Saturday, February 28, 2015

my garden journal

it really comes in handy, to be able to look at previous years. when i planted stuff, when it sprouted, when i transplanted it outside, when it flowered, when i harvested it.
2-15-15 photo fceaa27e-affd-4b5c-b967-732cc2b071e4_zpswned3igc.jpg

its also where all the garden layouts are kept
2-15-15 photo 32e63680-7623-4499-a398-2e4e37cc2903_zpsouobrjek.jpg

the yellow tabs makes it easier to flip thru. it goes back to 2008.
2-15-15 photo 8fdd80ca-1d5b-441c-828f-b435c990ca27_zpsivwxtobh.jpg

Thursday, February 26, 2015

see how my garden has grown, pictures from the beginning

how it first began in 2005, my second year in my house. its about 5'x5'

2006 doubled in size the first time to about 5'x10'

2006 garden layout. i didnt keep track of what i planted the first year.
2-15-15 photo e8a2551a-878e-4243-92a5-bc6dd553d79e_zps7d4b848e.jpg

2007 adding more space

2007 garden layout
2-15-15 photo cb2f19bb-50bc-4e3d-a956-40b852728487_zps6810fec7.jpg

the garden how it looked 2007 and 2008

2008 garden layout.
2-15-15 photo 66c61c58-d032-4868-b15a-167866bd1dba_zps58c6adb1.jpg

taking down the fence in 2009 to double in size again

after tilling 2009

new fence up and ready to go 2009

2009 garden layout
2-15-15 photo 57a3b499-3309-47d4-86e9-2e281a46e162_zps7e721794.jpg

2010 newly tilled addition

2010 all fenced in. this is the current size of the garden, somewhere around 15'x25'.

2010 garden layout, in color!
2-15-15 photo 75cc436f-6f18-471c-a48f-35bef1f4ed5f_zps698a44cf.jpg

fall 2010 hauled blocks for my first raised bed garden

fall 2010 built a raised bed garden
 photo 9-19-10103.jpg

2011 garden layout, in color! i made tomato sauce this year. can you tell?
2-15-15 photo a913af3a-6587-4c79-a56c-388565b46a49_zps48dbc262.jpg

2012 garden layout. i was working part time this year and the year before and it was really rough on me. i was unable to plant a full garden, and unable to take care of some of what i did manage to get planted. i couldnt keep up with the weeding. it was just a bad year all around. i finally had to quit the job in june.
2-15-15 photo 8241c098-7429-4581-a249-2ef0072e100d_zps16f6f5dd.jpg

spring 2013 replacing the garden fence
taking it down, so many pieces. at least 8 different pieces, patched in each time i expanded.
 photo e553d100-dd37-4921-958d-d8cd5232ffd6_zpsa8892d8f.jpg

left side out, pavers overturned to allow me to dig/pull the buried part up.
 photo 5b86321e-0c65-4193-a2a0-17aee4d4195b_zpsecb2c303.jpg

front edge of garden fence out. the fence has to be buried, and surrounded by pavers to keep the bunnies out.
 photo cd891a3a-a6c0-456c-b0c6-1fdf2d5011aa_zps48ba863b.jpg

2013 new garden fence in
 photo 0d8a1d0a-9bc8-4ff1-a6bb-fa5d04ff39ae_zpsae72a79b.jpg

2013 garden layout
2-15-15 photo 07ab7637-8296-456d-8db2-b10b60352c31_zps239bb28a.jpg

fall 2013 built a greenhouse from scrap/salvaged materials
 photo c5a21035-1cec-4141-bcbf-9e7eabc7564b_zpsed44ff14.jpg

fall 2013 greenhouse
 photo 7c9fb9c4-0bc0-4c12-90f3-7cefd72c0be9_zps81d2c286.jpg

2014 garden layout
2-15-15 photo 5541745a-f733-465b-ad06-bc0d5cea22b5_zps14d33c21.jpg

fall 2014 64 blocks all hauled out and ready for construction, next to the existing raised bed garden.
10-21-14 photo 1ac41453-8f9c-4444-8f38-56f83644ffb1_zps637fcd22.jpg

built a second raised bed garden
10-21-14 photo 889b8da7-6275-4f42-b750-91099b543a7a_zpsb56e62f3.jpg

the tentative garden layout for 2015 garden. from that free month of garden planning software i mentioned a few weeks back. sorry the printer was running out of ink.
2-15-15 photo 729fe3b1-023a-465c-b665-bb501d48f80b_zps9a50fda0.jpg

Saturday, February 21, 2015

so many seeds

i have a few seeds...
2-15-15 photo 2a893480-b81a-4a86-805b-a21145041401_zps2e455770.jpg
they're organized by when i can plant them: 'start indoors' 'cool weather' and 'warm weather'.

because i cant remember shit, when i go thru the seed catalogs, i have to make lists of which seed catalogs were selling which seeds. then i can look at the list and figure out which catalog has everything i want that year. but even then, i had to order from three different companies to get the seeds i wanted this year.
2-15-15 photo 933b58aa-1985-4e71-8163-400d25aaea68_zps35ff0523.jpg

getting the back bedroom ready for starting seeds. my grow light setup. and the old shower curtain i use to protect my hardwood floors from all the dirt i spill and water too. i'm a messy gardener. the shower curtain makes cleanup easier.
2-15-15 photo 26c917fc-520a-44f6-b837-10f196b877b2_zpsc4dd31aa.jpg

Thursday, February 19, 2015

february in minnesota

this no snow thing is so weird.
2-15-15 photo dd568a75-b7b6-4de1-83a0-6a439338bc8d_zps090eab35.jpg
this picture was taken by sticking my camera out the doggy door. because the porch doors were all frosted up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

birthday pics

homemade pear sorbet from my very own pears!
3-7-15 photo b3f74748-c513-4a88-a516-163451d1bd0f_zpsvnrzkkji.jpg

my birthday gift from a friend, very nice gardening gloves and hand lotion. what every gardener needs.
3-7-15 photo 7f63d33e-2238-4c0c-b768-ed9736afcff3_zpsnb2xsiq9.jpg

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

dog sledding

they neighbors two houses down hooked their two dogs up to a sled and they were pulling the two little boys up and down the snowy street.
1-15-15 photo 2d6f7c6c-e4fb-4391-9ef6-10862bdfb14a_zps1d23c68d.jpg

1-15-15 photo fe313a3b-4337-44de-8efc-e0162a59a228_zps47699aa1.jpg

the photos didnt turn out all that great, it was overcast and dreary out. and i was taking them thru my living room window.
1-15-15 photo 0e72def4-f7f9-4a84-80a6-361650b52735_zpsd0b97458.jpg

the dogs were fine with pulling one little kid or the other, but they refused to pull both. so the second kid was getting out of the sled here.
1-15-15 photo b8640a70-60b2-4fde-a2b5-d26bf48523da_zps6a8d4901.jpg

their dogs are a golden retriever and a white fluffy samoyed who kinda blends into the snow in a lot of these photos.
1-15-15 photo f538ee8c-4615-46d6-b5b0-aa03865fe709_zps2a51ab8f.jpg

they all seemed to be enjoying themselves tho!
1-15-15 photo 87e98638-3520-4430-832a-ed8d22cc9151_zpsd520a349.jpg

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

free garden planning software

once you use an email for the free trial, you cant use it again, even years and years later. so anyway, i went over there and signed up for a free 30 day trial under a junk email. and using the quick drawings i made from going back thru my old pictures this morning, i printed out a lovely copy of my garden layouts from 2012, 2013, and 2014. then i made a tentative layout plan for 2015. i try to rotate crops, so these layout pictures really help. i put the layouts from previous years into my garden journal, but am leaving the 2015 out to keep looking at. i have 30 days to tinker with it. then the free trial ends again.

if you're interested, you can sign up here . no credit card info is asked for or anything. they email you a confirmation code or something like that and then you enter that code in their site and you're good for 30 days. you can only save one version to tinker with, so if you're going to print out multiple years of layouts, i suggest you start with the older ones first. because i used a junk email, i cant honestly remember if they send spam out trying to entice you into buying the whole program, which costs $25 per year. i wouldnt mind buying garden planning software. buying the actual software with a disc to load the software permanently onto my computer. but i'm not paying $25 a year, year after year, just to be able to access it only on the internet.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

pear tree pruning

i pruned the pear trees. there wasnt much to prune this year. the only tree that threw off a lot of wild new growth was the parker tree. the others seemed to just work on extending and thickening existing branches for the most part. but its only 18`F out there. very cold on the fingers even in gloves. mostly because i have to stand there and stare at the trees, trying to decide if the branches in one area are too crowded, need to be thinned, or if the weight of those branches when pulled down slightly will be fine. i end up circling the trees a bunch of times, standing and staring. looks like i'll need to weigh down a lot of branches come spring on the luscious, patten, and summercrisp trees. pear trees try to grow all their branches vertical. you have to work against the tree to spread them down more horizontal. ideal crotch angle is about 60`. you dont want fully horizontal 90` angles, and you dont want fully or nearly vertical either. too wide OR too narrow a crotch angle and the branch is weakened and more likely to break off. and you want the branches spread out enough so the sunlight can reach the most leaves and fruit. if you let the branches get too thick or crowded then diseases are more likely to affect the leaves or branches. all things i try to remember as i stand there staring at the trees.

Monday, February 2, 2015

strawberry donuts with strawberry glaze

i made strawberry donuts with strawberry glaze. with real strawberries. and i made a spectacular mess (as usual). i washed my hands a hundred times while this was all going on and i'm still finding sticky spots. everything is sticky! but the donuts were pretty good.

first, thaw the frozen berries
2-15-15 photo 693a9a85-9f94-41c6-87e6-63bd5e9b9c40_zps8qbeywpg.jpg

puree the berries
2-15-15 photo 8701e23b-3b7b-42f4-9ff7-8c4200eac355_zpsuqnkmjp4.jpg

mix up the cake batter and pour into a zip lock bag and cut the corner off
2-15-15 photo 4f7ab708-e02c-4c61-962e-d7bc07ba107b_zpswsahygce.jpg

plug in the donut maker
2-15-15 photo 5352acf8-f9fd-4ada-8948-dd27c9fe39f2_zpsrka8elvh.jpg

squeeze the bag into the donut maker (try to aim better than i did)
2-15-15 photo 05d73303-198e-4cbe-97f4-36a22f713f93_zps7hleftea.jpg

strawberry donuts!
2-15-15 photo 280d2f79-4584-4ef8-8804-e413598ff96e_zps36yj3t50.jpg

mix up real strawberry glaze and dip donuts in it
2-15-15 photo 55c45427-fa6a-4a83-bfb7-caf47120315b_zpsbjgn5eda.jpg

plate up and freeze. cuz one box of cake mix makes 4-5 plates of 9 each donuts. and even i cant eat that many at once.
2-15-15 photo 3970cf76-4e2f-40dc-adab-f060abdea5af_zpsvillshd7.jpg

cake mix donuts
mix one dry cake mix with 1 egg, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined – a few lumps will remain. dump the batter into a large resealable plastic bag, then snip off one corner and use that to “pipe” the batter into the Mini Donut Maker

strawberry glaze
1 ½-2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup very finely chopped (or mashed) fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon milk
combine 1½ cups of powdered sugar, strawberries and milk in a medium-size bowl. Stir well until all powdered sugar is incorporated. Add more powdered sugar till mixture is a thick, dip-able glaze.
Dip doughnut tops into glaze and place on a wire cooling rack until glaze is set.