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.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Urban farming therapy

I had quite the productive weekend here on the homestead doing some gardening therapy after a very stressful week. Hank's pneumonia is improving with the multitude of antibiotics and he hasn't had any crazy high fevers in a couple days.

I went a little nuts and bought a lot of plant starts so I prepped one of the raised beds and planted two types of lettuces, spinach, broccoli and green onions. Well, they are actually red in color, but you get the idea.

Since I had so many starts I ended up planting them across my three main raised beds. The middle bed, with most of the new starts got a floating row cover to protect them from our chilly nights.

This year I decided to dedicate a new raised bed to annual herbs (with a few other things). My husband is Mr. Herbs so I built and filled a 4'x4' bed and put in dill, cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. There's still space for some more plants so I'll be adding to it later. I dug out the container that formerly held mint (otherwise known as the giant root ball), put in new potting soil and two new mint plants. I think I'm the only person that can't successfully grow mint.

Anyway, I ended up doing a bit of weeding while I waited for our drill to charge to build the new bed and got to inspect up close and personal the blossoms on our columnar apples, cherry tree and blueberry plants. The blackberry bushes are starting to fill out and I found three more morel mushrooms growing in the wood mulch. Our oregano is coming back and filling in nicely as well.

Since I'm off from work for spring break, I'll be doing some more stuff, mostly indoor seed starting and putting up the hoop house over one of the beds. I figured out where to put this year's pumpkin patch. We'll be doing Cinderellas (a French heirloom, Rouge vif D'Etampes) and I'm trying not to go too crazy with them. But we do like them pumpkins and I suppose if we are overrun I can set up a pumpkin stand and sell some to the neighbors.

I'm hoping this year to have more food growing in our yard than in the past and have schemed up a few new ways to add growing space without breaking my back. I started two potato grow bags a few weeks ago but nothing has come up yet. I'm hoping they'll start peeking through the soil soon. I'll cover the other techniques as I get to them.

I'm not sure our dwarf honey fig tree survived over the winter, but if not I'm not going to cry. I can certainly use the space for something else. Maybe a columnar peach or something neat like a plum. And, I dreamed last night that I got an angora rabbit and named her Ms. Hopkins. I've been watching a little too much Regency House Party lately.

Well, that's it from over here.

10 comments:

Button said...

Sounds like things are coming along well. Hope the pneumonia passes fast.

Tiny Berkeley Garden said...

Rouge vif d'etampes is my all time fave. I have 16 starts this year - not sure where I'll find the room to plant them all. They're gorgeous and yummy though...

Elizabeth B said...

I think I'm the only person that can't successfully grow mint.

Uhhhhhhh *sheepishly raises hand*

I mean, what it is about that plant?! You stick it in the ground and it is like HA HA, YOU FOOL, I WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD, but stick it in a pot and it wimps out. What gives, mint?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Damned mint. I know if I planted it in the ground it would go nuts and take over like bamboo.

Fragmentary Green said...

The trick is to hit the mint with a weed wacker every time the thought occurs, I swear. I had a mint plant keeling over in 110 degree heat, and Dad decided it was dead (it WAS crispy), so he ran it over with the lawn mower. Voila! Live mint.

Mary said...

I'm hoping this year to have more food growing in our yard than in the past and have schemed up a few new ways to add growing space without breaking my back.
Have you considered using a shoe organizer as a vertical planter? This would work well as an herb garden, or growing Tonda de Parigi carrots.
Instructions here:
http://www.instructables.com/id/VERTICAL-VEGETABLES-quotGrow-upquot-in-a-smal/

Rachel said...

And here I thought I was the only one that could kill mint. For some reason we can't grow mint in the sun here, even though it doesn't really get that hot in the summer.

Troy said...

Mint really does best if it has at least 10" of soil to root in.

I've found that those oak half barrels work great as mint planters.

Of the 300 varieties of mint, some are much hardier than others. It seems like the ones that taste the best are the hardest to grow.

Dmarie said...

almost happy for you that you can't grow mint. it's taking over here and I'm having some regrets about it!! (shady spot)

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

My dad, who was Mr. Greenthumb, couldn't grow garlic! It doesn't get much easier than garlic. Some things just don't work some places, I reckon.
Our weekend was cold and snowy and wet and yucky! But at least we didn't have tornadoes.
Glad to hear good news about Hank.

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