Monthly Archives: May 2014

Late Start in a New Garden – Late Spring Early Summer

This post is for gardening fans that move to new quarters in late spring or early summer but want to have some GARDEN FUN this year. If you move into a place where the previous tenant had a garden then…..  BUT if you move to a place with a virgin lawn what are your options?

  You are in luck if you live in a region with a nearby farmers market and/or a number of local CSA’s ( Community Supported Agriculture) to purchase a supply of seedlings for the garden late in the season. And have access to some expertise to ask a few questions as the season goes on.

If you do get a late start what ar your food options? The most popular summer plants are: tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplants. These are all great options for a new soil planting or straw bale gardens that are started in May or June.

What are these options:

NEW SOIL PLANTING-       Image

  1. Purchase Top Soil/Garden Soil- 40# bags at garden center
  2. Place several sheets of newspaper/or a sheet of cardboard on grass and wet thoroughly
  3. Cut an x in back of bag place on paper/board
  4. Cut large hole or several smaller hole on the top side of soil bag and plant 
    Image

    Veggies planted directly in Soil bag

  5. END OF SEASON- Prep for next year
  6. Lift bag and leave soil in place and add compost, manure, leaves cut grass to season in the winter for use next spring

HINTS/TIPS-        Some plants may need deeper roots – so using a box cutter or spade to puncture the paper or cardboard may be necessary.

STRAW BALE GARDEN –

Image

  1. Purchase several bales of straw and a few bags of garden soil or composted manure.
  2. Place in garden area on side(with open straw-string is usually along the other edges)
  3.  For 3 days wet the bales thoroughly
  4. Days 4-10 add a mixture of water/liquid organic fertilizer(High Nitrogen)
  5. Days 11-14 add water and finally soil/manure     
    Image

    Straw bales seasoned with water/fert- and soil READY to PLANT

  6. Make holes and plant seedlings with appropriate spacing [i.e. a standard bale  could support 4- 6 tomatoes/peppers….etc..  
    Image

    Just Planted Straw Bales

BAG OR SACK GARDENING –

This can be with commercially available planting sacks or “socks” or burlap bags commonly available from coffee roasters and other food processors.   

Image

Burlap bags filled with growing medium and providing a bountiful harvest

Natural material bags are filed with planting medium – soil/compost/manure and are placed in garden area- wet thoroughly and plant. The prevent weeds and are easy to water and maintain.  

####                        LONG TERM CONCERNS and PLANS  ( next year and after)

*** Testing the soil, Drainage, Tilth, Smell, Soil Life

  1. Soil Test- Can buy a kit or submit to local extension agent
  2. Drainage- dig a 1’ x1’ hole- Fill with water and time the drainage time  .4-6 hours is too slow and needs organic matter to speed  up and make it softer and ,2 hours it is too thin and needs more organic matter.
  3. Tilth – how firm is the soil- will it hold in a ball when wet, but break apart easily, or crumble with no resistance?
  4. Smell- Is your soil fresh, earthy or rotten and putrid?  ( may need to learn THIS ONE)
  5. Soil Life- Shovel full of soil-  How many worms and other visible organisms?

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Gardens Growing, Farmers Markets Open- SALAD SEASON !!

It is spring and the GREENS are popping up all the way TO THE MARKET. What we aren’t growing yet we can get in bundles.

I love the amount greens available- seems like THEY KEEP INVENTING  new greens- …and some of the best are the 1st vision of great beets or turnips or parsnips. I love snipping some tops from beets and turnips as I collect lettuces and other early greens

-Cabbage is close and asparagus will be here soon

 

+++Spring Focused- get creative with THE MARKET and garden

http://www.loveandlemons.com/2014/04/09/spring-root-watercress-salad/

* ADD some nuts and poms…

http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Salads/Pomegranate+and+Walnut+Salad+with+Balsamic+Vinaigrette

** sub strawberries at Farmers Market for Poms…

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quinoa_salad.html

### This just looked and sounded great

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/23273/thai+chilli+and+cucumber+salad

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Vegetarian and/or Vegan Diet and Lifestyle – Decision to Switch and Support for the Switch

        Several years ago while struggling with inflammation and the pain in my feet [plantar fasciitis] – I did a lot of research that led me to realize that dairy was a contributing factor to the discomfort and as a result of the information I decided  to drop dairy from my diet.

        This change had amazing results – in 5 weeks from the switch I felt relief from the pain that had bothered me for the previous 14 months. {I have been pain free in my feet ever since that time}

       In the year following the switch I started to think about making the switch all the way vegetarian. The original research also revealed some of the additional benefits of a plant based diet above and beyond the relief from inflammation that going dairy-free gave me.

SOME questions and concerns:

1] How would this change happen with my lifestyle?

2] What restaurants – that I regularly visited- would fit the diet?

3] What other restaurants would fit the lifestyle best? Did I like them and the food?

4] What about brown-bagging my lunch?

 5]  What about recipes and cookbooks?

 

The following websites and blogs are some that I visit regularly for info, entertainment and of course recipes.

 

http://vegweb.com/

From the site- “ Once upon a time, back in the year 1996, a food-loving, web-savvy, super-smart vegan saw a need for an online veg community. Not only did she want to share meat-free recipes with like-minded cooks around the world, she wanted to connect with others to discuss this burgeoning way of life”  This Is the basic story of the vegweb site. It is a lot of fun and loaded with tons of great information.

It is loaded with recipes, Community info, basic of veganism and a great blog.   

https://www.vrg.org/

The Vegetarian Resource Group has a nearly unlimited collection of info for new and long time vegetarians/vegans.  Come look and search and play. ( and be healthy)

From the ABOUT US page- The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. In addition to publishing the Vegetarian Journal, VRG produces and sells cookbooks, other books, pamphlets, and article reprints.

http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html

I loved meatloaf in the old carni/omnivore days so this site lets me make some fun LOAVES with what I have in the pantry and fridge at any given time or to plan ahead for shopping trip.

 http://www.veggieboards.com/

This is a fun forum with a wide variety of sub topics including recipes, exercise, fitness, gardening and lifestyle. Join in and participate-share- ask questions.

http://www.veganfitness.net/home/

As a lifelong athlete and now a 50+ fitness/health focused person I love the variety of conversations on this forum and the site.

https://twitter/martyroddy