Posts Tagged ‘organic gardening’

Ballard Farmers Market

August 22, 2011

Incredibly beautiful food abounded at the Ballard Farmers Market this last Sunday.

The orange and purple carrots we’ve been growing at home don’t look quite this spectacular, but they are delicious all the same.

Raoul and I got some ideas for new veggies to try growing next year.  Even though our home garden is producing like crazy, we still managed to fill our shopping bag with corn, cheese, olive bread, raspberry cider and dragon’s tongue beans.  The hot, fresh mini-doughnuts we indulged in didn’t last long enough to need any space in our bag!

Dang! The Peas Took a Dive

July 15, 2011

The old metal plant stand was doing a tiptop job as a pea trellis until yesterday.

Here’s the plant stand on the left, looking snappy with all those promising pea plants surrounding it.

Even just a few days before, all was looking so promising.  When I took this picture for a status report shot, I didn’t worry about the leaning thing that was going on. 

Here’s a close-up of the plant stand base pulled out of the ground.  No worries – Raoul and I will heave our peas upright, point them closer to our strong fence, and reinforce our plant stand with some rebar stakes.  As a novice veggie gardener, it’s all part of the learning curve.  I’ll use the plant stand for some other more delicate plant when pea season is over.

Live and learn!

Raspberry Rack

June 27, 2011

My neighbor Mark designed and created this brilliant raspberry support.  On a recent Saturday morning, he sketched it out, bought the wood, constructed it, and had it in place in his garden by lunchtime!  After I shared my admiration of his talents, he graciously offered to help me build one for myself.  Here is our creation.

Mark shared his box of handsome stainless steel screws with me.  I bought 12 pieces of 1″ x 2″ x 6′ cedar pieces.

For a trained architect, my neighbor kept the assembly process simple and easy.  So far no measuring.  Only eye-balling it.

The first bottom cross piece gets attached right in place.  No pilot holes necessary with this cedar.

After the bottom cross support is attached in both spots, a screw goes in the middle area.

The first completed section.

The second section is created on top of the first one.  No tape measure in sight yet.

The second piece is left on top of the first while the screws are attached.

Before I knew it, we had three sections completed.

Mark’s daughter, Lucy, showed up and was a first-rate raspberry rack assisstant.

Finally a tape measure is used to mark where the cross supports will go on the three X pieces we just made.  Measurements were made at 22″, 44″ and 66″

The connecting lower cross piece is attached starting in the middle.

Lucy attaching the middle cross piece.

Raoul assissting with the top cross piece.

Attaching the cross pieces is repeated on the opposite side.

Short pieces of wood were attached to each end for additional supports to go into the ground.  Raoul is hammering his end into the ground.

Hardly any waste from our 12 boards.

Many thanks to neighbor Mark for sharing his raspberry rack design, and building one for our garden!

Our First Harvest

May 31, 2011

We have been eating the best salads from our garden for the last couple of weeks.  Everything we planted from seeds just over a month ago (April 23) are going to town  in our stock tanks/raised beds.

We are growing two kinds of potatoes in these garbage cans, and are thrilled they are doing so well.  I am eating my lunch outside in the veggie garden nearly every day.  Even with our less than spring-like weather.

The seeds planted directly in the ground are growing slower, but they are growing.  These sugar snap peas are trying to climb this rescued plant stand.

Next year, we’ll be raising up this section of the garden.  Scooting the bark out of there is on the top of my to do list for later today.  I’ve learned baby slugs are very fond of kale and lovage.  The coffee grounds are helping deter them.  I’m going to add ash from our community fire pit too.  Any other suggestions for organic slug control?  I keep meaning to check on the price of the copper tape to build little fences around these plants.  But I’d need a fair amount.  I’m also trying to pick off the little buggers when I see them.

And thank goodness, the slugs don’t like to shimmy up stock tanks!

Veggie Garden Update

April 28, 2011

Our new veggie garden is really underway.  The stock tanks are filled with organic soil, and planted with all sorts of interesting vegetables, herbs and seeds.  Two kinds of potatoes are planted in the garbage cans.  Besides waiting for the seeds to germinate, I can’t wait for all that shiny metal to start to simmer down and look more aged.  We are enjoying being able to sit right in the midst of our future harvest.

I planted sugar snap peas around the bases of the rusty plant stand and bar stool.  The grate will hold tromboncino zucchini.  And the plan is that the sugar snaps will be picked by the time the zucchini needs more room.

The head and foot boards of an old metal bed are propping up our raspberry vines.  We’ve reinforced them with some rebar stakes and wire.  We’ll beef them up some more in the future.  I’m embracing the idea of making things better instead of perfect.

Snappy Raised Veggie Beds

April 15, 2011

It’s been a big week for deliveries around here.  Our gorgeous stock tanks arrived!  Instant raised veggie beds are what they are.  All I need to do is drill some drainage holes in them.  Snohomish Co-op Farm Supply had great prices and great service.

Equally attractive to my gardening eyes is this 5 yard pile of organic planting mix.  This beautiful manure/compost/sand mix came from Builders Sand and Gravel.  Not so attractive is the task of getting it into those four containers!