Friday, March 30, 2012

Asparagus and Blueberry

It was another good day for a beginner gardener! Those guys were waiting for a good soil - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red onion set  and asparagus Mary Washington.
 Thank you for tips from Julie Budding and Blooming
how to plant asparagus - I never did it before.
So I dig some tranches, put there my compost and bone meal and planted 6 roots. Now I have to wait 2 years!
 Than I was planting  my blueberries Top Hat.
Look how bad the soil is in New England!
Only one foot down and  light colored heavy clay, a lot of stones.... what a difference with rich black compost I am making. Thank you for all the guys who teach me how to make compost!
 There is my happy blueberry family of 7.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kombucha - Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

Today I like to share how I am making my kombucha tea.
I like fermented food.
Kombucha has been know for over 2000 years the world over. It has been widely used in Russia, Germany, China and many other places.  It is naturally carbonated and is purported to have a host of healing properties that may include:
- Probiotics  !
- Increase metabolism
- Improve digestion
 Help clear up candida & yeast infections - oh yes!
and a lot other benefits!

It is living on my cupboard in warm shade in a big glass jar, once a week I take it out, examine and divide. The bottom part is old and sometimes if I see it's getting really dark, I tear the bottom part and discard.
I put the kombucha tea in a different jar leaving about 1-1-1/2 cups inside.
I use 6 teabag to make a strong tea (cold), 1-1/2 cup of sugar and filterer boiled water (also cold).

Do not mix with metal, I use wooden spatula.
At the end I put the kombucha on top and cover the jar with coffee filter and elastic band.
Good Luck!

Please look at Robin's blog The Gardener of Eden for the rest of the Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard posts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Office side flower bed

What a spring! Hot, cold, frost, rain!

Today I wanted to work on my office side ugly flowerbed, than the rain started, but I am stubborn....
It was a nice flowerbed may be 25 years ago, but now there are only overgrown junipers. We removed one side last year and I was only weeding the whole space.

and this is my office side, I'm spending the whole day sitting in my office, looking in computer and through the window beside the screen and see ....nothing..

My neighbor gave me $100 giftcard for home supply store for babysitting, so I spend some for shrubs and mulch, removed an old juniper with a handsaw and planted all of those - 

2 Japanese Pieris Scarlet O’Hara,
Azalea red,
Boxwood (no name, from front yard),
4 small rhododendrons (got mixed may Pink, Rose, Crimson, Lilac, and White),
and 2 hydrangeas.

I am going to post update in a month when everything will established and bloom, may be!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cold outside - working with containers

Second day is very cold and windy outside so I am working on my future container garden.

 I transpanted some of the biggest zucchini squashes in larger containers (black beauty and Italian summer mix). I also added some of the lettuce Little Caesar on sides.

 5 Chard pots - charm in the middle and some greens around - komatsuna mustard, bock choi,
also marigold.
 Another chard pot
One bid chard pot - Large Ribbed Chard with komatsuna and lettuce in front. One small nasturtium flower in the middle. I hope it will be nice in some weeks.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I am so afraid!
Tonight should be -5C/23F
This is my first frost I will be dealing with.... and I have some strawberries with blooms.
So I covered them, and than I covered my greens with cloche I found in basement, from previous owners.....
and I also found some plastic sheets and cover all other strawberries that are not blooming but in case....
and than I got some gallons plastic bottles without bottom and put them on cannas and other green stuff I have in garden.
I hope you will stay alive. Let sing Bee Gees with me!

Harvest Monday - March 26 2012

I have harvest too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember I am just a beginner,
but I can harvest some greens today!
Some green chives (I have them from year),
red leaved ones, may be radicchio,
komatsuna mustard,
and one looks like small parsley but with strong anise taste, I do not know this one bit it is yummy too!

See what others have harvested at Daphne's Dandelions.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eggplants, zucchini and more

It seems that "summer" is over and there is spring again, only 60F.
but my little green friends can not wait!
Do you see what I see - little flowers!
Those my zucchini black beauty
 I love zucchini and hope to get a good harvest.

My Kentucky Beans. I am going to hang them from the balcony except from using stacks.

I see that my tomatoes are doing pretty well after I transplanted them in individual pots with compost and bone meal. There are growing 3rd real leaf now.
There is a biggest one - beefsteak. All those warm days there are outside on my balcony, fresh air, sun and about 45F at night!

But eggplants and peppers are very slowly. I hope that transplanting will help. So today I was transplanting my little eggplants (long purple).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Another warm day to plant!

Today was another very productive garden day. I had to pick up kids from school early (conferences days) and be with them outside.
 So we planted 3 red currant bushes - sticks.
I like those berries from my childhood. and actually all of my relatives have had a lot of black currants but not red currants! I used to sit on the chair next to a big black currant bush and harvested berries not in a pot in a big 12 liters bucket!
it was so boring when you were 10 or 12!

I started with red currants, each cane has some of the white (yet) buds. I planted them in my compost soil with some of the bone meal.
 The photo is not clear but there are 5-6 living buds!
 I also planted 50 strawberries that I got yesterday by post. All  of them are very small, but with big roots, I hope we will be friends.

There is my strawberry spiral bed.
I also planted 2 blackberry, 9 raspberry, 2 mulberry, and transplanted some of leeks and swiss chard.
I lost so many calories working!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Baby Strawberries, what to do?

Yesterday I could not spot myself from buying 2 small post of strawberries in homedepot. My 10 years old son liked them so much so wanted to keep them in his bedroom.
 Today I planted them in a round raised bed, there were 3 of them in each pot, so I happily divided them.
And this afternoon I got my order that I made in February with 50 more baby strawberries!

Look at them! It is hard to see, but they looks pretty healthy, long dark (?) roots and small white-yellow sprouts.
I NEVER grow strawberries.
I just put them in water and now I am ready to read about it!
Wish me Luck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Red Russian Kale - is not Russian?

Today I planted my Kale outside, it is Red Russian Kale and I wonder why it is called like that?

 I asked and it seems that nobody in central Russian knows about kale at all. Why it called that? only after the red color? Because Soviet Union associated with red color?  Interesting part. Please leave your comments if you know something - I am just curious!
My bricks garden getting better, as I think, I added more raised beds, I just need more compost!
I am trying so hard to get even more!
The compost that I put on my 2 first beds last year turned to such a good soil! black and reach!
so I definitely will composting again and again. Some beds are covered with black plastic so the composting process will be finished. I hope I will get the good soil till it will be time to plant tomatoes and peppers!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Harvest Monday - March 19, 2012

It is incredible warm here in New England, like Groundhog said - 6 weeks and that's it. 
And for my harvest today I will have some greens  leaves and shallots, that I transplanted yesterday.
This weekend I with my son made a fence around my raised beds and could plant some of my indoors greens - mesclun mix, parsley, komatsuna mustard, dill, basil and rosemary.
Some of them looks very good after transplanting, I hope others will be healthy too.
 There is a garlic bed with some dill and basil in free spaces.

 I do not know who is this one, this friend was from mesclun mix. 

and this is suppose to be komatsuna mustard spinach, very strong plant, very easy for inexperienced gardener like me and very good in salad. :)
This is the first spring I can see my crocuses - the winter was very mild and  our deers and bunnies were not hungry probably, other 2 winters those beauties were eater before I can spotted them!

To see what others are harvesting this week, head over to  Daphne’s Dandelions for pickings from around the world!
Thank you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 3/15/2012

My husband is vegan, my son is on a very strict diet, gluten-free, casein-free, soy,-free, my daughter likes meat and eggs and veggies and I am somewhere is the middle.
So my kitchen is a mess!
Today I'd like to share my white sweet bread recipe, my daughter favorites. There is eggs and wheat, so our boys can not eat it.
I found the recipe in my bread machine book - stollen loaf.

1 cup milk
7-1/2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
3tbsp lemon zest
1tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 2/3 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4  tsp nutmeg
2 tsp yeast

After the mix is done add 2/3 cup of raisins (I mixed them with craising)
That will be 2 lb loaf and sweet program.
This bread comes big, white, reach of fruits, very nice to eat with milk or cup of coffee.
I think I will do it again today.
Thank you to The Gardener of Eden, where Robin hosts Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Russian sauerkraut - kislaya kapusta

I like to cook but I never made sauerkraut, and I mother-in-law is a very good in this. So, I decided to be a good girl, learn from her, and not last - fermented food is very healthy, very powerful natural probiotic, and very helpful with digestion.

 I do not have a recipe- just 2 cabbages, 2 carrots and 1/2 cup cranberries and salt.
My mother-in-law can not tell me how much salt I need,  it should be not just salty but a little bit bitter.
So I put ma be 2-3 rounded tbs of salt.
Shredded cabbage and carrot should be mushed with hands very hard, so it will be moistened and  juicy.

I put cabbage in a glass jar, I have one 3.2l
and smash down to eliminate air. I put a glass with water on the top of the cabbage as a weight, covered with paper towel and put and plastic bowl under the jar. The juice may come over the top.

Now I have to wait 3 days, each day I have to make a long hole with a wooden stick (do not use metal), to make an air and juice come out.
After 3 days it should be ready and refrigerated.
Will see......

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Warm day without internet

Yesterday was a really warm day! And I did not have my internet for 6 hr!
I usually work in my online store the whole day,  but yesterday the nature seems to asked me to work outside.
So I transplanted my tomatoes!
Oh my back!
I  have total 45 plants of red beefsteak,
red Siberian,
yellow and red plum
and sun gold.
I planted all if my compost soil and added 1/2 tsp of bone meal for roots, I am not sure about it, it will be a part of the experiment.

I would like to plant some of the plum and sun gold in hanging baskets on my deck.
My backyard is very shady,  I am fighting for the each sunny spot to make beds.

And I still the most sunniest part on my deck, so may be most of my tomatoes and eggplants will live there in containers.
May be I will plant some  zucchini in containers too.

Zucchini and squashes are doing well, very health, as I think. I would like to have a lot of zucchini! I love them. And my husband is vegan, do you understand what it's mean? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Harvest Monday - March 12, 2012

I am new in gardening and my today's harvest is very tiny.
I have some re-grown scallions, I am going to plant them in soil today.

There is indoore Komatsuna Mustard, (I recently figured out the name), thank for the help.

I will get some leaves for today's salad.

And my garlic outdoors is doing great.

It will be very warm week and I hope my daffodils will bloom. I am so happy the spring is here!!!!

To see what others are harvesting this week, head over to Daphne’s Dandelions for pickings from around the world.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Orchids - blooming season

When the weather outside is not warm enough, I am enjoying my inside orchids garden.

It is a blooming season, but my babies were slowly that time.
Most of them I have bought in regular stores without a species names, so 3 of them are just phalaenopsis.

 And this one I have bought from the nursery, and the name is - Oncidium Helmut Rohri "Purple Waters".
And this one is blooming since December!

I had orchids over last 5 years, but only 2 years ago I learned one trick - hot shower!
Ones a week, or in 2 weeks,
I put all my orchids in a shower tub and spray them first with warm water and than with a really hot water. May be is works as shock therapy, may be it feels like a tropical rain, but orchids like hot shower, they are growing more leaves and blooming ofter after that.
Just be careful, always pre-soak flowers with color or worm water, so you will not cook them, and let them completely dry after the shower, do not water 2-3 days after.