Victory Garden 2018, Update #3: YouTube video tour & Garlic Harvest

Hello everyone!

It is that time of year where I switch from #teacherlife to #coonsmithsutlery !

While I adore my job it is EXTREMELY FUN to get to be a kid again during summers. I try to keep up with my passions even during the school year, but that is not an easy task…especially as a new teacher (just finished up my FIRST year woo-hoo) who is taking lateral entry classes. I am DOING fun stuff, I’m just not as good at sharing it with y’all.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube a couple of days ago — it’s a pretty in depth tour of my little garden. If you are interested in a blow-by-blow, please go check it out. Let me know how you feel about the content, length of video, information, etc. My mom ( ❤ ahem ❤ ) felt like it was too long. Let me know what you think.

ANYWAY!

I’ve done a couple of things in the ol Victory Garden since I posted the video.

GARLIC HARVEST!

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This was my first attempt at growing any sort of bulb crop and I’m not really sure how I feel about the results. I’m a little bummed. I did grow SOMETHING and I do think in the end I will have learned some things, so it’s not a total failure. Let me back up and tell you a little background info.

This past fall I planted three types of seed plants, 52 garlic, 30 shallots, 30 onions. For the garlic, I soaked them in water with baking soda over night before planting. I planted each clove tip up, about 3 inches apart in rows about 6 inches apart. I then covered the plants with about 6 inches of straw. Honestly, about a month ago, as the tops began to brown and fall over, there were still about 20 grassy tops still visible in the garlic area. I decided to harvest them today because there were so few tops left. I was able to pull FIVE bulbs. 😦 Two were an okay size, three were very small. I don’t know what happened to the ones that were there only a couple of weeks ago 😦

Early this season, I discovered the onions that I planted had completely disappeared. There was no trace that I ever planted them. When the green shoots started appearing from the garlic and shallots, there was nothing coming up in the onion area. I dug through the dirt and could find nothing there. I guess they just decomposed because there was never any evidence of digging (from dogs or other critters). I went ahead and planted other plants in that bed.

The shallots are still very green and their flowers bloomed about a week ago.  I’m planning to wait and let those tops turn brown before I do anything with them. You can see more details of all of this in the garden tour video. If you have any insight please leave comments either here or on the video. I obviously need all the help I can get!

Garden Tour Video!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT NOW!
Untitled

STARTING BASIL FROM CUTTINGS!

I feel like most everyone already knows this, but on the off chance that YOU don’t already know this trick I am here today to blow your mind.

 

All you have to do to get FREE basil plants is this:

1. Cut several stems of basil.
(NOTE: You can even use fresh basil that you bought at the grocery store!)
2. Put stems in a glass of water just like you would a pretty flower.
3. Leave stems in water for about 2 weeks, making sure that the water level stays high.
4. Plant your basil starts!

How cute is the teacup I used?! Mr. Smith’s little brother got married a few weeks back and these teacups were the wedding favors we got to take home. I love the idea, the teacups, and the NEWLYWEDS!!! Feel free to share both the teacup idea AND the basil cuttings idea with anyone you think might be interested!

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-15,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-YMaker:S,Date:2017-11-15,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

That’s all for now!

Be sure to check out the video and let me know what you think!

Stay tuned for more fun–the summer has only just begun!!!

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Quick stop for the POTATO SALE at Sow True Seeds!

ATTENTION!!!
This is not a sponsored post!
Neither Sow True nor Baker Creek sponsored this post…
…but…
…you better believe they could if they wanted to!
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m a big fan of Baker Creek seeds as y’all well know. I’ve been meaning to go and check out a pretty famous hometown store that makes for excellent BC competition–Sow True Seed Company!!! A couple of days ago Sow True posted on Facebook that they were running a 50% sale on seed potatoes. I had not yet bought my seed potatoes so this was in perfect time! I was already headed up the mountain for the cat museum adventure (STAY TUNED!) so the timing was spot on!

Sow True See Company is located on the fringe of the heart of downtown Asheville. While it is not a huge store, it is extremely well stocked and carefully curated. The company has been open since 2009 & features 500+ seeds–many that are organic, heirloom & sourced from small farms. So much to love! I clicked a few pics for your viewing pleasure to highlight some of my favorite bits of the place.

BONUS: the store has shop dogs AND it looked like there was a working mother there wearing her baby while working in the back. How dreamy is that!?

I digress.
Back to the store.

As an AVID life long lover of libraries I am not a big book buyer (so much accidental alliteration)…for the most part. I rarely buy books (novels, etc) unless I am going to use them more than once. More often than not, if I buy a book it is a cookbook, crafty book, field guide, or a well loved book of poems.

But y’all. This book section had me drooling so hard.

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Sow True has a whole book nook of doom. The best kind of doom. The “I-want-to-take-it-all-home-with-me” doom. Just look at it. (You can click the picture & zoom in for a closer look and more drooling doom.) DOOM.

The two books I wanted the most were Drink The Harvest (on making and preserving juices & wines, etc) and Put ‘Em Up (a beautiful canning book). These are the kinds of books that should be bought and kept for generations!

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Seed Wall.
(featuring inadvertent model couple, browsing/drooling)

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Seed Collections!

This is one of my favorite offerings from Sow True. Each can has a collection of seed packets that go with a theme. Each can ranges in price from $22.95 down to $6.95. The ones I was eyeballing the hardest were the Three SistersChildren’s Garden, and the Culinary Herb Garden. <—- You can click on each of those to go straight to the website to read about the collections. What a cool gift idea for like EVERY garden friend in your life! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Here is what I brought home!

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Black Seeded Simpson, Drunken Woman Lettuces. Dill seeds.

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Patti Smith poses with Potatoes.

Above you can see Patti Smith posing with the 3 varieties I picked: All Blue, Red Gold, and Rose Finn Apple Fingerling. And yes that is a pizza puzzle she is posed on. I call this picture, “Pretty Patti Poses with Perfect Potatoes on Pizza Puzzle.”

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my new favorite seed place — Sow True Seed Company!!! Be sure to check them out in person if you live near Asheville, or order online! If you read this in the next few days (April 4, 2018) you can still get in on the potato discount. Just use the coupon Code POTATOES50 if ordering online!

Stay tuned for more soon
AND
keep growing stuff!!!

Victory Garden 2018, update #2: Starting Seeds & Setting up Shop!

I am soooooo behind with updates on the garden so here is a little sneak peak at what has been going on over at the ol back 40 homestead! I’ve officially got all my seeds started, and even have a few things transplanted. I’ve had a few kerfuffles, but overall things seem to be going smoothly.  Knock on garden wood.

Circles in circles!
Seed starting pods on my Bopla! china that was in the sink.
{I didn’t leave them there–it was just too pretty not to take a picture!}

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Notes in the first official garden notebook.
(and a beer of course!)
{MORE DETAILS ON GERMINATION LATER!}

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A week later…LOOKIE!!!

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These are the 3 kids of dirt I mixed together for the raised beds!
I use a mix of the first two types (3-4 each) with one bag of the last.

First Dirt Manicure of the Year!

Beginnings of the garden in the yard!

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The raised beds are some I salvaged from an old green house that I got a tip about last summer. I put the beds on cinder-blocks that bring the beds up to the perfect height to save my back. The stepping stones in the aisle are from the yard at my old rental house. I dug them up from under years of leaves and weeds! They’re one of my favorite yard decorations. I was inspired by this video by Bumble Bee Junction — I love their set up and hope that someday my garden can be as epic and polished as theirs!

By the way, here are some YouTube channels that are inspiring me right now:
Keeping It Dutch
Arms Family Homestead
Appalachia’s Homestead
Deep South Homestead

And OF COURSE be sure to check out my channel…
Coonsmith Sutlery

…AND a walk around!
Seedlings Starting

Stay tuned for more…as soon as I can!