Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome spring!

Happy Spring Equinox! The days are appreciably longer. The nights a bit warmer. Crocus, forsythia and daffodils are in bloom.

Last week was the beginning of daylight saving time and we "sprang forward". A freak windstorm toppled our small green house prompting the setting out of lettuce starts.

This week scallots, red onions and spinach were planted. The lettuce is so promising. Soon we will have the first baby greens in our salads.

Our urban orchard of mini trees will begin this week when the Carmine Jewel dwarf cherry tree arrives.  As we are renters our orchard of mini-dwarf trees will be planted in large pots located toward the north part of the front yard. Soon the cherry will be joined by two mini-dwarf apple trees, a Beni-Shogun Fuji and Greensleeves. We choose them because of compatible bloom time, height and flavor. We also have four blueberry plants, a stand of raspberries and will have a new strawberry bed.

Another passion of ours is Slow Food. We eat seasonally - mostly from our garden and are great fans of our canning jars and two crock pots (different sizes) which are in use at least once a week and of sourdough bread. We began making all our baked goods with spelt flour and sourdough last September. The results have been good with pancakes, waffles, bread, crackers and chocolate cake. This week we began working with a slow process sourdough. Takes patience and a bit of planning allowing the bread to rise over a period of 36 hours or more. This first try we lasted the 36 hours resulting in a dense, tasty, very sour loaf with very good crumb. The next batch I will try to wait 48 hours but it is so tempting! Spread with cheese, sweet butter or our homemade peach jam the small slices are a treat.

Today, planting chives, nasturtiums and marigold seeds around the blueberries. These flowering herbs take care of bad bugs and invite pollinators into our garden/orchard. The same plants will go into the pots with the fruit trees.

Happy spring! The world is renewed and so are we.

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