Sunday, January 25, 2015

Frog Song

The frogs in our bog started singing two nights ago. The first night, it was a dozen or so loud individuals. Last night, the full chorus joined in. We're talking thousands, maybe tens of thousands of frogs, all going bananas simultaneously. It can be deafening if you're out in the yard when they start it up, but from inside it's a kind of pleasant white noise.

Updated 2/5/15 - now with audio disguised as video!

I decided to note when the froggies started singing their song this year, to eventually, maybe, try to determine whether or not there is any correlation between last frost dates, average daily temperature, etc.,  and when the frisky frogs fire up their pipes. ;)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Spring Seeds

Look at what the mailman brought me today!

These are the first of several shipments of seeds that I'm expecting, from no less than four different companies. The trouble with having strong preferences for particular varieties is that it seems that no one seed company carries them all. Add to that that I wanted to grow a few new-to-me varieties recommended by my local Slow Food chapter and you have... a very piecemeal seed shopping experience. ;)

This is my first order from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I'm particularly excited to try growing the Rat's Tail Radish since having tasted them at a few different local foods dinners. They look like a green bean, but taste like a mild radish. Neato! I'm looking forward to using them in a few pickling recipes this Summer.

As for the rest of our chosen varieties, so far we have planned -
*Radishes - Rat's Tail, Purple Plum and Watermelon
*Poppies - Hungarian Blue Breadseed
*Ground Cherries - Aunt Molly's
*Carrots - Atomic Purple, Red Cored Chantenay, Little Fingers
*Sunflowers - Giant Greystripe, Honey Bear
*Peas - He Lan Dou snow peas, Clarke's Beltony Blue-podded shelling peas
*Parsnips - Turga (a short-rooted variety)
*Peppers - Pimento (sweet)
*Pumpkins/Winter Squash - Small Sugar, Oregon Sweet Meat
*Beans - Robert's Royalty Purple Snap (bush-type)
*Corn - Dakota Black Popcorn
*Cucumbers - Addis Pickling
*Greens - Bear Necessities Kale
*Beets - Lutz Tall-Top
*Cilantro - Standby (slow-bolt)
*Chamomile - Bodegold (German-type)
*Calendula - Resina
*Pollinator-friendly and Cutting Flowers - Anise Hyssop, Gloriosa Daisy, Rocket Larkspur, Love in a Mist

We still want/plan/need to lay hands on the following seeds/starts - potatoes, tomatoes, hot peppers, lavender, elderberries, a short-season melon or two, basil, more salad greens, more cutting flowers, Phacelia (for the bees!), maybe wasabi and a few others that I'm probably forgetting.

We intend to really make a real go of our little farmstand this year. Let's hope that the weather and our backs hold up to our ambition!