Peashoots for pesto growing….Yum!
We began a vertical aquaponic unit to test out the space to production ratio…Wow! This is the way to go, as far as high production for little use of square footage. The small Unit on the left was added to test this process. This photo shows a small unit set-up we use to test new processes and veggies. On the left you will see our pilot vertical test with some young kale plants.
Three weeks later we harvested an overflowing armload of kale.( Photo on right)..All that from a three foot long vertical growing unit in a very short amount of time! The kale went into the dehydrator to make delicious kale chips, which are a favorite at home.
Early summer 2013…
We have a wonderful crop of edible flowers appearing in our greenhouse and gardens! Pansies, Snap Dragons, Day Lilies, Nasturtiums, dianthus add spots of color and mouth watering fare! We also have a healthy crop of Pea Shoots and Sunflower Shoots, which are great in salads, on sandwiches, as appetizers, sauteed, or in stir-fry dishes. What is the difference between sprouts or Shoots? Sprouts are grown in water only. Shoots are grown just like any other plant, in a growing media (soil, or other) up to a few inches long and generally densely grown. Pea Shoots are bursting with the freshly picked pea-flavor! Yum! And they are packed with vitamins A and C and folic acid!
Sunflower Shoots are as flavorful as they are nutritious with vitamins A and B complex, D and E.
Special Thank you goes to Backwoods Brewery in Carson ,WA., for allowing us to use their kitchen to make our delicious Peashoot Pesto!
The new season starts out with intense planning while the Spring flowers bloom. This year we are proud to add Lilac Blossom to our list of Edible Elegance. Lilac Blossom Syrup adds elegance and a burst if flavor to teas, lemonades, ice cream, cakes, pan cakes, and crepes to name some. How about a Spring or Summer garden party with Lilac Jelly to go with your rolls and refreshing Lilac Blossom lemonade? We’ve been canning Lilac Blossom Syrup and Lilac Blossom Jelly. It tastes as good as it smells! You can now enjoy the scent and flavors of Spring all year long!
Because we live in the Cascade Mountains, we have a short growing season. A greenhouse helps extend the growing season, and it also allows us to grow plants that would not normally grow in our region. The greenhouse is in use year-round.
The photos below are an example of typical growth we see in our seedlings because we use worm castings as a major component in our gardening. Often times people will ask and I explain the results, but I figured I’d capture the results in a series of photos so that others could actually see what we experience. The photos show a flat of seedlings from a (Burpee Seed) mesclun spicey salad seed mix I planted in worm castings. According to the seed packet, germination is expected in 10 – 14 days after planting seeds. These seeds germinated in 24 hours! The benefits of composting with redworms (“vermicomposting”) goes beyond just a “green’ way to get rid of compostable trash. The resulting worm castings play a vital role in our garden and greenhouse. See the page on worm composting for the details and value of composting with redworms.
Spring has sprung!
Our Garlic has a great start. The raspberries are growing. Our edible flowers are staring to blossom. We are in planting mode, keeping a watchful eye on Jack Frost, who can show up unexpectedly.
Many plants over-wintered well in our greenhouse, which was an experiment. We have fuschia’s sprouting, that were not even buried to protect from the winter freezing weather! Of course the hardy mints and dianthus and snap dragons pulled through in the green house.