Archives for posts with tag: radishes

Oh, I must start with expressing my deepest apologies for my lack of diligence in keeping everyone up with the growing of the garden. The past week has been on the verge of personally challenging, and that is what I am using as my excuse to ignore the computer. Trust me, though, I fuss about the garden and in the yard and am always brainstorming the latest and greatest blog entry – it just hasn’t hit the press until today is all. 🙂

the garden

 So, this is one of the most recent photos of the garden in all her glory. Notice how green it is? Well, I let the perfectionist in me go a little wild last week and she was a weeding fool (at least in the eastern third)! Yes, it’s still a major mental hurdle, allowing the biodiversity to flourish instead of keeping the grounds pristine and neat and tidy – even though I believe with all my heart in the beauty and functionality of the philosophy allowing weeds to enjoy a realm to thrive in as well. And, as luck would have it, weeds have been my best seller at the farmer’s market. These plant I embrace as a culinary delicacy, and a healthful addition, but it’s a bit challenging I have discovered to encourage others to see the rationality of that explanation. So, I resort to purporting the health benefits and describing flavors, and there have been a handful of takers. Last week I purveyed a wild greens blend of lamb’s quarter (spinach flavor), oxalis (horseradish flavor) and pineapple weed. I also tried to sell my gorgeous French heirloom romaine lettuce, Rouge d’Hiver, without much luck – my family is eating phenomenally well as a result! 🙂

rat tail radish blossom The rat-tail radishes are big and blossoming. They really steal the show. I’m so excited to try the unique radishes that grow like green beans. Because my garden is so eclectic I have been brainstorming ways to market it better. It seems that most of the markets in the area that I have attended demand the standard fare, and people tend to shy away from things they are unfamiliar with as a general rule. As a result I have come to the conclusion that I need to find the folks that are culinarily adventurous, embrace them completely and invite them to become a part of what I am dubbing the “Gourmet CSA” – if you are looking for the standard in spring greens, for your carrots to be orange and for your corn to be yellow, you can find unlimited resources – but if you want to sink your teeth into the sweetest cob of Japanese sweet corn, if you want to wow your friends with purple carrots in your salad, if you want to make a green tomato sauce from ripe tomatoes, well, Ame de la Terre is where you will find it! I also plan to include in CSA boxes the homemade and healthful delights I have been experimenting with in the kitchen – like the wheat and flax seed crackers, the gluten and dairy free Italian herb crackers, whole grain based treats, and recipes to play with for those interesting garden finds. So, if you are interested in participating in this type of CSA, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m hoping it is the kind of thing that can go year round with things like preserved tomatoes and root cellar items… as well as my push for a greenhouse for continued growing. It’s certainly a work in progress!

barrel lilly

… as is the entire yard. This is a photo of one of the beautiful tiger lillies given to me by a friend. I have lined the entire ditch between the driveway and the runway with the lillies acquired from Clear Lake and from my grandparents’ place north of Crystal Lake, plus I stuck in some phlox and other unknown-to-me-perennials in the hopes that mowing will soon become a thing of the past. If you see my father, please tell him what a good idea it would be to replace the lawn with short grass prairie… this is one of my big pushes of the moment! The hostas in the trees are flourishing and competing nicely with the abundant Canadian thistles and nettles – they can be such health hazards. 🙂

mirror

Nature continues to be my salvation. Gladfelter yet mesmerizes – the other day alone I watched a blue wing teal with her heard of ducklings scattering across the pond, saw this mirrored reflection (prior to being manipulated by my photo program!) at dusk and while I was out of the truck to snap this moment, was greeted by two muskrats swimming about in curiosity.  I have also started kayaking once again on Crystal Lake, and what a phenomenal outlet that is becoming – I am immediately reminded of the charm of that haven – yesterday morning on my paddle I saw two pairs of wood ducks, a pair of cardinals, a muskrat and a mink! The mink was the most adorable creature as he moved smoothly out onto the jetty and took up his lookout position peering out from behind a rock with only his head in view – he noticed that I had a beat on him, and he high tailed it back to the safety of the trees. Ah, nature, you are amazing!

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
— Peter Marshall

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pineapple sageOh, what a phenomenal day! A brief interlude of showers, but overall sunny – in aspects beyond weather, as well. We went to the NRCS office today to discuss and plot the implementation of the prairie and wetland reconstruction project, and then it was off to my favorite retail venue: the Albert Lea Seed House. There we visited with Tom, who always has an opinion on investments and politics… get the wheels turning! I happily lollygagged about the greenhouse and trees and found myself a little pineapple sage that I thought would find a happy home in my garden. Also get myself set up with some more onion sets, as I felt that only Walla Wallas were not enough… Bermuda Sweets and Vidalias would be a nice addition. I also learned today from a woman who was also perusing the onion sets that the white onions keep much better than the yellows. I fortuitously found the elusive blue jade sweet corn that was sold out through the Seed Savers Exchange website – completely unexpected and entirely gratifying! dwarf pak choy
Did a little walk through and weeding of the uprising seedlings – the French heirloom lettuce Rouge di Hiver Romaine (organic) is looking strong and so far well protected from the multiple rabbits that Max seems more entertained to watch than to pursue. A great surprise of the day was the emergence of the dwarf pak choy that I broadcast seeded – that made my day!
radishes
The multiple varieties of radishes are looking incredibly strong as well.
yellow snow pea
And the golden sweet peas have made it through the mulch and are upward bound for their trellis… ah, what a little patience in the garden will provide. 🙂

It was pretty muddy out there, so sowing seeds was a touch challenging, and therefore I did not entertain much of it. I did, however, interseed borage and dill with my strawberry patches, because I remember reading reference of them having a nice symbiosis, although the literature is out in my truck, and I’m too tuckered to dig it out… I will relay the details in the next article.

Another pointer I wanted to pass on that I have picked up this season: typically your seed should be sown to a depth 10 times the size of the seed – a good rule of thumb.

Gladfelter was entirely entertaining again today. There are three pairs of geese loitering in the wetlands; two of them have goslings. There is one pair that is extremely territorial and aggressive, and they even stooped so low as to harass the blue wing teal today… they have no shame. There were also a couple of deer skittishly lurking about the east side of the big hill. Even got the chance to see a kestrel perched on a power line today – love that wildlife!

deer at gladfelter
Domestic chores included a lovely batch of spiced sweet potato butter – if you are in need of some let me know and we can work out the details – in my opinion it’s hard to beat, and every batch is a little different, because I just throw in what I think would be good – a couple shakes here, a smidgen there… you know the routine.