Underground Greenhouse

We have two cold frames we are very, very happy to own. They provide kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, cilantro, parsley, carrots, etc. all year-round. We feel fortunate to have this blessing.

We are looking forward to the Spring of 2014 when we hope to add a Walipini (an underground greenhouse) to our food growing endeavors. So, just FYI, here is a link to an informative article and video on how to build one of these structures for $300.  Read about the Walipini here.

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Decorative Rocks for Your Garden

Sometimes, something so darling comes along that it just HAS to be shared! My children and grandchildren love doing creative things – and this is just the thing for busy little hands.  Hope you enjoy this project too.  Find a Free Rock Painting Project here: http://www.linwellford.com/free-projects.html

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Winter Greens – Spinach

Winter Veggies!

Often, I have dreamed of crisp, delicious, and vibrant greens in the winter.  Then we built our greenhouse and I have been blessed with greens during the winter for the last several years.

Fresh spinach – Drool!

Benjamin insists he’s a carnivore.  He’s not into greens (except in smoothies)! But he humors me, and is a big help when its time to care for our growing plants.

In the winter, we make sure the spinach has a second cover – because the greenhouse alone isn’t enough when the weather is -14 degrees.  This keeps the plant protected from the worst of the cold.

Ben helps me bring in the water, and carefully water the spinach and cilantro.  We even have a rosemary plant that manages to survive the winter in our cold frame greenhouses.  That is fantastic!

After the watering chores are complete, Ben gets to choose which of the larger leaves to pick for lunch.  It’s hard to chew ‘greens’ when you have braces, so Ben requests they be in a smoothie.  It works most of the time.  When we add the greens to a sandwich, or a taco, he can eat it.  “Harvest is the BEST part of the gardening process,” says Ben.

Through gardening, Ben is learning how actions, with purpose and faith, create marvelous outcomes. We hope this knowledge is a skill he will use throughout his life.

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Sprout Robot

Just a quick note.  I found a really fun tool today that lets me know when it’s time to plant.  Yep, I don’t have to research, or worry too much (though I believe in checking my information and modifying it for use in my greenhouse) – All you do is type in your zip code, and voila! You have instant information about many, many plants.  And if you want further information, greater in-depth details, all you have to do is sign up.  They even want to know if you have a container garden, or a ground/raised bed garden – so the info they send you is tailored to your needs.  This is a cool tool.  You can find them at www.SproutRobot.com ~Enjoy!

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I was a Guest Speaker!

I went to an event tonight as a guest speaker! Oh my!

We had a good time, and my presentation was based on, “How to supplement your food storage with green veggies in the Winter.”  Food storage is a marvelous gift we give ourselves, and I have prepared, canned, purchased and stored much over the years.  What I have learned about this, though, is that I crave green veggies.  I like them in salads, in smoothies, as well as juiced.  I need them! And so, I like to have a “living food storage” all year round.  I guess my topic could have been, “How to supplement your diet with green veggies in the Winter”, too.  We also discussed juicing, and one of my very dear friends told everyone my recipe for alleviating the symptoms of eczema, and how marvelous it was.

We spoke about my greenhouses, which are large production facilities, and how the more land-challenged person could create TONS of food in a tire on the porch. There are window sill boxes, as well as the pot on the porch, that can be easily utilized for green plant life.

These are a few of the questions I was asked – Can you pick a pumpkin if it is still green, and still have it turn orange? Can you freeze herbs? How do you build a greenhouse? You can leave carrots in the ground through the winter, can’t you? What do you cover carrots with in their beds so you can harvest them in the winter?

I shall answer these questions in more detail in my next few posts.  ~Diana

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Is this Fire Blight?

Sometimes I get asked questions I don’t have an immediate answer for.  Luckily, as a Master Gardener, I have learned where to find the information I need to properly answer the question!  My neighbor came to visit me today, with these twigs in her hands.  She had pulled them from the tree in her yard and asked, “Is this fire blight?”  I didn’t think so, but asked her to let me contact Candace Schieble in the USU extension office.  I’d have an answer for her soon.

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Clean Up – Post Project Time

Ben with Knife - Yikes!

There’s such a thrill to beginning a garden, and then the enjoyment received as the plants grow and mature just continues to multiply.  This year, because Ben began a large project, he got to help clean up after he won his blue ribbons.  By the time we were done, he remarked that even clean up had been fun.

Lane - Helping Ben with clean up.

Lane wanted to help Ben clean up, after the fair project was done.  They both had knives, and they went to work.

The scary part is how close they came to slicing open my green house with a vigorous ‘whack’.

They did do an excellent job of getting all the rubbish out.  Thank you, boys!

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Blue Ribbons!

Today was SO much fun! We got to pick up our veggies from the fair, and see if we won any ribbons or not.  This was the first year since I was a kid that I decided to enter.  And it was the first year ever for Benjamin.  He grew “Snake Gourds” for his project this summer.  THAT was an experience!

Ben won a blue ribbon for his gourds. My herb, cilantro that I had allowed to become coriander, won blue ribbons too!  I have blue ribbon herbs.  Thrills me!

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Strawberries – Fresh!

I have a young friend that is in love with my garden! We call her “Aub”.  She came today to pick strawberries, and learn to dry herbs.  We harvested sage, rosemary, and thyme.  Hmmm, those berries look remarkable!  Aub says they taste better than ANY-thing she has ever bought at a store.  Homegrown produce does seem to have an extra power for potent flavor, doesn’t it?

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Roma, Then Salsa Delight

There’s nothing more incredibly delicious than fresh, sun-warmed and ripened tomato!  Jamie has taken such good care of my garden this summer, as I’ve been popping in and out in my travels this year.  This garden, and the harvest, I attribute to him.  He loves fresh salsa.  We dream of it all winter, plan for it in the spring as we plant seeds, and then LOVE it all harvest season.  Our tomato ‘bushes’ are one of our favored plants.  We grew the Roma & Mortgage Buster varieties this year.

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