Please No Frost …

Lilacs are in bloom!

With two 80 degree days this week I could hold off no longer!   I started planting in my garden outside and I have been checking the weather constantly.   The official day here is May 15th (which is Sunday) for danger of frost to occur.   We have had frost later than that in past years, but now I can only cross my fingers and keep my hopes high.   The 10 day forecast shows there will be a cooling off this weekend but nowhere near frost.   I did keep a few of each variety safe in the house just in case.

Pepper plants are more than happy to be placed in the ground – varieties are Marconi, Red Mini, Alma Paprika, Tam Jalapeno and Purple Pepper.

Cayenne peppers are still waiting – I have to rethink where I want to plant them.   I already have peppers on some of these!

Summer squash

These seeds are from Renee’s Garden and are Tricolor Zucchini which means the package had 3 different varieties of squash – Clarimore, Golden Dawn and Raven which gives me an interesting selection.   Same with the package of Summer Scallop – three varieties of Pattypan squash;  Sunburst, Peter Pan and Starship.   Can’t wait to see what will grow!

Tricolor Pattypan Squash

Here is a shot of one Tomato transplant … I have many more!   The varieties in ground are Cherokee Purple,  Amish Paste, Sungold,  Amana Orange,  Black Cherry and Black Krim.

Winter Squash – the two types here are Delicata which I will train to grow on the fence and Butternut which will be too heavy for the fence.

Last but not least my Moon and Stars Watermelon – seems like it took a bit to get going, but will take off I am sure once the warmth is here to stay.   Also planted a few flowers out …. so as I fine tune some more planting all I can keep doing is chanting … Please No Frost – Please No Frost.   You are welcome to chant along!

Hoping your garden plans are coming together!

First Farmer’s Market and Wind Turbines

This past weekend I was able to visit my first Farmer’s Market of the year!   We were down South visiting our daughter at school and she had an assignment from one of her classes … visit a Farmer’s Market and write a report.   She asked if I wanted to join her …….. heck yea!   The markets further up North don’t start rolling for another month so this was Great!

She was thrilled with the jar of  honey we purchased for her since she now enjoys drinking tea each morning.   I think she was not thrilled with the fact that I was taking her picture ……    I also purchased some herbs and flowers for my own garden.   It was a gorgeous day at the market!

I have taken photos and even a video of these wind turbines which we pass on our trip down and I happened to take a few more this time.   What I found interesting as I flipped through my Organic Gardening magazine when I arrived home was a short article about these wind turbines.   It states that they Grow Better Crops!   What happens is these giant, and they are GIANT, turning metal designs create a gentle turbulence , more favorable temperatures and more air exchange with the plants.   More carbon dioxide is received and the blowing air helps dry the leaves reducing risk of fungal infections.   While the wind turbines are constructed to generate electricity this newly discovered benefit is being eagerly researched.

When we first started seeing semi trucks carrying these huge metal constructions, we likened them to parts of an airplane.   Now we know better …. they are parts of a wind turbine.   Fascinating for sure!

Huge Garden Project

The past 3 years I have been concentrating my gardening efforts on our place down south and this year I am doing a reverse!   We have cleared a rather large area in our yard up north and have decided to do a really spectacular garden.   Although I have some gardening knowledge this large space is intimidating!   There is nothing there and I plan to make it pretty … yikes!

This is our back yard and the area with black dirt is our new garden!   That is alot of black dirt!

Another angle ….. of ALOT of black dirt!

And still another view of the area

Frankie is quite content watching as we line the area with brick to keep the soil from running off in heavy rains.   Some days I really wish my dogs, of which we have four, could pitch in and help a little with some of this work.

Next step is framing the area with plastic lattice to keep the bunnies out … the squirrels will climb over so I need to keep an eye out for them.   One year they had a real feast on all my miniature blue corn I had growing when we were gone for a weekend.

This is an additional area on the side of the house that I plan to clean up and add flowers or it may be the herb garden.

It looks like I have my work cut out for me ….. maybe the dogs will have a change of heart and decide to help out.

Follow along as I create my Dream Garden!

 

Garlic past its prime

Some of the garlic I have from last season is starting to sprout and it makes sense since the garlic out in the ground is sprouting also.    It must sense that it’s time to grow!   At this point, the garlic is still very edible but it has lost its youthfulness and freshness.   I decided to dry some up in the Excalibur dehydrator and save it this way.   I will take it a step further and powder it for simple sprinkling into recipes.

This garlic press/slicer I found and purchased over the summer has been a true time saver!    Previous to buying it, I would cut each individual clove into slices and it did take forever.   Now I just pop the clove in the garlic slicer and presto …. nicely sliced garlic!

Patiently awaiting their time in the Excalibur

Here we have the garlic sprouting outside …

Planted in October to be harvested in July!

Make sure to add your recipe to Munchie Monday tomorrow.   I will be adding Garlic Herb Croutons … easy, easy!

Ultimate Blogging Party 2011 #UBP11

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I am happy to participate in the Ultimate Blogging Party 2011 this year.   I follow @5minutesformom on Twitter and luckily spotted their tweet this morning and hopped on the party bandwagon!   Looks like a fantastic way to meet some fellow bloggers and there are even some prizes offered.

For those stopping by from the party and this being your first visit here … I am Debbie also known as The Running Garlic. I blog about Gardening, Cooking, Crafts and every day life.   I am participating in the WordPress Challenge and have started a Facebook group to help support all the bloggers who are creating daily or weekly blog posts.   The Challenge has been very rewarding and a wonderful way to connect with others; being Freshly Pressed and receiving 4,500 hits to my blog in 2 days was beyond exciting!

Along with this blog, I also created Garden Dish to share some recipes and Munchie Monday where you can link up and add your own.   Ok….enough about me, I am headed back to the Ultimate Blogging Party to make some new friends!

Facebook page = The Running Garlic Twitter handle = @RunningGarlic

Happy April 1st …. Nice to meet you!

Calling all Generation Y Gardeners

Recently I learned that another young lady in my circle of family is going to start a garden this summer!   I am really excited,  and I hope to share in her gardening adventures and have already picked out some pepper and tomato seedlings to add to her plan.   She will be graduating college in a few weeks and her nutrition studies will be an excellent foundation for some Healthy Garden Grown dishes.

I will share her stories and adventures here, but I am hoping she will start a blog of her own where she can post photos and videos and relate first-hand how it feels to garden.   Tracey will be a recent college grad and falls into the Generation Y category (these are children of Baby Boomers).   My own two children are also from the same generation, so I can fully relate and there are some very important observations I can share.   The young adults from this generation (born 1982-2000) are very computer savvy and have grown up in a time where much of their social interaction has been via the computer.  They are very keen on information and have traveled the world through the social media giants such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace.  

They can harvest quite a bounty of crops on Farmville, and although I have never played this internet game, I am hoping there is a wealth of information to be gained there.   Does it encourage the young adults to actually get out and start their own garden?

Actual hands on gardening, digging in the dirt and pulling weeds, is something they may have watched their parents do or talk about … but they never took on this feat themselves.   They will look in awe at canned pickles or tomatoes in disbelief and wonder.    There are pictures of ancestors in the fields harvesting the daily meal but not many Generation Y adults have had the experience …

My hope is that through Tracey’s learning and growing right here on the internet, maybe…. just maybe a whole new Generation that has let the gardening tradition pass them by will … 

Stop and reclaim the right to Grow their own Food.  

SHE is going to plant a Garden!

SHE is my daughter!

She is away at college and plans to continue going through the summer.   During our phone conversation she tells me she is going to plant a garden!   Beside the fact that I managed not to faint, I wasn’t sure I heard her right.   She feels she will be bored after classes and work and needs something to do …. so she figures a garden will be a good project.   She has a yard (and there’s really not grass, and the soil is “not sure”, and she likes tomatoes and watermelon).

So I am to email her instructions how to garden.

I offered to send her seeds since I have plenty, but she said “nah, isn’t it just as easy to just get them at the store”      me:  “but I have good seeds”

nevermind … we will just go with it

I am told to just email instructions later today.

Dear Daughter:

Since your gardening season will start earlier than ours here, make sure to pick up seeds the next time you are out.   I will make sure to save you some of the seedlings I have growing under the lights and you can add them to your garden (if you want).    You will need a shovel or hoe to break up the dirt in the area you plan on growing your garden.  I don’t think bunnies will eat tomato plants or watermelon unless they are different down there.  You probably don’t know your last frost date there … can you google it?  This is somewhat important since the little sprouts will die if hit with a cold frost and you will have to start over again.

Ok… read the instructions on the back of the seed pack.  You can start the seeds indoors but you will need pots (which you can make on your own with newspaper – if you do this, I will send you a link).   Otherwise, take the seeds from the packette and put into the ground spaced as stated on the package.   Both tomatoes and watermelon will GROW so allow plenty of space.  The tomato plants will need some support which you can also make on your own with large sticks and string.   As the season moves along, you want to make sure to keep the weeds under control – pull them when they are small since it will be easier at that time.   What is a weed you ask?   Well,  just remember where you planted  your seeds (mark the spots with a stick or something) and anything that grows elsewhere is a weed and pull it out.

Keep the plants watered but don’t over water since this can be not good – they just need enough to grow….like a good drink every once in a while.   You will get the hang of it.   Just call me or better yet send me pictures if you have a question.   I want to SEE pictures anyways……I am excited for you and sad I can’t be there to show you how to do this.   I am betting that you are going to have some Awesome tomatoes and watermelon (heck, probably even better than the ones I plan to grow).   Keep me posted!

Love always, Mom