Playing in the dirt.

Posts tagged ‘crops’

A Quick Update

It’s been very busy outdoors, building new beds.  The salad bed is coming along nicely, and it is officially productive as of Sunday evening, when I pulled the first bunch of radishes to go with dinner.  Corn and beans are between three and four inches high, and the tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons that I planted out are finally starting to recover from what proved to be repeatedly terrible timing.

Salad garden.

Even the parsley and lovage and parsnips have sprouted, and the arugula and radishes are going gangbusters.

There’s still work to do, of course, and when isn’t there?  Still, it has been immensely satisfying, and I may have gotten my money’s worth out of the corn and beans purely on the weight of how much the tiny plants lift my spirits every time I’m out there.

Assorted garden beds with a view of the horizon.

Family photo.


Peppers and Onions

Peppers have sprouted!  Three little Anaheims greeted me this morning, pushing their tiny cotyledons against the damp plastic lid of the starter tray as if to say, “Let us out!”  So I did.

Anaheim pepper seedling

I’m a pepper! Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper, too?

The lone surviving Pasilla Bajio from the first planting is starting to peek out a bit, and might stand up by tomorrow.  Four replacement onions are also starting to sprout, little green-white loops not yet strong enough to lift the seed casing.

Three more onions collapsed past the point of recovery when the tray dried out too much over the weekend–hazards of starting things at work.  I pulled them and re-started them, but those will likely be the last that I re-start.  I’ve got a lot of other things to start and supplies to shop for and new beds to build!

Anaheim pepper and Yellow of Parma onion seedlings.

Peppers and Onions

Second Harvest – 2012 July 21

Today’s harvest was more radishes and lettuces.  One bunch each of the French Breakfast and German Giant radishes, and about four loosely packed cups of assorted clippings of the largest leaves out of all the lettuce and spinach sections.  So, about twice as much of everything as last week, and it hardly looks like I made a dent in the lettuce.  That’s about $2 each of lettuce and radishes, based off farmer’s market prices, so my total return on the garden so far is $6.  We shouldn’t have to buy lettuce the rest of the summer!

A bowl of mixed lettuce greens and two bunches of radishes.

Hey! Turns out I’m a gardener!

I decided to make muffaletta sandwiches for dinner tonight after encountering some lovely garlic-rosemary-asiago foccacia bread at the farmer’s market on Thursday evening.  I began by slicing the bread horizontally.  Dressing was extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh-cracked four-pepper blend, and just a tiny bit of fresh ground sea salt.  The meats and cheeses are pretty salty already, and I didn’t want to over-salt the sandwiches, but I also wanted to season the dressing and the vegetables.

Focaccia bread drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It’s very tempting to just eat it at this stage.


Traditionally, muffaletta uses an olive salad made with giardiniera, but as I do not care for olives and giardiniera does not care for me, I chopped up some canned roasted red peppers instead.

Focaccia bread drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with chopped roasted red peppers.

Roasted red peppers are a good substitute for olive salad.

Then I layered roast turkey, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, Black Forest ham, hard salami, and provolone cheese, all sliced very thinly.  A second sandwich for someone with a ham aversion used roast beef, turkey, and hard salami with the two kinds of cheese.

On top of that, I spread today’s lettuce harvest, thinly sliced onions and thinly sliced roma tomatoes.  Romas are not traditionally sandwich tomatoes, but I find they are less likely to trigger my tomato sensitivity.  I suspect that’s because Romas have so few seeds compared to their larger sandwich-typical cousins.

Most of a muffaletta sandwich, composed of focaccia bread, roasted red peppers, a variety of cold cuts and cheeses, mixed leaf lettuce, onion and tomato.

What do you mean I have to wait until dinner?

Then I wrapped the sandwich in waxed paper (plastic wrap is a popular alternative, but I appear to be out).  I placed a clean cutting board on top of the sandwich, assembled and wrapped the second sandwich, put that sandwich on top of the cutting board, put a large cast-iron skillet on the whole stack, and put it in the refrigerator with a package of bottled drinks on top of it to press it down.  Pressing is optional, but I find it helps marry the flavors, plus then I don’t have to unhinge my jaw to eat it.

Dinner is now over.  I think I should have picked up some fresh basil at the farmer’s market and put that on with the roasted red peppers.  I also think it needed more cheese, and maybe some banana peppers.  The nice thing about muffaletta, is you can make it somewhat differently every time!

Starting to Look Like a Party

Today brought a few more sprouts!  Two more radishes (one of the German Giant variety, to go with all the French Breakfast sprouts), a second spinach, three more beets, and I’m pretty sure a cucumber all arrived since last night.  I wasn’t able to get a great picture of the cuke, so hopefully it will be unfolded tomorrow, and I can confirm it was actually a sprout, and not some random bit of detritus posing as a sprout.

Beet sprouts in garden soil, marked with yellow stars.



Four French Breakfast radish sprouts in garden soil, each marked with a yellow star.

Radish. Radish. Radish. Radish.  (French Breakfast)


A German Giant radish sprout in garden soil.

Radish. (German Giant)


Spinach sprouts in garden soil, each marked with a yellow star.

Spinach. Spinach.

And the poor bedraggled $300 turnip is still there, still bedraggled, and I still don’t know if it will recover from being snacked on.

A bedraggled turnip sprout in garden soil. Pink twine is visible in the top left.

Turnip? Or my first contribution to compost?


May 27 – June 2, 2012 Weather Report

Sunday, May 27, 2012

  • High: 57°F
  • Low: 32°F
  • Wind: 24mph, gusts to 33mph (12:00pm); 26mph, gusts to 45mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); 43°F (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 15% (12:00pm); 29% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Partly cloudy (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)
  • Lunar phase: Waxing crescent (42% of full)


  • 1-1: Lettuce. Rouge d’Hiver.
  • 1-3: Lettuce. Forellenschluss.
  • 1-5: Lettuce. Salad Bowl.
  • 1-7: Lettuce. Mesclun mix.
  • 2-1: Spinach.
  • 2-2 to 2-4: Pea. Sugar Snap.
  • 2-5 to 2-7: Cucumber.
  • 2-8: Spinach.
  • 3-1: Radish. German Giant.
  • 3-2: Radish. French Breakfast.
  • 3-3 to 3-4: Carrot.
  • 3-5 to 3-6: Beet.
  • 3-7 to 3-8: Turnip.

Watered: 2 gallons

Monday, May 28, 2012

  • High: 62°F
  • Low: 36°F
  • Wind: 18.7mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 39% (whole day average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 3 gallons

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

  • High: 69°F
  • Low: 28°F
  • Wind: 9.6mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 40% (whole day average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 4.5 gallons

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  • High: 72°F
  • Low: 35°F
  • Wind: 14.3mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 15% (12:00pm); 29% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Partly cloudy (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)

Watered: 4 gallons

Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • High: 69°F
  • Low: 38°F
  • Wind: 12mph, gusts to 23mph (12:00pm); 14mph, gusts to 23mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 42% (average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 3 gallons + negligible rain

Friday, June 1, 2012

  • High: 77°F
  • Low: 43°F
  • Wind: 21mph, gusts to 31mph (12:00pm); 17mph, gusts to 28mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: 0.03 inches
  • Humidity: 29% (12:00pm); 20% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: A Few Clouds and Breezy (12:00pm); A Few Clouds (5:00pm)

Watered: 5 minutes (outside water now on, and hose all the way to the garden!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

  • High: 76°F
  • Low: 47°F
  • Wind: 5 mph (12:00pm); S 13 mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 23% (12:00pm); 32% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Fair (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)
  • Lunar phase: Waxing gibbous (97% of full)

Watered: 5 minutes + negligible rain