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drying dill

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spring garden eating - lettuce, radishes and lots of herbs

There went March, April, and most of May!   I'm already pulling arugula from the garden that's about to bolt, and eating through some lovely lettuce while it's in its prime.  Pictured above, arugula, lettuce Landis Winter, lettuce Rouge d'Hiver.  The string is for the square-foot flower garden this will eventually be; I planted these cold weather crops while I was waiting patiently for flower planting!   I love having my own lettuce for this Asian chicken lettuce wrap, below, ( original recipe here ).  We use chicken instead of veal and I definitely skip the cilantro, but it's a great recipe to use some garden goodies - green onions, lettuce, carrots, etc.  We used two fresh heads of green lettuce but I couldn't tell them apart once we were making food, and I definitely had a favorite!  So I will have to pull another two apart and figure it out.  I am thinking of starting more lettuce under a grow light and put them out in a shadier spot, now that warm weather i

getting through winter

As classes of all sorts get scheduled, rescheduled and postponed due to weather, and with the short days with less light, I often find January and February to be a forced pause.  Years like this convince me that I should get good at reading rain gauges and keeping track of the temperature.  It seems like we've had an usual amount of snow.  That should be good for our snow pack and seasonal runoff to fill creeks, lakes, basins, but we'll see what the spring brings.  In the meantime, I have been trying to tick off indoor chores and projects, and working on garden things.   We have started a handful of seedlings:  basil, foxgloves, verbascum, lavender, rosemary, onions and something new to us, naranjilla .  We have varying levels of success.  The naranjilla did take a long time to germinate; I think we used 11 seeds, and we currently have five seedlings, some a couple weeks older than others!  We're still 12-14 weeks out from planting and I really had my hands full last year -


I've said before  that I failed to appreciate marigolds growing up.  It's nice to have something that does so well in my garden, year after year, and draws butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.  I can't remember the last time I bought marigold seeds, these have been producing in my garden for so many seasons.  I love that they're such a rich red-orange-gold.  I might want another color this year, but I've got plenty of seeds for these!     Over Thanksgiving break, my middle kid deadheaded this whole bed and filled a bucket, so I have more than enough seeds to share this year!  I pulled a big handful apart and set them to dry on newspaper for a few days, and then put them in a jar until I had time to make a packet.   (you don't need the orange part, just the black and white)  I found a seed packet template here .  A blank template was all I needed; printed one, drew a simple outline of a marigold with fine pen, and copied it.  Each image was hand colored with

garden 2022 review, garden 2023 planning

January!  It's garden dreaming time.  A few pictures showing the progression of our garden over 2022:  March June July  Happily, I took panorama shots of the yard and gardens a few times last year.  I wish I had remembered to do it every month.  I did get many different wide shots of different spots, it's fun to see how everything progressed and changed.  The shots below get lower because once the tree above starts to fill in, it can block some of the view.   March May July August September October Setting this up made me realize how late the marigolds set in; maybe I'll start a few more inside, this year.   Wins and successes this year include: - the seed starting was a big success! - a decent batch of radishes - lots of good herbs, my favorite being lemon thyme - some tomatoes, especially liked the Black Strawberry cherry toms - a small crop of potatoes, our first, encouraging toward doing more next season - a few nice zucchinis - lots of good lettuce - pink (edible) pea

Christmas preparations, 2022

  Apple pie for Thanksgiving, pretty new turkey plate, Christmas decorations in Olde Town and in our home, big and little knitting projects, and cutting homemade marshmallows. 

Stars and Stones Quilt - a fourteen year project

When I was a very young wife, I spent a bit of my free time delving headlong into quilting.  I made a bunch of mad blocks before I realized that I really prefer a bit more order, and I started some blocks for this quilt, generally, before I knew what it would be in the end.  Those blocks, all red, blue and brown, are still floating around in my stash, somewhere.  Some of them were sawtooth stars and some were Job's Troubles, and all of them were pretty scrappy; it was going to be for my dad, who served in the military, including a bit at Arlington National Cemetery.  While I was still sorting out my style, back in the 00s, I spotted a quilt on a blog or in a magazine, called Stepping Stones, or perhaps Stars and Stones, and I knew that was what I was working toward.  I have long since lost the location of that image but it is an easy concept, especially having a few of each block done.   The oldest digital picture I can locate is from February of 2008 but I believe I started the ol