Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Planting

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your
one wild and precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Rain or shine we have been working hard to get the garden together.  With the warm spring rains the weeds and grasses have been growing like crazy.  We sure have our work cut out for us, and with full time work schedules, we never feel like there is enough time to get the planting done.  But little by little the seed flats are getting emptied and new seedlings started.  Here are some of the heirloom varieties we are trying out this season...

Blue Hubbard-  110 days.  C. maxima.  Huge, teardrop-shaped fruit weigh 15-40 lbs. and have sweet, fine-grained, golden flesh. Great for baking, pies, and soup. The hard, blue-gray shell helps these keep for long periods in storage.
Delicata- 100 days.  C. pepo.  High sugar content, fruit are 1-3 lbs. each and skin color is rust-white with green stripes. Delicate sweet flavor.
Oregon Sweet Meat-  95 days.  C. maxima.  A delicious heirloom from Oregon; excellent flavored deep orange flesh is very sweet. Fruit are large and flattened in shape (somewhat like a Rouge Vif D’Etampes). Skin color is beautiful deep sea blue-green.
Kabocha-  C. maxima.  A popular green-skinned Japanese squash that's shaped like a buttercup, but without the "cup" on the bottom. Rich yellow orange flesh is of excellent quality, being sweet, fine-textured and nutty tasting. Perfect for baking and making delicious pumpkin curries and breads.

Northern Lights55 days.  4-inch, round beefsteak with orange-yellow color and a red center and a wonderful, intense tomato flavor.  Bears until frost.
Green Zebra75-80 days.  Very deep green zebra stripes. Sweet zingy flavor. Very productive plants. Favored by chefs and found at specialty and farmers markets.
Pink Caspian80 days.  From southern Russia’s warm Caspian Sea region is often called the “Queen of the Pinks,” with an incredibly sweet and juicy fruit that often reach one pound and occasionally larger. Will do well in cooler areas.
Cherokee Purple75-90 days.  Uniquely colored dusty-rose-brown fruit weigh up to 12 ounces. Delicious, sweet flesh.

Tamarillo (Tree Tomato)-  Solanum betaceum is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae. It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. Other names include tree tomato and tomate de ├írbol.  The plant is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 4 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years.
Tree SpinachChenopodium giganteum is a very large annual leafy vegetable that grows over 8 feet tall. It is also known as Tree Spinach, native to mountainous regions of India.  It is a leafy green which tastes like very much like chard or spinach with a hint of asparagus when cooked.
Bloody Butcher Corn-  100-110 days.  Zea mays.  Known in the U.S. since 1845; originally from Virginia. Plants grow up to 12' tall and have at least two ears per stalk; each ear is 8-12" long. Striking maroon and red-black kernels. Used for flour, cornmeal, or corn-on-the-cob when young. Good drought tolerance. Great for fall decorations.
Red Seeded Asparagus Bean-  75 days. Very long pods grow to 24”.  Very tender and tasty; no strings, small seeds; huge yields on 10’vines. They grow well under almost any conditions– very resistant to heat, humidity and insects; great for the South. Pick for snap beans when 12”-14” long; delicious stir-fried!

There has been much preoccupation with a new addition to our farm.  A bit of last minute building going on...lots of walking and mending fence lines, identifying and planning removal of noxious weeds from the pasture, as well as, talking to older, experienced neighbors for advice and support.  Stay tuned for more info coming soon.  We are so excited and praying all goes well!

Photos by Lori Eanes 


  1. Okay, so not totally on topic, but I was just thinking this morning that I need more dresses that I can garden in, and then up pops this blog post, with dress-gardening! Love it! :)

    Also (and more on topic) I'm super intrigued by the tree spinach. Looking forward to learning more about it!

    1. LOL! Somewhere along the way the line between gardening clothes and street clothes was lost. Not sure when that happened:). I like your blog, filling draft snakes with kitty litter is genious. I never made them because I didn't want to waste that much rice.

  2. New addition?! Did Bella kid?

  3. The photos are so awesome! I'm inspired!