Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's only good when it looks bad

Papaya's didn't used to be one of my favorite fruits. I bought pretty papaya's. I'm not sure what made me eat an ugly papaya, maybe I just waited until I thought it was almost spoiled. What ever the cause now I know: don't buy pretty papayas. Once they are all dented, yellow, and generally looking pretty rough- then that's when they are just getting good.

I buy my papaya's at H-Mart. They have a good selection of different papaya's and usually there are several that look horrible. I hate to wait. I used to by the pretty ones, I didn't like papaya's much. Now I buy the ugly ones. Apparently beauty is only skin deep. Or in this case ...ugly is only skin deep.
Now mind you, I am no papaya expertm, but I know what I like and I like my papaya's ugly!
Happy Spring Travels,

Sunshine and dirty windows

A strange occurrence happened this morning, as I was making breakfast and packing lunch, sunshine flooded our kitchen. The first thing I noticed was the dog prints on our back glass sliding door. Looking around, I thought, our kitchen isn't usually this sunny even when the sun is shining and then it hit me. It's spring. The sun comes in at a different angle in the spring and summer months. Our whole kitchen is filled with sunshine.

All this sunshine makes me want to clean my windows and go run the dogs! Funny how I noticed my dirty windows before I noticed the sunshine!!!!

Happy spring,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring planting is like an all you can eat buffet!

This afternoon it is raining cats and dogs. I was thinking about doing some more planting but instead I'm planning and dreaming. Laying out my seeds and lists of what I want to plant, I discover I probably need more garden if I want to get all this into the ground.
My Aunt Velma gave me some seeds from 9" red corn plants her friend in Holyoke Colorado grew. I found some quinoa-bright rainbow seed which grows 4-6 feet tall. I have 2 purple potatoes and 2 red potatoes I want to cut up and plant. Five color Silverbeet Swiss Card is going everywhere I can find, if for no other reason than it is beautiful.
My list goes something like this: beets, carrots, lemon cucumbers, yellow crook necks, kohlrabi, red leaf lettuce, butternut squash, chives, flat leaf parsley, dill, basil, cilantro, red bush beans, pak choi, watermelon radish and if I can still find room maybe some sunflower seeds. Of course, I almost forgot tomatoes and peppers which I will buy plants later this spring. My peas and some lettuce are already growing.
Is it just me or is spring planting like going to an all you can eat buffet??? My eyes are bigger than my stomach and my seeds are more than my garden and probably available time.
Still, this year I'm doing more than just growing my summer food, I'm experimenting with lasagna gardens, worm composting, heirloom seeds and eating locally as much as possible - all on a budget! Whew, this is going to be some garden.
Did I mention my flowers, I'll plant lots and lots of marigolds, apparently they make good companion flowers. Zinnias and snap dragons will get planted, mainly because they remind me of my family and our gardens growing up.
It's a good thing it's raining outside, a little planing might just be good for the garden!
Happy planting this spring!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lasagna garden done- filled with worms

First day of spring, it was in the low 60s, Saturday and the perfect day to finish off my lasagna garden bed before planting. Yesterday, I finished my layering. So far, setting up has been a little more work than expected, but this might be because I'm a rooky. A seasoned lasagna gardener might have had this done in 1/2 the time.
While I was digging up my composted leaves and straw, I found more worms than I think I've ever seen. I don't even have this many in my worm bin. There were hundreds and hundreds of worms. I even took a picture of one because they were sooooo big. Did you know big worms move slower than little worms?

I'm lucky my grandpa used to take me digging for worms when when we would go fishing. If it weren't for my mom always smiling when she saw worms in her garden or my grandpa taking me fishing, I might have been a little freaked out. Luckily, I come from a strong worm loving family. If I was finding snakes in my garden- this might have been a whole different conversation!!!!
wishing you a happy spring and healthy garden.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Healthy Families - Healthy Lawns - Healthy Homes

Spring has sprung! Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding out and my lawn need mowed. I love spring, it makes me want to go back outside and dig in the dirt.
This is also the season to add extra TLC to your lawn so it is lush and healthy. Before you go buy the normal weed and feed for your lawn consider this...

Where do the herbicides go that don't get absorbed into your weeds?
They get tracked into your home or wash down into the sound waters.
They get on your pets feet and then are licked off.
They go to bed with your kids.
They end up in the air with your dust.

Pesticides and herbicides should be used like you spot clean clothes. Only if needed and only on the spot needed. You wouldn't clean your whole load of laundry with a spotter.

This year consider going natural with your yard care. Here are some resources to get you started.

Natural yard Care:
WSU Master Gardener information
Integrated Pest Management: or
Noxious weed control:
Pesticide safety and regulations:
Building healthy soil and erosion control:

Resource: Department of Ecology State of Washington:
Natural Yard Care
5 steps to make your piece the planet a healthier place to live

If you have any questions you are always welcome to contact me:

Wishing you a healthy and happy spring