Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poppy Seed Noodle Casserole - Weekend Recipe

This weekend’s recipe is a unique side dish that you can use with pork roast, baked chicken, or even salmon. Can you tell I am just so ready to be gardening.  All I can think about are flowers, plants and seeds!



Poppy Seed Noodle Casserole

6 Tbls. butter or margarine
11/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 cup finely chopped onion
8 ounces of wide noodles, cooked & drained
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbls. poppy seeds
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Melt 3 Tbls. butter in a small skillet.  Toss bread crumbs in butter; remove and reserve.  Melt remaining three Tbls. butter in skillet, sauté onion in butter over medium heat until transparent, about 5 minutes.


Heat over to 350 degrees.  Combine onion, cooked noodles and eggs in large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour mixture into buttered 2-quart casserole.  Sprinkle reserved bread crumbs on top.  Bake until crumbs are golden, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hot Cross Buns - an herbal tradition

This week for Christians is called Holy week as they celebrate the trials of Jesus leading to his death and resurrection on Easter Sunday.  This is also the week of the Jewish holiday Passover, which marks the exodus from Egypt.  I found an herb connection to these traditions which made it worth mentioning these sacred and important rituals here.

There are a number of things done in celebration that sets theses days apart from the rest of the year. 
My family traditions are decidedly Anglo-Saxon and Catholic so a big part of our celebration was Hot Cross Buns. The tradition allegedly is derived from ancient Anglo-Saxons who baked small wheat cakes in honor of the springtime goddess, Eostre. After converting to Christianity, the church substituted the cakes with sweetbreads blessed by the church.


Hot Cross Buns are a traditional favorite for Good Friday, Easter, and throughout the Lent season, but they are enjoyable year-round. Yeasty rolls are filled with currants or raisins and nuts, then topped with a cross of icing. In spite of the raisins and icing, these are not sweet rolls but rather have a more savory taste. The hazelnuts are optional.

Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients:
  • 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Backyard PatchCinnful Dessert Blend
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup currants or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts) (optional)
  • 1 slightly beaten egg white
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Milk

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and Cinnful Dessert Blends (you can substitute cinnamon.)  In a small saucepan heat and stir 3/4 cup milk, the oil, granulated sugar, and salt until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Add to flour mixture along with whole eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Using a spoon, stir in currants or raisins, hazelnuts (if desired), and as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 1-1/2 hours).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions; shape each portion into a smooth ball. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). With a sharp knife, make a shallow crisscross slash across each bun. Brush with egg white. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.

In a mixing bowl combine sifted powdered sugar, hazelnuts liqueur or milk, and vanilla. Stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches drizzling consistency. Drizzle buns with icing (usually in a cross shape.)  Serve warm.

Yield: 20 buns


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) - Herb of the Week

Or should I say Weed of the Week? This invasive weed needs to be tamed, and one solution to tame anything is make it something people want, so I thought let’s eat it!   If everyone eats it then there will be less of it to be invasive.

Garlic Mustard  (Alliaria petiolata  - Herb of the Week

Garlic mustard is a biennial flowering plant in the Mustard family, Brassicaceae. It is native to Europe, western and central Asia, and northwestern Africa, from Morocco, Iberia and the British Isles, north to northern Scandinavia, and east to northern India and western China. 

In the first year of growth, plants form clumps of round shaped, slightly wrinkled leaves, that when crushed smell like garlic. The next year plants flower in spring, producing cross shaped white flowers in dense clusters. As the flowering stems bloom they elongate into a spike-like shape.



When blooming is complete, plants produce upright fruits that release seeds in mid-summer. Plants are often found growing along the margins of hedges. 


Depending upon conditions, garlic mustard flowers either self-fertilize or are cross-pollinated by a variety of insects. Self-fertilized seeds are genetically identical to the parent plant, enhancing its ability to colonize an area where that genotype is suited to thrive. (That is botany speak for it spreads like crazy and becomes invasive!)

How to eat it:

• Young tender leaves can be torn up a bit and added to salads.

• Sautee garlic in olive oil or sesame oil or bacon grease; add chopped garlic mustard and other greens if available (garlic chives, spinach, arugula, lambsquarters, mustard greens, what-have-you); a little salt or soy sauce; add a bit of water or stock and cook gently. A dash of vinegar, balsamic or otherwise, may be in order. Taste and decide. This could be spread on toast, added to casseroles, eggs, quiche, stir-fry, etc.

• Garlic mustard pesto: crush garlic, slice up garlic mustard and also garlic chives if available, puree both in food processor with olive oil and walnuts (or pine nuts); add Parmesan cheese. Start the water for pasta!

• Cream sauce: heat 1/4 cup oil and add 1/4 cup flour and cook; add hot milk. Separately cook finely chopped garlic mustard in a little sesame oil; and tamari or soy sauce. Add some of the sauce; puree in food processor and add back to the sauce. Add cheese as desired. Good on stuffed grape leaves for one.

• With leftover garlic mustard sauce, add a little yogurt, balsamic vinegar, and tamari and serve as a sauce for steamed asparagus.

Recipe

Garlic Mustard Sauce for Roast Beef

First the roast beef: Make little inch slashes on the roast.

Sauce: Using a food processor make a slurry with crushed garlic mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Take a teaspoon and press small amounts of the slurry into the slashes you cut in the roast.  Then slather the rest of the slurry all over the roast. Add some water to the bottom of the roast pan. Cover with aluminum for part of the cooking time so the outside doesn't burn. Bake at 325 degrees F until it reaches the desired internal temperature according to your meat thermometer.

Cream sauce with the garlic mustard for the roast

 Chop finely garlic mustard and garlic chives. Sauté in olive oil; add chicken stock or other liquid and cook gently.  Place in a food processor and purée.  Heat 1/4 cup oil and add 1/4 cup flour and cook; add hot milk.  Add some of the puree from food processor and stir.  Then place remaining purée into the pan along with drippings from the roast beef pan. This is so flavorful - cheese is unnecessary. 

We have more recipes for using Garlic Mustard so check back this season for more ideas for eating this invasive weed.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend recipe - Pansy Flower Spread

In honor of my first plant shopping spree to Shady Hill Gardens in Elburn, Illinois I chose a recipe that you can make with Pansies!

Could not leave without some scented geraniums!

Flower Spread
8 oz. package light cream cheese
¼ cup butter
1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
3 to 4 tsp fresh minced Pansy flowers
1 tsp fresh thyme or savory


Blend butter and cream cheese together with a fork in a medium bowl.  Add the lemon juice and herbs.  Allow to meld in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.  Spread of toasted French bread, crackers, cut vegetables or fruit wedges. 


the green houses at Shady Hill!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Herbal Antomy - Flowers

Just realized back on April 6, that the posts I wrote on anatomy never posted.  So the first one was back on January 6, then the next was April 6.  Now we have the third on Flowers.
Not an envelope

All the organs of the flower are situated on, or grow out of the apex of the flower stalk, into which they are inserted and which is called the Torus or Receptacle.


The organs of a flower are of two sorts.
1)   The leaves (or envelopes).
2)   Those peculiar organs having no resemblance to the envelopes.

Leaves (petals)


The envelopes are of two kinds (or occupy two rows, one above or within the other):
      1)  The lower or outer row is termed the Calyx, and commonly exhibits the green color of the leaves.
       2)  The inner row, which is usually of more delicate texture and forms the most showy part of the flower, is termed the Coralla.
easy to see the green calyx below the flower (coralla) on calendula

The leaves of the Coralla are called Petals, and the leaves of the Calyx are called Sepals.
The floral envelopes are collectively called the Perianth.
The essential organs enclosed within a floral envelope also come in two kinds and occupy two rows one within the other. The first of these, those next to the petals, are the Stamens. A stamen consists of a stalk called the Filament, which bears on its summit a rounded body termed the Anther, filled with a substance called Pollen.

The seed bearing organs occupy the center or summit of a flower, and are called Pistils In many cases the pistil is not obvious as a separate item until the plant produces fruit (seeds.)  A pistil is distinguished into three parts;
1)   the ovary containing the ovales (ovule)
2)   the style, or columnar prolongation of the ovary
3)   the stigma or termination of the style.

Pineapple Sage
 I think you can see all these parts best in Pineapple Sage and any daisy-like flower.

 A plant is said to be monoecious, where the stamens and pistils are in separate flowers on the same individual.  Sweet corn is an example of this  the tassels at the top pollinate the silks on the ears of corn.
sorrel
Dioecious is where they occupy separate flowers on different individuals.  Sorrel with its heart-shape leaves actually has male and female plants.  Important if you want to propagate them from seeds!

Polygamous is where the stamens and pistils are separate in some flowers and united in others, either on the same or two or three different plants.  Maple trees are the most commonly seen Polygamous plants, with male and female or even bisexual organs on any given tree.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

12 Unique Herbs to Try in 2014 - Herb of the Week


In March 2010 I posted a list of five herbs to try in 2010 if you had not tried them before.  They were:
1.     Mexican oregano  (Lippia graveolens)
2.     Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
3.     Ezapote (Dyshania ambrosioides)
4.     Purple Ruffled Basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Purple Ruffles’)
5.    Tri-color Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘tri-color’)
To read the set of blogs on these great herbs visit my original blog on my website.

This year as I was looking for new plants I might want to try around a home, I strayed from the traditional herbs just a bit, but I thought you might enjoy the 12 unique and interesting plants I discovered on this journey.  If I knew of a grower that supplies these plants I have included it.  Some are more commonly available and should be at your local garden center.

#1 Arugula – Roquette (Eruca sativa) -- syn. E. vesicaria subsp. sativa or Brassica eruca L.)

This is actually an “old” herb gaining new life.  It is known by several sceintfic names including Eruca sativa, but also E. vesicaria subsp. sativa or Brassica eruca L. You can obtain the seed from non-hybrid heirloom seed companies and will often find it under the old name Rocket or Roquette rather than the more recently common arugula.  Thanks to the Food Network and other cooking programs it has regained some of its glory as a salad herb and I am happy to see it.  If you like mixed greens this is a great choice. Arugula can usually be harvested as early as 4 weeks after planting from seed.  The leaves of the Arugula plant add a tangy/peppery flavor to any meal and in addition to use in salads can be a green mixed with spinach for a base for saucy dishes instead of noodles, rice or pasta.



#2 Mandarin Twist Pot Marigold

Park Seed Company has a great new Calendula (Pot marigold) variety that I will be trying this year.  It is called Mandarin Twist Pot Marigold.  You can get 50 seeds for 1.95 which is a great price.  This will add a nice splash of color to a green herb landscape and you get all the medicinal benefits as well.  According to Parks, this is a compact but very well-branched and free-flowering variety with double blooms of deep, rich orange. They stand out brilliantly in any setting, and hold well in garden or vase. Blooming all summer and well into fall on easy-care, floriferous plants, these flowers are a joy!  Remember to give these pants room when planting as they can get 10 inches high and will spread to almost that wide.  Great in a container if you do not overcrowd them early in the season.


#3 Passion Flower 

This is a viney plant with the most glorious flowers.  I have been dying to grow it for several years, but it is not the best container plant and I just did not want to put it out in the production garden where I would never see it (I am at the production garden in the dark a lot.)  It is a climber and will work on a trellis along a sunny wall.  The plant has medicinal properties too.   You use the whole aerial portion.  Friends of mine have  tinctured the leaves and young stems, with some tendrils.  The fruit can be saved for tea and other flavorings.  I posted a blog on Passion flower back in April 2011.



#4 Hot lips red flowering sage (Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips')

This is more of an ornamental salvia rather than a culinary one, but what a great addition to the border or among the perennials. According to Dave’s Garden (an online source I go to for information on hardiness zones and proper names for plants)  the  common name is Autumn Sage scientific name Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips' a member of the Lamiaceae family.  However he recognized that a synonym exists calling it  Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' (Hot Lips Little-leaf Sage) This was the name I first discovered it under and is usually how it is listed in plant catalogs.

Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' originally located near the Chiapas area of Mexico and was introduced by Richard Turner of the Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, California. This is a very cool looking bi-color salvia bearing red tips and white lips. In the hotter months of summer it may have all red and all white flowers on the same plant due to warmer night temperatures, but when the night temperature drops in the fall the flowers will return to their bi-color state. Great for use in borders and beds.

Considered a wild (yet domesticated) this plant is was supposedly introduced to Richard Turner by his maid, who brought it from her home in Mexico. The fast-growing, 30" tall x 6' wide clump is adorned with stunning bicolor flowers with red tips and white lips...attractive to hummingbirds. When the nights warm in summer, the new flowers are all red with an occasional solid white one. As fall approaches, the flowers again will be bicolored red and white. Even if your school colors aren't red and white, this is truly a "must-have" salvia.  It is hardy in zone 8 to 11, so if you want to grow it in the Midwest, you will need to treat it as an annual (like Pineapple Sage.)

They love a hot, dry spot such as a concrete driveway/sidewalk/or south-facing slope. They can tolerate a bit of moisture, but keeping the soil wet will cause rot.  I found the best price for this plant at Santa Rosa Gardens in California, but I would make sure you talk to them before ordering if you live in the Midwest as a shipping time would be critical.

I have to admit that although I grow black stem peppermint and a fuzzy species of spearmint in my production garden but I have never been a fan of most mint plants, even the flavored ones like Chocolate Mint and Ginger Mint.  However this year I discovered an article by Jim Long discussing mints and discovered a hybridizer named Jim Westerfield from Freeeburg, Illinois (about 5 hours south of me near St. Louis.)   His hybrid mint plants are totally unique and the scents are worth experimenting with.  Here were two I think are worth checking into.

#5 Jim’s Candy Lemon Lime Mint 

A hybrid mint created by Jim Westerfield of Freeburg, Illinois.  This is a cross of lemon and lime mint that is the perfect flavor for me a lover of all things lemon! The leaf margins have a reddish tinge giving them a unique look for a mint. Hardy in zones 4 to 11 it is easy to grow and likes almost any soil. I like anything lemon, so this is at the top of my “to try” list for 2014. 

# 6 Italian Spice Mint 

Another hybrid of Jim Westerfield of Freeburg, IL this mint has hints of oregano and marjoram.  The craftsman says it reminds him of the spicy aroma of the Italian grocery store he worked in as a child.  A savory mint, this can be added to butter, roasted garlic and cream then tossed with angel hair pasta.  It is an excellent pasta seasoning and considered excellent in any Italian dish.  This one looks more like a traditional mint, making it a garden surprise for anyone who touches it as the mint scent is very faint.  Hardy in zones 4 to 11, like all mints it will do well in most soil types.  It does require full sun.

FYI you can get Jim Westerfield’s hybrid mints from http://www.fragrantfields.com/ and www.richters.com

#7 White Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum ‘snow spike’) 

Outsidepride.com has a has a white Anise hyssop called snow spike that is worth adding to your garden.  Anise Hyssop is a large showy herb with a great scent and wonderful ability to attract pollinators.  Bees, especially bumble bees love it.  I have always grown the traditional blue Anise hyssop, but when I was crafting a moon garden I decided this plant with white flowers would be a great accent in the silver leaf border I was creating.  Check it out yourself!

Agastache Foeniculum 'Snow Spike' has tall flower spikes that are full of white little flowers that bloom at different times. The white Anise Hyssop plant usually reaches 24 inches in height.  The licorice-like scent is soothing and refreshing in tea.  The flowers are very nice for cutting and adding to fresh flower arrangements. Growing Hyssop from seed is easy and rewarding. Anise Hyssop seeds can be directly started outdoors in a prepared seedbed. Press the herb seeds into the soil but do not cover them. The white Hyssop plant is not picky about the soil, but it does prefer to be in full sun to partial shade.

# 8 Nettle

Nettle is an under grown herb.  Although since it can cause contact dermatitis in its natural plant state, I understand why.  However, once cut and dried or cooked the sting is removed and the plant has many medicinal qualities.  The pretty white flowers of Devil's Nettle (Achillea var. m.) make it a pretty addition to an herb garden (avoid this if you have small children in your garden or skin sensitivities.)  I keep my nettle plants in a separate bed so that I am properly suited-up before harvesting.  It likes drier conditions so you can grow it in a rock garden. A tea made from this herb is useful for stomach ailments. The tea is also good for severe colds. Craft the tea by boiling 1 ounce of dried leaves with one pint of water and sweetening with honey. A hardy perennial for zones 5-10 you can easily grow this plant in the Midwest.  You can pick up the seeds for this plant at Seedman.com 

# 9 Sweet Annie (Artemisa annua

With the herb of the year being Artemesia, I had to put at least one Artemesia plant in my list.  Sweet Annie is an excellent multi use herb for all gardens. A graceful and sweetly fragrant annual with tall stems 4'-7' tall, with fine bright green ferny foliage. Though most often grown for fresh and dried arrangements and wreath making (it holds color and fragrance very well) it also makes a graceful accent in the back of a flowerbed or a pretty quick screen, especially behind other container plantings. "Sweet Annie" has a wide variety of uses both medicinal and for handcrafting and makes a nice addition to potpourri and sachets.


This is a tall ferny green plant that grows to over seven feet high and four feet wide in one year! Excellent for back borders or any area that you want to give a tropical look and feel. Sweet Annie has thick strong woody stems and branches out like a shrub. The flowers are tiny and olive green and can't really be seen unless you look hard. However Sweet Annie is grown for its foliage and mostly for its lovely aromatic scent which can fill the whole garden when the breeze rustles it branches. It has been used for centuries in its dried form in wreaths and other aroma projects.  Sweet Annie is one of the best natural air fresheners around. Have an aroma you want to get rid of? Just wave a sprig of Sweet Annie in the air and it freshens the whole area with a sweet appealing smell eliminating anything else. Don't use air fresheners with unknown chemical ingredients use a natural herb to do the work for you. The plant dries very well and the will last for years all you have to do is gently move a piece and the aroma bursts forth. It is excellent for use in wreaths and other aroma projects. 

#10 Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)

This plant is a must for anyone suffering from migraine headaches. It will not cure migraines, but as long as the herb is taken regularly it will keep them from coming back as often. Feverfew inhibits blood clotting and is beneficial for persons with cardiovascular diseases. Take after consulting with a physician. Make a tea by boiling two teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of water and let steep for 15 minutes. This perennial plant hearty in zones 5 to 9 and will grow best in full sun.


I found this plant during my research into good herbs and plants to grow on the farm (we intend to have sheep and I was researching ways that having sheep could benefit my herb garden.)  Pasturing sheep on mint makes a manure that is very good for herbs by the way!  This plant popped up as a protein alternative for range animals.  I use it with my “Prairie Pile.”  I worked many years as a volunteer at a Prairie restoration and as a result I collected seeds (accidentally mostly) on my clothing.  I tossed all these into a compost mound on the corner of my herb garden property and now have an interesting pile of native prairie plants.  I added this one to the pile when I had a chance to get a live plant. 

#11 Wild Bergamot  or Wild Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

This wildflower in the mint family (Lamiaceae) is widespread and abundant as a native plant in much of North America. It is perennial with bright lavender blooms and a spicy scent. Used by Native Americans to soothe bronchial complaints and ease colds.  Bees love it and are attracted to it.  It is an herbaceous perennial that grows from slender creeping rhizomes, thus commonly occurring in large clumps. The plants are typically up to 3 ft tall, with a few erect branches. Its leaves are about 2-3 in long, lance-shaped, and toothed. Its compact purple flower clusters are solitary at the ends of branches. Each cluster is about 1.5 in (4 cm) long, containing about 20–50 flowers. The light purple color of the flowers is a great foil to the traditional Bergamot which is deep red. Wild bergamot often grows in rich soils in dry fields, thickets, and clearings, usually on limy soil. The plants generally flower from June to September.

Monarda fistulosa ranges from Quebec to the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, south to Georgia and Texas.  My interest in it started because it is considered a medicinal plant by many Native Americans including the Menominee, the Ojibwe, and the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk). It was used most commonly to treat colds, and was frequently made into a tea.  Native who grow medicinal plants do rely on it  during the cold and flu season. The tea may be sweetened with honey, as it tends to be quite strong.

#12 Italian Everlasting  or Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum

As the name suggests, the narrow, silvery-grey leaves of this splendid, dense, dwarf sub-shrub, growing to 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide, smell strongly of curry. 

Though the leaves are edible, it is really not used for cooking, rather for its ornamental appeal and the essential oil derived from the plant.   An easy to care for perennial that prefers poor soil and will thrive in rock gardens and xeriscapes. It is hardy only to zone 8 but is not considered  frost tender, so I think one could grow it in a container or a sheltered place and have it last well into the fall, but I would still treat it as an annual.  It features clusters of yellow blooms in Summer  that retain their color after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.  The plant is the source for the famous Helichrysum Essential Oil. The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which are used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent. It soothes burns and raw chapped skin. It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.

Bonus Plant –

Illinois Bundle flower (Desmanthus illinoensis) Another good drought tolerant plant (can you tell I have not had the rain I wanted the last two growing seasons!?) This one prospers in meadows, roadsides, and tall grass prairie plantings. It produces fruit in the form of dark-brown clusters of pods. Due to it being high in protein, it is readily eaten by livestock and wildlife. Fixes high amounts of nitrogen in the soil and can rejuvenate worn-out soil. It also attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

Illinois bundleflower is rated by some authorities as our most important native legume and is included in range revegetation programs since the species is readily eaten by livestock. The seeds contain 38 percent protein on a dry weight basis, which compares favorably with soybeans.  Seeds are desirable for wild birds. The plant is considered a nutritious and palatable browse for wildlife.  Pawnee Indians used leaf tea as wash for itching. Hopi used seeds placed in eye for conjunctivitis.  A perennial growing to 3-6 ft. tall with cream colored flowers. Hardy to zone 5 this plant has fern-like foliage. To reduce moisture loss, the compound leaves fold together at night, and they close partially during hot sunny days During the morning and evening, when sunlight is less intense, the compound leaves orient themselves in the direction of the sun in order to maximize the reception of its light. 

You can get quality seed for this plant from Prairie Moon Nursery located in southwest Minnesota. They specialize in Prairie plants of the Midwest and originated here in Illinois!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Winter sowing update

Okay this winter was pretty brutal.  As a result I waited until well into January to try to grow plants by winter sowing.  And Now it is April, but to be honest it has not really been that warm yet.  I grabbed the camera to document the activity (or non-activity) of my winter sowing.

Here are the bottles that were out on the railing.  I moved them to the table when the wind threatened to remove them from my planters.

Upon closer inspection I see no green -- you?

Here is the milk carton style.  Green anyone?


I am not giving up hope.  If they are to germinate I think they still need more warmth and I expect the ones on the table to sprout first, so we are now holding vigil for green!  More updates to follow.
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