April 18, 2011

Independence Days Update, Week of 4/18

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge .  Last week I was not feeling great and didn’t get to posting our weekly update.  Below is from the last two weeks.

The weather has been typical of Spring in East TN.  We’ve had days that were almost hot and then we had a good soak and the weather turned colder.  This weekend alone on Friday we had rain, Saturday it was cold and windy with clouds, and Sunday it was gorgeous. 

With all of the flowers in bloom, last week I had a sinus infection after a week of allergy problems.  Now I’m feeling much, much better, and as a result I’ve spent as much time as possible outside playing in the dirt.  Is there a better feeling for a gardener than to feel the earth in your hands?

Plant— We landscaped the front of my dad’s house.  We planted two apple trees in the front of the house.  Around those we added perennials that I had bought at the church Spring Fling.  Along the driveway we added a mixed bed with liriope we had separated from some at our house and some that we moved from other areas of his lawn, surprise lilies moved from another spot in his lawn, yellow trumpet lilies (think that the species name is Datura?), a hundred or so onion sets, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, cucumber seeds (marketmore), Black Beauty zucchini, beets, and basil.    We added a garden path from the drive to the front porch, and if I do say so myself, it looks great.

At our house, we planted the following flower seeds-- red cockscomb, yellow four o-clocks, pink hollyhocks, mixed zinnias, moonflower, coriander, marigold, mixed sunflowers, and a butterfly seed mix that our daughter was given.  I planted some of the daylilies that I bought at the Spring Fling and have some more that I’ll add to the front this week.  In the vegetable gardens our daughter and I planted Black Beauty zucchini, Caveli zucchini, Marketmore cucumbers, another 80 red onion sets, jalapenos, green bell peppers, butternut squash, broccoli plants, cabbage plants, eggplant, parsley, Brandywine tomatoes, basil, chives, and thyme.  We won’t be planting potatoes this year, and I’ve decided to use the potato boxes as extra area for more tomatoes.  Hubby put those together and set them for me.

Harvest—Asparagus, green onions, and flowers for vases.  We picked the very first of the French Breakfast Radishes, and our daughter was absolutely thrilled.  Who knew that a 5 year old could get so excited about a radish!?  She was equally thrilled with the spinach and kept picking it and eating it as we planted other vegetables.

Preserve—I blanched and froze a few cups of asparagus.

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— The rain barrel was full after the rain, and I’ll be hand watering instead of using the hose.  We continue to compost and recycle as usual.  As I noted earlier, much of the landscaping that we did at my dad’s place was repurposing.  The landscape timbers that we used were ones we had leftover from a project at our place.  The liriope and surprise lilies were transplanted from other areas of his lawn and ours.  The apple trees were some we had at our house and didn’t have room to plant.  The cost of the entire job was less than $30 OOP.

Want Not/Prep/Storage—Though I should have done it in the fall, I decided that I needed to prune a couple of limbs off of a relatively young flaming maple in the yard.  Hubby restacked the firewood and cleaned off the back porch where that had been stored this winter.  We put the potato boxes up and made them ready to add tomatoes later. 

My cousin dropped off another bag of clothes for our daughter, and the bag included an almost brand new pair of red cowgirl boots that tickled her. A friend from church passed another outfit to her.  We are so blessed!

I picked up organic rolled oats at Three Rivers Market in bulk, and it makes me so happy to have so much stored and available to use.  We went in on the order with a friend, which allowed us to get the discount and purchase more for a better price. 

Building Community Food Systems—I was disappointed that I didn’t make it to the farmers market on opening day.  I’ll hope to make it this week. 

Eat the Food— I didn’t make much that was very unusual or different these weeks.  We enjoyed the asparagus—roasted, in quiche, in omelets, in pasta.  Fresh food doesn’t need much more than the basics to taste good.


  1. Hi Gabrielle- Post pics of your garden!

    lovely post!

  2. I'll try and get some posted soon. The only thing about working in the garden is that my hands are so dirty by the time I think of snapping photos that I put it off and then forget about it later when I'm cleaned up. ;)

    Hoping all is well with you!