Hurry! Before the killing frosts come (if it’s not already too late)! Try these herbal ice cubes as a way to preserve the last of your culinary herbs. Continue reading
The peak of gardening has passed, but there are still plenty of things to be seen, done, and harvested this time of year.
At this point in the season there are a lot of fresh herbs and flowers to process. Hanging them upside down in an area out of direct sunlight is one of the easiest methods to use, but it can take about a week (or more) to dry plants this way and there are some plants with a high water content that can be difficult to dry without molding.
It has been awhile, but it’s finally time for my favorite spring and summer dish: pasta with fresh vegetables. Quite simple and yet oh so satisfying (and quite easy to make with local ingredients!).
Today is full of the color green in more ways than one. I’ve seen a lot of people sporting green shirts and I’m more than happy that I’ve spent the better part of the day engaged in some “green” activities — pea planting and helping with the foundation for a new urban permaculture garden.
I’ve been doing some garden clean-up activities this week, but today was the first day I really have dirt under my fingernails and that feels totally refreshing. There are so many possibilities for this year’s garden….it’s still very bare (with a few exceptions — some winter survivors, garlic, and weeds)!
Grandma has always said that peas should be planted near St. Patrick’s Day. As one of 12 kids on a farm, I’d say she must be well aware of the best time to plant peas. So, what better day than the actual St. Patrick’s Day?
Lucky for me, I didn’t even have to buy peas as I saved some from last year. This was one of my first tries at seed saving so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this will work.
I planted about 10 today — 2″ deep and I’m experimenting with them in a circle rather than a row to see if I can trellis them better this way. I will plant another batch in a week or two. Hopefully that will allow for a bit larger/longer of a harvest than last year. Last year’s peas were yum-tastic, but they only lasted a couple of meals (and I’m referring to seed peas — the snap peas seem to be around a lot longer).
I also found some stragglers that survived the winter to harvest today. That’s fun!
Earlier in the day, I went to a neighborhood on the East side to help expand City Rising Farm into a new vacant lot across the street from the garden that they’ve established previously.
Mostly the day involved moving wood chips to the front of the lot to start sheet mulching. Many wheelbarrows and tarps full of woodchips were transported from the back of the lot to the front.
After getting a thick layer of woodchips down, two raised-beds were made from rings of old tree stumps.
There was also a lesson on beneficial insects that can keep pests down — in this case, there were praying mantis eggs.
Overall, it was a really inspiring day — it’s great to see people of all ages working together on a project to improve a neighborhood and that will also bring fresh food into an area that wouldn’t necessarily have easy access to it.
There was also a booth set up to write letters to Senator Brown to ensure that he continues his support for small farms on the 2012 Farm Bill. We can’t let big agribusinesses control our food supply! It’s not sustainable for communities, the environment, or our health! Take action at the Food and Water Watch website, and also, take action by supporting your local farmers. Find them near you!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!