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Category Archives: In the Garden

Back In The Garden

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My big pot of spinach that I hope to keep producing all summer long.

When we moved, I didn’t bring one plant with me.  It broke my heart, but we had to pare down the load.

I’m happy to say that I am no longer plant less.

Thanks to my mom and my cousin I have pots galore and have started filling them.  I, actually, started my new garden in December when I snagged a key lime tree that was dying in the cold at Wal-Mart,  I’ve since added spinach, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, onions, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, lavender, ginger, sage, spearmint, and peppermint.

BG is my helper as always and I promised her that she could plant whatever she wanted in her portion of the garden.  So far she’s chosen two pots of flowers and seeds for more.  I hope that her enthusiasm for gardening continues.  There is something terribly special about being able to share something I really enjoy with my daughter and know that she’s having fun as well.  As a treat I bought her lilies that should bloom all summer long.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in In the Garden

 

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Leeks All Summer

So one of the things that you can grow from kitchen scraps is leeks.  All you have to save is the smallest part of the white with the attached roots.  You know, that part that you cut off and throw in the trash or compost pile.  Put it in water and watch it sprout.  Once mine sprouts up good, I moved them to a raised bed outside that gets lots of light.

Now when I want leeks, I simply walk out my front door and snip off a plant or two about an inch above the ground.  Within days, it had already sprouted right back up from the stump.  With four plants, I’ve had all the leeks I’ve wanted this summer.  However, I didn’t really understanding how to cook with them.  Since I’ve had them and learned how they flavor food, I’m going to need more.  With that in mind, the next time I go to the grocery store, I’ll pick up a bundle and pop the scraps into water, which brings me to my next thought.

I’ve already started noticing a yellow tinge to the leaves, which is always my first cue that fall is here.  I’m going to want leeks this winter.  Instead of adding this new bunch to the established bed in the yard, I think, I’ll try to start them in a planter in the window.

Once, I get the ones started in the window, I’ll probably try to bring the ones in the yard into the house.  We shall see how that works out for me.

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in In the Garden

 

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Something Old into Something New

We’ve all seen those posts on different websites about how to recycle/up cycle/whatever cycle (sorry, I never have been good at keeping up with latest hip terms) stuff.  I actually found one that made good sense to me.  From my long since defunk marriage, I have kept a few things that I just really liked and therefore have kept.  One of those things was a small photo album, despite the fact that I don’t like photo albums or looking through them.  I’m really not sure what it was about this one that has made me keep it this long; however, it is what it is and here I am.

My seeds have been in little plastic baggies, inside envelopes from the people who sent them to me, and all of those collected into a manilla envelope that bulged in all its repulsive unorganized glory atop my desk.  (Have i mentioned how much I detest anything unorganized?  Not that you can tell from looking at my house.)

I started with this:

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From there I went and found something else that has been hanging around my house for who knows how long.

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From there I trimmed the envelopes because they wouldn’t fit the slots of the photo album.

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I added tape to the self adhesive lip because we all know that those things don’t hold for crap.

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From there it was a simple thing to se a sharpie and label each envelope and slide it into the slot of the now Seed Album.

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The other nice thing is that the pages of the book are also just right for holding even the larger commercial seed packets.

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I will note that I wound up taking some of the empty pages out of the book because the seeds made the book too fat.  I will save the extra pages to use in another album.  I’ve found that the thrift stores often have the little photo albums for a good price and in good condition; however, the pages are usually thrashed, so I’ll use my extras.

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So at this point, all I really need to do is find a great picture to go in the front.  Perhaps, I’ll simply print one out on my computer with a title, since I’m going to have multiple books.  This one I believe I’ll use for my flower seeds because of the roses on the cover.  I wonder if I can find ones that have herb and vegetable themes?

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Eating Scraps

We’re all seen those posts about how you can grow real food from scraps. The ones that interested me the most were celery and green onions. We love them. We eat them all the time. They are such a nice addition to so many of the foods we like. (Remind me to get you the recipe for my Cajun Celery Beef.) I did the rough math and for our family it looks something like this:

1 head of celery per pay period: $3.00
2 bunch of green onions per pay period: $2.00
Pay periods in a year: 26
Total yearly savings if I can make this work: $130.00

For many people $130 is not all that much, but in this family that’s a lot of money! Especially, when you start considering that you can add that to the money we’re saving growing our own herbs. Basically, I looked at my little kitchen window and I see that it all adds up to about $300 plus a year. Wait a minute, you say. Yeah, all of a sudden it starts to make sense, huh? $300 plus is nothing to sneeze at.

So we bought celery and green onions, not organic or anything, just regular old celery and green onions.  We used the celery like we always do, but as we got down to those last few stalks attached to the stump, I simply lopped them off leaving that little core of leaves in the middle.  Then I put it in a jelly jar on the window sill. Everything was going great. It was growing like none other, then I put it in dirt like it said to do.

It rotted within days.

I’m nothing if not stubborn. I’m trying again. This time I plan on putting cinnamon on the stump because it is said to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I have three stumps growing very well, as you can see, but I’m not sure it is going to work because I still don’t have a single root on any of them that I can see.  If it doesn’t work this time, I may have to break down and try the organic celery to see if that makes a difference.

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Now in regards to the green onions… Did pretty much the same thing as the celery. I cut all the green off and cooked it. The white ends were placed in a jelly jar on the window sill such that the water was only over the very bottoms. They sprouted roots immediately! When the roots were about an inch long, I transplanted them into this little pot.

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They’ve been helping to feed us for weeks now.  It takes about three days for them to grow almost two inches. (CC has talked about setting up a time delay camera to capture the growth of these rascals.)  I am starting some more from the grocery store today to basically double what I have in this one little pot.  I feel that this amount doubled will give us all the green onions that we’ll need or want.  So hopefully today will be the last time I buy green onions!

(One thing I have noticed about the onions, is that some of them just will not thrive. Do NOT waste your time on them. Throw them into the compost pile and concentrate on the ones that are thriving.  If my experience is anything to go by, the ones to thrive will be the big fat healthy ones that aren’t knicked or roughed up.)

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Continued Cilantro Chatter

If you read the earlier post about putting the wilted cilantro in water, you know that I found that it survives better in the frig when you put the stems in water.  To add to that post is this new info: Cut the brown withered stems before placing them in water.

Also, if you want to start cilantro in your window, according to the internet you can put them in water on the windowsill and they will develop roots.

We shall see, as I bought cilantro to make salsa tonight and I’m going to give it a try. (No, I won’t give you my salsa recipe.  It isn’t perfected, yet.)

What am I out? $.30?

I’d like to point out to those of you who haven’t thought about it, that I’m actually saving a lot of money by growing my own herbs in the window.  Sure it isn’t much at this point, but it adds up really quickly, especially if you’re buying the fresh herbs instead of the dried ones.  For me, that money goes for any number of things, but if you don’t have anything to spend a little extra money on, far be it for me to tell you how to save a buck.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Lil’ Sprouts!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

But inside the house, my garden is growing happily in the kitchen window and in the living room window as well.  A couple of weeks ago, I filled cardboard egg crates with soil.  Then, I added seeds and a handful of hope.

Today when i checked them…

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Large Leaf Basil

I have lil’ sprouts!  I told a couple of friends at work about this venture and got looks of amazement.  They all acted like I was doing something amazing, which on the one hand I am and on the other it’s the most natural thing in the world.  There are so many people who limit themselves with things like “I could never” and “I’m not that talented”.  For that reason, they become bitter and unhappy as the people around them test themselves and expand their horizons.  Don’t be one of those people; instead try something new!

Not all of my seeds have sprouted yet, but I have high hopes and if they do, I’ll add lemon balm, lemongrass, tarragon, savory, a new type of basil, and thyme to my indoor herb garden.

(On a side note, all the lil’ sprouts that I don’t keep will be going to new homes with my coworkers who are hopeful that I’ll also share my homemade red sauce recipe!)

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Pitifully Wilted

So I was just cleaning out the refrigerator when I came across this pitiful bunch of store-bought cilantro.  I started to throw it away and then stopped myself.  I saw on some website or another that you can stand greens up in a pitcher with a little water in the bottom and they will stay fresh a lot longer in the frig.  Hmmm….  Would the same trick save this little bunch of herbs?  There’s only one way to find out.  So I lopped off the ends and stuck them in the jar with a little water.  I’ll update this post when I have results.

imageIf a picture is worth a thousand words, here you go!  Twenty-four hours later, my poor wilted cilantro isn’t great, but it is a lot better, which bodes well for the next bunch that I buy.  That is if I can’t get it to regrow like a recent article I read suggests.

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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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