new potatoes: by J

newpotatoes

I was really happy to have my little sister join me volunteering in the garden last friday. We spent a good chunk of the day digging potatoes with the kids.

I have yet to lose that sense of wonder of food coming from the ground. Potatoes being especially funny as it feels somewhat like Easter Egg hunting. You root around in the dirt and pull out these perfectly formed new potatoes after planting them about 2 months before.

You know potatoes are ready for harvesting when the green plant they shoot up is wilting.

I’ll post a recipe for what I did with the potatoes on Thursday.

xo J

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garden: by J

transplants wheelbarrow

On Wednesdays I volunteer for a few hours in a community garden program with kids between 5 and 8 years old. It’s one of the sweetest parts of my week.

They are all lovers of worms and have a strong affinity for freshly picked sorrel.

I thought I’d share a few photos from the garden,

xo J

 

herbs: by J

IMG_5913 IMG_5916I’ve wanted to grow herbs in my apartment for awhile now. When my sister gifted me Joey Roth’s beautiful planter for Christmas I knew it was time.

While the whole thing is a bit of an experiment, as I’ve learned most gardening is, I’m excited for the prospect of fresh herbs in my cooking.

First things first, if you have the space, most herbs prefer to be grown outside, enjoying cooler nights and good air circulation. Herbs indoors generally will be smaller and have a shorter life. That being said, growing them indoors is absolutely possible, and reseeding often will help.

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I chose to buy thyme and rosemary plants, because they take a longer time to grow and develop, and rosemary doesn’t grow well from seed. Chives and cilantro, however, prefer to be grown from seed, because they are quick growers that don’t like to be transplanted.

Most edible herbs are pretty heavy feeders so you’ll want quality potting mix, with a high amount of organic matter for good drainage. And you’ll want to add a quality fertilizer every so often. Choose a sunny window, that gets at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I thought I’d list other popular herbs and whether they are best started as seeds or bought as plants.

Plant: lavender, lemon verbena, lemongrass, mint, oregano, oregano, tarragon

Seed: coriander/cilantro, dill, sage

Either: basil, lemon balm, parsley, sage, stevia, thyme

My pots are smaller than ideal, 4-6 inches being more ideal, but I’ll see what happens.

xo J

gardening: by J

farmschool

Farm School turned out to be one of those unforgettable great adventures. It will soon be wrapping up, and I’m so happy to have experienced it.

I’ll give a fuller account once I’m officially done the course.

It does turn out that I don’t want to keep my hands out of the soil, so I’m starting The Get Up: Gardening and Composting Educator Course at Garden for the Environment this Saturday.

It’s funny how things shape up and creep in. When I first moved here I had the idea that it would be beautiful if all of the plants in our new apartment were edible or food related, even if they weren’t currently fruiting, like miniature fig trees, rosemary, lavender, and citrus trees.

I didn’t do this at the time, but it did seed an idea in my mind.

I realized my true goal is to grow beautiful functional things; to grow for pleasure and purpose.

I’m excited to learn more, because in truth I’ve always returned home to deathly ill herb plants after a trip, and felt too discouraged to replant, or try new things.

Fingers crossed I’ll develop a green thumb,

xo J

photo credits to A at Farm School