Thursday, April 21, 2011

Growth Indoors and Out and Simple Lives Thursday

Greetings!  It's SPRING! Ok, I know it doesn't feel like it out there, especially here in Iowa, but I promise you it truly is.  I know it is, because green things are springing up everywhere.  To remind/reassure you and me that this is true, I'm posting pictures of all the things that are growing, in spite of the gray cold weather.
In the front yard we have a couple patches of peonies are up.  They look hairy and red right now, but by my wedding anniversary they'll be up and open.
The front yard is also home to our herb garden which will be expanding this year!  From last year all that's come back up is this sorrel.  If you've never tried sorrel, it's very bitter.  I tried making a sorrel soup with yogurt last year and just hated it.  I'd love to hear any recipes you have tried or heard of that make good use of this hearty herb.DSC01455The poor tulips have stayed clamped shut from the cold, but they're still up in reds and yellows all around the yard. 
DSC01457We have a few kinds of daffodils around and they're in full bloom this week.
DSC01460Another herb that has come back up is the big patch of chives in the planter.  We actually have two kinds of chives here and they'll stay growing all through late fall.  I hope to dry some this year.
DSC01461I'm not sure why I never noticed the bright yellow blooms of the forsythia before, but for some reason they have screamed at me this year from all around town.  They exploded a couple weeks ago, a welcome sign in the otherwise bleak landscape of last year's leaves and dead turf, and this week the blooms are dropping off and giving way to green buds.
DSC01462We've also got GARLIC coming up!  This is our first time growing garlic and I am happy that all the cloves we hastily shoved into the dirt last fall have sprouted up.  There's no way for us to grow enough garlic to actually satisfy our household consumption, but I'm excited to have seen the experiment worked.
DSC01466We tilled the back and side plots and few days ago and have since thrown in the first round of radishes and lettuce.  We'll do another round soon between plantings of summer/fall crops. 
DSC01468The raspberries are starting to green up!  (In the background is the tangle of grasses that desperately need to be trimmed back, but I just can't handle yard work when the temps are in the 40's.)
DSC01470That's it for what mother nature's got going on, but I've been brewing up some green things of my own indoors for the last month or so.  We have all the tomatoes in flats, which was way easier than doing small pots. 
DSC01473They're finally getting a few more leaves and have that tomato plant smell.  I actually stand here and sniff them to remind myself that it's really spring.  (If you've ever been around tomato plants you know what I'm talking about.) 
The kale seedlings are really starting to look like baby kale!
DSC01482"Healthy" peppers are thriving.
DSC01474Everybody is warm and happy under the lights.
DSC01484If you want to know exactly which seeds I ordered, check out this post. (There's a tasty stew in that post, too, if it's still cold where you are.)

It's time for Simple Lives Thursday this week, and that includes some excellent featured posts!  Check them out, look around at this week's contributions, and submit yours!  Remember we four host:
Annette at Sustainable Eats  
Featured Posts

1. I'm gonna bee... by Healthy Green Kitchen
Winnie explains how we owe 30% of our food supply to bees, unfortunately, due to colony collapse disorder bees are dying worldwide. As a steward of this Earth, Winnie embarks on bee keeping.

2. The Kitchen Garden by Sense of Home.
Beautiful pictorial on what one can grow in a small area and excellent advice on producing with limited space.
3. A closer look at glycerin & whether it's wise to be in toothpaste including a toothpaste recipe by Artistta.
A closer look at one of the ingredients in toothpaste, glycerin and a great homemade toothpaste recipe.

4.Keeping Ducks - A Few Facts by Healthy Homesteading.
A few facts on raising ducks that has some of us thinking about raising our own!
5. Recipe: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs from Real Food Forager.
With Easter just a few days away, this author shares how to naturally dye Easter eggs. The colors and textures the natural dyes create are stunning!

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