Archive for the ‘edibles’ Category

Having one of those weeks where I feel like I am getting nothing done. 1) chard is going to seed 2) wormwood needs to be planted 3) front planting bed needs to be weeded 4) various other plants need to go into the ground 5) the hens need access to a dust bath that does not endanger plants 6) kale is going to seed 7) gooseberries are suddenly splitting and dropping to the ground 8) potato plants need to be hilled up and 9) clover needs to be worked into the garden beds… and this just covers the things I actually took pictures of ;0}

But then I am reminded that there is bounty in my garden as well – flowers for the bees and fruit and herbs for us ;0} Italian plums, lemon balm, raspberries, valerian, pears and lavender… and so much more that isn’t pictures here!

I had the day off from work today… which always seems to create a day of urgency, instead a day of accomplishment. It was a 1) rain-boot kind of day! so pulled them on and cuffed up my pants 2) I finally got around to installing the fairy pool and homes (from a local artist group at Kennedy Creek Pottery – they call them bird feeders =0}) 3) went and picked up a few things at the Olympia Farmers Market – had some market dollars burning a hole in my pocket 4) just couldn’t resist the Blondköpfchen (“little blonde head” in German) tomato plant – I grew up in Austria and was blonde back then :0} 5) picked up cherries for hubby and tossed in some garlic scapes 6) added a few more tomato plants, a couple of peppers and a tomatillo 7) in the afternoon, a movie date with my niece (did I mention that I got a picture-text around 3:30 am, from one of four – that’s right, FOUR pregnant sisters (okay! one is a sister-in-law ;0}) in Virginia, with the news that my newest nephew had arrived? James Stephen arrived three weeks early and weighed in at just over 8 lbs.!! The movie choice seemed appropriate – What to Expect When You are Expecting.) 8) met hubby and his work colleagues for dinner… almost stepped on this guy outside the restaurant… he seemed to be enjoying his meal ;0} 9) finally got around to some of my herbs… transferred the dried Calendula to some olive oil to infuse, bottled up dried violet leaves and lemon balm leaves. Then spent an hour collecting feverfew leaves and set them up in the dehydrator.

All in all, a good day… but still so many things to do!! Pulling double shifts the next two days, but then I’ll have a half-day and a day off again! Don’t worry… I’ll find time to take pictures… I always do ;0}

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Decided to drive down to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm last week… wanted to try something different. I usually drive up to the Skaggit Valley Tulip Festival. This time I was killing two birds with one stone… I was heading down to attend a presentation by Marisha Auerbach on how to grow your all your own produce in 2.5 years (if you ever have the chance to attend any of her presentations or workshops, do!! She has great info, like this: Perennial Forage Handout), so I looked into other things to do near Portland.

All the way down I-5, it poured! So much so, that I almost changed plans. Yes, I have gear to protect my camera, but it gets pretty cumbersome. I was 5 miles out, when the rain stopped!

It was a little field… but enough to keep me busy wandering around as storm clouds rolled around the field.

It turned out to be a great tie in – tulips are edible!! I’ll be adding lots more tulips to my garden!

Someone was there blowing bubbles… it was pretty windy, so I had to move fast to capture them ;0}

Just as I started to head back to the car, the rains came down again!

 

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Spring has definitely sprung:

hellebore

Loshka and Vandana

rhubarb and alpine strawberries

garlic and leeks

happy together – Suki, Loshka, and Vandana

sedums

viburnum

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Can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long… I post my pictures to my Facebook Page, and think I have posted the pictures to here, as well. Perhaps I need to do that the other way around ;0}

I returned to Seattle’s NW Flower and Garden Show, and was once again torn between loving it and hating it. I LOVE the gardens, but HATE the crowds. I pay $20 for the tickets and another $10+ for parking. I would gladly pay $40, if I could get in and look at the gardens, with a couple hundred people, instead of the thousands I had to navigate around! It just drives me insane!!

Here’s what I loved:

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Oh, man oh man! Can we say yumMEEE? I don’t think a piece of bread has ever tasted SO good!! There must be something about eating warm bread, made by your own hands, that transports you to the clouds. Maybe fresh butter, instead of store butter, or homemade jam, instead of the local honey, could have made it better, but I don’t think so.

And to top it off, it was so easy to make. The trickiest part was waiting the hours and hours for it to bubble and rise, but I didn’t have to do any kneading, so no complaints here =0}

If you haven’t tried this bread yet, you need to. The smell of flour, yeast, and water blending together, is enough to transport you. And then there is the smell of the dough baking, filling the house with an indescribable smell of warmth, the sound of the knife cracking through the crust, and the butter melting into all the cracks and crannies… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination ;0}

I just followed the directions for No-Knead Bread at steamykitchen.com. Be mindful that there is a difference between instant yeast and dry active yeast. You want the instant (rapid-rise) yeast. It’s what allows you to walk away and let it do its thing, instead of kneading and kneading.

Have fun!

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Our First Meal Out of Our Garden

This is the first meal that is 100% from my garden – fresh eggs, pea shoots and chives. It wasn’t planned. I was out doing my usual morning routine… letting out Goldie (obviously the gold one – a Buff Orpington) and Vandana (the black one – a Cochin… she has feathers on her feet) and then doing a once-a-round in the garden… checking on chicken damage… I let them free-range and sometimes the best treats are apparently around some of my plants. They are so happy scratching to get to the little critters that they don’t realize (or care) that they have uprooted the plant.  So I tuck the plants back into the soil and try to create barriers so that it doesn’t happen again. I also check on my veggie patch, which is safe from the chickens… that patch has been protected from the beginning. I was glad to see that the pea sprouts were doing great… there were several that seemed to have grown to over two inches tall overnight, but they were a bit crowded. So I thinned them out. Normally I would have tossed them into the compost bin. But then I remembered that a gardener had mentioned that you could eat the shoots… that they had a wonderful pea flavor to them (imagine that =D). So I thought’ “What the heck?” So on the way into the house, I grabbed a few chives as well.

Nothing better than fresh eggs with fresh greens from the garden! It was delicious! Although, next time I will wait longer to add the pea shoots… I liked the fresh crunch of the garnish more than the cooked pea shoots mixed in with the eggs. I will definitely be harvesting more shoots. In fact, I planted more peas in one of my planters just for the shoots… the wonderful pea flavor without the waiting for the pods! If you planted peas, you should try some. I hear they are also great in salads!

Olympia, WA – our backyard

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baby rhubarb

Rhubarb can be such a tease. It is one of the first buds to show itself in my collection of perennial food-producing plants, but it will be several weeks before I can use it in the kitchen. You see, the leaves are poisonous. It is the lovely ruby-red stalk that you want. These lovely tight and wrinkly leaves will expand and expand and the stalk will grow to 18″+… my mouth is watering just thinking of the sauces and cobbler that are in the future =D

baby garlic

Unlike the rhubarb, baby garlic is edible. And if I do say so myself, delicious! I must clarify, that this garlic was grown from the bulbils of my garlic I let go to seed last year… you know, those lovely purple blossoms at the end of the tall stalks of the hard-neck garlic. I let them fall where they may and grow. It is this little cluster of plants that I pull from and use as I do scallions. They are so worth the self-discipline it required not to cut those stalks when they were in the garlic scape phase to make garlic scape pesto…. mmmmm! … but I am getting ahead of myself… those are months away and I am sure part of a future post =D

How does your garden grow? Are there edibles you are already enjoying? Are there edibles you will be planting this year for harvest early next spring?


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