Monthly Archives: November 2010

green sprouts day 5

sprouts day 5The radishes are doing well! They’re on their way to a yummy salad in a few days. I expected them to be ready to eat today, day 5, based on the last batch I grew, but the other batch was right over the heat vent so I think that’s why these ones are taking longer. They’re in a window and they have a lot less heat on them.

The broccoli seems to be taking longer too – I thought it was quicker like the radishes – but there are little tails on the seeds now, you can try to make them out in the camera phone pic!

AND – finally – I see little pea shoots beginning to emerge! The peas are definitely taking their time.

I’ll be bringing the radishes to the La Leche League Garage Sale this morning, so people can take a closer look. If you have time this morning, stop by the First United Church in Waterloo, at 16 William St, to have a look at garage sale items as well as some items from vendors. My friend Carolyn will be there with Discovery Toys, and there will be other vendors too but I’m not sure who.

Hope to see you there!

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day 4 – wee leaves

sprouts day 4

The broccoli seeds have little tails now!! And the radishes have tiny curled leaves, waiting to turn green and unfurl. Peas…. well, they’re still soaking up the moisture. They’re slower than the others, probably because they’re a much larger seed and need to soak up more water.

I can hardly wait to see them tomorrow, I’m sure the radishes will be out in leaf. They grow so fast! I’ll be bringing the radishes to the garage sale/swap that I’m attending tomorrow, so you can see them up close if you come!

The website is slowly changing, hopefully for the better…. I added an “Events” page, so it’s easier to keep track of where you can find Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens.

So much to do…. I better get back to my preparations for tomorrow!

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sprouts and lumber

lumber

I had a little help with my sister’s chop saw today, for which I am very grateful. Even if I was confident using it, I don’t think I could manage 8 foot lengths by myself. They’re now 4 feet long and ready to be made into garden kits. One cedar and one spruce.

The other shorter pieces will become a balcony planter. I’m hoping to have them ready by the end of Wednesday for the La Leche League garage sale happening Thursday morning. If not, I’ll just sell my xmas presents and sprout kits and earrings and pins. And give away a gift certificate for Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens.

Today I also took a photo of the sprouts, to document their progress. The radishes were most interesting, with their little tails showing. Sorry for the fuzzy pic, my real camera is semi-broken so I used my phone.

radish sprouts

Today was a good day. I also learned about how to manage sending email newsletters to people who want to hear from me, and I was encouraged in my endeavours by some good friends. Not to mention I had fun shopping with my mom. Lots happened!

Look for new buttons on the website to sign up for email newsletters! Coming soon.

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sprouts day 2

sprouts day 2

This morning when I checked on my sprouts, they appeared swollen, but showed no other signs of germination. So I put the covers back on to wait for tomorrow’s inspection. Then, I put together a small army of sprout kits for people to buy.

sprout kits

They are selling for $10 each plus tax in my online store, if you want to try it out.

Here’s a photo of the seed packets I branded:

seed packets

It’s been a busy few days! I’m also getting ready to be a vendor at the La Leche League Garage Sale here in Waterloo. It was very short notice, but I want to get my name out there so I’m putting together what I can. More interesting things to come, once I figure out packaging!

If you want to come to the Sale, here’s some information:

Facebook Link

Time: Thursday, November 18, 10 am – 12 Noon

Location: First United Church Waterloo, 16 William St W, Waterloo

I will be having a draw at my table – enter your name to win a gift certificate for Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens – so come if you can! There will also be raffle prizes at the sale, some from other vendors and one from me, so it sounds like it will be a good time.

If anyone has any other ideas of how to get my name out there I’d be happy to hear them….

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try this at home

finished sprouty bags

I love sprouts. I like to add them to salads or eat them on their own. Back when I ate sandwiches, I liked them on my sandwiches. They are full of great nutrition and tasty too. I’ve always had problems growing them in glass jars, though. So I’d like to show you the solution I’ve come up with, and encourage you to grow your own too!

First, I have to say that alfalfa is not in the picture here. I don’t have anything against alfalfa, but I think radish and broccoli sprouts are much more tasty. The wee radish leaves taste like radishes in your salad, without the super heat of the radish root. Broccoli leaves are a milder broccoli taste, and have all the good nutrition of cruciferous veggies. I’ve also started some peas, because pea shoots taste great too. But if you want to grow alfalfa, by all means please do! You could also do spinach, beets, and microgreens – but these will take longer to germinate and grow.

So, shall we get started?

First, find yourself some ‘Small Food Waste Bags’ that are leak proof. This means they have a lining on the inside that looks sort of like plastic, but it’s really some plant-based fibre. This allows the bag to be ‘totally biodegradable and compostable’, as it says on the side. Cut through the bag where the little bump is:

cutting bag

Then start turning the sides down, so the walls of the bag become two thicknesses of the paper bag.

turning sides down

bag side

When you’re finished, you should have a little tray with sides about 1.5-2 inches high.

sprouty tray

Fill it about one third to a half full with some dampened potting soil, plus a dash of composted manure if you have it.

soil and manure

Mix it up.

mixing soil

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of radish or broccoli seeds on top. If you’re using pea seeds, you’ll need about 3 tablespoons since those seeds are so much bigger.

seeds

Lightly brush your fingers across the surface of the soil, and then press down. Some of the seeds will be showing still but that’s ok.

pressing seeds

Mist them with a spray bottle, or very carefully moisten the surface of the soil some other way if you don’t have a spray bottle.

misting seeds

Next, make a cover for the seeds using the leftover bag piece. Cut it in half, then cut one of the halves so that you have one thickness of bag to use as a cover.

cutting bag

cutting

This cover will keep the seeds dark and moist before they germinate. Check every day to make sure it’s still moist under the cover, and to see if the seeds have germinated. Once you see little sprouties, take off the cover and put them on a windowsill so they can use the sunshine! You should have ready-to-eat sprouts in about 5 days. Eat them when they still have 2 leaves each. For the pea shoots, each them when they are anywhere from 3-5 inches tall.

Cut them with scissors or a knife just above the level of the soil. Put your sprouts in a salad, or on a sandwich, or use them to garnish a stir fry. I’m sure there are other options too – feel free to leave comments below. Enjoy!

And when you’ve used all the sprouts, give the soil a stir and let the old roots dry out or wilt just a bit before you start the next batch. The old roots will contribute to the organic matter in the soil, feeding the micro-organisms that make nutrients available for the plants.

tray with cover

If you do this please let me know. Take photos and post them on the Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens Facebook Page!

You could also come to the Little City Farm on Saturday, December 11 for this year’s “A Little Bird Told Me Craft Sale” – I will be there selling these as kits, soil and seeds included, so you can grow your own sprouts. AND I will also be giving away a draw prize gift certificate for Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens at that sale.

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remembering

girls in shades

Forgive me, readers, for it has been 8 days since my last post. I’ve been working on Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens, but only in fits and spurts since my SI joint has been acting up and that makes it hard to sit for too long without painful consequences. AND – we went to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair! What fun. You can see my movie stars in the photo above.

The petting farm was a big hit – we loved the llamas! And they had some Silkie chickens, poor things, that got easter-egged for some strange reason.

llama 1

silkies

So the days have just flown by, and I’ve written a few blog posts in my head that never made it to cyberspace. I can’t really remember them now, but I’m sure they’ll come back eventually.

Today I’m remembering that many people lost their lives defending my right to live in peace. I hate the thought of war but I want to honour those who are willing to fight for us.

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details

greenhouse joint

I spent a bunch of time on the weekend filling in the gaps of my greenhouse. Above, you can see one of the joints. One side has some foamy stuff squished in there, and other side doesn’t. This is what I was doing – squishing foamy stuff into the cracks. Thrilling.

But necessary. It will make a difference in the amount of heat retained in the greenhouse in the spring, when I’ve got my seedlings in there growing for you!

It seems there are so many details to work out these days, about everything related to the business. I’m still working on PayPal, hoping to have functional ‘Buy Now’ buttons on the website this week. And yesterday was a bit rough, with my SI joint acting up again it’s hard to function. This morning I actually used crutches around the house so I could get a few things done – like, oh, just helping my kids get off to school and everything that goes with that – but now that I’m warmed up I can actually walk without them. It’s a bit daunting to be in that much pain first thing in the morning, but now that I can actually move around and carry a few little things here and there, I’m much more motivated to work on things before the next attack hits! Luckily I’ll be going to see my friend Joanne, an RMT, tomorrow.

Oops – there goes my 15 minute timer. Must get off my hiney so the SI joint doesn’t seize up again.

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hard frost

collard greens

I’m glad I did some harvesting on Saturday. This morning we woke to discover that there had been a hard frost in the night, one that actually affected these type of plants – collard greens, kale, cabbage, etc. I have kale and collard greens in my house waiting for me to make chips or freeze them, whichever I feel more inclined to do.

If I freeze them, I’ll be chopping them fine first, so they can easily be thrown into spaghetti sauce or soup.

If I make chips, I will be using this recipe, which is a variation on all the other kale chip recipes floating around in cyberspace.

Kale Chips

1. Turn oven on to about 200 degrees.

2. Wash and dry the kale.

3. De-stem the leaves, then chop leaves into chip-sized pieces.

4. Throw them in a bowl and drizzle about 1 T olive oil per 7-8 leaves.

5. Throw in some sea salt and a squeeze of lemon if you have it.

6. Massage the kale with your hands – really mix in the oil and salt – make sure it’s all coated.

7. Oil a cookie sheet, or lay down some parchment paper.

8. Bake for 20 min or so – keep checking them – til they’re crispy.

9. I like to then throw mine in the dehydrator for awhile to really crisp them up. This is not necessary, though. Another variation is to skip the oven and just use the dehydrator. Some people also make a sauce of some type of nut butter and salt and other flavourings, to expand on the olive oil and sea salt taste.