Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring is Bustin' Out All Over

Our little town is prettiest in Spring. Azaleas, dogwoods, camellias and such are as pretty as they have ever been in our neighborhood. I go out each morning for a walk about and enjoy the just right air, birds singing, green leaves and flowers that are everywhere. It soothes the mind and soul.

In our vegetable garden all things are chugging right along. The potatoes and other root crops have rebounded from the cold of mid-March. Garlic is taking on new growth with the longer days. Peas and beans are good. Lettuce growing in different stages is delicious on our dinner plates. Broccoli in both the community and home gardens looks great.

I watch a You Tube show called Homegrown Veg. This man has developed a method for growing root crops in 10 inch pots. For details watch his show. The most important thing is to plant seed that grows carrots 6" or less. Cleaning up the potting bench I found a few and decided to give carrots a go in a pot. I planted Red Core Chantenay. I love experiments. I love carrots. I am, as always, hopeful. Stay tuned...

The last of the kale harvested 3/27/2017. It made a great kale salad! Time for summer crops baby! 

Friday, March 17, 2017


We had the coldest three nights of the winter this week. Twenties at night and cold blowing wind during the days. Out came the Agribon (spun fabric for agricultural use), down went the hoop tunnels made of fencing, and cover we did, again. I just peeked in to check on the Red Sails lettuce seedlings not yet possessing true leaves, and there they are, all neatly lined up in a row. I am truly amazed that tiny seedlings handle the cold better than mature plants.
Inventory of the unprotected winter vegetables revealed they did fine. What a relief! Azaleas already blooming are fried by the cold but the unopened buds may be OK.  Daffodil flowers are unfazed and  there are more pushing up. Turns out we didn't completely lose out on Spring after all.
Swiss Chard. After the cold. Must have antifreeze in them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Gill feather rutabagas (heirloom)

Son Jonathan gifted the seeds for the gillfeather rutabagas to us for Christmas 2015. What a nice surprise! The greens are as good as the roots. These were planted in a raised bed September 20th. I remember thinking I should plant things I wanted to do well in raised beds because of the rains of October 2015 when all our brassicas died from rot. Who knew it would be North Carolina, not South Carolina, that would be the recipient of so much rain this time? For the record, we measured 15 inches of rain October 8, 2016 here on Chestnut Street. I recorded in my nature journal, "At times the rain blows sideways and the trees look like they would twirl around if not rooted in the ground...I will be glad when it is over."  Six months later it is astonishing that these plants, small seedlings then, survived the pounding rains of Hurricane Matthew. Surely I paid them no mind in the weeks that followed...they are, gifts.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Small Is Good

We are getting one last, I hope, cold snap this weekend. I will cover the lettuce. Green beans imprudently, defiantly, planted 2-21-17 were covered a few days ago. Tonight's the big night with the low predicted to be 30 degrees. However, the ground is warm, very. We live in town surrounded by big heat sinks aka parking lots, streets and big buildings. Here's to Lady Luck!
Spinach on the other hand can take the cold!