Tuesday, March 23, 2010

pound + poke: diy hanging planter

I made a hanging planter out of an aluminum cans, a nail, fishing line, organic seed starter, honey bee seed mix, scissors and a hammer. 

Poke holes in the side as well as the bottom. Make 2 holes close to the lip of the can parallel to one another. This will be where you string the fishing line through for your "handle." Fill with your seed starter or potting soil and plant your seeds. Water and hang in the window!

I am planting my honey bee mix so that I can move my planter around the garden when it's time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

starting basil

I am waaaaaay too anxious to start gardening. There is a thunderstorm outside right now and it won't be time to plant for several more weeks. Basil, however, can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before planting, giving me something to do while it's raining out! We (Ethan, the two neighbors and myself) are all very excited about growing, and eating, basil. 

Basil is a staple item in our cooking. We use it when making raw pesto, thai dishes and Ethan's delicious sweet potato sandwich.

boston birthday

This past weekend I went to Boston to curate a Glovebox art show. After a stop at Prana Raw Cafe in Newton for raw sushi and kombucha, I stopped at  the Home da'Pot for supplies. In addition to the things I needed for the art show, I took the opportunity to pick up some organic potting soil and seed starter supplies. 

It was a great way to celebrate my birthday with my best friends and I even got a very special birthday call from India - the best present ever!

seed a la frigidare

I spoke to the Kitazawa people today about my overly ambitious and seemingly novice seed purchase. I should really say over-purchase. The woman taking my call assured me that the seeds would keep for 2-3 years if stored in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. You can even keep seeds in the fridge. 

Now I can keep my seed collection between the rice milk and the kale. Not at all unusual.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

holy crap, i need a farm

They're here!!! My first shipment of seeds. What was I thinking? I got so carried away with ordering what I wanted I didn't think about where I would plant everything. 

Anybody need some seeds? I'll mail you a sampler! Seriously, email me.

here we go

The Vernal Equinox is right around the corner. There are finally some little flowers peeking through the brown, dusty leaves. New York has had insane amounts of rain this past week, giving a little jump start to the green.

I love the green poking through the leaves near the pipes - yes I have random pipes in my backyard. I like the industrial, Brooklyn feel it gives the yard. Mica joined me, sniffing the flowers.

cheap and easy

cheap and easy vegetables (or so I'm told)

I picked my seeds based on two things. One, I want to plant things that we eat a lot and already buy often. And two, things that are easy to grow!  

In my research I found the following as suggested "hard-to-screw-up" veggies:
  • beets
  • swiss chard
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • tomatoes
  • summer squash
  • zucks and cucks
  • snap and snow peas
  • radishes
  • bush beans
  • carrots

Saturday, March 13, 2010

garden squid, screaming seeds and little puckers

These are pictures from last fall. I was cleaning up the yard right up until the winter and these squidy little onion things were exploding with roots. They grow really tall and the little onion bulbs form on the head of the "flower" until it's too heavy and they fall over. Then the little bulbs all grow like crazy until they can grab onto something.. I'm not sure what the plant name is, I just call them garden squids.

The morning glories always made me so happy, little ice cream swirls of pink and purple that squeeze together so tight until the sun comes out.

It's raining like crazy outside this weekend, but we are going to start building the planting boxes soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

magical fantastical weed from the sea

I just placed a second order of seeds with Burpee... I think I'm done ordering for now. I might have to get creative with places to plant everything! 

I'm especially excited to get my sea magic seaweed. I was reading about organic fertilizers that you can make yourself and there was an easy sea weed recipe. I only have nori, kombu and hijiki that I use for cooking, but I had the brilliant idea of still trying to make my own. I put it on my sad little succulents... we'll see how that goes.

I just found Park Seed, who also carries sea magic... browsing their site reminded me that I want chili peppers, garlic and jalapenos. I guess I'm not done with my ordering!

Pictured: sea magic seaweed fertilizer and my succulent happily outside last summer

give me some sugar, little honey bee

I ordered the lil' honey bees a treat. The Honey Bee Mix from Kitazawa Seed Company was in my first big seed order. Yay!

sow what

Sowing is the process of planting seeds.

In looking at seeds there is the option to start your seeds indoors or plant direct and sow. I decided, to buy my Kitazawa seed's direct to sow. I don't totally trust my umm... greenish thumb. Plus, my apartment's heat is regulated by the building and my succulents have been hating me this winter. I refuse to say I have a black thumb because succulents are very tricky. My aloe is still kickin' and so are the spiky guys. My favorites - the donkey tails - have been dropping dead just this past month. They made it all winter and within a month of spring they all shriveled up and dropped away.  Sounds more like a gecko than a donkey. They will be so happy to go back to living outside. 

macrobiotic planting

My initial list included: kale, collard greens, daikon, carrots, squash... upon doing a little research I found this Macrobiotic Garden package from Kitazawa Seed Company for $22, which seems like a good price for:

  • Azuki Red Bean
  • Gai Ghoi Chinese Mustard
  • Kurogoma Black Sesame Seed
  • Lucky Lion Edamame Soybean
  • Mappe Green Mung Bean
  • Takinogawa Gobo Burdock
  • Tokinashi All Season Daikon
The Kitazawa Seed Company has lots of positive reviews from my light internet research. I just ordered their catalog and I'm going to check out their recipes.

I'm a little concerned about the burdock - it sounds complicated to grow and harvest.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

spring has sprung

This weekend has finally started to feel like spring!! We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge today for the first time. Just beautiful. I would like to go again with a gigantic sketchbook and draw all the cables that connect to the towers.

The Brooklyn bridge is the oldest suspension bridge in the United States. 

I came home after our walk and cleaned up the yard. Now that there is no snow on the ground and it's not raining, I can finally get out there to clean up the mess from winter neglect. (Courtesy of Mica and the snow -- it's amazing what hides under the snow for an entire winter: mystery garbage, I even found the remains of some kind of animal -- gross.) I removed the unsightly boards the last tenant erected to hang twine to create a rope web for the morning glories to climb. It looked really rustic and cute when it was in full bloom, but I think I can rig something for the climbing flowers without random boards being propped against the brick wall. It's looking better already! 

Friday, March 5, 2010

mark your territory

I was thinking of buying popsicle sticks or even just upside-down clothespins fixed with a piece of light metal with the names of veggies spelled out to mark my garden plantings. I was a trollin' the web to spark my creativity and I found these AMAZING garden markers on Bumble Design via Modern Gardener (or the other way around I guess...)
I think I'm going to DIY this. Yup, I think I will.

your very own pot maker

Really... I found this on Burpee under seed starters... 

You can make your own seed starting pots out of newspaper. I'm pretty sure you don't need a phallic-looking contraption to do this, but it would be pretty handy. And multi-purposed perhaps? 

I'm loving that Burpee is representing ways to reuse and be green! 

Note to potential buyers: hardwood form lasts for years. A real money saver.

That's what she said.