Thursday, October 7, 2010

Succulent Border (2005 --> 2006)

A quick look at how quickly this succulent border made it self at home in my front garden.  My front garden includes perennials and annuals.  My dad and I planted this border back in 2005.  It was one of my favorite plants from my parents' garden and reminds me of my childhood.  They still have the same original border which shows just how hardy these plants are.  I remember accidentally running over this border with my bike many times back in the day - they're indestructible!

The small plants from 2005 are actually tiny transplants from my parents' garden.  I'm so happy to have this little piece from a happy, carefree time here with me today.

2005: Succulent border transplant

2005: Succulent border transplant (close-up)

One year later...
2006: Succulent border transplant (close-up)

One year later...2006: Succulent border transplant

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Autumn Has Arrived!

Yes, I'm still around!  These past few months have kept me busy with work and some side-projects, but I did continue to keep up with my garden.  This year, I planted mainly tomatoes and flowers.  You'd think that with my very robust harvest of tomatoes over the past few years, I'd plant some other fruits and vegetables, but after discovering how easy it is to make my own fresh salsa from scratch, I've been addicted to tomatoes!

Roma tomatoes have been most plentiful and the green zebra tomatoes have done well.  Surprisingly, my grape tomatoes haven't produced as much fruit as in the past - maybe it's time for some new seeds?

I've supplemented my tomato plants with herbs - some of which return each year including chives and thyme.  This year parsley returned as well!  Earlier this year, I started a new "subscription" to a local fruit and vegetable supplier, Dobrasevic Food Company, which delivers a "small" box of goodies to my door each Saturday.  Their goal is to work with local farmers as much as possible and supply fresh produce to the metro Detroit area.  Before subscribing to their service and products, I purchased most of my produce from Whole Foods Market.  I still love Whole Foods, but I want to help out the local farmers and Michigan economy as much as possible and I love that the produce is so fresh.  Also, the boxes are so packed with produce that, in the end, this is a much more economical option for me.  Dobrasevic Food Company gives customers a heads-up on what will be delivered, but I love opening the box on Saturday and discovering what deliciousness has arrived.  This has allowed me to learn how to cook new foods.  Typically, a couple recipes are included in the box and I've learned how to make up some of my own recipes.  Here's a peek into the delivery I received on Saturday.

I'd like to post photos of my past deliveries which I've archived onto my laptop and show you a sample of what dishes I've created with each week's delivery.

So much to catch up on!  Hope you're having a wonderful week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

spring sprouts

a few weeks ago, i stopped into my local nursery and garden supply store, telly's greenhouse, and picked up a seed sprouter.  i'm not usually a big fan of sprouts, but i had a sandwich a while back that included alfalfa sprouts and garbanzo sprouts.  it added a whole new texture to the typical sandwich.  so, i decided to give sprouts a second chance - and while i'm at it, why not try to grow my own?  and it happens to be my day off - time to hopefully catch up on home projects that have been lingering for months (some, for a couple years - yikes!).

you see, another one of my dislikes about sprouts is how quickly they can go bad.  i'd buy a bag of them, use about a tenth of its contents and a couple days later, well, they just didn't seem so fresh.  by using a seed sprouter, i can grow sprouts in small amounts whenever i please.

today i started two different seeds, alfalfa and snow pea, in jam jars covered with 250 ml of water and covered them with paper towel and a rubber band, allowing the seed to swell.  tonight, before i go to bed, i should be able to move them to the two-tier sprouter which you can view here.  if all goes well, i'll the sprouts will be ready to eat in two to seven days!

no, i wasn't able to find garbanzo seeds - they ran out of them.  i'll take this as a sign that they are just as good homegrown as the one i had in that dream sandwich.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

seedy weekend

this weekend, i finally started my seeds.  of course, my dad has his own seeds to start with mine.  on saturday, we prepped the flats and today, i moved them into my basement grow station.

here's what's set to grow for 2010:

my plants:

  • fennel
  • japanese eggplant
  • fernleaf dill
  • tomatillo verde
  • green zebra tomato
  • tumbling tom tomato
  • roma tomato
  • sweet italian basil
  • ruby swiss chard

dad's plants:
  • red bell pepper
  • orange bell pepper
  • japanese eggplant
  • tomato
  • okra
  • zinnia

because i'm so late with starting seeds (again), i'm using hydrofarm's seedling heat mats this year.  hopefully i'll be able to plant a few seedlings next month - i'll just need to make sure i give them lots of good nutrients so that they can grow strong in the ground.

today, i took care of some yard clean-up and thankfully, i have they day off tomorrow and hope to separate my clematis and get a few "cold weather" seeds into the ground.

happy spring!