The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

State of the garden: March 19, 2013

Brussels sprouts

A couple of folks have asked me how the garden's doing, so I thought I'd give you a quick rundown.  We're still eating Brussels sprouts and kale, and could have still been eating last fall's lettuce, but I ripped it out since the spring lettuce is nearly ready to eat and I needed the old lettuce's space.  The Egyptian onions are starting to put out lots of new leaves, so I'm adding green onions into nearly every dish, and the chickens are coming back up to speed on their egg-laying.

In the freezer, we've still got enough vegetable soup to last another couple of months.  We're just about out of sweet potatoes (except the ones I'm saving to make slips for this year), but have plenty of carrots, white potatoes, butternut squash, and garlic left.  We're getting low on meat, but still have a few homegrown chickens waiting to be thawed and turned into dinner.

Pea sproutMeanwhile, the spring garden is not edible, but is growing.  The earliest planting of peas (which I pre-sprouted instead of just soaking) came up less spottily than usual, despite cold weather, and I've put in a second planting, which will come up more evenly but will produce a bit later.  As I mentioned above, we'll be eating spring lettuce in a week or two, and I've recently planted (but not yet seen) more lettuce, arugula, tokyo bekana, cabbage and broccoli (under quick hoops), and Swiss chard.

My inside-started onion seedlings are big enough to transplant, but this week turned colder than expected, so I think I'm going to keep putting them on the porch for the day and bringing them in for the night, along with the flat of early broccoli and cabbage.  I just started a flat of early tomatoes and peppers as well, although I raise the main set of transplants under quick hoops (starting those a month from now).

The perennials are what will spring to life first, but beyond the Egyptian onions and a bit of sprouting from the rhubarb, I haven't seen much activity there yet either.  The fruit tree buds have barely begun to swell in what's still a slow, cold spring.  We haven't quite run out of firewood yet, though, so I guess I can wait on the turn of the weather.

Our chicken waterer is perfect for chicks from day one, through their laying career, and into old age.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We are still eating out of our over winter salad garden. Thank you for hoop instructions as my cabbage is growing nicely from last falls planting. I have seedings in the greenhouse ready to go in the 1st of April and then to be replaced by warm weather plantings. Thank you so much for your advise and information.
Comment by Mona Tue Mar 19 10:47:33 2013
Jealous lol! Here in Canada, my gardens are still covered in 2 feet of snow! However, I have Brandywine Tomatoe and Flax plants started in my sunny window.... with more to follow. It will be two months before I can set these tender seedlings outside! Within another month, I should be able to get my spring garden in though.
Comment by Grammomsblog Tue Mar 19 11:19:58 2013

Is your Tindora still alive? Im curious to see how it grows for you.

Comment by T Tue Mar 19 15:23:09 2013

T, They're looking good! The recent warm spell helped them take off. (They're inside, but it gets chilly inside during the winter, and I think that was holding them back.)

I may need to repot them soon since I'd stuck them all in the same pot at first. I'll definitely post when they bloom and/or fruit. Thanks again for the swap!

Comment by anna Wed Mar 20 11:57:25 2013

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