Friday, June 17, 2011

In search of urban gardens

I'm in search of urban gardeners and farmers. Here's a few to browse into their worlds. What beautiful tomatoes sprinkling Tomato Lover's patio and Mama Worm Composting shares all about vermicomposting, you know, those little worms that eat your food scraps.

Favorite garden tool

If you have ever struggled with weeds, digging a good hole for a plant start, or pulling up a start to pot, check out this knife as THE tool in the garden.  OXO Good Grips Garden Knife with Sheath:Amazon:Kitchen & Dining

The type of knife is know as hori-hori. In Japanese it translates as "to dig."

We are also huge fans of Oxo. If you haven't tried one of these, visit Amazon and use your Amazon Mom free prime shipping to get one quickly this summer, or visit a garden store near you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Steamed broccoli rabe

Fresh cuttings from the garden tonight. Steaming a whole pan down to soft greens and adding olive oil.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Peek into the vegetable patch

We made fresh garden salads starting this weekend with spinach, parsley, lettuce, and broccoli rabe leaves. Delicious!
Kale was thinned and potted up to donate starts.
Delicata squash are finding holes in the burlap to fit in.  This will keep the edible part from sitting in the dirt and may help heat the plant.
Every year brings a new experiment for tomato cages.  This year we have a spiraling green frame that attaches to a post with a plastic bolt.  It doesn't look sturdy, but it says it is.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How to build an edible patio

Step 1 - Pick out a garden pot. We recommend light weight so you can move them around. These are 10gal black plastic pots. There are many options out there based on what you want your patio to look like.

Step 2 - Look at the meals you love to eat out and in. Do they include lettuce, onions, broccoli, peas, strawberries, herbs?  Start with something you really like to eat.  For our pots, let's start with

- Romaine lettuce
- Basil
- Peppers
- Tomatoes
- 3 large pots
- 4-6 large bags of potting soil, depending on size of pots and size of bags

Romaine Lettuce

Tomatoes - look for ones with shorter time to maturity
Step 3 - Buy several bags of potting soil
Step 4 - Dump the bags into the big pots and leave about 5-7inches of no soil at the top
Step 5 - Plant the taller items: tomatoes, peppers, and basil in the center of each of three pots
Step 6 - Add the lettuce starts around the base, about 5-8inches apart.  Approx 4-5 in each pot
Step 7 - Water the pots and put them in a sunny spot on your patio
Step 8 - Watch them grow and give them more water

3-4 weeks after planting add another batch of lettuce seeds in between the other lettuce heads.  This will prolong your lettuce season. 

Behind the scenes tour at Earlington Minter's Greenhouse

On a baby free outing today we stopped off and did some plant shopping for father's day.  Knowing the owner of the greenhouses, we were able to wander through the employee only section and discovered some unique plants hiding within.

Begonia leaves with little baby leaves on it.  Fuchsia Arborescens, the tiny pink upright flowers.  Fuchsia Procumbens has yellow and orange upgright flowers.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Patio Reflection

With some sunshine in Seattle finally arriving I find us out on the one year old patio enjoying a lounge, a snack, or a trip to and from the garden.  It had me thinking last night how different the experience with our space is and how more connected I feel to the garden with our new patio.  Here is a photo of the old one

Garden design and plant choice plays a significant role in our enjoyment of the space much like paint colors and furniture impact an indoor room. 

Picture the last garden you were in where you felt relaxed and at ease.  What plants were there?  Can you still remember the smells?  I love the scent of a new rain in the garden.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Garden Tag crafts for kids

Teach kids about the plants in your garden with this cute and quick crafts project using things around your house and garden.  Garden Tag Fan Book
Flipping through the pages of the book make for a musical instrument that will entertain as well.

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