Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sprouting Peas in August

This is a week of great anticipation as its time to get my fall peas sown.  I decided that I would pre-sprout the peas.  This time of year it really isn't necessary but it does serve a good purpose if one does pre-sprout the will show you the most vigorous plants when you see them begin to shoot out that first root.  Its not the leaves that sprout out first but the root.  (There has to be an object lesson in that picture somewhere but I'll leave it for a later post.)

At my house my husband prefers snow peas and I prefer the sugar snap peas.  Snow peas are the flat podded peas often used in stir fry and must be harvested before they get peas in them for the best flavor.  Sugar snap peas are best after the peas have gotten some size on them and are quite juicy and sweet.  A wonderful snack in the garden and kids usually love them because they are so sweet and juicy.

What you will need:
  • Pea seeds
  • Small cookie sheet/jellyroll pan or tray (with sides on it is best so if any peas decide to try to escape they won't roll off onto the floor.)
  • Small bowl or drinking glass
  • Warm water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper towels
  • Water proof marking pen (ball point pen would work fine too)
  • Plant tag (Get this done now so you can mark what you planted where...its often too easy to forget otherwise)
  • Warm spot like the top of a refrigerator (but not hot)
The very first thing I do is to set up the pan where the seeds will be laid out once they are done soaking.

Take the tray or pan you are using and line it with a paper towel. The more seed you are going to sow the bigger the pan/tray will need to be so keep that in mind.  I suppose you could us a cardboard box with low sides like the ones canned food or pop come in but you would have to line the bottom with plastic wrap so it doesn't get all soggy.  Whatever you use it needs to be sturdy enough to carry out to the garden once the seeds have sprouted.  I also recommend lining aluminum pans with plastic as the aluminum will react to being wet for extended periods of time.

How I set my aluminum baking sheet up.
So you have your paper towel in the bottom of your flat container.  Label the dry paper towel with the name of what it is you are sprouting.  Since I was doing two types of peas I drew a line down the center and labeled each side accordingly so later.  You will also notice I set the glasses for each variety on its respective side of the pan to avoid getting them mixed up.  This really comes in handy if you are doing a few different varieties of peas such as I often do with my flowering sweetpeas and do not want the colors all jumbled. That way later on you can plant them out with their specific color in mind instead of have a mixed bag of bloom colors.

Hard as rocks pea seeds just put into their water bath for soaking.
After 8 hours of soaking no more wrinkles and nicely round.
Figure out how many seeds you will need to sow and count them out into the container you will be soaking them in.  It is recommended that you add a couple extra just in case some are not viable.  Cover them with warm water to about 1" above the seeds.  This is important because the seeds will swell quite a bit and you want them to stay beneath the water surface.  Set them off to the side away from direct sunlight for about 6 to 8 hours which is about how long it takes to get them fully loaded with the water that they need for sprouting. Warm is better than cold because the seeds will respond to it faster but do not use hot water as it can damage or even kill the seeds.

Because pea seeds sprout so quickly you want to avoid leaving them in the water for too long or risk drowning the seed.  And the reason you want to soak them in the first place is to aid there germination.  Soaking just mimics what takes place in nature, only in nature the process is much slower as the soil temperatures are cooler and water can only be taken in from the moist soil surrounding the seed.

That shriveled one in the middle has got to go!
Once the seeds are soaked you can line them out on the paper towels for sprouting.  Be sure to watch for any culls, those seeds that did not swell, and toss them out.  You want fresh healthy seeds that are ready to get growing and its not worth trying to see if that shriveled seed will grow...believe me I know...I tried and failed too many times and wasted precious garden space because of it too.

Moisten the paper towel bed with a little bit of water, place another layer of paper towel on top of the seeds and moisten it too.

 Finally cover the whole works with plastic wrap and set on top of the refrigerator or other warm location until the seeds have germinated. Its best to not put them in direct sunlight as it can get too hot beneath that plastic with the sunlight shining on it.

The seeds take about 24 to 36 hours to sprout so check them at least once a day until they are sprouted. You need to keep on top of it as far as getting them planted soon after they sprout or they will root right into the paper towels which can be a real mess when it comes to planting time.
The promise of future produce and encouragement for the heart.

Aren't these amazing!  These seeds were soaked 8 hours and set on the top of my fridge for 36 hours.  Now that is instant gratification and encouraging enough for anyone to believe they can grow from seed.  Wouldn't you agree?

NOTES:  Peas can be sown in late winter (February) for a spring crop and again in summer for a fall harvest.  For spring crops its recommended (especially for flowering sweet peas) to amend the soil with steer manure in the fall where you plan on sowing them the next spring.  It is also a good idea to treat your seed with an inoculent containing Rhizobium leguminosarum, a bacteria which helps the plants to fix the nitrogen which in turn aids in keeping them healthy and increase production.  This also causes the roots of the pea plants to form nitrogen nodules which are beneficial as a fertilizer in the soil.

Copyright © 2010 by Patricia Hicks

All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Connected by a thread...?

What is one to do when something important happens and it seems that everyone forgot to tell you?  That is my quandary this morning.

Yesterday on Facebook I was checking updates on family members and found a note on my cousin's wall that by all appearances said my uncle had passed away.  It wasn't something he posted but a note by another person and then his reply that made this apparent.  This feels really awkward...sort of knowing my uncle is gone and waiting for confirmation from family.  And because of this any mourning is put on hold for me until I know for certain he has passed on.  Right now my mind want to go six ways to Sunday about how this might have happened and I've been fighting the urge to blame someone for forgetting to tell me.  That is somewhere I need not to be going at all, so I decided I would here sit and write this post instead with hopes that I would be able to process through things without focusing blame on anyone, especially my cousins who just lost their dad.  There are so many more important things for them to focus on right now.

Uncle Wayne with his wife Becky, son Darryl and his wife Debbie

My uncle had been in a care facility for some time and in the past few months had been in some decline so this whole event is not a surprise, but the circumstance surrounding finding out about his death are.  It all seems a bit unseemly to me finding out this way, but I'm glad for social media, glad we can keep in touch so easily, thankful for the people I am reconnected with now that are clear across the continent.  This event really makes me wonder though at how "connected" I am really  It seems this connectedness is just some "feeling" of connection that is not really connection at all.

As people, we like to feel we are connected and that Facebook and other social media have somehow magically given it too us without the meat of true connectedness.  The validity of a "connection" can only be truly measured by its testing.  If all we do is read posts/updates and do nothing else are we connected?  My opinion...only by a fragile thread that would not withstand much testing if any. 

On my Facebook I have hundreds of "friends".  I can count the ones I feel I am truly connected with and call close friends in my head but do I even remember the names of all of all those other "friends"?  No. Case in point; there are several of my cousins and even my elderly aunt who have Facebook.  I receive no notes from any of them and it seems for now at least, this social media thing is only a link to keep up on information about what is happening in their lives and that's about it.  Sad but true.

Living so far away from them I'd hoped it would be more, but it seems Facebook is sometimes more like being in a crowded room with no one to talk to.  Actually its that way most all the time save those rare occasions where someone pops up on the chat and wants to really talk.  Its all very "on the surface".  Think about it.  I have and I don't think I am fine with what I'm feeling.

My uncle's passing has brought to light my own failings to stay truly connected with my family.  It seems death always does that.  The really sad part is that though I feel it now, I remember I've felt this way before and still the conviction of it all did not bring action that was sustained over time.  It was only a short burst of guilt over having not been better at staying in touch and that was it.  Guilt is a terrible motivator, so no wonder it never brought forth the desired results.  Love is the best motivator of all.  True love never fails. 

Oh we much do I really love my family?  It is a difficult thing to look at my own failings in light of this truth.  How much time does it take really?  A few minutes to write a note and send it in the mail.  Maybe the same for a phone call.  Love acts...and even if I say I love my widowed aunt, if I do not follow through with some action it all seems like vain imaginings to me.  Has my life gotten so busy or so overwhelming to me that I cannot carve out thirty minutes a month to remember her?

I hope I do better this time around.  I would hope that true love would incite me to act as there are many more people whom I profess to love who could use some words of encouragement and comfort or just a note to say I remembered them today.  I hope I will love them enough to remember to write them or call them, remember to not get so wrapped up in my own life that I forget these wonderful people who could use a reminder that someone is thinking of them.  (O Lord have mercy.)

Heavenly Father,
I am so utterly bad at acting upon the love that I feel in my heart for others sometimes, remembering to phone or to send a little note of encouragement.  Would You help me to be better at this?  Would you help me to be disciplined at this even so others would be blessed.  It is not because of any guilt that I ask this but because of the love and encouragement and comfort that others need from me. Please use me to love, encourage and comfort others in this way more.  It is something I've always desired to do but never seemed to be able to do on my own so I'm asking that You would press upon me to love others more through staying in touch with them. 
In the name of Him who gave His life that we might live eternally, amen.

Copyright © 2010 by Patty Hicks

All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seeds Seeds Seeds!

I don't remember exactly when I started saving seeds.  It was probably back when I was taking horticulture classes and working in the garden at a local historic site about a dozen years ago or more.  I remember one year where I saved over 95 varieties of seed which even today blows my mind.  That is a lot of seed!  All I know is there is not a year goes by that I don't save the seeds from something.  This year was no different.
(Clockwise starting top left) Lychnis coronaria 'Angel's Blush', 'Bijou' lettuce, can't remember but its a nice perennial for shade, Blood Sorrel and Poppy.

This afternoon I spent some time going through the garden, cutting ripe seed heads so I could save the seed.  The cutting of the seed heads is always nice quiet work and brings back the memory of the flowers in all their glory. It stirs gratitude in my heart for this gift of seeds for future plants too as the seeds spill from the heads into the buckets and bags I am gathered in. The extracting of the seeds from the head is not quite as cathartic work and takes a bit more patience, but the end result is worth the effort.  Seeds to sow and seeds to share.  It is a good thing to know how to do and so I decided I would give you a look into what it takes to harvest, clean and store lettuce seed.
Lettuces rarely cross pollinate making them great to save seed from.

Lettuce is one of those plants that rarely if ever cross pollinates so if you have a lettuce growing in your garden that you enjoy you can let it go to seed you will be able to grow that same variety from your collected seed.  The variety I saved seed from this year was one that actually wintered over very nicely in my garden and grew well even with our excess spring rains.  It also holds well in the heat and doesn't get bitter as easily as some and one more thing...its a knock out beauty with amazing wine colored leaves that don't fade ever!  Now that is a lettuce worth keeping.  Finally it is no longer available in U.S. seed catalogs so I would have to order it from across the pond in the U.K. making me even more thankful I have saved seed for the past few years.

As a plant lettuce comes in basically two forms...loose leaf, which is a mound of leaves called a rosette or a head like Romaine and the old standby Iceberg lettuce many of us grew up on.  When the plant begins to bolt, or run to flower as some call it, the flower stem in the center of the plant emerges instead of leaves making the plant appear to be stretching upward.  This is what you want to see as a seed saver.  This process can take a while so don't expect to see flowers for a few weeks once the plant begins to stretch.
Bijou in flower early July
Lettuce beginning to bolt
Next the flowers open...soft yellow flowers which in the case of my Bijou lettuce looked quite nice against the burgundy leaf color.  The flowers don't open all at once so you have some time before you have to start thinking about harvesting.  After the flowers fade you will see these cute little puffs of fuzz, somewhat reminiscent of dandelion which is in the same family as lettuce.  Once you start to see the puffs form you can sit back and watch and wait as the plant continues to flower. Lettuces have a lot of flower heads on one plant and not all of them open at once.  The reward, if you are patient, will be a bounty of seed.

Bijou Lettuce with seed heads and flowers in late July
You can harvest the flowers as they form the puffs but here's the deal...lettuce, like dandelion, has this white sap that is sticky and gets all over your fingers and the puffy stuff and seeds making harvesting in this fashion a real pain so I don't recommend it.  What I found was that the slightest bump of the flower stems made that sap flow out in little dots all over the stem and flower was a nightmare.  The sap needs to be tried up before you attempt harvesting the seed and as long as that stem is connected to the plant it's gonna will flow.

Because of the annoyance of the sap during my early seed harvesting attempt, I decided to it was best wait until the plant was pretty full of puffs and nearly done flowering before trying again.  When it was finally time I cut the whole head off the plant, placed it in a paper grocery bag and set it on our back porch for about a week to dry up the sap before again I attempted to harvest the seed.  I suppose I could have waited a bit longer to cut the flower heads off but I get paranoid about the seed falling to the ground as we get some pretty stiff winds in our area this time of year so I erred on the side of safety.

Once the sap was dried up I was able to cut the branches off the main stem so I could work with them much easier.  I think at this point I would recommend laying the branches out on a cloth of some kind to dry a bit more...a step I did not do and I think made it harder to get the seed out because some of the heads were still damp making it harder to get the seed out.  You could probably use an old cotton pillow case if you wanted to for this and hang it up in a drafty location where it wouldn't get wet to completely dry.

Oh yeah...I almost forgot.  While I was cutting the stems I found these little guys feasting on the leaves.  They weren't bothering the seed heads so I left them alone until I was ready to cut the side branches off the main stem.
The only ick factor in this whole process for me really was accidentally smashing one or two during this process.  Some were really tiny so keep your eyes peeled for them during the seed cleaning process too.
The birds love these larvae so if you have a feeder that gets good traffic just put the in it and stand back.

Once the stems were dry I took them a couple at a time and rubbed them between my hands, rolling them back and forth and rubbing the flowerheads with my fingers to dislodge the seed if it was being stubborn.  Like I takes a bit of patience...and a bit persistence sometimes too.  The seeds sometimes do not release readily so the rubbing and pinching of the heads helps in this process.  There  are a small amount that fall off naturally so if you only wanted a few seeds you could just shake the heads over a sheet or pan.  I'm greedy when it comes to seeds as I like to have seed to share.  That is in part why I like to take the time and I also enjoy the process.  Peaceable work with profitable rewards is always a good thing.

The stuff you don't want in your seeds.
The end result of all the rubbing is a pile of part seeds and part plant material which then need to be separated out.  My favorite tools for this process are those wire kitchen strainers and a baking pan or small jelly roll pan. 
Kitchen strainers are a great tool for separating seed from plant material.  Hold your free hand at one side of the strainer and tap the strainer gently against your palm like you would a tambourine.

For the lettuce seed I used my larger colander sized wire strainer and then a smaller, finer meshed one with a handle on it.  Be sure to start with the larger holed strainer first and go down to the finer after.  You want the seed to be able to fall through the screen mesh so be sure you don't use too fine of a strainer.  If plant material falls through (which it almost always does) don't get excited, there are a couple more steps before we're done here.

Plant material that made it through the strainer.
Here is what you will have after you have strained the seed.  (Note: Not all lettuce seed is white, some is black)  This Bijou lettuce made it easier to distinguish the plant material from the seed as it was purple when dried.  Notice that there is also a bit of that fuzz left in the mix too.  To remove this you need to winnow the seed which will remove some of this unwanted material

Winnowing is basically letting the breeze carry the lighter plant material away from the seed.  You take the seed and slowly dribble it into the container letting the breeze do all the work. In order to not lose some of your seed during this process make sure to have a large enough container to catch the seed in and be sure the breeze is not too strong.  For a catch container I recommend using one of the larger plastic tote storage containers or you could do if over a large piece of cloth like a table cloth or sheet.  If you only need a few seeds saved you can use a 9x13 pan like I did here and it works pretty well. If you don't have a breeze make one yourself by using a fan or blow across the seeds instead.  Take care to see that your seed is not being blown away in this process.

After the winnowing there was some heavier material still mixed with the seed.  To separate it out I just held the pan at an angle and tapped it or shook it gently while stirring the seeds to release the unwanted material from the crowd of seeds.  The seeds will stick (because they are flat) and not roll while the other material will be rolling downhill and collecting along the side of the pan making it easy to remove.  This is probably the most time consuming part of the whole process.  Now I have to confess I get a little ODC here and want to save "all" the seed possible and will spend way too much time and effort at times to be sure I don't lose any seed.  Thankfully I didn't do that this year and the winnowings went into the compost heap.

Once the seed is clean (relative term here as we don't have those fancy mechanical cleaning machines that really get it clean) set them out on a coffee filter to dry them further which will help them to not mold in storage.
Sunflower seed gift envelopes I created

You can store them in paper envelopes (try making your own) or in jars.  I don't recommend ziploc bags as the seed sticks to the side of the bags, foil pouches work too.  Those little envelopes they use for stamp collecting work really well too.  Personally I have found coin envelopes to be really handy to use.  You can get them at local office supply stores like Office Depot or Staples.  Whatever you store them in be sure there are no places the seed can escape from like those unglued corners of envelopes.

Next I store the seed in a cool, dark, dry place to ensure they stay viable (alive).  In my propagation class at college we were taught that 13% humidity and below 40 F is good.  I just store my seeds in a box and tuck it on the floor in our office where it is cooler.  That works nicely since I don't have room in my refrigerator or freezer where some folks store there seed.  TIP:  You can place a couple of those desiccant pouches that come inside shoe boxes into your seed box to help keep them dry while in storage. 

So have fun gathering.  I'll post some seed packet ideas soon.

Copyright © 2010 by Patty Hicks

All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Anatomy of a Garden Box

Boxed gardens full of yummy beauty
We have four large raised boxes my husband built in our back yard so we could grow vegetables beneath our fir trees.  The boxes became a necessity due to the constant battle between the trees and our veggie garden for water rights and nutrients.  If you want a lesson in futility just try to garden under fir trees.  No wait, don't.

People don't realize how much water trees drink.  The numbers I heard were somewhere around 500 to 600 gallons a day per fir tree and we have three of them in our back yard.   I decided that either we were going to stop gardening back there completely or we needed raised beds. Well, actually I had thrown up my hands to the idea of gardening back there at all in part because of the trees but added to that was the fact that we got bad soil mix twice from two different sources.  Nothing seemed to be going right and it was so hard and shouldn't have been.  Ugh.

Our boxes are made of recycled 2"x10" lumber, fir to be exact and for $50 it was a steal even though we knew it would last only a few years.  It's already dilapidating after only three years and probably next year may need replacing, but still for the price was worth it.  Next time I'm hoping to be able to afford cedar or even composite decking. Both are somewhat expensive but worth the investment as they last a lot longer than fir.  Composit decking is nearly indestructible when it comes to the elements but is much more flexible than regular wood and needs more support along the sides.  The composite doesn't warp either which is great and comes in assorted colors, another benefit if you want that sort of thing.

Wood has a tendency to warp when it gets wet and dries which can cause corners to separate even though they are screwed together into a 2x4.  We had this problem and not wanting to have to buy expensive metal brackets we poked around a local home improvement store for another solution.  I just love hardware/home improvement stores, there are so many ideas to be had there.
Note the corner below the cat (Boomer)

We like inexpensive a lot around here and what we found costs much less than those fancy metal brackets.  They are called mending plates and are normally used to hold trusses together.  Boy oh boy they work slick on the corners of these boxes.  Don't waste your money on brackets unless you are picky about how things look.  Mending plates are less than a dollar each (I think we paid just over fifty cents each for ours).  The hubby just lined them up so he could pound the teeth of one end on one side of the corner, bent the plate around and pounding it into the opposite side and that was it...not even any screws or nails!

Warping can also cause the boards to wow along the sides.  When this happened we just pulled back the soil and screwed in a small section of 1" by 2" wood to pull them back into place.  I recommend taking an ounce of prevention and putting in extra support inside along the sides before you fill the boxes, its a lot less work.

A couple days ago we purchased new compost for one of our boxes which had laid fallow all summer because the soil or what we thought was good three-way mix, turned out to be nothing more than 90% bark mulch with a bit of sand and just enough composted manure to get things to sort of grow in it.  I blame myself in part for this error as I sent my husband, who has little knowledge of soil and soil mixes, off by himself to purchase it and was not there to assess the product we were paying good money for.  That was an expensive mistake...a $300 dollar mistake actually. (We have four 12'x4'x19" boxes and it takes lot of soil to fill then.)  My advise to you would be to be sure and do your homework before you buy and don't send someone else to pick it up unless you have seen it first.  You will save yourself a lot of grief and money if you do.

Gotta love a good truck and a strong man.
Last year we pulled that bad mix out of the first three boxes and did various versions to try and save money.  I won't go into details here but I think we actually have made every mistake in the book when it comes to soil in these boxes. We still don't have it right. Lord have mercy and I hope this compost will be the fix for our raised bed sorrows.

So back to box...  My husband had decided he was going put the beautiful compost we had just purchased in the bottom half of the box since we had to take most all the old stuff out anyway.  I blanched and put my foot down.  No way were we going to do that.  Those seeds I was planning on sowing didn't have a snowball's chance in a heat wave to survive if we did and I told him no we were not and why.  He did the hubby harumph still arguing his way was best until he saw all of the big chunks of wood still in the old soil mix after three years.  (I tried to tell him it was nothing but wood.)  That's all it took to change his mind real fast.

So we dug all but just a little bit of the woody stuff out of the bottom, yanked out the invading roots that had grown up through the hardware cloth we had put down in the bottom of the box to keep moles out and then spread out the beautiful rich compost on top.  YES!  Finally, several inches of good soil to grow in!  I could have danced the happy dance if I hadn't been so tired.  But planting would have to wait for another day.

Not taking nothing for granted the newly filled box was topped with something to keep the neighborhood cats from using the fresh soil as a litter box, snow fencing.  You know...people use all kinds of things to keep cats out of the garden.  little sticks poked into the soil, which I've never really understood why that would work unless they spaced then really really close together and that is way too labor intensive for me.  Who wants to work that hard?   Cayenne pepper is supposed to work but when I tried the cats didn't seem to mind it much at all and dug up the area like it wasn't there.  Then there are those sprays, nope, they didn't work either.

In thinking about it I pretty much decided in order to keep them from digging in the beds the area had to be completely covered until the plants were large enough to hold their own.  That's when I began using chicken wire, those plastic mesh flats plants come in, hardware cloth and piled up branches but found the snow fencing to be my favorite.  Its very flexible and light weight can be cut to size without becoming dangerous.  Chicken wire and hardware cloth can be dangerous to handle because the cut ends are very sharp and can wound you pretty good if you are not careful.  So if that's what you want to try just take note and be sure to have a box of band-aids on hand just in case.  There is only one other thing I think would work better and make covering and uncovering the beds easier and that is to cut the snow fence into 4' sections. Gee, I won't have to use the wire at all anymore and will save on medical supplies too. Yippee!  It will also make it easier to cover smaller sections.  That will come in handy as the crops begin to grow.  Oh and you can cut the plastic fence with regular scissors, another great benefit.

String, sticks, seeds and scissor...oh and plant tags

Saturday I got up all was planting day!  Grabbing my seed list, some graph paper and a pencil I headed out to the box and lined out where I wanted things to be in the box.  Back to the house for a double check of my seed stock and draw up a clear plan I could actually read.  Once that was done I took my scissors, plant tags and marking pen, stakes and seeds and went to work.

My awesome ruler.
 Oh before I go any further I have to share one more very cool four foot metal ruler!  Its the coolest thing ever.  It fits the width of our beds perfectly and I can use the edge to make the seed furrows. I had been looking high and low for something I didn't have to make and then there at a local thrift store was my ruler!  Just wide enough to lay in the bed, metal so it will last forever, measurements on either side for convenience.

I cannot believe sowing the garden takes so long.  My husband can't believe it either but then he's not doing the planning and planting.  I had told a friend it would take about an hour and a half. (ha ha ha)  Maybe its just that I don't move as fast as I used to but I swear I was out there for five hours at least...well maybe four.  I suppose if I was the sort that didn't care how it was going to look and more about production it might go faster...but nope, not me, I have to have it look pretty too.  No wait, gorgeous!  Oh and I did do some other things but mostly I just worked on this one bed.  Go figure.
Tags are laid on top of the ground until seeds are sown to help keep track of what has been done and what needs doing.

So I lined out the design and set the stakes and string, put out the plant tags in their prospective locations, double checked my drawing and sowed the seeds.  I am not a fan of sowing seeds as its bending down kind of work, even in a raised bed like mine, and my back complains whenever I do it.  But the reward is worth the little bit of discomfort and the thought of the fresh greens this fall and winter are already making me hungry for soups made with kale and collards and oh parsnips.  I was late getting those in...but baby is good too.  Now to keep it all watered and wait...and dream of future harvests.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © 2010 by Patty Hicks

All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.