 10 Bay Meadows)
15 Brussels blocks (Gustus)
45 Celery blocks (30 Ventura; 15 Tango)
20 Chamomile blocks (Bodegold)
30 Lupine blocks (Russell Hybrids Mix)
15 Cleome blocks (White Queen)
15 Yarrow blocks (Colorado Mix)
10 Spearmint blocks
5 Licorice blocks (Glycrrhiza glabra)
5 Lemon mint blocks (Monarda Citriodora)
5 Greek Oregano blocks

That should add up to 350 soil blocks . . . a lot of dirt under my fingernails, and a deep joy on my part.  

I had two excellent helpers.  While I made the soil blocks, the girls filled them up with seeds, sprinkled an extra special soil mixture over top, and labeled everything.

Spending an afternoon in the greenhouse when the ground is still covered with three feet of snow is truly a gift.  Sharing that time with my girls makes it even better.  Thank you, Reid.