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Archive for the ‘Seed to Kitchen Series’ Category

As tomato & pepper season kicks off, we’re storing up the garden goodness in our favorite way!  We slightly modified this great recipe from A Man Named Muffin who also gave us generous amounts of vegetables from his sister’s harvest.  Our gratitude goes out to both of them.  

Is cooking and canning a chore?  Not if you enlist the help of loved ones to share the work.  We hopped over to Mom and Dad Frisbie’s and made it a family project.  While all of us split up the work, we shared recipe ideas and heard tales of “the old days” when the only way to feed a large family (my father-in-law being one of 12 kids) was to grow a large garden and make it last all year.  Growing and preserving food may seem like a lost art, but it’s making a comeback in these tough economic times.  Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, it’s wise to buy up local produce at a great price while it is in season and “put it up” for leaner times.  It saves money, tastes better, and – as my mother-in-law says – “at least you know what’s in it.”    (more…)

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Have you reached your frost date?  Have you performed the hardening off process?  Do the plants look healthy and stable with several leaves?  Then you are ready to transplant your plants to your garden.  Begin with plants that have not been recently soaked from watering.  You’ll want to work with soil that is somewhat loose – not compact from dryness or muddy with moisture.  You will also need a small trowel, compost or bone meal or other type of fertilizer, and a bucket of water.

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In phases 1 and 2 of this series, we learned how to germinate herb and vegetable seeds then introduce them to a light source to encourage the growth of leaves.  Once the seedlings have achieved 4 fully developed leaves – the two birth leaves followed by the two true leaves – they are ready to be transplanted into potting soil and fertilized.  Eventually, the birth leaves will wither and fall off because the plant no longer needs these primitive suncatchers.  Up until now, the plant has not needed nutrients from the soil because the seed holds all of the energy it needs to form the true leaves.  But at this point, the plant needs nutrients to continue developing.  We provide these nutrients by transplanting the plants into suitable soil and providing some form of fertilizer.   (more…)

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During phase 1, we planted our seeds in a loose, moist soil, covered them, and placed them in a warm safe place.  We checked them carefully every day for the first signs of life.  Once we see the tiniest bit of green, we know the seeds have germinated and we must immediately remove the cover and begin Phase 2. 

This is the phase where light becomes necessary.  The objective here is to encourage a sturdy, upright sprout as the first leaves, called the birth leaves, unfurl. 

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Here is the answer to a great question posted to my article about starting seeds indoors:

The first thing you need to do is determine your Spring and Fall frost dates according to the region in which you live.  There is a very useful link to US climate norms on my blogroll to the right of this article.  You can download a printable page to help with your planning. 

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On February 25th, the day of the great snowstorm, I decided to start my broccoli and cauliflower seeds.  It was about a week overdue, but it shouldn’t matter in the long run.  With my 2 1/2 year old Pookah by my side, together we planted more than 18 seeds each of broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, and parsley seeds.  Here is how we did it:

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