On April 11th, we planted mesclun mix and pea pods from seed. On April 29th I shared photos of our first sprouts pushing up from the soil. Yesterday, we harvested our first mesclun mix and enjoyed a lovely salad with dinner. My son, who isn't a big salad eater most of the year, devoured his. Smart boy... eating in season is the healthiest, most earth friendly way to go!
Here it is before we harvested:
We also have our first flowers on the pea pod plants, so pea pods will be here soon!
Here's a lovely head of romaine developing. I bought a "6 pack" of romaine from our local garden center and planted them about 2 1/2 weeks ago. This one will be ready in about a week.
While I was photographing the pea pod flowers, these mating dragonflies happened by. They stayed locked together like this until we went in for dinner at least 30 minutes later.
Here's a photo of our whole garden. The raised beds measure approximately 200 square feet.
You can see, I haven't mulched with the straw, yet. Maybe tomorrow! In addition to the mesclun mix and pea pods, we also planted bush beans and pole beans from seed. Then we purchased 4-packs and 6-packs of small plants for the rest. We have 6 kale, many varieties of lettuce (roughly 24 plants), many red onions, 4 tomatoes, 6 cabbages, 6 broccoli, 4 red bell peppers, 4 green bell peppers, one zucchini, 6 parsley, 4 celery, 4 eggplant, and 9 basil inside the fence. There will be 4 jalapeno peppers, 3 basil, and 4 butternut squash outside the fence. This is risky because we have hungry bunnies and woodchucks in the area, but the garden is at maximum capacity. I've found the basil usually isn't disturbed and I expect the same will be true of the hot peppers. The squash is another story. It may become lunch for the wildlife, but I have to give it a try.
The volume of plants may seem too much to you for this relatively small space, but we've planted roughly this much each year. (The only exception is the zucchini- by the end of the summer it will take over an entire corner of the garden and overflow the walkway. I train it to grow away from the other plants and just accept that my walkway will be cut off eventually). The key to such productivity is the raised beds and excellent soil quality, thanks to awesome compost from my parents' sheep maure and our own compost bin. For more information, please read The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith. Everything you need to know is in there. Trust me!
How are your vegetables coming? Did you plant in pots, in the school yard, on a rooftop, or in a backyard garden? Please share your successes and failures.
#RochesterLife 63: Woodchucks.
On a farm, they’re dangerous. If a tractor wheel goes into a hole, the tractor or wagon could tip and endanger the farmers. When I was a kid, my grandfather was on top of the hay wagon when it hit a hole. He fell about ten feet when it rolled over.
Here in my back yard, however, it’s fun to watch them twitch their little noses and nibble weeds while I drink my morning coffee. #nature #ruralliving
New Bedford, MA at #HatchStreetStudios, home of a bunch of amazing visual and performing artists, including @southcoastlessons
#RochesterLife 62: Raspberry Jam.
Made by my mom and sister with berries picked by my kids, niece, and nephew. (And this is only our share of the bounty!) #yummy #RuralLiving
Woods Hole Draw Bridge.
I was in Woods Hole today to do some early research for a new project. I’m just digging into this one, so I won’t be sharing any details, yet.
I also signed copies of #FlyingDeep at the @woodshole_ocean Science Discovery Center. They have plenty on hand, as does @eight_cousins_books if anyone is seeking signed copies. #STEM #STEAM
A little snippet from yesterday’s Old Time Fiddle Session at Brick (wood-fired pizza) in New Bedford, MA. Thanks to Jeff Angeley from @southcoastlessons for organizing. #livemusic #familyfriendly
Seeing my book on display will never get old.
And look, @skortch ... yours, too! #FlyingDeep #STEM
Here are some images from my program at the Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library on Monday. We had a nice mix of familiar faces and new kiddos who attended. These first few pictures feature kids examining the 3-D printed model of the sphere that keeps people safe inside Alvin. Others show kids peeking out the Alvin view port or listening to me read and share insider details. #STEM #STEAM #KidLitWomen #Epic18
Tagging @charlesbridgepublishing and @painternik9
Gorgeous sky yesterday.
#RochesterLife 61: Cervelli Farm. I’m so happy every year when Cervelli Farm stand re-opens each May. Today’s purchases included local tomatoes, corn on the cob, and Great Hill Blue Cheese (made in the next town). #buylocal #nofarmsnofood #locavore
My “office” for a few hours today. Yes, I kayaked a little and floated a little, but I DID get some work done, too. I set-up my research notebook for a new project and read a bit of one of my resources. I didn’t get as much work done as I would have at home, but it’s been pretty busy around here and the break was nice. I’m home now and back to reading. #amwriting #amresearching