Tuesday, June 30, 2009

thank god for the farmer's market

my tomatoes in maryland are non-existant...and still not red in virginIa, but farmer obiers grows amazing fresh produce...the sweet potatoes i bought from him last week turned into incredible gnocci with a a fresh tomato sauce. mmm....

Monday, June 29, 2009

yellow rose of texas

i was just planning on posting this prickly pear flower blooming in my front yard: i saw on some garden show it was known as "the yellow rose of texas". i went to wikipedia to add a garden reference, and was shocked by what i found! i knew the yellow rose of texas was also some random country song, i did not know it was based on a legend of a high yellow hotty (pc for me as i am a high yellow hotty (?) with a very light skinned grandma from texas). wow...you learn something new every day...and, i did not see that coming!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


last year i shot this video for the howard county (maryland) master gardeners. i still havent warmed up to the idea of worms in my kitchen, but a lot of other people have! learn how on youtube or with mary applehof's "worms eat my garbage..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

south mountain creamery

Saugeen Country Dairy
for those of you trying to live sustainably and buy locally, here is a highly recommended maryland and virginia home delivery dairy farm, south mountain creamery. the artisan cheeses looks delicious and the milk lasts two weeks longer than store bought!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

bethesda central farm market

The Beginnings of Onions
just two-and-a-half weeks old...the bethesda central farm market is all the buzz! with a thursday afternoon set up on bethesda lane and a sunday morning location on elm street, this new farmer's market aims to satisfy your culinary cravings. over 20 farmers, producers and vendors sell fresh produce, meat, poultry, cheese, bread, prepared foods, seafood, baked goods, and more. parking is free! (i'm headed there today!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

color-coordinated hoses

apartment therapy told me to get these great colored hoses from gardener's supply: i am partial to the purple, but disappointed there is no pink. then, lo-and-behold: target has it! garden for the cause with this one!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

foraging for mushrooms

it has rained so much lately, mushrooms have popped up everywhere in techno-colors. i took the photos above with my lame iphone camera and then edited them via the color splash app.

Friday, June 19, 2009

verticle gardening with patrick blanc

green roofs are one thing, but vertical walls are crazy...and fantastic! i have started seeing vertical scapes everywhere: from smith and hawken to the landscaping at my doctor's parking garage, but none compare to the grand vision of scientist and designer patrick blanc.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

emerald ash borer alert

i have seen a number of billboards along the chesapeake bay watershed in both maryland and virginia asking people not to move firewood away from were it was felled so to not spread the ash borer beetle any further. the beetle itself does little damage but the larvae feast on the inside of ash trees and disrupt the flow of water and nutrients to the tree. 40 million ash trees have been killed so far, with a total of 7.5 billion threatened nationwide in the entire fraxinus genus! educate yourself and others: learn to identify the nasty ash nemesis and distinguish it from other similar-looking native (and good) bugs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

short and sweet

iris verna is gorgeous! a wild flower native to seventeen eastern states, hardy most everywhere: you can find this diminuitive doll at sunshine farm and gardens. short...sweet... and deerproof, too!

Monday, June 15, 2009

front porch

i got some gardening off my to do list today: the front porch looks great! i filled the self-watering flower boxes with chartreuse and black sweet potato vines. the two large concrete containers received miscanthus grass, and a couple of shady pots were filled with gorgeous coleus. the resident succulents on the steps new neighbor(s) are sweet and thai basil combined with spearmint and topped off with chives, all in a strawberry pot.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

seed bombs?

according to dvice, "seed bombs" are not a new concept, but these biodegradable shells are on a mission to fight global desertification. cool!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

how to get rid of bindweed

bindweed has taken over my front garden...i already dug it up, ripped it out and mulched heavily: twice! but after several weeks of rain they are back in full force! its not all bad though: i made these pretty things from the flowers!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

my container gardens

i have a few things growing in containers and raised beds. i put 'top hat' blueberries in 12" pots below crook neck yellow squash sitting on the deck of my shed. these huge pots reclaimed from a construction site hold 30 strawberry plants each: some grub-type-thing is eating the berries. i have a bunch of heirloom tomatoes in my raised beds that i started from seed: they look good! my carrots, i dont know...i am not very good with carrots.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

how to grow 100lbs. of potatoes in 4 square feet

i love potatoes and as i found out two years ago: nothing beats home grown, organic ones! i start my plants on valentine's day in the sandy loam of my virginia field garden: they got rained on, then it froze and they rotted. not to worry: i replanted and all is well! but, there is only so much dirt to be mounded up on the tubers, and potatoes exposed to sunlight turn green and green potatoes are toxic. what to do? i have seen the potato boxes in various garden supply catalogs, but here is a diy box anyone can handle. one additional note: i would recommend putting the finest, strongest metal screen possible on the bottom to prevent moles from stealing your yukon golds! happy french fries!

Friday, June 5, 2009

dandelions: the new arugula?

i just read this article in the wall street journal about the unbelievable increase in sales of dandelions and other weed-type plants. i have been saying for years "i should eat these.." but never have other than a bite in the yard. i keep seeing them at whole foods, but...maybe next year: they are apparently too bitter once the flower has bloomed. in the "comments" after the article russ cohen passes on interesting info about dandelions and other wild edibles: he is the author of a book entitled "Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten". oh, by the way: i took the photo above with my iphone and used the color splash app (on the phone!) to manipulate the image.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

my vegetable garden

i am determined to grow all of my fruits and vegetables! ok: that's a bit lofty: i am trying to grow some of my fruits and vegetables. this is the third year working my plot in virginia. the first year, i staked out 50 feet by 50 feet of sandy loam, put a strawberry pyramid in the center and central paths forming a cross with a round about the strawberries. i lined the paths with a thick mulch of loblolly pine needles. i plotted out on paper my plan and inserted all of the seedlings. the first potatoes were fantastic! then we got 11" of rain that drowned my pink and blue popcorn. the deer ate my tomato and pepper plants. i was away for a couple of weekends, and the weeds took over the strawberries: i never found them! so i abandoned it. last year, i started potatoes on valentine's day, followed up with seedlings later and the farmer came and plowed everything under, including the strawberry pyramid. so, i abandoned it. this year will be different though: i can tell! i started seeds early. we bought a walk behind tiller to help with the weeds; there are still a lot, though! i have walking onions, leeks and sweet onions. the tomatoes havent been touched by the deer yet. the potatoes had a lot of bugs, but i smacked them off and they werent around this week. the mustard is still kicking. the cabbages are growing, but i am not really sure how they are supposed to look. the swiss chard looks amazing! my moon and stars watermelon looks a bit anemic, but is still alive! some of the sweet potatoes dried up, but most are sprouting. the arugula and italian parsley have past: i need to replant them. the radishes (which were delicious) went to seed: i am going to save it for next year. the carrots didnt make it.