Archive for the 'by leah' Category

Farm Fun

April 22, 2010

A few Saturdays ago I boxed up the little bug and made the trek to the beautiful valleys of Minnesota, destination: Sol ‘n Tyne farm. We spent a lovely day eating cornmeal waffles with real maple syrup, planting numerous seeds, and visiting the local equine population. It was a clear, sunny day with a bit of a chill to the wind, but that didn’t stop the little bug from taking a snooze after we said hi to Coal, Annie, Dannie, Tugboat, and Olive. We also got a tour of the gardens and it was easy to imagine them full of plants: numerous vegetables, fragrant herbs, showy flowers.

As we packed up to head back to our little valley, we were given a few parting gifts. Packets of seeds, many of which have been planted and are currently showing their first set of leaves, and a large plastic garbage bag full of beans still in their paper-y husks. Over the course of these last few weeks, we have worked tirelessly (okay, maybe not that hard, but sometimes it seems never-ending…) to rid the glossy black beans of their dead shells. We are going on 4 pint jars full and still there are beans left. I don’t think we will have to buy black beans for quite a while. At the end of the day, I look at those jars and feel a sense of accomplishment. Even though it doesn’t take a lot of work, there is something to be said for working for one’s food. I hope I feel the same way in the fall when we are knee-deep in harvest.

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Rhizomes

April 7, 2010

While my wonderful husband watched our little bug today, I went out to the road armed with a shovel, a trowel, and a pair of silicone-dipped gloves. I had noticed last summer that for some reason there was a small grouping of iris around the old, wooden fence that marked the southern border of our property. I made a mental note: when I was free of the belly and it was warm enough, I was going to pull them out and put them to better use.

Fast forward to today. Partly sunny, 55 degrees, tools as listed above; I was ready to remove. As I started digging and pulling back the weeds that had grown and died on top of them, there appeared to be more than just a few plants. I continued to find new iris cluster after cluster, some with the largest rhizomes I had ever seen. I sorted them out into two piles: rhizomes with the beginnings of leaves and plain rhizomes. I planted a few of the vigorously growing ones around our mailbox, along with some from the house on Portland. The rest I planted in the area that I like to call my “holding cell”. This space is located along the side of the garage and is currently home to strawberry plants, rhubarb, columbine, asiatic lily, bleeding heart, and grape hyacinth. All of these will find new homes once I clean up and expand the main flower bed in our front yard.

This is the first time I have been outside to work since last fall. It felt great. I was only out for about an hour, but it was just enough time for me to get some dirt under my fingernails (no sunburn yet). There are some iris left by the fence, but maybe I will leave them there. A little beauty in an unexpected place…

Spring Beginnings

April 6, 2010

We will soon know the thrill of tender green shoots emerging from earthy pods. I planted 10 different variety of seeds this rainy April Tuesday as my sweet baby babbled beside me. Anticipation was murmuring in my mind as I carefully placed each seed in it’s protective wrapper, moist with warm water from the sink. I wonder which will sprout first? The fragrant Basil? The sweet little Columbine, harvested from plants grown at our previous residence? Spring is just around the corner, if not already here, and I can’t wait to get dirt under my nails and start sporting the back-of-the neck sunburn that gardeners dream of in the middle of the frozen winter.

Other seeds that are being primed for the outdoors are a mixture of veggie, herb, and flower: Daisy, Fennel, Lavender, Marigold, Morning Glory, Oregano, Peppers, and Rosemary. Thanks go out to the farmers at Sol’n Tyne Farm for their donation of seeds to our little hobby farm. This year will mark the largest garden in our history (it’s kind of hard to have a large garden when you are right in the middle of residential Minneapolis and you are given a 20′ by 30′ plot of land as your backyard).

As soon as we are clear of the danger of frost (which I am sure is here already, but a little sooner than normal), the plot of land that we have staked out will be tilled, hopefully fertilized, and probably covered in some rich black dirt seeing as how we basically have the soil of your nearest beach. Although I am told that we will probably be able to grow carrots successfully because they won’t get caught up on a clump of dirt. I am already dreaming of the wonderful salads we will eat, the delicious baby food we will process, and the gorgeous bouquets that will grace our table. I know I have a long wait, but just the promise of those things keeps my soul alive and reminds me of the goodness and grace of our Father to give us such wonderful and beautiful things.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of growing and cultivating the farm at the Ridge.