Tag Archives: spinach

Spring in My Gardens, 2018

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Spring in My Gardens, 2018

Photos from March 30:  Lillian planting peas with her grandma, Terry.   Turning the soil in the raised beds.

Although its early May, I’ve already been working in my gardens for nearly two months.  Often the first trip to the community garden occurs on a warm day in late February or early March and snow may still be on the ground.  Many times, we’ve had to brush aside snow and chisel away at the soil to get our St. Patrick’s Day peas planted.  But not this year.   We had a rather mild winter in Colorado so the soil was uncharacteristically workable in early March.   My garden pals and I were thus at Rosedale digging early in the season and the peas went in like butter.

Photos:  Toasting St. Patrick’s Day with my mom’s Waterford goblets, picking up free compost and burlap bags at Allegro’s Coffee’s Earth Day Celebration, me posing in front of our robust garlic patch with Marilynn’s garden behind me.   She was my neighbor for 17 years and sadly died of lung cancer the day before this visit to our garden on March 16.

By March 16, we’d planted our first round of peas and spinach.   A few weeks later, we planted more peas with the help of Terry’s grand daughter Lillian as well as other cold crops including lettuce, carrots, beets, broccoli and more.   I was also surprised to find that many crops that typically don’t make it through the winter, survived — cilantro, rosemary, kale, chard, parsley.

Photos from March 16:  Ana,Terry and Susan getting ready to plant peas on a very windy March afternoon, our tomato cages all lined up where we plan to plant tomatoes in late May, the garlic patch growing between planks of wood for walking.

We’re off to a good start and busily prepping all the beds for the big warm season planting in just a few short weeks.  Although the weather can be deceptively nice in May, we still must restraint ourselves from planting our precious tomatoes, peppers and warm season crops until we’re safely past May 22.   Last year, we had about 6 inches of snow around May 20!

Photos from March 31:   Free tomato seeds earned as a volunteer at DUG free seed distribution, tomato seedlings planted on March 31, two trays of 12 6 packs of tomatoes and peppers growing under lights and on heat mats.

Timeline of Chores

  • March 9:  Map the garden
  • Order or shop for seeds
  • March 12: Volunteer at Denver Urban Garden Seeds Distribution — earn free seeds
  • Visit the plots and make plans for prepping the soil
  • March 16: Plant peas and spring crops
  • Fill milk jugs with water and pack in back of car
  • March 30:  Start seedlings — tomatoes and peppers in early April
  • April 7:  Attend Rosedale Community Garden Spring Meeting, pay fees and network with fellow gardeners
  • Turn soil, pull weeds, lay down burlap on paths
  • April 20:  Visit Allegro Coffee for Earth Day Celebration — pick up burlap bags and free compost
  • April 23:  Flower garden consultation at home with Shirley at http://www.mindful-gardener.com (More later!)
  • April 25:  Transplant seedlings to larger pots
  • April 26:  Scored 6-packs of broccoli and cabbage seedlings at King Soopers for $3.49/pack
  • May 1:  Plant spring bulbs, broccoli and cabbage; plant cover crop in the pumpkin patch
  • May 2: Plant broccoli and cabbage at St. Philip Donation Garden with Jennifer

Photos from April 25:  Susan working on repotting the tomato seedlings, tomato seedlings ready to transplant, individual seedlings in peat pots.

Photos on May 2:  Newly planted broccoli and cabbage with Jen Drews at St. Philip Donation Garden.

 

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Seed Bombs in a Goody Bag — Sweet!!!

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IMG_4461[1]I was introduced to the concept of seed bombs in my master gardener class last year.   As part of my give back hours, I was often asked to demonstrate this project as a fun (and messy) kid’s activity.

A seed bomb is made up of clay, soil, water and a sprinkling of seeds — often very tiny ones which are hard to handle.    To make one, you take a bit of moistened clay, soil, add some seeds, roll a ball and let it dry.   The dried balls can be stored in paper bags and later, easily thrown in the garden to plant,   I threw my collection of balls into my plot late last fall and was greeted by a nice variety of spinach and lettuce early this Spring.

On Saturday afternoon when I received a pretty package of special seed balls, I was thrilled and impressed with the giver’s creativity.   Sarah Spearman, a new gardener at Rosedale Community Garden, had created this package for the students in her healing herbs class at the Denver Botanic Gardens.   And she had saved one for me!!!   I can’t wait to plant them and create my own “Garden of Youth.”

 

Lentil, Kale and Carrot Soup

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Lentil, Kale and Carrot Soup with Creme Fraiche and Dill

Creamy lentils, and earthy vegetables combined to make a soul-satisfying soup.   We’ve made this delicious soup many times and even freeze the extras.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 whole Large Leek Or 2 Small, Chopped
  • 3 whole Carrots, Sliced 1/2-inch Thick
  • 10 cups Chicken Stock
  • ¼ cups Red Wine (optional)
  • 1 can (28-ounces) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2-½ cups French Lentils
  • 1 bunch Kale, Chopped
  • Juice Of Half A Lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
  • Pepper To Taste
  • ½ cups Creme Fraiche Or Sour Cream
  • 3 sprigs Dill, For Garnishing

Preparation Instructions:

Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and carrots. Cover pot, turn heat to low and let vegetables sweat for 20 minutes.Remove lid and add chicken stock, wine (if using), crushed tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until lentils are soft.  Using a ladle transfer about 4 cups of soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup back into pot. Stir in kale and lemon juice. Season soup with salt and pepper if needed. Serve soup with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprig of dill.

by Carrie @ Deliciously Organic on February 20, 2010 in Soups