Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Innoculant, and Protecting the Blueberries

Now that it's Wednesday, I'm still catching up from the weekend. On Sunday we worked out in the garden after church. I have almost everything planted now. I'm just waiting for a couple of Winter keeper squash seed varities to arrive from Territorial Seed.

I planted all my pole beans and bush beans.
If you ever grow any type of legume you gotta try legume innoculant. I read about it when I first started gardening, way back when the boys were toddlers. My first favorite gardening book was The Square Foot Garden by Mel Bartholomew. It's perfect for urban gardeners just getting started. I'll have to post a picture of it one day. It's been well loved, and left out in the garden on occaision.

Anyhow... legume innoculant fixes the nitrogen and makes it available to the plant. So that first year, back in Oceanside, I did a little science experiment. I planted half of my peas with innoculant and half without. The half with the innoculant had almost twice the germination and grew much taller healthier plants. I always use it with any legumes now. I like to moisten my bean or pea seeds and then sprinkle the powder so that it sticks. It looks like this:

While Dylan and I were at the track meet on Saturday Rich got the greenhouse all replanted...except for two peppers that have to wait for the crazy broccoli and cauliflower to finish up. This first row will be peppers... habanero, jalapeno, bell, and an interesting paprika pepper that was given to us by a friend.

The middle row (the closest one here) will be cucumbers...3 varities so that they are ready at different times. Til they come up they are sharing their bed with the homeless pepper plants.

The farthest bed is the tomato patch... a cherry, a couple of Stupice, a couple yellow pear... not sure what all he put in there.... usually some Romas.

We have high hopes for these blueberries this year. They have tons of blossoms. We aren't big on sharing with the local birds so we have to put some netting over them. Rich and Dylan rebuilt that on Sunday so that we can stand up straight inside of the enclosure and the plants have room for future growth. Last year it was only as tall as the plants and we had to crawl under to pick berries...painful but totally worth it :).

Prefontaine Meet

On Saturday BHHS participated in the Prefontaine Track Meet at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay. There were 23 schools there. Some from as far away as the Portland area. Lots were 5A and 6A schools. It was a lot of fun. The kids were a little tired from their meet on Thursday so many of their times and jumps were off a bit but it was an exciting day nonetheless. Dylan's relays both placed respectably.

Hangin on the grass near the awards tent, waiting for their turn on the stand.

Dylan's runs the 3rd leg of the 4x400

The relay team. They do both the short and the long.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Goodies

Wow what a nice sunny weekend we had! It felt so great and we are supposed to be in for a few more days of it. It was 80 degrees yesterday at our house! It’s amazing… we had snow flurries on Tuesday morning!

I got most of the rest of the outside garden planted. Here’s the plan:

I make one of these “maps” every year so that I don’t forget what I planted when and where. I list the date of the planting, estimated germination time and about how long til harvest. It also helps me plan my rotation the next year. Notice the dirt? The stuff in pencil still needs to be planted in a few weeks as well as the greenhouse stuff.

Ya I wish they were pretty. Every year I think I should do an illustrated version that looks nice but all I ever get to is the down and dirty version.

Here’s what it looks like right now:

My tulips are lookin really happy… the bad news… the weeding fairies still haven’t stopped by.

The turnips, beets and peas are starting to sprout right on schedule. I thought the snow might make them hide a while longer.

And the apple trees are starting to blossom… check out how blue that sky is…love it!

This was Rich’s project on Sunday:

It will ultimately be a two bin composter so that we can have one active and one almost ready to use.

Sean got some new chickies last week. They are pretty adorable.

AND, I found these cute bamboo placemats at the Grocery Outlet on Sunday. I knew it would be perfect for my coffee/tea zone of the counter.That's actually greentea in the tin that says cocoa. One day soon I’ll write more about that Chemex coffee pot there (the thing that looks like a science beaker) and how it came about.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brookings Rotary Invitational Track Meet

The annual Brookings Invitational meet is one that the kids really look forward to. There were 12 teams in attendance this year. The local Rotary club organizes and runs the meet. They do a really great job. The wind made it a bit chilly this year and my buddy, Mr. Heater was quite popular and a welcome relief.

Dylan had a good day. He equaled his PR in the high jump using his off leg due to shin splints (he does this strange thing ...he can switch take off legs at will... it's just not normal lol) . Their relay team won both of their events and he made a respectable showing in the 200m as well.

Here are a few photos from the day.


This is his jump at 5'8"

Friday, April 10, 2009


First of all I’d like to wish everyone a blessed Good Friday and a meaningful Easter season. We joined in one of the not-so-everyday gifts of our faith last night and kicked off the Triduum with a Holy Thursday service at our church. It’s always a touching reminder of our roots.

Now back to the kale
I know. I hear ya. I was never a fan either.
I tried it steamed…I’d rather have chard.
I tried putting it in soup… not my thing.
I even tried tossing in olive oil and roasting…still didn’t do it for me

I had pretty much decided that I was just not a kale fan.

THEN while Rich and I were in Corvallis, OR for the boys’ high school state basketball tournament we happened upon the First Alternative Co-op.
We were hungry, they had a fabulous deli…it was perfect. We grabbed several new things to try out and one of the employees recommended the kale salad. What the heck, I’ve never been one to avoid beating my head against a wall so we tried some.

Let me tell you. I am a kale convert. This stuff was really good (as was everything we got there. If you are ever in town go check it out for sure. They lean toward Greek stuff but there is quite a variety). Upon our return there were a few things that we had tried that I wanted to look up recipes for including the kale and avocado salad.

I found a recipe online that is really close at the happyfoody website . The coolest thing about this page is the video they have. Make sure you watch that. What makes this salad work is smooshing the kale with your hands to sort of break it down. I used this recipe with a few small changes. I double the tomato and avocado ( I smoosh half of the avo the way it says to and chop the other half cause I like avo chunks) . I also add onion… either red or small green and pine nuts.

In the interest of disclosure I have to say that Rich and I love it, D was just ok with it. He thought it was a little hard to chew still. Maybe making it a little ahead would help with that.

And as for everyday gifts…. This dish is layered in them.

A huge shout out to Pam and Tom for sharing the love and bringing us avocado, lemons and tangelos while we were camping in Cardiff. Good friends and good food… gifts don’t get any better than that.

The gift of finding that gem of a store.
The gift of being reminded of that whole state tournament awesome weekend.
All sitting there in my favorite bowl…. Oh and ha even my favorite seed catalog there next to it.

Life is good :)

ETA:  I'm adding a link to a printable version of the recipe for ya here

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Rich took off of work early yesterday to get the garden beds tilled so I can plant stuff. We found a bunch (ha,ha... get it?) of carrots out there, abandoned and overwintered. It was today's yummiest everyday gift. It took forever to scrub them all but it was a great treat.

These poor dudes were holding onto each other to get thru the snow and hail I guess.

The results. I added a ton of green onion since we had to pick a lot of those too to get them out of the way, some olive oil, a little butter, garlic, chopped almonds, salt and pepper.


Spring has sprung
The grass is ris
I wonder where my shovel is

The sun and the blossoms this past weekend really got me motivated for the gardening season. So to start off my new blogging adventure I busted out the camera and had some fun.


Plum blossoms

Asian pear

Peach blossoms... these just make me happy