This Week In My Kitchen
An Easter Trip to Maine

Waking Up


Guess what!? Sunday was spent entirely in the garden! 

We overturned another 400 square feet to expand our back garden and will retire the front garden this year. Keeping all the veggies in one place will make life easier on the weeks we don't receive an inch of rainfall and a little hand watering is in order (especially in the early seed stage). Lugging 200 feet of hose to multiple points on the property is a task I'm happy to let go of. Now the hose can stay put in one spot, close to this garden.


In the fall we transplanted 80% of our raspberries from behind the house to the back field so they could take up residence with the vegetables, blueberries and strawberries. I left a small patch near the house "just in case" the transfer was an epic failure. These raspberries are quite special to us as they are an old variety that were brought down from Adam's grandmother's homestead in Vermont - canes from a patch she has been tending for decades. I gave my neighbor a pint from our harvest last year and she declared they were the best raspberries she'd ever tasted. I agree! I'm sure this will be a transition year for our raspberry patch but I do hope it takes hold in the new location, there's something kind of sweet about having a berry patch within the vegetable garden. Literally. 


Not much is happening in the way of things greening up out there just yet (except for the garlic!), but the soil is soft and welcoming to early spring plantings. On Sunday I planted radish, onion, shallots, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, peas, carrots, three kinds of lettuce and spinach. I forgot to get beet seeds! I'm hoping there are still some left at the co-op when I go grocery shopping later today. Adam temporarily fenced in the area I planted and the rest remains open as we need to amend the soil over the next few weeks to prepare for late spring plantings. 


I'm trying to be better about keeping a garden journal. Recording a few photos and thoughts on the blog is wonderful, but I need to keep a few extra notes that may seem a little tedious to share here. Last year I finally mapped out our blueberry patch in this notebook (we have about four varieties and the identification tags they came with will fade over time), and now I am adding a map of this year's spring garden. New sketches will replace this come summer and fall as succession crops are planted, but this record should be quite helpful through the season and years to come. 


Kale cage

Last autumn, Adam stumbled upon a roadside find of several free screen doors. Wisely knowing I would dream up something to do with them, he threw them in the back of his truck and made his way home. 

Kale cages! I believe were the very words that sprang from my mouth the moment he pulled up the driveway. (He knows me well, of course I'd have a use for them!) Last year we tried floating row covers in order to keep the dreaded cabbage moths away from the kale and collards, which served the purpose nicely, but were a little cumbersome to get in and out of... I knew there had to be a better idea. 

Well, if all goes well that better idea is now sitting in my garden (one of them at least, there is one more cage to build still). Adam designed it so one of the sides swings up for easy harvesting, weeding, and direct watering if needed. The height and width are perfect for a bed of kale and collards (probably will try bok choy and arugula under cover as well as they suffer the same cabbage moth fate).

It was a perfect, much needed day in the garden. Here are a few more moments from the day...


{All hands on decks for coop cleaning!}



Sunset garden

Turning dirt, planting seeds, happy foraging chickens... we're all waking up, and it feels amazing.