Gardening in the Blind


Random thoughts
October 18, 2011, 9:22 am
Filed under: local eating, outdoor gardening

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I hate this time of year sometimes.  You spend glorious days outside digging up the garden and preparing it for winter.  Say good-bye to the tomatoes, hello fall feast of leeks and parsnips.  So much to do and so little time to do it in.  But more importantly, you realize all the projects that you wanted to accomplish that you did not.  Such things as dividing and transplanting the iris’ or building the window boxes.  Time flies and before you know it there is snow on the ground (Sorry it happened so early for you mom!)

This weekend I am taking pictures of projects that I want to accomplish.  I am going to create a sheet with each project.  A picture of what it looks like now and a sketch of what I want it to look like, along with description and approximate timeframe to do it in.  All the sheets are going into a binder, so I can grab a sheet and instruct Deron to help me on weekends creating the final sheets with a picture of the before and after on it.

I have decided to embrace the lack of employment and do stuff around the house.  I am going to find someone to teach me the table saw and router.  I am then going to do the pantry this winter.  I am going to create more and learn more.  I am so excited.

But most exciting is the fact that I am going to explore hydroponics this winter.  I don’t want to have a lack of greens through the winter.  It is important to keep on eating well.  This will be interesting for me as I have never explored it before.  I can’t wait to see it working.  Once I get it up and running, rest assured, you will be learning with me!

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Planting Leeks
October 3, 2011, 9:24 am
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, outdoor gardening

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This year was the best year for my leeks.  I finally learned how to plant them properly.  Funny it has taken me so long to learn how to get nice thick leeks and not the wimpy ones I settled for in years past.  So, as I slowly harvest leeks to use in cooking, I thought I would let everyone know just how to plant them! (And remind me for next year)

I use leeks a lot in winter cooking and am always eager to plant a lot for us.  Just one weekend, Deron and I used 3 parsnips and 8 leeks in cooking.  I will take about parsnips on my next post hopefully.

To plant the leek sets, you first need to dig a small trench about 6″ deep.  When you place the leek set in the trench it will have just a little sticking out.  Most of the plant will be in the trench.  You need to place the plants 1-2″ apart in the trench, then fill in the trench with the dirt, patting it down.  When you start the next row, try to keep them at least 12″ apart due to the hearty green stocks that fill in as they grow.  I planted about 100 leeks this year and all took.  It is quite exciting.  They are still growing in the dirt, but can be harvested as needed.

Because I live in the northeast where the winters are harsh, I will have to pick them before frost.  I have two options for storing my leeks – I can keep them at 32 degrees F with high humidity or more likely I will end up burying the leeks in cold wet sand (32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit).  They should stay fresh for at least 2-3 months, although I am hoping even longer.  When I store the leeks in the refrigerator, I place them unwashed in a plastic back.  They will only keep for about a week this way though.

So, happy stews and soups and roasted leek dreams while enjoying what is in season.