Friday, April 30, 2010

Time to Thin

Ugh. Clearly I have seeding issues. See all those CLUMPS of plants. Double ugh.

That's waaaaaay too many little beet plants coming up all in one spot.

(View inside a cold frame.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

SunChips Compostable Bag: Day 1

Package says: World's First 100% Compostable Chip Package.

From the SunChips website: Every 10 1/2 ounce SunChips package is designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile.

I'm not sure my compost bin is 'hot' or 'active' enough, but the people at SunChips aren't worried. They write, If it takes a little longer, don't worry about it. Mother Nature will get to it soon enough.

So we're going to see how long it takes. That bin has good compost starting at the bottom and lots of last fall's dead leaves and this spring's kitchen waste on top. I turned it some (I'm horrible about actually turning my bins), so the chip bag is probably just above middle now.

Will try to get some grass clippings in there soon to heat things up.

If you don't want to wait for my results, watch the SunChips video.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Second Planting

Visited the garden on Saturday and did a 2nd planting of greens in all the beds. As you can see, I have few things coming up. I'm about 85% sure that's the arugula in the photo. Most of the other sprouts are far less dramatic.

Also did second seedings in the beets--where my seed scattering was definitely spotty and in the cold frame that was SUPPOSED to have spinach in it. But nary a spout to be seen.

Radishes and turnips are also making an appearance.

We're on our way!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garden Tilling Service (& way more)

So I went to the panel on community gardens at the library last night. Lots of good information shared and discussion afterwards.

The most exciting (to me anyway) was the information from Tsunhehkwa. (Sounds like June-hink-kwa.) It's the Oneida agriculatural center's not just for Oneidas.

We heard from Jeff Metoxen about all the amazing offerings they have. The COOLEST thing though is that they'll come till up a garden for you. Just $20 for up to a 1/4 of an acre!! (Can you even rent a tiller and do it yourself for that???) Plus, PLUS if you're 55 or older the price drops to just $10. Even if you're not Oneida.

Also, on May 8th, at 10 a.m. you can come be a part of their seed and plant distribution. For just $5 you'll recieve seeds and plants, including onion sets and potatoes. Enough to grow a 40x40 garden. Yes, even if you're not Oneida.

They also have a store where you can get organic certified grass-fed beef, free range chicken, turkeys and eggs and other organic food.

Plus they have a community cannery where you can take classes or even have your own produce canned for you.

We actually went in with my brother's family on part of a cow from Tsunhehkwa last year. It's good!

They also do lots of other cool stuff like run some community gardens and host a farmers' market on Thursday nights. (Near the Oneida One Stop, he said, but you might want to call for better directions.)

And again, everyone is welcome!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nipped in the Bud

I hates rabbits. I hates them, I tell you! I mean seriously! What could be more fiendish than a creature that snips the buds off tulips? What?

Argh! I had the hot pepper wax sitting out on the cupboard because I knew the tulips were overdue for a coating of 'ick.' I knew I was taking a chance when I went to bed last night without spraying them. I knew it, but I skipped the job anyway. So sorry little guys.

Here's the rest of the group, reaching....reaching for the sun:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Community Gardens panel

A panel discussion on "Community Gardens in Brown County: Past, Present, and Future Generations" will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Brown County Central Library Auditorium, 515 Pine Street, downtown Green Bay.

The panelists include Karen Early from UW Brown County Extension; Jeff Metoxen from Tsyunhehkwa and the Oneida Community Integrated Food System; Yia Thao from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; and Kay Huxford, a teacher at West High School.

They will talk about why they got involved in community gardens, how gardens connect people across the generations, and what young people are learning from school projects on community gardens.

This event is in support of the
One Book One Community reading selection of Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, a young adult novel about the creation of a community garden on a vacant lot in a low-income neighborhood in Cleveland.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Okay people. I gardened in the snow last night. The snow!

Well actually most of my gardening was inside the high tunnel, but it was surrounded by snow. And I had to trudge through the snow to water my poor cold frames. (Which I shut by the way.)

So the big high tunnel focus is gonna be greens this year. Greens I tell ya. I planted 20 different varieties last night -- mostly lettuce, but also some kale and argula and such.

It's amazing the things that come to you first thing in the morning, when one of my first waking thoughts of clarity was....'No spinach?!'

Yeah, so that's a problem we're going to have to rectify. Some of the space I left for second seedings will have to go to spinach. Because, I mean, lettuce is great and all, but it doesn't really saute.

Oooo...and speaking of sauted greens....guess what I just had for breakfast. Chorizo and kale. (See my recipe here.) I pulled all the winter greens out before planting last night. Had a nice good bunch of kale.

(The argula had all gone to seed and the lettuce was a bit big too. Also harvested: salad onions, mustard greens and some carrots.)

Planted last night:
  • Asian Greens
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Arugula
  • Kale - Winterbor
  • Kale - Tuscan Lacinato
  • Salad Greens - Orach Mixture
    Salad Greens - Mache VerteLettuce - romaine
  • Lettuce - 'Merveille Des Quatre Saisons'
  • Lettuce - Really Red Deer-Tongue
  • Lettuce - Red Salad Bowl Looseleaf
  • Lettuce - Lolla Rossa Looseleaf
  • Lettuce - Butterhead
  • Lettuce - Red Summer Crisp
  • Lettuce - Green Grand Rapids Black Seeded Simpson
  • Lettuce - Green Grand Rapids Simpson Elite
  • Lettuce - Green Grand Rapids Tropicana Pelleted
  • Lettuce - Red Grand Rapids Vulcan
  • Lettuce - Red Grand Rapids Red Sails

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back At It

I finally got my butt back over the the gardens yesterday. Here's the thing. I don't like the cold. So the idea of driving across town in December to water carrots...not so much.

So the Extension staff took over for the winter. All in all the yield was not great, I'm told. The row covers blew off one day (wind came in through an open door when someone was leaving the high tunnel) and much of the kale and carrots froze. Anyway, now we're using clamps to keep the row covers secure. It's all a learning experience.

Bill did go ahead and seed some greens, like that big clump of argula that's already starting to bolt. And some of the carrots are still alive, so all was not lost.

The plan for the high tunnel this year, I believe, it to focus more on salad greens. We'll see where that goes. Temperature was mighty warm in their yesterday, so I opened the window and the doors to cool things down a bit while I planted some of these:
Yeah, I know a 70+ degree day at the tail end of March is a little late to be planting the cold frames. Did I mention I don't like the cold?

So anyway, I'm leaving the covers open for now, while the weather is nice--especially since I planted cold weather crops like spinach and kale and beets. I know! It's going to get too warm in there and they won't germinate properly. Almost makes me wish for some snow, so I don't look so silly. (shudder)