Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Well, isn't he handsome?! Found this toad on the back patio about a month ago. He's a welcome addition to the garden, especially after the slug-filled spring that we had. Hopefully he'll stay and keep the slug population in check.


Sorry for the lapse in postings this summer. Been busy, but also our camera died, so
had to be replaced. Now, onto the posting. This was one of our three blackberry plants
that really produced this year. After the rains, the berries really plumped up and produced. Notice the row covers we had to use - the birds were knocking the fruit off and eating it! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tomatoes and Calendulas

Here is one of our raised beds planted with tomatoes. The calendulas (far right) showed up voluntarily from last year's seed/plants. It is said that tomatoes and calendulas are great companion plants, calendulas repelling tomato horn worms. Don't they look pretty?

Worm Bin/Vermiposting

Okay, this post is dedicated to all of you hardcore gardeners out there :) Below is a worm bin that we've had going for a number of months. Except for the handfuls of volunteer seedlings that showed up in one raised bed, this bin has been left alone. Opened it up tonight, and this is what I found: black gold! Look at all of the compost worms!

This is our simple set up: a simple storage bin, with holes drilled in the bottom. We put moistened coir in the bottom, add worms, then kitchen scraps, weeds from the garden, etc.
I like to place it INSIDE of my raised beds, though, so that the "worm tea" actually drains into the garden soil.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cabbage and Kale Seed

Pulled these bolted cabbage and kale plants. I'll let them dry thoroughly. Hope we get some wonderful seed for this fall's plantings!

Today's Harvest

Harvested these veggies today from the front garden. This bed gets full southern exposure, so it was VERY dry. We got the last of the cabbages, as well as some garlic, blue potatoes, and a lone carrot :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trellis for Blackberries

We've finally made a trellis for the blackberries. These bushes are about 3 years old and are loaded with fruit and blossoms. So, it was time to make a trellis for them. I would love to make a couple more for grapevines.

Why we love raised beds...

We love raised beds. You can amend the soil (compost, compost, compost) and plant such a beautiful variety of plants without a lot of weeding. In this bed, you can find sage, chives, a volunteer potato plant, broccoli, oregano, cabbage, purple basil, and even a few onions from last year. This is one of the oldest and most productive beds that we have AND it's near the back door :)


Here is our first head of broccoli of the season!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Hero

Here is a picture of my hero, Sakura. Truth be told, our little garden wouldn't be nearly as fertile without her contribution. Her manure is fed into a vermiposting compost bin, for the earthworms to continue the work. It is an excellent soil amendment. She also helps by nibbling excess greens and "weeds". Isn't she cute?

Our Garden Gnome

This is our garden gnome. His name is Sugar :) Sugar doesn't really protect the garden, but loves to keep us company while working. He enjoys rolling in the grass and knibbling dandelion puffs :)


Well, in my attempt to grow a nice garden of greens, I overplanted. I was determined that SOMETHING was going to make it. It's lush. I keep it covered with row covers to protect the plants from the cabbage moths. You'll also notice the obligatory "beer traps" to keep the slug population down.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are growing! When the weather warms these will be planted in the garden as an awesome ground cover and delicious crop!


Sunday, April 25, 2010


Here's the latest crop of microgreens! Microgreens are known for their phenomenal health benefits, similar to sprouts. They are almost ready to harvest. On the left is Detroit Dark Red Beet and on the right, Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage. Beautiful colors!

Gone to Seed...

The cabbage and kale have now started to bolt! This means we shouldn't have to buy seed for our fall crop! Kind of pretty, too, don't you think?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Garden

I had hoped that we would be harvesting cabbage, lettuce, and kale throughout the winter. It was so cold that we didn't get anything from this bed, even though it is on a protected, southern side of the house. After the 3' of snow thawed these plants took off. The fall planted garlic is doing nicely, too. We planted potatoes in the empty spots. We'll harvest kale for dinner!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seedling Update

Just wanted to post an update on the seedlings. The artichokes are coming along quite nicely. They've been transplated to small paper cups - I can easily tear the sides off when they're ready to be planted in the ground. Cilantro's been direct seeded in this paper cup on the right. I'm planning to repot them into their individual paper cups asap. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Better way to sprout!

Many thanks to my dear friend S for sharing a better method of sprouting - use a colander! You can sprout a LOT more seeds and there is less of a chance of your seeds molding. Make certain your colander has "feet" or is suspended in the pot, so that any water can drain away from the seeds. I'm rinsing my seeds/sprouts twice a day and these sunflower seeds did beautifully! Thank you S!!

Lettuce Update

Just wanted to show you an update of the lettuce planting from a few weeks ago. I think we've made it to microgreen size. They've been living in a sunny window, although we haven't had consistent sunshine - a lot of cloudy weather. I think they've fared nicely!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Despise not the day of small beginnings...

Despise not the day of small beginnings (Zech 4:10)

This is a tray of some of our latest seedlings started. From left to right there is artichoke, kale, and onion (which were growing toward the light, so that's why they appear to be lying down).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


What can I say? The snow was a record breaker for the Mid Atlantic. It was gorgeous, especially on the pine trees.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Garden Planning... Potatoes

OK, it's February, it's cold, and there's a LOT of snow outside. So, the only thing I can do is to work on my garden plans. This morning I was contemplating where I will plant the potatoes. It's tradition at our house that we plant potatoes around St. Patrick's Day.

The quandry for me is that potatoes should be rotated. My last potato planting last summer was proof of that. They weren't the best looking crop that we've harvested. So, this spring they will be planted in front of the house (yes, in the front!). Front yard guerilla gardening at its best. Actually potato plants are quite beautiful, with their pretty purple or white blossoms and lush green foliage. If you've never planted potatoes you've got to try it.

You can buy "seed potatoes" that are certified disease free. I usually purchase some from our local organic market. Do NOT use regular potatoes that are not organic. Some of these are sprayed to prevent sprouting. I plant the potato (seed potato or piece of cut potato that has at least two "eyes" or sprouts), mulch the area well (I use straw), and ignore. As long as we get decent rain and some sun exposure all should be well.

When the potato vines die, it's harvest time!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Indoor Winter Gardening

Well, it's hard to do much gardening under 3' of snow. But, here's what is going on!

Project 1 - Finally sprouting mung beans! I can't wait to use these in stir fry. They're not ready yet, though.

Project 2 - Lettuce seed - they sprouted in one day! Amazing! Humidity really helps.

Project 3 - Taking a nod from the article on green beans in the latest Urban Farm magazine, I decided to try to grow some bush beans in a south facing window. So far so good, as long as the cat doesn't find them!