Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Garden Produces

The weather has decided to warm up a little and behave like summertime, and the garden has responded by growing giant leaves, reaching for the sky, and starting to crank out the harvest.  Already this week, I've picked swiss chard (variety Five Color Silverbeet), tronchuda kale, teeny radishes, fistfuls of lettuce, red and black raspberries, and assorted herbs. 

It's only Wednesday.

I'm hoping to pick my first harvest of Champion of England peas before the end of the week.  The vines have stretched to six feet long and they are laden with pods.  Now those pods just need to fatten up, and I will be slathered in teeny,delicious fat green fresh peas.  Is there anything better than a freshly picked pea? Well, there likely is, but I've been waiting a loooooooong time for this one!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Fun--Seed Geeks R Us

So, how was everyone's weekend?  Good, good, so glad to hear it.

Mine?  Oh you know...

I went to Seed Savers Exchange!!  Wheeee!!

Because of my rampant seed-geekery and enthusiasm for community seed projects, I was asked to attend the 34th Annual Campout and Conference, and talk on a panel about the seed swap, seed library and community garden projects I steward/coordinate.  Since being able to attend the event was included in the invite, I jumped at the chance.  Seed Geeks Unite!

Who says you can't glamp in a tent?
I got to attend sessions on the importance of "memory banking" (recording seed stories), homemade threshing devices, long-term seed storage tips, the gardens of Monticello, and how to save seed from biennials (such as alliums, beets, and carrots).  In between classes, I met dozens of wonderful, fellow seed/gardening afficionados, shared gardening war stories, and had some great food (as well as shopped the store on site for new seeds and such fine things as leapt into my shopping bag.)

I think our panel was well received: my lovely friend Raine spoke about the work she does with the Ojibwe peoples across five reservations here in northwestern Wisconsin, and a librarian from the Decorah Public Library spoke about the seed library project now in its second year.  I was my usual, very enthusiastic self--mainly, I wanted people to leave with the idea that even if they start small and don't think it will grow, their seed project may just launch into a really wonderful addition to their communities.  I mean, heck.  Everything I help coordinate started with ten people sitting around my kitchen table, eating soup and trading seeds on a winter's afternoon!  Now, there's a big seed swap every year, an annual plant swap, a fledgling seed library and a community garden going on.  I had NO idea that would happen when I had some folks over for lunch six years you never know, right?  Plus, you might get invited to really cool national seed-saving conferences, get to camp out under the stars, and meet dozens of new friends from all over the place.  If THAT isn't motivation to give a community seed project a try, I don't know WHAT is.

I also got to tour lovely gardens:

Sigh...such a wonderful time! 

Now, back to life on the Farmlette.  First order of business, wander the gardens, run the hoe around, and figure out what can be tackled on a rather warm day.  Second order of business, sow a few seeds for fall plantings of spinach, carrots, lettuce, and (possibly) beans.  Then, a nap.  It was a long, full weekend, after all.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gardening, Aussie Style

Crossing the world from my usual garden programming searches, I've found a new show based in Australia.  So far, I kind of like it--although, I've got to get used to the shift in accents.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Gardens

Summer is moving along, and the garden is doing beautifully.  Every day, there are new things to harvest, weeds to pull, and thirsty plants to water.
The pole beans scramble higher, and the squash plants spread new vines along the ground.  With all the wet, cool days, my sweet potatoes are growing slowly--but they are growing.
The potato barrels are growing like mad, ready to flower at any moment. I can hardly wait to dig out a handful of new potatoes, tender and delicious.
The tomatoes are setting fruit.  Eventually, I should get loads of delicious Orange Banana, Pink Brandywine, and Principe Borghese. 
Even the sunchokes are growing to the skies.  It's hard to see in this picture, but the garlic has started to dry back--that's a good thing, as I could use more for my dwindling stores.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

View of a Meadow

My cheery pollinator meadow is doing beautifully.  Not only is the foliage glorious, and the flowers beautiful, but the little bees, butterflies and moths have been frolicking in it daily.
Cosmos, my favorite cottage flower.

Daily, more calendula open their happy faces to the sun.

There are poppies everywhere, golden, red and this beautiful, sweet pink.

Calendula and bachelor buttons, a lovely combination.

Scarlet Runner beans--food for hummingbirds, and shade for the bunnies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


While I wait on more veg to grow in the garden, I've been having a nice wander about and harvesting herbs.  I've got bunches of catnip, ginger mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and dill drying in the doorway--it's perfect for herbs that can hang and dry.  I've also had luck with the calendula this year.  Between the front flower strip and the back meadow, I've been quite happy with these cheery little flowers.  And of course, the chamomile is doing well.  Chamomile always does well. 

In a few more weeks, I'll be able to harvest these, as well:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

If you do nothing else this weekend...

Go to the Fork and Good site and make. this. cake.
yeah, it's that good.  go to the site, and bake.
Happy Sunday, everyone!