Let's Get Dirty
A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.
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By Penny Stine
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Look! This is why I plant spinach in November. Mine always, always, always goes to seed early like the spinach in this photo. When I used to plant it in April, I got maybe three leaves before it went to seed. By planting in November, I get a good month of picking spinach several times a week and then it goes to seed.
Speaking of picking spinach, here's a tasty salad made from spring greens, herbs and the last of my spinach. I went out to the garden and picked anything that was there, which was mostly spinach, a few mustard leaves (for a hot bite), a bunch of garden cress (for a peppery bite), and a handful each of kale and mint.
Then I tore up all the leaves, tossed them with cut up strawberries, blue cheese and toasted walnut. I made a simple dressing out of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Delish.
If you don't have quite as many assorted greens, you can make a similar salad out of just spinach, but the other greens give a few surprising flavors that are kind of fun.
By Penny Stine
Thursday, May 10, 2012
No, I'm not weighing in on the fight between Chick-fil-A and Vermont folk artist Bo Muller-Moore (what, you haven't heard of the Eat More Kale controversy??? Check it out here), I'm merely encouraging my fellow gardeners to plant kale. It is tasty, it is delicious and it grows in the heat.
Plus, if don't pull it up at the end of the season, sometimes it over-winters and gives you lots of lovely kale early in the summer, like this:
It's so nice to be able to pick and eat something from your garden in May, while you're still planning and planting.
Then you can take your lovely kale, toss it with olive oil, kosher salt, garlic and red pepper flakes and roast it in the oven.
I did not know this last year, but I have since learned that if you put roasted kale in an air-tight plastic container, it will keep for a couple of days, giving you tasty kale chips the next day. Unless of course, you can't resist eating just one more and end up eating all of the kale on the baking sheet.
I was going to bring some in to work to sample and share, but someone ate them all before I could do so. Besides, I can't eat roasted kale without getting little green bits stuck in my teeth, which is not such an attractive look for the office.
Maybe next time. I'll just have to bring my toothbrush, too.
All this gives yet another reason not to routinely rototill your garden in the spring.
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Here's a note from fellow Sentinel gardener, Beckie Giles:
We are trying a small hay bale garden this year to see how it does in our area. It started as my project and my husband has now taken over, which is good because he is meticulous with instruction so if we have any trouble we will know he followed the instructions to the letter and know what to adjust next year.
And here's a lovely garden quote sent by another Sentinel gardener, Darralee Matthews, which seems particularly pertinent, since several of us are experimenting with straw bale gardening and we have no idea whether or not it will work in our climate.
"A Garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Nothing says home more than the word "mom" and her special day is coming up this Sunday. Make sure to brighten her world with some spring flowers, but don't get half dead cut roses from the grocery store. Make her something unusual, something that keeps saying I love you all summer long.
I've gathered a few container garden photos fromPinterest. You don't have to have a big budget to get her something unusual. A container garden can be started from old junk you already have in your yard, garage or closet.
How about raiding mom's kitchen to find the perfect container? Just make sure it's not something sentimental she is saving from her mother.
Confessions of a Curb Shopahollic has something to say for our curb cleanup program.
Antique milk containers make a beautiful picture of spilt milk from suprbo.com.
Don't throw away those old boots!
Even junky cars can be turned into a work of art!
Have fun and use your imagination. Remember, mom knows the most special gifts were the ones you made for her.
By Penny Stine
Monday, May 7, 2012
I know I blogged about these last year, but they're just so cool I had to take pics again this year & post them. These are my walking onions, AKA perpetual onions, because they grow little bulbs out of the top (eventually, after they quit sending more green tops out) and plant more onions all around.
I didn't harvest many last year because I wanted to give them a couple years to get established and plant lots of other onions. I think I can harvest a lot this year, since I took some of the bulbs and got a second onion patch established.
I say I garden because I like to eat and because it saves money, but really, sometimes I think it's for the sheer joy of planting something and watching it grow. Kind of like having kids, except plants can't talk back or roll their eyes at you. Plus, you don't have to worry about sending them to college!