Obsessive before-work weekend garden list

We’ll see how this goes…

20120504-081056.jpg

Tagged ,

Transitions in the hoop house

Right now, I’m working on an experiment to try transplanting the more cool season plants out of the hoop house into the garden outside. Several weeks ago I did the red Russian kale and it seems to have finally adjusted and is growing more new leaves. It got totally buried in a freak snow storm, so I am quite proud of its progress. Today I transplanted the parsley outside and harvested a lot to dry. This weekend I plan to take the broccoli and Brussels sprouts out too as its getting pretty hot in the hoop house. We have it vented all day and night now.

Today I took out the cauliflower plants since I read they don’t often form side shoots once the main flower head is harvested like broccoli does. I picked the leaves off the plants and will be making them into ‘kale’ chips for our upcoming 5 day backpacking trip. We’re planning to juice the stems as well.

We harvested and ate all the beets over the last week or so. (pink number one and number two!!!) And, the carrots have been tested and seem totally ready to go as well.

The baby seedlings are growing well and some slow chile germinators are still joining in. We are ready to put some of them in the ground in the hoop house along with squashes, fennel and dill. We also have a second crop of chard coming up in the hoop house and planted malabar spinach. Yum! Now if I can only relax enough to let my friends take care of them while I’m gone!

I can’t wait to share more updates!

20120503-210517.jpg

20120503-210528.jpg

20120503-210543.jpg

20120503-210555.jpg

20120503-210613.jpg

20120503-210630.jpg

20120503-210641.jpg

20120503-210648.jpg

20120503-210654.jpg

20120503-210715.jpg

20120503-210721.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Soap for safer grey water use

Did some research and found this soap that seems best for greywater use. In the high desert we just don’t have enough water to foul it all up. We have to maximize use of all of it, so we have the laundry water go outside onto the yard!

20120428-122934.jpg

20120428-122926.jpg

20120428-122940.jpg

Tagged , , , ,

Dehydrated pinto beans

We cooked loads of pinto beans this weekend. It took two shifts in the pressure cooker. Once the beans were cooked we added onions, garlic, cumin, green chiles and salt and cooked them more in the crock pot. Then we blended them with the immersion blender, and reduced the beans mix to a thick glop that we could spread it on the teflex sheets in the dehydrator. We dehydrated it over night and then put the dehydrated beans in the food processor to powder it. Ready for Paria Canyon trip in a few weeks! And it makes quick meals easy…so much more delicious to make it from scratch than get it from a can.

20120423-202917.jpg

20120423-202930.jpg

20120423-202938.jpg

Tagged , , , ,

Smoothie popsicles

Took at break from the great spring backyard roundup today to make homemade smoothie popsicles. I got the molds a few years ago at a discount store. I used a blender full of several bananas, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries ( picked last summer), along with young coconut and pineapple juice pulp. I used hot water poured over the frozen fruit as the liquid to blend. Filled these up and there was enough for one more smoothie for right now. To get them out of the molds when they are frozen, I just run the mold under hot water for a sec and it slides out.

20120421-114656.jpg

20120421-114702.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Increased and improved germination

I am very excited to share that the use of the electric blanket under the seedling containers i talked about in a previous post (starting seeds indoors) seems to be dramatically increasing and improving germination. I started half the veggie seeds about a week before the second half. I only added the electric blanket under them when I started the second bunch. And that second bunch is sprouting much more quickly than the first bunch.

20120417-212055.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Apple beer

There’s only one apple beer left we made last fall from picked-with-our-own-hands golden delicious apples. We also processed them with our own hands. The yeast we used produced a really dry beery flavor and it is SO fizzy. Yum! I hope we have another good fruit year! We get late frosts and can loose all our fruit blossoms in town in one sad night. Last year was a great fruit year, and if it happens again there will be fruit preserving how-tos like crazy up here. Keeping my fingers crossed!

20120416-164647.jpg

Tagged , , , , ,

Preserving cilantro

I love fresh cilantro. Lately I’ve been eating guacamole almost every day and I like to make it pretty salad-y with cilantro and green onions from the hoop house. But, I know the happy cilantro plants will be less and less happy as it gets hotter in there. So, to preserve the fresh taste, I severely trimmed the cilantro leaves and tender stems and stuck it in the food processor with some water. Then, I froze it in I’ve cube trays. This morning for the guacamole, I used one ice cube of cilantro, adding a tiny bit of the boiling water from making tea to thaw it quickly. In a cooked Thai dish you could just throw the ice cube in there.

Dried cilantro just isn’t the same, and this method keeps the flavor nicely. Hopefully I’ll get one more crop of cilantro before its too warm.

20120416-150918.jpg

20120416-150931.jpg

Tagged , , , , ,

April morning neighborhood ski

The several inches of snow from yesterday are pretty much all gone today. This morning I tried to beat the melt by getting a ski in on the urban trail. It got pretty sticky. Seasonal waterfalls are gonna be gushing!

20120415-220730.jpg

20120415-220736.jpg

20120415-220743.jpg

Tagged , , , , ,

Seeds are beginning to sprout

The seeds are starting to become seedlings! I think the habitat I made for them is to their liking!

20120415-215932.jpg

20120415-215940.jpg

20120415-215948.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , ,