Less Noise, More Green: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bolting Rhubarb

Bolting rhubarb

I know rhubarb is not high on the list of many people's favorite fruit, but it is high on mine. I find rhubarb so versatile, being at home in both sweet and savory dishes. I have been eagerly awaiting the time when I can start harvesting stalks, so I've been closely watching my plants grow. This week I noticed some strange bulbous stalks growing in the center of the plants and I realized my rhubarb was bolting!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Warm Maple Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese Over Spring Greens

Spring Salad Recipe

One of the ways I volunteer at the URI Master Gardener Produce Donation Project is to edit and write for the project newsletter. This month I created a really great salad recipe using the only edible thing growing in the project beds right now - dandelions! Hope you enjoy the recipe and article:

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Providence Journal Blog Post: 'Eating local' blooms- RI ranks sixth on Locavore Index.

Providence Journal Blog Entry, locavore index

Are you trying to "eat local"? According to the 2014 Locavore Index, if you live in Rhode Island you are in one of the best states in the nation to do so.  Here are five ways to be a locavore.

 Read more

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hardening Off Transplants

How to harden off plants with a cold frame

You've spent weeks taking care of the seedlings under your grow lights.You've given them enough water and light and fed them with fish emulsion, then moved them to larger pots to give their roots room to grow. The time has come to plant your babies in the ground. Before you do, make sure you take the time to harden your transplants off, giving them the best chance of survival in their new home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A week on my urban farm: Bees, fermenting, edible landscaping, snow and other growings on!

urban farming, starting seeds under grow lights

This week has been a busy one, packed full of garden and kitchen activities. Having a productive urban farm means juggling multiple projects while planning out the next set of tasks. I love every second. Feeding my family with food I have grown, cooked and preserved is empowering.We are in the beginning stages of this cycle and I am feeling energized.      

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overcoming some challenges in my edible landscaping project

Crocuses, edible landscaping

I love planning out my gardens but unfortunately a plan is not real life. Real life gives you a winter that never ends and destroys the outside of your house. Real life reveals that the shrubs in the front of your house that you were just going to neatly reshape to fit your edible landscaping plan are too big, even after pruning. Real life is no fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Germinating seeds indoors: some like it hot, some like it cold

starting seeds indoors, heat mats, stratification, grow lights

I love my grow lights. They have made such a difference to the success of my garden. Living in a region with a short growing season, being able to start seeds indoors dramatically extends my growing time and in some cases has allowed me to get two plantings in before the first frost. Using heat mats and cold treatments are great tools to help some seeds germinate.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ten tips on safely using manure to fertilize vegetable beds

Using manure to fertilize vegetable beds, urban farming
Poop delivery!

I am very lucky. My best friend Roda has a horse and two alpacas. They poop and she is willing to share it with me! I know, I shouldn't brag, but for a vegetable gardener there is no finer gift than quality aged manure. Safely using this crumbly matter is easy if some simple steps are followed.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Amending sandy soil, composting and planting peas and lettuce in my edible landscape

This week has felt like gardening season is off with a bang! Several days of 50 degree weather and above freezing nights, bright sunshine and blue skies - heaven! I took full advantage and got some garden clean up, composting, soil amending and most excitingly, some seed planting done.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Signs of spring and garden treasures revealed

urban farming

Yesterday was glorious. The sky was blue and it was warm with not even a breeze. It was just a joy to be outside. I was able to get a lot of spring clean up done in the garden and the best part was seeing signs of life. After such a long, long, miserable winter, yesterday was a gift.

In fact, more treasures awaited for me under the winter leaves and inches of pine needles (thank you pine tree). I found two carrots I had missed when I dug up the bed in the fall, strawberry plants that survived being transplanted in November, chives, garlic and spinach! I laughed out loud when I saw the spinach. Here I am, babying spinach indoors, trying to get it to grow, unsuccessfully I might add, when Mother Nature keeps it alive outside under blankets of snow. Once again, I bow to Her superiority.

On the agenda today is amending the horrible soil  in the new bed I created on the side of the house  and planting peas and lettuce. 

What are you doing in your garden today?


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Local grass fed beef and making bone broth with Oystergirl

grass fed beef, local food
Hamburgers made from New England Grass Fed ground  beef. Yum!

How much meat do you eat and how important is it to you how the animal was raised?

We eat a lot of plant based meals, but chicken and bacon are often on our menu and Art Girl and I love fish (Computer Man and Computer Boy would rather eat sticks and rocks). We are not big red meat eaters but when we do eat it, ground beef is usually the meat of choice.

I am trying to buy as much pastured meat and dairy as I can these days, but finding 100% grass fed anything in the supermarket is not always easy. Add trying to support local producers to the list and you really need to know a farmer or supplier to buy from! Luckily, many of our local farmers markets now have local meats for sale and some even have CSA programs.