in june, we attempted to split our successful, crowded single hive into two hives, with help from an experienced, professional beekeeper. aren’t they beeeautiful?!
this summer, 2019, was hard for our bees! our queen didn’t make it for whatever reason (honeybees are a source of flux) so we bought another queen with attendants, and put her in. a few days after introducing her in the box, we release her and keep our fingers crossed.
this queen did not make it.
I bought and added an Italian queen in the same manner to our hive. She made it! She has an excellent laying pattern and they have a ton of pollen filled comb. we left them with plenty of honey after our harvest, and the linden wasn’t even in bloom yet. the goal is to help the bees thrive!
busy garden morning.
John uncapping the comb. trying to. we tried a new tool that is really a piece of crap. it looks like a scalpel and a comb pick and does neither of those things well. we ended up uncapping with a simple serrated kitchen knife. if we had one, we would use the electric knife to uncap the comb. that thing is magic.
first flow of our 2019 harvest!
the prettiest honey
the little manual crank honey extractor I have!
a close-up of our bees
a routine inspection of our hive
busy bees atop our queen excluder
here, john holds up a frame we are checking out on a routine inspection
here on this frame you can see some gorgeous capped honey
three sisters atop some comb.
in the cold months here in colorado, we supply our bees with a simple sugar water with essential oils in it.
here we are shaking an entire full frame of bees into a bin, which will then be scooped up and put into a jar for testing for varroa mites.
here bees are being scooped into a jar to be tested for varroa mites using the sugar shake method
here we are adding powdered sugar to the bees in a mason jar, which will be fitted with a mesh screen, similar to that of a sprouting screen.
we use a simple, harmless method of checking for varroa mites by using the sugar shake method. here, bees which have been shaken in some powdered sugar return to their home to be licked clean by their sisters.
a simple close up of our bees
here we added some new frames to the hive which are being checked out
here is a swarm that two of our community garden beekeepers captured off of a local pathway. our captured swarm ultimately did not make it, however. they were absolutely infected with varroa mites and we ended up sending them off on their own again after they had failed to thrive in a hive. there is also the possibility that the queen was missed in this capture. beekeeping is always a learning experience!
in the background you can see our original hive and our split hive. here is a frame in our captured swarm hive which we were shaking out to freedom.
the first drop
the first drop of honey from our harvest
our first honey harvest
our first honey harvest yielded 14 jars of honey from less than 10 frames.
we could have had much more from our harvest, but we ended up leaving frames which were full instead of pulling them aside.
butterhead or looseleaf, speckled or frilled, here is what i’ve grown and found around me, with notes on seed source and saving, growth, harvest, preparation and storage. my edible greens section includes mustards, collards, kale and arugula, which are on their specific pages as well.
here i stand beside a bit of my garden. a runner bean behind, which i cannot think of at the moment, followed by a row of lacinato kale and yellow wonder berries and a giant parsnip which i let go to seed.
mustard greens! forever some of my favorite yummies to grow. these are southern giant curled mustard greens in 2018.
i start celeriac from seed indoors in february each year, patiently awaiting the fall harvest. it’s 10 months from seed to harvest for celeriac root. the entire plant is edible! celeriac has delicious green tops which can be dried and stored or hung for cooking throughout the year, or frozen.
magnolia tendril peas climbing, gulag stars kale and yellow wonder strawberries in their shade.
here are beautiful moments i’ll share with you. crafts, art, bits and pieces that we create together.
lavender bouquets, smudge sticks, flower crowns and dried culinary herb bundles are a summer garden staple in our home. they also make beautiful gifts!
my children love to see the table sprawled with books, images, colors and garden bits to focus their creative minds. each week we have a different theme to paint and ponder.
one of my children’s favorite crafts are pressing herbs, flowers, sticks and even dead june bugs into clay, which are then air-dried or baked, painted and glazed. poke a hole to hang for gifts and tags, ornaments and keychains.
making plant dye for easter eggs.
here i share with you the beautiful blossoms from my garden, the community garden, and those which i greet. there is no frowning at flowers!
i like to call these shots my stroller swag. now that i make my kids walk everywhere, either to tire them out in hopes of nap time, or to help them slow down and appreciate what’s around our feet. i had to pull this big mama skyscraper sunflower which self seeds everywhere in the west end of the community garden after it was shading and hindering the growth of my garlic. skyscraper sunflowers have many flowers and can get up to 12 feet tall!
grandpa ott’s morning glory, nasturtiums and maldovian balm dragonhead grow together so effortlessly, self-seeding and bringing pops of color to corners of the garden allotment.
a western tiger swallowtail dances around a vibrant mix of zinnias
sunset runner beans on the property garden that i planted for the sacred g. the palest of pinks urging the sun over the mountains.
every year at the community garden we have gung-ho locals who abandon their plots, leaving thistles and grasses, reeds and purslane, bindweed and lambs quarter to take over with vigor. fortunately, my inability to leave unwanted weeds go to seed into neighboring plots means i am able to pluck beautiful bouquets from flowers i free from choking weeds. here were some of my favorites in 2018, a vibrant zinnia mix and some dill. at foot, calendula resina mix.
cosmos on a rainy day
golden feverfew and white yarrow in my medicinal patch.
stridolo flowering. also known as sculpit, is silene inflata. i bought the seeds for stridolo from uprising organics. they’re very pretty flowers, but as a culinary herb it was gross and tasteless. i allow it a little patch in my yarden each year, just to admire.
bellflowers in the community garden butterfly garden area.
pollinating strawberry blossoms in my yarden
belle of barmera dahlia getting ready to open. dahlia tubers purchased from floret flower.
belle of barmera dahlia opened just in time for an icy hail storm. cinnamon basil flowers to seed in the background.
lark’s marigold flowers. lark was a community gardener who decided to give up his plot mid-season. his plot was full of the most gorgeous marigolds. i deadheaded a ton of blossoms that year (2016) and saved the seeds for the following year. i sent those seeds to seed banks in 9 states and to gardener friends in 5 more in 2017, and stuffed seeds into seed envelopes for table place markers for my 2018 equinox dinner.
nepitella mentuccia romana. seeds purchased from uprising organics.
magnificent little beauty, this zinnia is one of my favorites with her golden crown.
gleam salmon nasturtium that made it through a hail storm. one of my favorite shades, so beautiful. seeds purchased from floret flower.
one heck of a beautiful calendula flower!
I got a palm full of saved arugula seed from a gardener friend in 2014 who let her arugula bolt and seed. I’ve grown a few varieties of arugula from different seed companies over the years and hers is by far the spiciest, most delicious arugula I’ve had. I let a ton go to beautiful flower and seed, eating the flowers in salads or as a garnish and pulling the whole plant when seed pods are dry, putting them in a bucket and thresh then winnow the chaff.
most people i meet are astounded at how delicious and spicy the flowers are. nomnomnom!
poppies i started from tiny little seeds. they’re just the prettiest!
possibly one of my favorite tiny flowers to see, this is frisee endive that i’ve let bolt for seed.
globe thistle; echinops bannaticus, in the community garden’s butterfly garden. globe thistle is the host plant for larinus vulpes, a weevil. our butterfly garden has many insect homes!
strawberry blossom with sage leaf in foreground.
showy milkweed in the community garden’s butterfly garden, Asclepias speciosa
john’s eggplant blossoms in the community garden on a rainy day
borae, borago officinalis. one borage plant two years ago from a gardener friend means i’m debating how many little plants to pull as they self-seed with incredible vigor. instead of buying borage seed, find one little plant and that will give you many.
garden champion lady bug hanging out on a carrot i let go to flower after leaving in the ground through the winter and allowing to flower the following year. letting some of your veggies go to flower provides excellent opportunities for beneficial insects to come to your garden.
beautiful sunflower with a seek & find pollinator in the community garden
my medicinal yarrow patch, achillea millefolium.
my lone dalmation peach foxglove, which i started from seed in february. hail wiped out every other plant. seeds purchased from floret flower.
mammoth sunflower seed head!
nasturtium are one of my most favorite plants to grow. i make sauce and pesto from the leaves and stems (which takes a bit of work, mind you) and the flowers are also edible and spicy editions to salad and garnish and the seeds can be pickled—you have to try it. this here is my favorite to grow, “gleam salmon” which i found myself saying good morning to each day.
another variety of nasturtium that i grow. i think i have 6. this one is a fabulous trailing variety.
these variegated nasturtium leaves. need i say more?
sweet mace. grown alongside dill to attract pollinators in 2018, seeds gifted from a seed friend in 2017.
preparations of garden goods, recipes and techniques for connectedness and love.
there was so much rhubarb in my 2018 garden and paired with a beautiful array of strawberries—yellow wonder, atilla, benizuru, everbearing and alpine to name some of the varieties, makes a gorgeous pie!
sage blossoms cut for sage blossom syrup. recipe in next photo.
sage blossom syrup (i leave the leaves on because it still tastes awesome) is equal parts sage, water and sugar with a touch of lemon juice. since i have a good amount of honey, sometimes i use 1 pt sugar to 1 pt honey. you can also just use honey. steep your sage to boiling making sure your pot is covered the entire time, start to finish, remove from heat but keep it covered and sitting for about an hour. you don’t want any goodness evaporating out. then stir in your sweetener.
oma’s birthday cake. carrot cake with violets. garden fresh!
canned palisade peaches. each year i get a couple boxes of peaches to preserve. most are frozen for peach cobbler and some get special spots in our pantry.
basil pesto! these yummies go right into the freezer. either walnut or olive oil, basil, pine nuts if i’ve had enough foraged (you heard me!) or cashews, lemon juice, salt pepper and some fresh cumin from the yarden.
my son grinding oaxacan green dent corn for cornbread and cornmeal.
cornbread made from our corn and wheat berries.
cornbread in the cast iron skillet smeared with lard processed in the slow cooker from our slaughtered pig is hands-down the best way to make it.
sourdough boule. i have a drive folder called “the loaves of my life” which would be hundreds of bread photos should i post them here. i’ll spare you.
up-close of the crust of a sourdough boule that was made in a lidded crock.
roasted parsnips. i’m always on the hunt for the perfect parsnip. if you’ve bought parsnips from the store and they’ve been spongy and, to put it bluntly, gross, then you’ll need to try to grow your own! i recommend bedford monarch parsnips, and letting them get sweet in the ground after a good snow. the cold weather sweetens them up. the balance comes from not waiting too long and having them get tough.
first round of garlic scape harvest. i freeze scapes whole and wrapped in mason jars, pureed with olive oil and put into silicone ice cube molds which are then stored in the freezer, or made into a pesto or dip.
frozen jar of garlic scapes.
jars of infused vodka for a dinner party. on the left is basil vodka, the right is habanero, ground cherry and cinnamon vodka.
12 pounds of shredded zucchini headed for the freezer. shredding twelve pounds of zucchini leaves one with a lovely cramped-up claw hand.
shredded zucchini, kohlrabi, carrot and cornmeal fritters with eggs from my sister’s cute little chickens.
milkweed pods collected for eating. now. let’s talk milkweed pods. these are from showy milkweed and are about 2” long, so they aren’t stringy and terrible. milkweed pods contain cardiac glycosides, which means you want to boil them first. a couple of times. i boiled these pods in water twice, emptying the water once, then boiling them again in fresh water, for a total of 20 minutes. follow to the next photo for more info.
when you cut the milkweed pods from the plant, only take one per plant, or take only 1/3. i also spread milkweed seeds when the seeds pop from the pods when mature, to ensure plenty of food for butterflies in our butterfly garden. also note that the milky white sap is very sticky, so wear gloves that you don’t care about getting sticky.
after boiling, slit the belly seam of the pod and remove the seeds, which look like fish scales, shown here. throw them out into the compost. follow the next photo for more info.
i brought the stuffed milkweed pods to a community garden potluck in 2018, and they were a huge hit! not a single one left. i had two batches of these.
after boiling and gutting them, i stuffed the milkweed pods with homemade ricotta and herbs from my garden then baked them. in case you haven’t noticed, i don’t use recipes or write down recipes. i love making ricotta cheese-it’s so easy and tastes better than any ricotta i’ve ever bought in a store.
getting ready to roast, straight from the garden: garlic, onion, carrots, rosemary and thyme.
roasted veggies. we call fresh roasted garlic, garlic candy. just melts in your mouth!
sautéed white vienna kohlrabi and buhl sweet corn with dill.
21 pounds of sliced cucumbers ready for pickling and freezing. i love freezing cucumbers for cucumber water.
pickles all from my garden! garlic dill pickles. these are bushy pickling cucs.
garlic dill spears
all that goes into my summer garden pasta sauce! this is a HUGE brewing pot.
the ‘after’ of summer garden pasta sauce. well, we use this sauce for pizza night, dipping fried squash goodies, or with a spoon. it has everything in it. the casserole surprise of sauces, minus the mystery meat and occasional cringeworthy bite. my kids love it!
i purée the sauce with an immersion blender and put in wide mouth mason jars which are then labeled and put in the freezer.
palisade peach pie.
apple pie! my neighbors have two apple trees, forever dropping on our roof and into the yarden. the kids and i harvested a ton of apples for pies, sauce and apple butter.
apple pie! i took this pie to my neighbor for all of the apples.
fried zucchini and stuffed fried zucchini blossoms with goat cheese.
here you’ll find the delicious yummies that i grow in my colorado garden, from berries to melons!
with limited space, it was a toss up between Prescott Fond Blanc and Van Doren Moon & Stars, and I chose this one simply because I love a sweet orange-fleshed melon. I ended up planting this a bit late, which meant I had less than the 95 day season. seeds were direct sowed in warm soil, we had a shorter growing season in 2016 and an early frost. These were so pretty to watch grow in my allotment, and even though I had to pick them very early, the fruit could fit nicely in my cupped hands together, and they were delicious! I have had a hell of a time finding a good tasting cantaloupe melon here in Colorado. I don’t know what it is, but even melons from the farmer’s market are disappointing. They’re not sweet or are tough and tasteless, or are entire mush and overwhelming and stringy, so i grew my own!
(except for a delicious canteloupe that i found from Heine’s Market in 2018 and saved seeds from, once i found out that melon field was isolated and the seeds germinated for me well in testing.)
If I give these an earlier start, I would grow them again in a heartbeat. I think they would be lovely to see growing up a pergola, instead of in the dirt where you have to really get down to see the developing fruit—they’re beautiful. I saved all the seeds I could from them and would love to share with you if you reach out! USDA organic seeds were purchased from seed savers exchange in early 2016 for 2016.
i ended up giving some of these seeds to a garden project i was asked to help with in 2018, where they progressed well. however, despite all of the warnings i gave about using row cover, the garden builder did not heed my warnings and all fruit were lost, meaning all seeds, too.
golden midget watermelon in 2018 from organic, heirloom seed
van doren moon and stars melon sprouting up in 2018 on the property project that i supplied all seeds for and planted for the sacred g garden.
a chris cross watermelon growing at the property garden that i planted from my seeds.
I took over a perennial bed at our community garden that had a nice patch of raspberries, but they never seemed to produce much. And even if they did produce the raspberries were gone by the time I got to the garden to harvest them—ah the complexities of community gardening in the city. in 2018, i created a community garden berry patch with the help of many community gardener hands for everyone to eat from. Regardless of juicy little raspberries to pop in my mouth, I always have a bounty of raspberry leaves to dry for tea. Raspberry leaf makes such a great herbal tisane (tisane is the proper term for an herbal tea since “tea” is the Camellia sinensis leaf) Raspberry leaves are a uterine relaxant and I used the leaves I grew during both pregnancies in the third trimester. And in the herbal tisanes that I sold for my botanical business. Raspberry leaves also contain magnesium and zinc. Here is a link for a complete breakdown of the constituents of raspberry leaf.
I have 6 different strawberries in my garden, and I have no idea what type they are, except those i started from seed. They range from tiny and delicious to giant and red and bursting with flavor. My family loves strawberries, and I’ve found organic cell packs at echter’s garden nursery in Aurora and Paulino Gardens in Denver. in 2018 I started strawberries from seed, which I have never done before. My husband wants a nice big strawberry patch. from seed: alpine strawberry, bountiful gardens (Bountiful Gardens has closed) yellow wonder wild strawberries, non-GMO from baker creek seed
is there anything better?
seed saving! completing a beautiful life-cycle in your garden is easy and sustainable.
this is also where you will find local seed swap info for the golden seed savers.
popcorn, sweet corn, parching flour corn and quinoa! grains are so awesome to grow, easy to save, and life-changing to taste!
here i’ll share what grains i have grown from seed to harvest, with tips and how to know that corn is ready and how to save seeds and preservation methods.
mini pink popcorn! this fantastic little beauty did amazing for me in 2018 despite two bad hail storms. i planted it so that it didn’t cross-pollinate with my sweet corn, which matured earlier, and strawberry popcorn, which was ravaged and matured later.
mini pink popcorn
strawberry popcorn. it was not a great year for this guy. none for food, all for seed.
job’s tears. job’s tears is not only a gluten free gain, but makes for an excellent border plant and my kids made beads from them! the grey grains are the seed viable ones. i got the seeds for my 2018 garden from baker creek.
job’s tears growing
buhl sweet corn growing behind chadmo quinoa and strawberries.
organic buhl sweet corn growing for seed and taste-testing!
immature quinoa—getting there!
chadmo quinoa growing strong! we had an overzealous gardener pull some thinking it was lambsquarter gone to seed. a lesson in education and gardening heartbreak.
oaxacan green dent corn
olathe sweet corn—almost!
sweet corn starts getting less sweet the VERY moment it’s picked. those sugars start converting to starches, meaning the homegrown corn will forever be the sweetest, juiciest corn you’ll eat!
herbs are such an important medicine and integral part of food. i have a 10 year background in herbal medicine and plant properties, and love to blend herbal tisane, dry herbs for cooking and medicine and enrich our seasonal pallet with herbal flavors.
cilantro gone to flower for coriander seed. delicious and beautiful!
i had one lone valerian seed from over 6 years ago, which magically germinated. okay, it wasn’t magic because i baby my seeds, ensuring longevity. keeping out of light, heat and moisture is essential. this beauty made it through her first season and is currently growing happily, albeit under much snow, in my yarden.
beautiful, delicious and potentially a bad idea for planting willy-nilly all over the corners of my allotment, as it is in the mint family, nepitella mentuccia romana. organic seeds purchased from uprising organics.
saffron crocus bulbs getting ready to be planted in 2016.
some of the several dozen saffron crocus coming up in my yarden. each beautiful crocus has 3 saffron stamens. plant nerd fact, it takes around 4,600 crocus flowers to produce an ounce of dried saffron. growing your own saffron is super easy, and makes for some amazing aromatics in your kitchen.
so. much. mint. i dry mint for tea year-round. there is orange mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, peppermint, spearmint and apple mint growing around my allotment, in the community garden, and in my yarden. remember that mint grows for world domination, so plant in a pot; but those roots are incredibly resilient and will still find their way out and around eventually.
winter savory gone to flower. so yummy. a beautiful, delicious perennial herb to keep in your garden.
collecting sage for bundles, cooking, tea and syrup.
raspberry leaf, also referenced in the fruit section of my website, has some very beneficial properties, especially for us with a uterus and makes a delicious tisane.
dill flowers. we use these in pickles, bouquets, dried and frozen for cooking and baking year-round and of course the beautiful blossoms are amazing at attracting beneficial insects to your garden. one dill umbel produces a lot of seed. save them for next year, for your kitchen pantry, or let the seeds self-sow for next year.
unfurling grandma eink’s dill.
mammoth dill going strong and absolutely loaded with beneficial insects!
collecting herbs. yarrow, sage, mint, chives- to dry on homemade racks for use for cooking, baking, tisane and tinctures and salves.
also found on the flower page of my website, my medicinal white yarrow patch is just beautiful. i have interplanted yarrow with poppies, which give such a burst of color!
thyme to lie to dry. thyme has to be one the most fantastic perennial herbs to grow in a garden, and takes to being divided very well.
this is what 500 violets look like. so fragrant, walking out to the mailbox in the spring you’d think someone sprayed febreeze™ all over the sidewalk… my husband may or may not have thought this until i pointed out the violets.
the leaf is also fantastic as an herbal tisane. more on violet leaf.
cinnamon basil. my favorite basil. i may or may not be addicted to basil, with 8 varieties in my garden. ;)
greek oregano which i started from seed in 2018 after needing more, more, more oregano each year. we use a lot of oregano in our food.
maldovian balm dragonhead. they really do remind me of spiky little dragons. fragrant, gorgeous and a fabulous pollinator plant to have around. seeds originally purchased from baker creek. pinch off leaves and flowers for a really nice herbal tisane. highly recommended.
three of my favorite basil all started from a tiny seed in 2018, cinnamon basil. so incredibly fragrant, the more you pinch, the bushier it gets. i’ve had some leggy and/or disappointing basil forays over the years. cinnamon basil is by far my favorite… though 2019 holds 13 varieties for me. i have a problem.
also on the outskirts of the photo was lettuce leaf basil, which was good, but destroyed by hail, and lime basil which just bolted every time i turned my head. genovese was epic and is trusty and massive, i sold and gave away over two dozen plants in 2018. i said i have a problem, but at least i share.
beneficial insects as well as not-happy-to-see-them in the garden bugs are fascinating. i try to record my favorites in the garden, beneficial or otherwise.
western tiger swallowtail dancing on a zinnia. my children and i watched her for several minutes, recording a video and generally being amazed.
a nepitella mentuccia romana pollinator
swallowtail caterpillar in the dill. it’s like a caterpillar seek and find in there!
leaf piercing stinkbug eggs on the underside of a lacinato kale leaf. they had to go. not rough stinkbug eggs, which are beneficial and eat caterpillars. these things are tiny, and they are mesmerizing. i love inspecting leaves and flowers in the garden for bugs. once, i was taking a photograph of a gorgeous criolla sella blossom to send to my friend whom sent me the seeds for those delicious, gorgeous peppers. upon zooming in on the photograph of this absolutely tiny flower, there were even tinier bugs on that flower. teeny, tiny aphids. itty bitty, horrible aphids. i immediately got out my spray bottle of water and a couple squirts of dr. bronners™ unscented baby soap and sprayed my yarden without abandon.
i have no idea what this is.
Plecia nearctica, lovebug.
green lacewing on my lovage.
potato beetle. not a good one to find-they die.
bumblebee on showy milkweed
ladybug! garden saviors.
ladybug! on bedford monarch parsnip gone to seed.
come in, she said i’ll give ya shelter in the corn.
horrible, disgusting white grub. these little bastards destroyed my potato crop in 2018. after finding about 23678 of these where my potatoes had been, i got over the initial barfy cringe of squishing them to death pretty fast. still super gross, but essential. so. gross. i have never despised a bug so much as these, including the hornworm.
tomato hornworm. horrible little beauty. i leave them on fence posts for the birds to feast.
i have a strong fondness for growing legumes. strange and rare heirloom dry beans are my favorite! incredible taste, beautiful blossoms, all so vastly different. here i’ll share with you the varieties i grow, how they taste, how long they took from seed to harvest, seed sources and saving, storage and more!
sunset runner beans, also in the flower section of my website on the property sacred g garden that i planted in 2018. the blossoms are beautiful. the beans equally as stunning.
mosaic yard long bean
flageolet vert green bush beans sprouting
flageolet vert bush beans growing in.
green arrow shell peas
green arrow shell pea harvest
green arrow shell peas. i saved the best peas grown from organic peas purchased several years ago and have saved many each year from what i grow so that i never have to buy peas to plant again. these peas are amazing. i’ve selected only the yummiest, fullest peas to plant and in 2018 my pea pods had so many peas inside and matured faster than any others in the community garden.
magnolia tendril blossom peas in my yarden in 2018. seeds were purchased from baker creek for 2018. i had high hopes for these peas, touted as beautiful and delicious.
the plants were, indeed, gorgeous. beautiful almost oceanic hued tendrils flanked every inch of the sprawling plants taking over the fenceline. i waited weeks. and weeks. for a single pea. i tested my soil. twice. wondering where the hell my peas were. where were the flowers?
eventually, a handful of peas showed up. pretty purple-podded things.
they were awful. bitter, terrible. yuck. i saved what was there for seed and pulled out the plants without pity for the plants.
in its place i put in some pole beans. they did fantastic.
magnolia tendril pea
magnolia tendril peas for seed for those who want to try them.
turkey craw beans plumping up!
mature dried turkey craw beans. fabulous!
jacob’s gold dry bush bean. beautiful, delicious and prolific!
borlotto tongues of fire bean. seeds were from baker creek. i planted these super late, i mean late, in the 2018 season. celeriac in the left foreground and nasturtium and strawberry popcorn around it.
lazy wife bean
lazy wife was just a huge and sprawling pole bean, with pretty white beans inside. Despite the description on seed savers exchange, I found them to be not so tasty fresh but were darn good pickled! There were so many beans on these, I ended up with a dozen jars of pickled green beans in 2017. Seeds purchased from seed savers exchange in 2015 for 2016 and is a heritage variety.
purple podded pole bean
Pencil Pod Golden Wax Bean
I just call these yellow wax beans for the sake of my husband’s sanity. They’re yummy, easy to eat and cook as well as grow and the kids liked these since they’re yellow. It’s easier to get a kid to eat a yellow bean than it is a green bean. Bush habitat, stringless, one of the first beans you’ll harvest early summer. Seeds gifted to me from a gardener friend in 2014 for 2015. She had purchased her seeds from seed savers exchange and is a historic variety.
i purchased USDA organic seed from Seed Savers exchange in 2016 for 2017. 2017 was my first experience growing soybean. Zero pests, zero issues, shorter growing season than most of my beans which meant I was puling dry pods while I was harvesting fresh snap beans. The pods contained 2 beans, were very small but fuzzy and pretty and took up very little garden space. I ate a few fresh and they were pretty good, I’d have liked them steamed. I saved all of the dried seeds—tiny brown circles—for 2018. agate soybean did well in my 2018 garden, too! again saved many seeds and provided the builder of a garden project i helped with most of my agate soybean seeds, which were all lost to frost. the seeds i have saved from my personal garden are listed on my seeds page.
beer friend soybean was a nice little treat in the garden in 2018. seeds were purchased from kitazawa seed company which is always non GMO and they did very well in several gardens they were planted in. through the seed library this year from my saved seeds they are now growing in 9 different states!
black Sicilian garbanzo
Cicer arietinum. black.
I purchased organic seeds from Adaptive in 2015 for the 2016 year. They germinated well in cooler soil and tolerated a drier soil and full sun. I have never had any problems with grubs wanting my beans, but boy oh boy did they decimate these! You can see the tiny hole in each pod where they crawled in, got fat off the beans and crawled back out to the next pod. When I harvested these I immediately snapped them open (harvested most dry, some green) and there were many caterpillars. I have no idea what kind, I just threw them to the birds. A friend in India told me, after my harvest, that the green pods are sold as a street food and are oftentimes popped open with a worm inside. Anyway, they did quite well, growing them was an experiment in my area, as I’ve never seen anyone grow them here. I only ate a few fresh green ones and saved the dried black beans for seed. They were very good!
in 2018 a friend grew some from my seeds and loved them, and didn’t have the problems that i had with them. 2016 in our community garden was also terrible with flea beetles, grubs and all kinds of garden pests. we experimented with releasing green lacewings, ladybugs and predatory nematodes in 2017 and 2018 throughout the garden, which helped immensely!
empress green bean
this green bean was hands down the best tasting fresh green bean I have ever eaten in my life!
I’ve eaten a lot of beans. I love beans. And this one is a keeper. Bush habitat, I grew it by my parsnips and onions as a last minute space filler in the border of my allotment in 2016. It has a fast maturity, so you’re harvesting these green beans before the pole beans. very productive, with pretty white seeds and pretty white flowers.
i grew more of these in 2017 and EVEN MORE in 2018, and provided so many seeds to seed banks, friends and gardeners all over the united states the past few years. you can find these on my seed page! USDA organic seeds purchased from seed savers exchange in 2016 for 2017.
my sunset runner bean seeds in the palms of the property owner of the sacred g garden that i planted in 2018.
mosaic yard long bean blossoms at the property that i planted for the sacred g garden.
mosaic yard long beans. beautiful! i love these beans, so much that i shared nearly the very last of my seeds to plant the sacred g garden property. all of which were lost.
good mother stallard bean sprout
as these little beauties grew together in my allotment in 2018, i recorded their growth every day. lark’s marigold and empress green bean.
a progress picture a couple of weeks later of the marigold on the left and the empress green beans on the right.
empress green bean harvest in front of the progress of marigolds and empress green beans.
zolfino dry bean. this made great baked beans
peppers! from the delicious jimmy nardello and the habanada to aleppo and criolla sella, here are some amazing peppers that i have found. here you will find growing info and tips, taste and harvest and some yummy recipes and storage tips and how to save those seeds to grow more and share!
poblano peppers! resistant to all the things, well most of the things, and are excellent stuffed!
Hungarian yellow wax peppers do very well in our zone 5B. I grew both a hot wax and a sweet wax. mixing them up together while harvesting was a bad idea, putting the pepper to my mouth after scraping the seeds out was the only way to tell. hello lip balm.
a row of aleppo peppers. i received 5 true aleppo pepper seeds years ago-11 years ago- from a syrian friend. i have been growing them out ever since, saving seeds and sending them to seed banks and gardener friends across the united states.
the first year i saved seeds from them, i didn’t use gloves. my fingers burned constantly for two days. an indescribable, painful burning of my fingertips. lesson learned.
jimmy nardello progress picture
habanero pepper on the left, habanada pepper on the right. habanada was absolutely delicious and did very well and is a heatless habanero-fruity and plump with none of the spicy spice.
my iko iko pepper patch. they’re beautiful, stout little peppers, full of color and flavor. i love them and have so many seeds to share.
criolla sella pepper on a genovese basil leaf
thai chili pepper plant. i kept two for myself, but they were ultimately destroyed by hail. i managed to save the earliest maturing seeds for 2019.
over the years i have come to help many people turn their space into a productive edible garden. here are some of my latest garden projects!
sugar beets and golden beets, turnips and radishes, garlic and celeriac— the abundance and diversity of roots and tubers are astounding! here i will share with you what i have grown through the years, with notes on flavor, harvest and preserving your bounty.
earlier harvested 2019 garlic that I essentially thinned.
Russian giant garlic
Russian red garlic
penance blue garlic
Italian red garlic
paris market carrot. or if you’re my husband, “those weird carrots.”
i like these because they slice flawlessly with golden beets.
more purple dragon carrots
i have no idea what type of carrots these were.
giant prague celeriac above ground. the entire plant is edible and absolutely delicious.
tellus celeriac that took 10 months from seed to harvest. every year i swear it off, then every year i grow more. it’s just so tasty!
he shi ko bunching onion. epic.
rossa di milano onion, started from seed—they sure did make me cry. i chopped them all up and put them in the freezer. you’d better believe goggles are one of my top kitchen gadgets.
red long of tropea. the green tops of these were delicious as well. onion tops are so overlooked in the kitchen. i started these from seed. i would grow an acre of onions if i could. once you’ve grown onions from seed, there is no going back to onion sets. the taste does not come close.
some kind of welsh bunching onion that was an heirloom seed gifted to me in 2014.
turga parsnip i let go to flower, then seed. this work of art would not taste good after all that energy, but should be honored nonetheless.
round one harvest of bedford monarch, turga and guernsey parsnips. i can tell the difference by taste. it’s an acquired nerd gift.
sugar beets for a making my own beet sugar experiment. it was gross and took a lot of heat energy and time. but i can say that i’ve made my own beet sugar.
sugar beets before processing. you can find more on sugar beet processing on the food page of my website.
horseradish from hell. if anyone ever asks you if you’d like some horseradish for your garden—run.
i have many jars of this in my freezer, which perks up a bloody mary and cocktail sauce in all the right ways, but please. do not take a whiff of it after opening your food processor. months later and my sinuses still shrivel up at the thought.
prepping horseradish root to purée
wonnegold turnips. i tried to like turnips, i really did. upon further reading, i’m supposed to boil them and this and that. well i didn’t. and it was terrible, lesson learned. but i’m not wasting my garden space on them again.
one of my most favorite things to grow, yacon. it’s absolutely fantastic and has beautiful daisy-like flowers on the top, when it flowers. i have this whole write up on growing, harvesting and storing yacon that i will post at some point.
french breakfast radish
i love garlic. if it didn’t make me smell like a gym sock, i’d make soap out of it just to rub it all over me like a dog on a dead thing.
thinning some garlic. also known as, i’m pulling the garlic that’s a little too close to another because i’m too impatient to wait any longer for fresh garlic.
i planted my garlic by the moon in 2018.
the garlic that was damaged was cleaned and frozen in jars, or stored in jars of olive oil, or pureed and pushed into silicone ice cube trays for use throughout the winter.
tied hardneck garlic.
purple potato leaf. just to be clear, do not eat potato leaf.
purple potato that was the source of many little baby purple potatoes. despite those horrible white grubs, i got some potatoes. i imagine the white grubs like the thing crawling out in kafka on the shore. no spoilers.
more potatoes. i had to pull up all of my potatoes because of white grubs, but also because i had to plant popcorn later than the sweet corn to ensure that i wouldn’t get a not good version of the seeds i was saving since space is limited and corn pollen carries.
some other kind of potato
i save all of the plastic clamshells from fruit for garden harvests, and keep extras in our community garden shed for others to use. i’ve had some of these clamshells for 5 years.
squash provide an abundance of food and seed from a single plant! i haven’t had much room for squash in my garden, but as my yarden grows, so will my squash growing.
delicata! delicious and ready to slice & grill, or hidden amongst foliage to pluck for seed and bread!
yellow crookneck squash
officially called Golden Zucchini Squash, this plant was transplanted and gifted to me by an allotment gardener friend. It did very well, except for my plot neighbor’s zucchini plant had powdery mildew and those sprawling leaves were always invading my squash’s territory. I did a lot of cutting and trimming to keep powdery mildew at bay. Some people use all kids of stuff from powdered milk to sprays to control powdery mildew, but honestly I believe that if you get down to the base of the plant and look at the stems, you’ll see where the fungus is growing. Cut off those infected stems—never pull and water evenly. You’d be tempted to not water, but that actually exacerbates the mildew problem. Squash are very resilient plants and you’ll never walk away from the garden season going man, I wish I had more squash! Even if you do a lot of trimming.
I saved seeds from the few that I decided to let get monstrous for the intention of saving seeds.
anna swartz hubbard squash grown in 2018 from organic heirloom gifted seed.
zucchini squash! stuffed freezer for months.
an heirloom golden Hubbard squash, the only to survive our mid-august hail in 2018.
over the years, tomatoes have taught me many lessons. here are the varieties i have grown, loved and saved. from the prolific and sprawling peacevine cherry to the perfect snack-sized raspberry lyanna tomato, i’ll share growing stories, seed saving tips and preservation methods and recipes.
crnkovic yugoslavian tomato. i’ve grown this for a couple of years now. not my favorite, but it’s good enough to keep growing.
peacevine cherry tomatoes. one of my favorites. we all just pop them in our mouths right off the plant. i’ve grown these for 7 years, 2019 will be the 8th. Developed by Dr. Alan Kapuler, my garden idol, i seek out his seeds every year. 2019 holds some very exciting finds that i hope to share with you!
root system of aunt molly’s ground cherry started from seed in 2018. some people love these things. i thought they were meh. i still have a good few pounds in my freezer to turn into jam. ground cherry can also be found under misc. veggies section of my website.
i cannot remember for the life of me what these were. they were yummy though. i end up playing musical tomato bucket in the summer and have no idea what anything is anymore, except those that are obvious by sight or taste.
an assortment of tomatoes in there. i see san marzano, black cherry and peacevine, all headed to the sauce pot after collecting seeds. this is from 2016.
so many maters.
raspberry lyanna. my earliest producer, and one of the most prolific in 2018. resilient to all the things, and is a nice sweet-acid balance. perfect to eat when you need to taste summer, and a great slicer.
first tomatoes of 2018--peacevine and raspberry lyanna. my peacevine tomato plants got up to 7 feet tall last year with ample fruit. i used velcro ties to just keep letting them go up our hops trellis.
each year is a new experience in the garden! here i share with you the miscellaneous vegetables i grow in my garden that have not their own navigational category, with notes on seed sources and saving, growing tips and lessons, harvest, storage and preparation.
white vienna kohlrabi. so delicious. growing more!
more white vienna kohlrabi, started from seed in march.
my first kohlrabi!
rhubarb which i split from an abandoned plot in 2017, then split again in 2018 and had awesome harvests. jams and pies, oh my. the only issue i had was that i had planted it in a too sunny spot in my yarden, which in 90+ degree days on end here, it would wilt and weep in the sun. i’ll be moving it again in 2019 to a less intensely sunny spot.
fairytale eggplant. i grow it every year, it’s so pretty, the kids love plucking it, and makes a great addition to sauce and baked pasta dishes.
fairytale eggplant and a beautiful jimmy nardello pepper
garlic scapes, so yummy! also found on the food section of my website.