Baby plants and strawberries in my garden and what to plant 2 weeks before the last frost date

STRAWBERRIES

See the yellow in the middle of that flower? It is a baby strawberry! We haven’t had to water the strawberries at all this year or really take care of them except to pull the mulch off them in the early Spring and give them some Mittleider weekly feed. It seems that such goodness should come with a much higher price. If you haven’t had a fresh strawberry you just can’t imagine the sweet perfect flavor. The under ripe, chemical laden excuse for strawberries in the stores pale in comparison. Oh how I am excited for strawberry season!

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PLANTING

I have now planted the things that can be put in 2 weeks before the last Spring frost date. These include:

  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beets
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips

If you live where it is quite dry then you can put in Potatoes too. Where I live the rain still comes down quite frequently and the potatoes can rot before they sprout so I will wait a few weeks for them.

 

BABY PLANTS

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Baby Spinach

 

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Baby Kale

All of the seeds I started a few weeks ago are up and growing beautifully so now I start feeding them the natural Mittleider fertilizer mix once a week.(get it at www.growfood.com and learn how to use it HERE.) A few weeks ago I told you to get your micronutrients ordered and now is the time you will be using them.

I like to set aside one day a week (Mondays for me) to fertilize any garden plants that have sprouted. I stop doing this weekly feed when they are a few weeks from being mature. The fertilizer stays with them a few weeks so I don’t want to waste fertilizer on things I am going to be harvesting.

If I am fertilizing a 30′ x 18″ bed, once a week I will add 16 oz.(a soup can) of weekly feed to the bed near the roots of the plants. You don’t have to till it in or anything, just put in on the surface and when you water or it rains, the fertilizer will go into the soil. Messing up the surface of the soil and getting good contact with the fertilizer will actually help the fertilizer get into the soil better but it is not necessary.

In a 3×8′ bed put down 8 ounces (1 cup) of weekly feed).

As it warms up our plants will shoot up and we will be so grateful for the work we have put in!

Another thing to be doing right now is disturbing the soil in our garden beds. When you do this, weeds that have gotten started will be uprooted and won’t be able to grow. You are not disturbing your seedlings, but the rest of the soil. You aren’t watering the isles with this method of gardening so weeding will be kept to a minimum but to keep it even less, move your soil.

If you are growing straight in the soil, break down the sides of your garden beds and build them back up again to kill any weeds that have been germinating. You will be glad you took the time to do this. Eliminate the weeds while they are small and you will have much less work to do later.

Happy Healthy,

Elisa

 

Gallery of garden pics from last year

Buttery Beets

I have fallen in love with beets again this year! The ones coming from my garden are heirloom, organic Detroit Dark Red and Chiogga. The Chiogga ones look like a bulls eye. So cool. Together they make a beautiful delicious pair. 


The first time I saw the beets were ready to start harvesting, I brought a bunch home and cooked them in a simple but very satisfying way. I didn’t bring home nearly enough, so we each only got to sample them. I will be cooking them like this again, that is for sure.

First, clean and peel your beets. Then slice them to about 1/4 inch per slice.

Put the beets in a frying pan with butter! Isn’t it sounding divine already!!?

Fry the beets until they are starting to brown, then put about 1/4 cup of water in the pan and top with a lid.

Let the beets simmer/steam until they are soft.

Sprinkle with some sea salt or salt replacer and dish up.

Chances are you will want more than you made, so be prepared to do it again. 🙂

Happy Healthy,
Elisa

Today's harvest soup

Today’s lunch and dinner is soup from the garden. I am opting to cook once a day in large portions rather than spending my precious time in the kitchen all day. These veggies were all given to me from other people’s gardens. I had to leave my garden in Cheyenne to the people who are renting my house so I am missing out on the fall harvest. I am bringing things in from the garden I planted a month ago, just none of these things!

The flavor of this soup came from a pound of breakfast sausage I had. I am still not buying groceries (It has been a month and a half now), so I am using what I have. The pot I used was a 10 quart one, so you can imagine how spread out the meat is. My bowl had one piece! 🙂

I sauteed the meat and onions together, then added some chopped garlic cloves. To that I added a bunch of water and then started throwing in the chopped veggies. I even put in oatmeal that was left over from breakfast and some leftover chili.  The veggies I added you can see in the picture are squash, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, more squash, and garlic.  The spices I added were Italian seasoning and Herbamare.

This soup turned out way yummy. Next time I would put in less water though. The water in the veggies add extra water to what I already put in. I served this soup with rice that I cooked in butter, salt and garlic. A healthier version would be to use coconut oil or olive oil instead of the butter.

Happy Healthy,
Elisa

Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-

 For some reason I am always challenging myself to do things that pop into my head. Lately I have been going through major changes as my family sells most of our belongings in order to simplify and reconnect with who we are and who we are becoming. We are split up right now as I am living on the farm with those duties, and my husband is in Cheyenne finishing up some long bows he needs to get done (briansbowbarn.com) and the older boys are getting things ready for a big yard sale along with putting the rest of our things in our shop for storage. We have rented/sold our house even though it was the best place we have ever lived and are moving forward in faith that the promptings to maked these changes will be blessed. Actually, the blessings have already been pouring in with amazing regularity.

The title of this post is Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-.  The lastest challenge I have given myself is to not spend money until September. I started this about a week ago and have not spent any money except for money that was given to me for the express purpose of spending it (gas money). I also had to spend $1 to change our address online. I was able to save the cost of a post office box by forwarding our mail to a friends house for a while until income from the bows, binders and produce gets going.

Not spending money for a month is being made easier because of the abundance of food coming from my garden right now. I took a black plastic bag to  Cheyenne last weekend in anticipation of a food shortage and came back to Fort Collins with 50 pounds of produce that I had gathered. That is so cool! The picture here  on the right is the plethora of food I didn’t have to buy. It is only myself and my 2 littlest boys this week, so this amount will do us well.

 I planted my potatoes in June because I was still building my garden boxes late into the growing season. Look at these beautiful potatoes that have grown in that short time! This proves that short growing seasons can produce food too.

This kohlrabi is kind of too big for good mild flavor. The bigger it gets, the more pungent the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, it is not bad, just strong. It’s kind of like a turnip/radish/potato taste. Also the bigger it gets, the tougher it gets. I pulled the leaves off of this one and juiced them. I will be cutting the outside off of the main purple part and will either steam the inside, or put it in a soup. 

I have been juicing the beets and their greens. I cut the beet from the greens so they don’t go bad as fast.

 I got 5 gallon bags stuffed full of different greens for this week. Turnip greens, beet greens, swiss chard, and Paris cos lettuce are waiting for me in the fridge.

Last but not least comes the summer squash. I planted these again this year because of how much I enjoyed them this year. I like zuchinni, but it seems I get higher yields from the yellow squash and they are easier to find on the plant! Sometimes those zuchinni will grow and grow before I ever spot them. 🙂
I planted zuchinni too, just so you know.

I steam these, juice them, cut them up and have them raw on sandwiches and in sandwich fillings, or dip them in hummus or other spreads.  There are so many uses for squash. I’m glad they are so prolific.

Paris cos Lettuce. This has been so delicious this year.

 Theses onions have grown for only 2 months. Usually they would grow from April or May until September or October. I am eating them early because I need them and because I can! 🙂

This picture is of my Swiss Chard. I have seen this plant thrive even through snow. It is very hardy and nutritious (and beautiful). It is fairly quick growing too.

I guess I’ll have to let you know how my month of no spending money went.  So far, it is going well. There has been plenty to eat with new food sources popping up. On Monday we were invited to go pick corn for ourselves at the church farm. Last week we were invited to dinner at a friends house, a farmer in Fort Collins brought over bunches of cucumbers, a friend took pity on us and bought us treats :), and tonight we are going to a potluck picnic.  Even my other needs are being taken care of. Working with this clay soil has sucked the moisture out of my hands and I used up all of the lotion I had.  I prayed for some and the next day a friend of mine showed up with some goat lotion for me to try out. Not only did the Lord provide, but he chose a healthy option for me! 🙂 I would have taken anything, but it was fun for it to be something I would choose anyways. I am not sure how appropriate it is for me to share that, but I thought it might be a faith builder for someone. It was for me.