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Archive for June, 2009

so we are on the East Coast visiting family. We have eaten fresh yummy pecans from my Dad’s yard and next week we head to my Mom’s to see her house and garden. Luckily a good friend is tending to our garden while we are gone! I have heard Seattle has been cloudy and not so hot while we have been gone – typical June weather but very different from the first two weeks this year.

We are loving our vacation (or as I call it since kids are with me – change of locatin) but look forward to being home in a week to see how the garden has grown!

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No pictures today but I was busy in the garden. I still had tomatoes not planted and just did not want to kill them so I found homes for four (two Red Siberian Pole, one Orange Oxheart, one Chadwck Cherry) more. Now there are no more tomatoes going in – 28 is ridicously enough I think. After swim class and the playground this morning, we stopped by the Magnolia Farmer’s Mkt – some one was selling the most gorgeous perfecting looking heirlooms I had ever seen – maybe 12 different varieties. I got to see a Black Krim which is good because ripe is a greeenish top with a reddish/pinkish/blackish bottom. I would never have thought that was ripe for a tomato with that name!

Also planted tons more basil – some pots of just basil, then basil with every tomato plant.

I am fed up with the baby squirrels killing stuff and digging holes so we went to Costco and got several large containers of red pepper flakes. Squirrels hate them so they are now sprinkled everywhere. Also made tinfoil flags for each pot of peppers – the shine off the tinfoil is supposed to keep them away. We will see.

Also read to crush up egg shells and make a perimeter around things that slugs eat – they will not cross sharp things and it does not wash away as fast as Sluggo nor as expensive. The kids heard us talking about us putting beer out for the slugs and they said they wanted to drink it so that idea went kabosh.

Usually June in Seattle is not beautiful. Sometimes cloudy, sometimes rain, cool temps. This June has been dry and sunny and in the mid 70’s. Glorious weather to garden in. I could be out there all day. The kids were deliriously happy with the water table so I got a lot done.

I planted 4 more Ancho/Poblano Peppers that I had left. Either the squirrels or the crow are biting off the stalk and I think I have lost 6 so far. Also planted two Serrano peppers from WS Nursery. And then 4 or 5 more Thai Chili peppers that were from seed. And marigolds from WS Nursery since mine did not come up from seed. Also got some liquid seeweed fertilizer from them today. The peas and beans seem to need a boost as does some of the basil.

Otherwise I think everything is finally planted until late summer rolls around.

I harvested lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, mint, and basil for tonight’s salad. Added orange peppers and cucumbers from the store – cannot wait until we have cukes and peppers from our own garden! There is truly something about going out, grabbing it and making a super fresh meal that makes me feel amazing. Totally relaxed and centered. It does not get old. All of the kids ate chard, two of them ate the whole salad – of course I added pear too and that was the first thing to be eaten! It is very exciting to be growing so many different things and bringing it to the table. It makes the food more valued for me. Although as we are getting ready to leave on vacation for a couple of weeks I am sad to miss the ripe strawberries and collards that are coming.

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Where do we find the time? Well in the spring, when the crappy weather was driving us all crazy, I remembered the rhythms of the kids day at school, in and out, in and out (meaning play inside, then play outside). So I set aside clothes for mud play, left them at the back door and mid morning or mid afternoon we headed outside.

I have always loved to garden but following this rhythm helped devote more time. While I do my “work” in the garden, the kids are free to do their “work”. They are creative and imaginative in their own play and forget I am even there. It is fun to hear them. Sometimes they come take a rest and watch me, sometimes they “help” me, sometimes they drive me crazy with a million questions. But we all seem to be a lot happier and more relaxed with this new routine.

So I have used the deck stairs for more pots – last year I got a lot of basil out of these pots! We are just finishing using up all the basil we froze for the winter.I have planted a lot of parsley and cilantro seeds – not all have been so great at coming up. We use a lot of cilantro in cooking so this is good! A friend suggested to do them in pots as they spread wildly. The beets will be curious. I direct seeded twice. Definitely some are coming up but not sure if enough for soup to be made! At least there will be good greens to be sauted. (And no I do not do the cooking:)

deck stairs

deck stairs

bottom of the stairs, beets, tomatoes, parsely, cilantro

bottom of the stairs, beets, tomatoes, parsely, cilantro

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Well it is June 9th and we pretty much have had no rain and bright sunshine for two weeks now. While I do not call this hot, people who are Seattle natives do! It has been amazing for the garden. All tomatoes save the tomatillos were planted on June 1st with plenty of egg shells and coffee grounds. All were started from seed. Tomatillos planted on June 8th.

bad view of the tomatoes in the veggie garden

bad view of the tomatoes in the veggie garden

tomatoes and hot peppers on one side of the deck

tomatoes and hot peppers on one side of the deck

the other side of the deck

the other side of the deck

I have planted the following tomatoes:

Black Krim

Purple Calabash

Thessaloniki (in honor of my brother who lives in Thessaloniki)

Chadwick Cherry

Sugar Sweetie Charry

Northern Delight

Orange Oxheart

Red Siberian

Golden Nugget Cherry

16 are on the second story deck and 8 are in the ground – 6 on the south facing garden bed, 2 in the back yard.

I am planting basil in every place I plant tomatoes from a friend’s rec. Also plenty of basil planted everywhere! I have 3 kinds from seed this year – Mammoth, Sweet Basil and Profumo di Genova. I have already been having lots so far. Basil in the pots and garden week of June 2nd.

I also have a variety of hot peppers planted on the deck and deck stairs. Something – either a squirrel or a crow has been attacking our purple jalapeno we bought at the West Seattle Edible Garden sale. First it was the peppers and flowers. Today it was half the stalk. Darn – one of the few plants we bought and we were excited about the purple.

I had chard, kale and spinach from the garden in an egg scramble today along with herbs. So satisfying!!

view of the garden on June 9th.

view of the garden on June 9th.

lettuce, collards, kale, carrots, buttercup winter squash

lettuce, collards, kale, carrots, buttercup winter squash

strawberries & broccoli - which I have since learned should not be planted together

strawberries & broccoli - which I have since learned should not be planted together

zucchini, summer squash, buttercup squash with chard in between, hoping to grow squash and zucchini up trelllis

zucchini, summer squash, buttercup squash with chard in between, hoping to grow squash and zucchini up trelllis

sugar snap peas, kentucky pole beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Lettuce and chard in between

sugar snap peas, kentucky pole beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Lettuce and chard in between

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garden bed in mid May 2009

garden bed in mid May 2009

looking the opposite way in May

looking the opposite way in May

This is our new veggie bed – 4 x 20′. It was all grass in April.

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