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Celt M. Schira's Blog – February 2010 Archive (8)

Celt's Garden - Getting to Know Your Farmer

Small gardens make a big difference in the gardener's quality of life. In our mild winter climate, a small garden can provide nutrient rich fresh greens all fall and winter and the following spring. But there are good reasons for getting to know your farmer as well.

Don't have a farmer? Check out last year's farm map and talk to some. It's not too early to make arrangements to buy some of the things that you won't be growing yourself, at least not in sufficient quantity. Many farmers… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 27, 2010 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Celt's Garden - Roots and Greens in the Winter Garden

It's the end of February, and the chicory is volunteering. Chicory is a hardy cold season green with a pleasantly burly taste. Raddiccio, best known as yuppie chow, is green in fall when it first comes up. Cut the fall head and eat it in a salad, and the regrowth in cool weather is red, as are spring heads coming up now.

It is the season for inadvertent vegetables. Broccoli is the flowering head of a member of the cabbage family. In the warm false spring that often comes upon us, we… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 27, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Alliums and Roots for Winter Gardening

The large and varied onion family is a mainstay of winter eating. Leeks are wonderful, a mainstay of the winter garden. There are spring leeks, planted now and eaten in summer, and there are fall leeks. Fall leeks should get a good start in the warmth of late summer. They can be eaten in fall, or they can just sit there dormant all winter and be there for you in early spring when the stored onions have been eaten or gone mushy. Harvest by cutting off the green leaves and the leeks will keep… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 11, 2010 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Celt's Garden - Winter Gardening

We are blessed with a mild winter climate. Most years, we can have something fresh from the garden all year. It's that year round gardening that really saves money. For four glorious months, Bellingham is full of fresh local food. The rest of the time, growing even some of your own is a big boost.

The winter garden is planned now, started from June through September, and eaten all fall and winter and into next spring. Winter gardening relies on vegetable varieties that grow in the… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 5, 2010 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

Celt's Garden - Growing Food in Containers

You can grow a surprising amount in containers. Most people who are container gardeners also have limited space, so focus on the high value plants - herbs, leafy greens for salads and stir-fries, green onions, patio tomatoes in summer and kale and chard in winter. Dwarf snap and snow peas grow happily in containers. I have heard that they are great in salads but none of mine ever made it inside. Containers can also be used to lift the garden up to where the gardener can reach it for gardeners… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 4, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Building Your Small Urban Garden

OK, you are ready. You read the gardening books, you picked out a spot for your compost barrel, you have designs on a nice sunny spot for your raised beds. First, outline your raised beds with string and stakes. It is a good idea to lay out all of the beds now, even if you plan to build them in stages. Laying it all out gives you an idea what your garden plan will look like and lets you make adjustments while it is easy.

Make the beds between 2' and 4' wide, depending on your height… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 3, 2010 at 10:42am — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Planning Your Small Urban Garden

What can you expect to grow in a small garden? How much garden should you plan for?

Start small if you have never gardened before. Even if you have room for more garden, resist the urge. You could start with just one or two raised beds. 150 square feet is plenty for a first season.

Grow what you eat, eat what you grow. In all gardening, grow foods that you like to eat in quantities that you can reasonably expect to consume. One or two summer squash plants is plenty for… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 2, 2010 at 8:58am — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Gardening in Small Urban Spaces

This is the year to start your food garden, even if you live in the city, even if your space is tiny, even if your gardening spot is your front lawn, or next to the street, or a bunch of containers, or at someone else's house.

If you have gardened before but not around here, I recommend Steve Solomon's book, Gardening West of the Cascades. He gets a bit excited, but the information about the special quirks of our biosphere is invaluable.

If you have never gardened before,… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on February 1, 2010 at 9:52am — 1 Comment

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