Long Absence

I haven’t written in a long time for a number of reasons. Mainly I just haven’t felt like I have much to say or had any tutorials to write up. But also my family has been in the process of a long drawn out move into the city. We are still in transition and expect to be in transition for a couple more years.

I am opening things back up and hoping I have a few ways that I may be an encouragement to others. Blessings

Cole Crops Cheat Sheet–Thinning Quick Reference

cole crops cheat sheet

Thin Cole Crops to the following spacing:

  • Rutabaga–6″-8″
  • Turnips–2″-4″
  • Kohlrabi–4″-8″
  • Broccoli16″
  • Cabbage–12″
  • Kale–12″-24″

This article is shared in Tuesday’s Garden Party.

The Problems of Peas

k planting

At this point I have severe bird and mouse problems in my garden. They know where the good eating is.
After diligently keeping all new seed covered with floating row covers, I am convinced of the mice and vole problem. That leaves me to preplanting almost all my seed. The only seeds not affected last year were carrot, chard, and corn. Why don’t mice like corn seed? I’m wondering if the mice will in turn eat the carrot, chard, and corn, if I’m not stuffing them on more delectable seed.

Peas, a rodents absolute favorite.

I decided to sprout my peas this year, hoping to avoid the preplanting. I started with 5 varieties: Little Marvel, Cascadia (snap), Canoe, Green Arrow, and Oregon Snow Bush (snow pea). Of the 5 varieties Little Marvel  and Cascadia sprouted the best. The other varieties tending more to rot than to sprout well. I planted sprouted peas and filled in with unsprouted seed, covering everything with row covers. Within a day or two the sprouts were emerging, but still half of those sprouts disappeared and no nonsprouted seed ever came up.

It’s not too late to start again.

Here’s a picture of my beautiful Cascadia crop. Really the only presprouted pea that worked. And I’m still thinking it’s a flook. I just got lucky this time.


This post is shared in Tuesday Garden Party.

Recognizing the signs of soil defiency in plants…Garden Notes

Soil deficiencies are observed in plants in the following ways:

  • Nitrogen Deficiency–generally produces in plants slender fibrous stems, and foliage and stems that fade to yellow in color.
  • Phosphorus Deficiency–the underside of the leaves turn reddish-purple in color, and the plants are slow to set fruit and mature
  • Potassium Deficiency–Ashen-gray leaves are observed instead of the normal deep green color. The leaves develop brown edges and crinkle  or curl. Later they become bronzed.
  • Calcium Deficiency–thick woody stems
  • Magnesium Deficiency–plants do not mature uniformly,  characteristic lack of color with the lower leaves being affected first, the area between the leaf veins turn yellow and then brown, while the veins remain green.
  • Boron Deficiency–produces more specific changes in different vegetables. Beets and turnips develop cork-like areas in the edible root. A hollow stem develops in cauliflower, while celery cracks.
  • Iron Deficiency–spotted, colorless areas develop on young leaves. Yellow leaves appear on the upper parts of plants.
  • Copper Deficiency–usually confined to peat or muck soils. Leaves become bleached looking and leaves and stems are flabby.
  • Manganese Deficiency–plants mature unevenly, the area of the leaves between the veins become yellow, then brown, while the veins remain green.
  • Zinc Deficiency–occurs in peat soils, leaves are abnormally long and narrow. The leaves may also turn yellow and be mottled with many dead areas.

While these are ways soil deficiencies affect plants in general, they do many times affect a particular vegetable more specifically. For Example, if cucumbers are pointed at the end, then the soil is deficient in nitrogen. If cucumbers are narrow at the stem and bulging at the flower end, then the soil is deficient in potassium.

“At first glance it may appear somewhat difficult to diagnose the problem in a garden where the plants are sick, it is easy if you pick out one vegetable and concentrate on that.

In general, it can be stated that plenty of manure, or good quality compost made with kitchen scraps and a wide variety of plant materials such as weeds, grass clippings, etc., will correct all soil deficiencies. At the same time, manure and compost will tend to neutralize an unfavorable soil pH. Whenever, there is a doubt concerning the cause of sick looking plants, it is recommended that heavy applications of manure or compost, or both, be used.”

by Charles Coleman out of “The Complete Book of Composting” by J. I. Rodale

Shared in Tuesday Garden Party.




I just finished off the last batch of pumpkin after beginning with 30 or so.

I did a big batch of pumpkin butter.

And then I mostly made pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin muffins.

Adding little chunks of pumpkin to all soups and anything else I could.

12 yr old enjoyed the pumpkin treats so much, she began planning more pumpkins for this year. I’m not so sure I agree. It was a bit of a mistake to plant so many.

I meant to plant loads of winter squash but didn’t label the pumpkins or the squash. Then the birds ate my first seed.

I guessed they had eaten the pumpkin and planted more pumpkin.

This year I’ll be sprouting all my seeds inside first, or covering them with a cloche.

Whole Wheat Noodles


1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp. oil

2 Tbl. water

1 egg

Celery Sprout

celery sprout

And now I know why they say 3m before transplant.
I’m probably too late but I’ll just see what happens anyway.


I shared this post in: Tuesday Garden Party

Super Veggie Shepherds Pie


super veggie shepherds pie

This is from laurels kitchen

onion, around 1 lb broccoli, 3-4 carrots, any leftover lentils or split pea, chopped tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt, pepper, plus any other leftovers you might want to add

3 potatoes plus milk for mashed potatoes.

I substituted 1pt. canned carrots, some split peas, 1pt. tomato sauce, frozen swiss chard, a few pickled peppers,  and some chicken.

Make mashed potatoes, meanwhile:

Saute the onion and then add in broccoli and any other raw vegetables that need a while to cook. When those are soft, add in the rest of the ingredients. Let cook for 15m. Poor into 9 by 13 casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes, and bake at 350 for 15m.

Spring Again


The ground finally thawed enough to dig up some parsnip. I left half in the ground for a little while longer.

The birds ate the first seed I planted and so these were planted a little late. I didn’t notice until well into the season because parsnip is slow to germinate. And its slow to grow too. But I’m still pleased to have a few fresh things this early on.

There’s Cabbage in My Eggs


mushrooms, bacon


Chinese Cabbage, green onions, fresh herbs


fry it all then add in the bacon


a few pickled peppers


when everything’s done add in the eggs


The kids turned up their noses but they all went back for seconds. And the toddler ate the veggies, which never happens.

It’s much prettier with a few eggs on a bed of greens, but I really need to use the eggs around here.