Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Newest Tool...

Remember over the winter when I was so excited to show my soil blocker? Well I liked it so much that this summer I ordered a mini blocker! Shown below. Apparently, it isn't good to start seeds in too big of a container. The repotting process, if done gently enough, is actually good for them. So next year I will start all small seeds in a micro block (larger seeds like beans will still start in the regular blocker) and then I bought a contraption that allows small blocks to fit inside of the regular block. It's actually just a pin that makes a hole large enough for the micro block. Genius!

I had no idea the micro blocker would be so tiny. It makes sense, though. If some seeds don't start, as they sometimes don't, it's less wasted soil and space.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November Vegetables

I haven't done my 2012 garden recap yet, but it's coming.

Last night I roasted sweet potatoes and kohlrabi.* If you're unfamiliar with kohlrabi, see the picture below. It seems to be one of those vegetables that CSA members are very familiar with, but that you'd never find at a supermarket (not one of our supermarkets anyway). The recipe was very easy: peel and dice kohlrabi ad sweet potatoes, toss with a little olive oil or butter, season with thyme or rosemary, salt and pepper, and bake at 425 degrees for...the recipe said 25 minutes, but I find that kohlrabi needs longer than that. I baked for more like 50 minutes. It's delicious. And healthy!

*Kholrabi is a strange looking root vegetable that is in the cabbage family. I find it tastes a little like cauliflower, but Morgan doesn't agree. It needs to be peeled because the outer portion is very fibrous and tough (even when cooked). It's a hassle peeling this odd shaped vegetable, but feed the peels to your compost pile and you get a delicious roasted vegetable and everyone's happy.

I love kholrabi and mixed with sweet potatoes, and roasted it was a perfect fall dish!

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Not Hoarding if You Have a Use For it...

I have this dream of building a cold frame to use to extend the growing season. I've had my eye out for old windows and even living next door to a window installation business I hadn't found the right ones until now. Some were broken or too big or too small or too heavy or there was only one (which is useful, but I wanted to try to match them). Then I came upon these lovelies one day! I carried them home and I think they're going to be great. There were 4 of them which is a good number because I can build one cold frame with 4 windows and vent two of them.

Some items I still need are: untreated wood for the actual frame, handles for the windows, and a temperature activated vent. That will be the best part. It will allow the cold frame to open when it's warm by day and close at night when temperatures cool. I could do this manually, but being that I work full time, I wouldn't be around to open and close the frame during the day.

Here are the windows...

I saw some more windows, but Morgan said I was bordering on hoarding. It's not hoarding though if I have a use for them. Right?