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One Year Later – A Report

Literally one year ago, I posted this report on the garden: End of March Report

Now, if you’d like to read that whole thing, go right ahead, but here are the three important bullet points:

By the end of March, 2009:
We’d had a very dry spring so far.
The Rhubarb was already up.
The soil temperatures all over the garden were in the 42-43 degrees F. range. (more…)

Early Spring Gardening

One of the things I find really attractive about gardening is that there is always something happening – even at a place like Chez Siberia (where parts of the property are Zone 2 in terms of what will survive). This week was no exception. You’d think that nothing is happening in the garden here but the sun proved that wrong. We had a week of 50-degree temperatures with lots of sun. I shoveled off one of the beds to start the process of warming things up and by the end of the week, the rest of the beds had been exposed on their own. And then I saw them – the garlic that we’d planted last fall. second chances (more…)

Bringing Spring

Sometimes, Aunt Toby is wont (yes, wont) to taking things into her knobby but capable hands and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. This year’s winter has been, for practically the entire Continental United States, one long sitting through of “Ground Hog Day”.

Awful. Miserable. Interminable. (more…)

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Is there anyone in the world who has not seen “Avatar”? Well, if you haven’t, what I’m going to say is NOT a spoiler. For those of you who have seen it, think of the scene where Sully first sees his avatar in the tank…floating there, in the moisture….happy..peaceful..content…

This photo shows something that is like that…only for growing transplants. (more…)

It’s Later Than You Think: Order Garden Seeds Now

Aunt Toby hates to make great hulking generalizations but this year has been one for the books.
No matter where you live, the weather has been absolutely awful and totally out of the usual in terms of cold, rain, freezes, snow (tornado warnings in Phoenix, AZ?).

No matter where you live, the economy stinks.
No matter where you live, the winter veggies you get are grown in California, Arizona, South Texas and Florida. And those areas have gotten hit very hard and have suffered huge losses this year. Prices have already gone up because availability has gone way down. (more…)

Plant ’em if you’ve got ’em

If Aunt Toby hears one more person tell me that they are tired of the winter already, I’m probably going to run screaming for the nearest exit.

This winter has been too long for everyone, everywhere. You name a location except on the Equator which has not had more than it’s usual taste of the winter this season and I’m buying tickets to ship the DH and me there, pre-paid express. I am damn tired of the winter too. And the seed catalogs coming earlier than usual has not helped the situation.

Therefore, Aunt Toby is making an executive decision (more…)

Horseradish: From Root to Plate

P1010533 As some readers might recall, Aunt Toby and a friend went to the Philadelphia Flower Show last spring. I bought some potatoes that did very nicely indeed and made a ‘what the heck’ purchase of some horseradish roots because our son (aka ‘The Boy’) is very fond of it and asked if we could grow it ourselves. Horseradish is very tough stuff because by the time I got around to planting it (which was about May, I think – and considering I’d bought it at the show in March, those poor little roots had been hanging around in their paperbag for almost two months) they were dried up little things and not very promising at all. We watered them in well when we planted them and made sure they had plenty of water and the plants came up in a very strong way. The leaves are about 2.5-3 feet tall, wavy and about 7″ wide. (more…)

Catalog Time…Again

babytomatoesIt used to be that seed catalogs came in between Christmas and New Years. Now, they come in between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but that gives us more time to drool over the pictures, I guess. (more…)

Winter Picnic

coleslawGroan. Right about now, the thought of turkey anything is enough to make the residents of Chez Siberia lock themselves in the bathroom (and considering that there are only 1.5 ‘necessaries’, this could result in a rather interesting game of musical toilets..), but even the Siberians must eat. And, as luck (bad) would have it, The Boy had a birthday celebration intermixed in all this and asked for (hurrah!) a meal that actually hearkened back to a period when our family was…mmm…shall we say….how should Aunt Toby put this? (more…)

Thanksgiving in a small way

ricotta cookies I have to tell you that Thanksgiving is NOT my favorite ‘family get-together’. My memories of Thanksgivings past are colored (stained?) by visits to a relative whose culinary skills focused on putting butter into everything and sending my gall bladder to an early grave. Other people watched tv on Thanksgiving – a much younger Aunt Toby was in the bathroom. I have never attended a Thanksgiving where a fairly large proportion of people were not suffering within 30 minutes of the meal’s end.

The first Thanksgiving was NOT like that. (more…)

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