Monday, March 25, 2013

greenhouse update and a recipe

Last week was great.  It was good to have Caitlin home on spring break. We were still having cold weather but it looks promising for some snow melt and sunny days in the coming week.  Before she left to visit the rest of the family we transplanted a variety of greens for her to take back with her to Kansas.  They will be loving the earlier spring and she can probably have them outside.  She also took back a planter of kale to take to Kansas as well.  We did a quick harvest of some of the greens and she brought some to her siblings to share.  It will give me a chance to see how they regrow.  Should be enough for a salad to share at Easter. 

While Cait was home we tried our hand at kale chips.  We used this recipe and thought they were pretty good.  We had them eaten before I thought to take a picture.

Tuscan Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Wash and dry kale leaves.  With the bigger leaves we trimmed the leaf from the ribs and stem.  With the small baby leaves we left the rib and stem.  Drizzle the kale with small amount of olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with small amount of salt.  Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until dry.  
Although not suggested in the online recipes we consulted, we added some finely grated Parmesan cheese to the first batch as we pulled them out of the oven.  For the second batch we added the Parmesan cheese as we put them in the oven.  Both ways turned out tasty. 

We made a small batch and ate them all as they came out of the oven so I cannot attest to how well they will do in prolonged storage.  They are very delicate.

Greenhouse Update

greens sampler

When the seeds were ordered from Johnny's we had selected some greens seeds for the summer garden but also for the winter greenhouse next season.  I selected a dozen varieties that we have not grown yet and planted a few so that we could test them out to see what they have from growth habits and how they taste.  Those seedlings have now been transplanted into larger containers.  Over ten days I have transplanted each variety into one of the new white tubs so we can also test out how the tubs will work.  So far they are looking great.  I started transplanting the largest seedlings first so of course they are also farthest along in the new tubs.  


tomato seedlings

I have two batches of tomatoes started.  The earlier bunch were intended to go into pots and would leave the greenhouse in their final home ready to flower and produce fruit.  The second batch is intended to be ready to transplant into their final home in the ground.  We are hoping to get the jump on the season.  The first batch are up and one to two inches tall.  They seem to be moving slowly but have survived the chilly nights and cloudy days.  Perhaps the forecast of sunny days will inspire them.  The second batch which was planted later has mixed results so far.  The paste style seems to be doing the best.  They were planted two weeks ago so I am concerned.

Asparagus (L) marigolds (C) tomatoes (R)

flower seedlings

I planted marigold, bee balm and impatiens but only about half of the marigolds are up and a few of the impatiens.  They were planted on the ninth so if they don't come soon I will be concerned about them as well.  

I think I need to do a little research on heat mat temperatures. 

Nikole's salad bowl
a close up
Asha's salad bar

I have also built a couple more pallet tables and have started planning the summer garden spaces.  We will have a new garden space this year which I have named the corn field which will provide space for sweet corn, pumpkins, squashes and melons.  I can't wait.

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