Finally made two cold frames for the beds. The whole idea of switching to ‘modular’ 3’x3′ beds was to better allow moving things like netting, cold frames, shade cloth, etc between the various beds. These two are made from rigid plastic used for green houses on the sides, and are sized to allow re-use of the former cold house windows on top. They are just set loosely on the bed, and the window loosely on that.
Wheat has germinated! A bunch of little grass-like shoots have come up, so the anti-bird net can go away, fingers crossed it grows up big and strong!
Turned over one bed of winter rye to make room for cauliflower and broccoli planting. Had a lot of trouble with bolting last year, trying direct seed earlier this year to see if any difference.
Also noticed that a majority of the asparagus crowns have shot up new shoots by now. I should have kept a better record of how many there were when I separated and replanted them a few weeks back to see how successful. Judging by the number now visible, working well! This will be their second summer, so possibly a few harvests, but next year will be the real payoff.
Cut them three days ago, fuzzy and partially black, eyes had small growths.
Planted an inch or two below surface and loosely covered. Cold frame is over to help manage moisture and increase heat.
High of 44, low of 33. Some snow this morning.
Planted another large flat with a combination of later flower starts, and some additional tomatoes and herbs to bolster some weaker looking seed starts. I let one tray get a bit dried out, and those starts have really suffered as a result.
All of these starts went into a 50/50 mix with pittmoss as before. Its a really neat product that seem to be working well, the earlier flat of flowers is over 50% germinated already. Definitely helps with moisture control.
Finally warm enough to directly plant a few earlier season crops. Put in early radishes as well as greens (a few lettuces, arugula and spinach).
Also finally got the red fife wheat planted, which probably could have happened weeks ago, but had some dirt to move around between beds that made it easy to delay until now.
Small update, have reached germination of about 50% on seeds planted at seed swap. Certainly achieved faster using an actual starter mix.
The most recent flower starts were in a 50/50 pittmoss and regular soil mix. Will compare those results as well.
Earlier starts have reached almost complete germination, so I feel good about the odds of these more recent ones, especially with better soil conditions.
Weather is looking up in the forecast, hoping for some direct seed planting soon!
Seed swap had small turn out, and was mostly planting our own seeds and talking about it while drinking beers. So … successful.
Planted some flower starts there, along with a few more herbs. Doing more flowers today, some of which are to be shared with Bobby. I had a helper too! Having never done flower starts, curious to see how timing works out, and if better than direct planting in a few weeks when less frost danger.
About 3/4 germination of tomatoes and pepper planted a few weeks ago. Hopefully the last couple stragglers come through.
There is a seed swap tomorrow night, so I am sure a few more things will get planted then.
Just waiting for temps to warm up so we can get stuff out in the garden! It snowed almost 6 inches yesterday as it is.
For the conclusion of our Russian Winter TV Club’s watching of the BBC’s War & Peace, I decided to make this classic stuffed bread. Haven’t dabbled much with stuffed breads before, so figured start with one with very thin crust surrounding the filling to reduce chances of it being under-baked.
- 482g AP Flour
- 113g sour cream
- 57g soft unsalted butter
- 113g warm water
- 2 large eggs
- 25g sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast
Mixed together and kneaded for a few minutes. Set into a bowl and allowed to rise until nearly doubled in size, about an hour. Separated into 18 or so even sizes (bout 40-50g if memory serves…) and rolled them all fairly thin, probably 3-5mm in thickness. I let them relax a bit as I rolled, and probably say another 10-15 min before putting in the filling.
Made two fillings – one with sautéed mushrooms, the other with faux beef crumbles. Each were mixed with a large amount of onions, some garlic, and salt and black pepper. The mushrooms got a cheddar cheese mixed in, the ‘beef’ more of a parm/mozzarella mix. I think each mix ended up being around 200g total…
Egg-washed the rounds before placing the filling in the middle, and then folding over, like a pierogi. Crimped shut and then let them all sit for 30 or so minutes after filling to allow a secondary proof.
Baked at 400 for 20 minutes. Rotated sheets top to bottom and flipped front to back halfway through. They were quite delicious!