Procrastaknit

Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Container Gardening Fail, Canning Success

It finally started to snow here in Connecticut and I thought now would be the right time to see what progress my carrots made in their container. As you can see from the photos below, the answer is zilch.

image

I didn’t have much luck with container gardening, except for some herbs and my little lemon tree. Just enough to grab a bottle of Dominican rum and make myself a delicious mojito. Not very cost effective, to tell you the truth, but I am still determined to make this work. I am going to clear out the dirt from my containers and when Spring comes I am going to try again. I just have to pick the right crop to plant.

Thankfully, my husband and I joined a CSA from a local farm and got a TON of winter vegetables. Comparing the carrots from the farm to the ones in my container gardening, is just pathetic and completely unfair. But essentially, that is my goal. I didn’t start out as a great knitter, I am not going to start out as a great gardener. So I get a learning curve for a few planting seasons, right?

What I am doing pretty well is canning. My husband gave me a canning book for my birthday and so I took the farm carrots and made them into Asian pickled carrots. They also became: carrot ginger soup, baby food, carrot cake, and part of a delicious vegetable ragu. I can’t wait to try some recipes with whatever vegetables we get in December!

image

Advertisements
1 Comment »

Things don’t always work out as planned

Doesn’t that suck? You get so excited about trying different things and then you realize that your attempt, while a valiant one, was just a waste of time. Or, if you’re the optimistic type, it’s “a learning experience”.

First, my container garden: I was able to harvest some beans! Great!! Hurray!!! … except that I only got 1 ounce from all the plants and all the weeks that I invested in it. That’s not even enough to make a meal for my baby boy!
Can you get beans from container gardening?
Yes.
Should you bother with it?
Not unless you are willing to fill a bedroom with many, many containers.
Lesson learned – wait until you have a yard
Resolution – planted carrots after I pulled up all of dried out bean plants. I figured it’s a root vegetable, it will grow down, so I might actually be able to get enough to add to a salad

Second, my submission to the craft fair: met the on-line entry deadline! Great!! Hurray!! …except that I thought I would have to take the shawl in a day or two before the actual fair started. The reality is that I had to hand in the knitted garment a week before the fair so that it could be judged in its category. D’oh!
Have I submitted an item into a craft competition?
Technically yes.
Should I bother taking the shawl to be displayed even if it can’t be judged?
It’s better than nothing
Lesson learned – put deadlines on your Google calendar with reminders
Resolution – called the person in charge of the committee and was told that I was too late, items were judged the following day, but that I should enter again next year

Sucks! Oh well, got no one to blame but myself.

Leave a comment »

Trial and Error Gardening

I was so surprised to see some beans growing in my old cooler!  Truth be told, I wasn’t sure it was going to work and am really happy that it has.  Now the question remains, when do I harvest the beans?  I did a web search and found a lot of information about planting and drying them, but no real descriptive instructions on when to pull the pods.  Some YouTube videos showed the gardener pulling up the entire plants by its roots and drying it, but I only have a dozen plants in my container, not a whole field to test it out.  On Wednesday,I pulled pulled a handful of pods, some green and some dark, to try drying them out.  I left most of the pods on the plants in case my little experiment fails.

image

My feijoada plant


image

Beans!


image

Drying experiment

My herb gardens started out well, but now I’m not sure if they will continue to thrive.  OK, well the mint I’m not worried about – that’s a weed that even my baby can’t mess up.  But my cilantro started out with so much promise and now the stems dried out and I am left with a very pathetic pot.  Similarly, the chives grew and we ate them with eggs, but once I trimmed them, they didn’t regrow.  My basil looks like it has had its growth stunted.  Luckily, I moved some of my original seedlings to my friend’s shared garden, and they are doing much better there.  I haven’t harvested the oregano yet, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to grow much more than what it is now.

image

My row of basil in the back, my mojito plant to the left, and two more bean sprouts

image

My cilantro is all sad and gone

image

The oregano and chives that have stopped growing

The latest addition to my container garden is a Meyer Lemon Dwarf Tree.  I dreamed about having one for weeks and weeks after finding so many growing tutorials on Pinterest.  So I went to a local nursery and bought the last one they had in stock.  I think I’m failing there too. The three fruits on the branches were already there when I bought it and I think I’ve lost more leaves.

image

My lity little caipirinha tree

Even my beautiful calla lilies that I got for Mother’s Day seem sadder.   I was able to give some of them away to a friend that is moving and ever since then it seems as though the rest of the plant is mourning the loss of its fellow flowers that were clipped.  I plan to repot them onto a prettier and larger container, hopefully that will help them bloom again.

That’s what’s happening in my little balcony, thankfully we are helping friends maintain their raised bed gardens and so we are getting quite a lot of delicious vegetables from them.  We’ve had radishes, peas and green beans before and this week we got beets, carrots and Swiss chard!  I found a recipe on Pinterest for pickled Swiss Chard stems and did two cans – one for us, one for our friends.   I’m excited to try more new recipes for all the delicious foods we are growing!

image

Fresh carrots!


image

The three garden beds before things really started to grow.

Leave a comment »

My Crafty Evolution

I am evolving as a crafter, I am no longer limiting myself to the fiber arts.  I am getting a taste of sewing and gardening and other miscellaneous hobbies (how have I gone so long without knowing the wonders of Mod Podge!?).  Having created a Pinterest account in the last few months might have something to do with it, but I have also made new friends who are just as eager to try different things and so we are exploring these new creative outlets together. I’ve already shown off the off centered bib and I don’t know what will be my next sewing project but I look forward to it.  My new friends and I have started a little vegetable garden in one of their yards.  Since I am restricted to apartment living I have started an urban garden that includes: black beans, raspberries, some flowers and herbs.  I never thought I would enjoy playing in the dirt so much, but it is exciting to see the little seeds sprout!  Here is how they are this morning, and since I am a mom now I couldn’t help adding the garden decor  (forget the gnomes):

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: