Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Urban Farming 2010 - Week 1

This weekend I spent a lot of time outdoors preparing the backyard for this season's food growing. We've had some really warm weather here in Seattle and spring has arrived about 4 weeks early. All the cherry trees are in full bloom and our daffodils have been in full blossom for the last week.

Friday I started some seeds inside, mostly varieties of lettuce. Yesterday I dug up and prepared one raised bed and planted Jersey King asparagus, and flat-leaf parsley and cilantro starts. My Italian oregano and chives are already growing like crazy this year.

I prepared the old strawberry bed, which will now be the space for lettuce, spinach, carrots and radishes this year. I also prepared a spot for a pumpkin patch since we have a ton of seeds left over from some sugar pie pumpkins.

Today I'll prepare the third raised bed and maybe start some peas and beets. I still have to transplant my columnar apple trees (which miraculously survived last year's debauchery) and am contemplating growing thornless blackberries in a container just to see if I can.

This week is my beekeeping class, so I'm excited to get everything started for the year, even though there's a lot left to do and see grow. Where are you in this year's preparations? Are you still under a foot of snow or have you started some seeds inside or outside already?

23 comments:

LatigoLiz said...

I haven't started anything yet this year. I figured that getting burned last year by the cold snap was a warning so this year I am waiting until March. I may end up behind the game, but maybe not. I may get a few cooler-weather crops put in the ground in the next few days, but we'll see. I spent a good chunk of time today on the tractor dragging part of the pasture and leveling out some remnants of ditch digging last fall. Three hours or so on the tractor, but the pasture looks way better, or will in a few months when the grass grows back.

CodyGirlScout said...

Because we live in central AZ we have year round growing, basically four seasons. So we are just taking out some of our winter garden. That was lettuce, staying for a bit longer, winter squash, peas, garlic and onions, also staying a bit longer, carrots, broccoli and cabbage. We are planning a spring garden in the front yard. I am doing the digging and soil prep for that tomorrow. There we will be planting sunflowers and corn on the top to shade watermelon, canteloupe and cucumbers. The backyard garden will be tomatoes,already going crazy, peppers and and some other things we haven't decided on yet. We also planted 3 bare root trees that are starting to get leaves! I can't wait for all this yummy food!!

koolchicken said...

We don't really have snow here, so
I've been growing pineapples. :) They seem like they're doing well. But I can't grow much else here, I live in a community and they wouldn't like it.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

We're still "harvesting" the white stuff - except that now it's dirty and not lookin' so good.

There's a few more weeks before we can plant outside.

Aydan said...

No yard, and like the 4 Bushel Farmgal we're still harvesting the white stuff here-- but it's really nice to read about people anticipating spring. It soothes my restlessness for winter to be done!

Kate said...

We're still under a foot of snow AND I've started some seeds inside and out already. Arugula in the cold frames, garlic chives inside. More seed starting today too

Sandy said...

I'm in the same boat (and area) as Kate, but I got a little crazy about 3 weeks ago and started some seeds and potatoes inside. I started broccoli raab, cress, parsley, celery, par-cel and a few flats of lettuce. We're already eating the raab and the lettuce, and the potatoes have grown to the top of the bin I started them in, so I transplanted the parsley into the top and they can live there together. I can't WAIT until spring! I've got it bad this year.

Prairiemom said...

I won't be able to get out into my garden for months yet. It is still under about 1 1/2 feet of snow, and after the thaw I will have to wait for it to dry out. We usually try to get our plants in around memorial day. It seems like forever away.
It hasn't stopped me from planning tho. I got my Heirloom seeds in the mail a few weeks ago and started some things in yogurt cups in my window. My herbs will be going into containers soon too. I just need a little more soil.

All in all I will have raspberries, strawberries, peas, zucchini,cucumbers, rhubarb tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, acron squash, dill, chives and basil.
Come on spring!!

Oldnovice said...

Thanks for the reminder to cut the ferns on my asparagus. This year's ferns and crop should be coming on shortly.

Kate n Daniel Vickery said...

Wow, I am so jelous that your already out in the garden! Living in MN, we're just dreaming about planting time while we look out at several feet of snow!

We're actually 12 weeks away from the last frost date so we just started some artichoke, lavender and onions inside.

- Daniel

www.urbanton.com

The Urban Ton Project
Growing 2000 lbs of food on our urban city lot.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I hope you guys don't get a hard frost after the cherries have blossomed! We've had years like that with apples and peaches and you can lose the whole crop.

It's been a warm few days, and I got out to help make maple syrup yesterday. By help, I mean I hauled my 9 month pregnant belly and camera around the farm for an hour and then went and rested on my parents' couch. I'm hoping to help my in-laws boil sap down in a similar fashion today!

We're supposed to get snow all week, so nothing going on in our garden. My dad started a bunch of tomatoes and hopes to have tomatoes in the greenhouse by June 1, which makes me happy that I can take a year off of starting seeds.

Old Wise One said...

I should have already started, but this wetter than usual winter has the backyard garden too muddy - same for the family pecan orchard.

In addition to expanding the backyard garden, I have plans to add a large trellis for mirlitons (chayote squash, vegetable pear)and anxious to see how they do.

Mike
Baton Rouge

Sera said...

I'll try not to be jealous, that sounds delicious!!

meg said...

I put snap peas, shelling peas, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach and kale all this weekend. Oh, and some onions and scallions. Maybe a bit early for some...but with this sun I can't help it!
I'll start seeds inside this week.
Garlic and asparagus looking good. Yippee for spring!

Sense of Home said...

Oh boy, do I look forward to getting my hands in the dirt again. We are still buried under a good 30 inches of snow. However, I did attend a couple of gardening sessions at a local foods conference this weekend.

Brenda

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

We are still under maybe 15 inches of snow. How do you start seeds inside if you are "freezing your buns off"? Plus I have dogs and cats who would LOVE to tear up earth and seedlings.

bokashiworld said...

...and we have at least a metre of snow here in mid-Sweden. Temps below -20C and yet more snow predicted this week. Brrrr. But I've set up a planting operation in the garage, several tables with grow lights and heating cables under self-watering trays. I have "soil factories" going under the table: plastic storage boxes with potting mix and fermented Bokashi. Yesterday was kick off date: tomatoes, rhubarb, leek and onion seeds all got off to an indoor start!
/Jenny

cpcable said...

I wish that I was able to be outside already! Still awhile until that can happen, though. I did get my seeds in the mail and sat down this weekend to fill out my planting calendar. I'll be starting my first batch indoors next weekend. Yay!
-Courtney

Veronica said...

I'm putting onions outside today. This year I am adding 2 more 3x3 beds for my square foot garden. I have several things started inside. I've found this great website (http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net) and she actually tells you what to plant when according to your area. I'm very excited about my garden this year!!!

Adrienne said...

Still a good month at least before I can put anything outside. But I ordered seeds for a couple kinds of lettuce, chard, & spinach, and I'll buy starter plants at the farmer's market for tomatoes and herbs when the time comes. This is the first year I'm having a garden (in containers on my apartment patio), starting from seeds kinda sounds like too much of a challenge first off, plus I'd have to close off a room from the cats.

Stephany said...

It's a bit early for working outside here. We just got 6 inches of snow, last night. I will be starting seedlings around the first of March.
The only thing growing around here is my aloe and my sprouts.

Sustainable Eats said...

I'm in Seattle too and trying to harvest all my winter brassicas that are going to seed. I'm swimming in collard greens, kale, lettuces, broccoli and cabbage. I just dug up the last overwintered carrot bed and still have a bed of turnips & rutabages. It's time to get those out so I can plant out the spring stuff! This spring has been amazing.

Happy gardening!

Sidonie said...

I wanted to share some info for all your comment posters that are lamenting the late arrival of spring. 3 years ago, we constructed a modified version of the Eliot Coleman polytunnel greenhouse. For about 300.00 we put this together and can garden year round now. We are still eating our over-winter planting, we keep our herbs going year round, and have already cycled through the earlier planting of spring greens and are replanting. We grow medicinal, culinary and dye plant herbals, 8 different lettuces, assorted mesclun mixes, beets, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, many different squashes and pumpkins, melons, potatoes, cucumbers, too many flowers to mention, a berry patch with 30 assorted plants, and a small orchard of 15 assorted fruits. We also do alot of wildcrafting of local bounty such as elderberry, blackberry, wild plum, crab apple and wild herbals. I would encourage anyone with even the smallest of space to work with to check out Eliot Colemans "4 Season Harvest" and consider a small greenhouse. You will increase your yield and extend your growing season. It has changed how we garden forever, and has proved to be a tremendous investment. namaste

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