|This was upsetting!|
So I celebrated spring's imminent arrival with planting tomato and pepper seeds. Oh, how I love it, love it, love it!!
This is what I start off with, plain plastic containers with potting soil. The soil has been absorbing water for a while, since it is hard to wet potting soil when it is dusty dry. It needs to sit and adjust to it's new, soggier surroundings.
I love choosing my tomatoes for the year. I adore all the nifty names and beautiful colors.... I have grown the Wapsiconin Peach tomato before. It is fuzzy like a peach- cute- and a pale yellow color- pretty small, almost a cherry sized 'mato. The other one- Hillbilly Potato Leaf is new to me. It is a big yellow slicing tomato.
I have grown both the Brown Berry and the Wisconsin 55. Wisconsin 55 is a short day medium sized tomato that grows really well up here, and usually is the first one to produce fruit. The Brown Berry is beautiful dark red cherry tomato and is gorgeous when you grow it (and eat it!) with bright red and yellow cherry tomatoes. I also planted my favorite Brandywine tomato and a beautiful yellow, Moonglow. mmmmm MMMMM!
|One seed at a time|
Here are the little potential BLT ingredients nestled down in the dirt, all I have to do from here is press them down and cover them with a little soil.
|Add little water...|
A very important thing I have found is to write down the information you need to remember instead of relying on your (my imperfect) memory. Even if it seems obvious that the right-hand cell tray in the front has the Pink Brandywine tomatoes and the back 2 trays has all the cherry tomatoes, that information won't be so obvious when you are ready to transplant your babies into bigger containers. Does it sound like experience talking??? Mmmmm- hmm.
Here is some of the rest of my stash. I have a packet of giant Nicotiana, the best smelling flower, ever!, that I will plant next weekend. I will be putting the flowers into largish peat pots, so they don't have to be transplanted. The peat pots dry out really fast, so I will plant them next weekend, because a week from Monday I will have a lot more time in my schedule!! I have never tried the castor bean plant before, so it's planting date is yet to be determined. Also shown are a whole slew of yummy things that need to be planted outdoors in a few weeks, like sweet Chiogga beets and spicy Thai basil. Oh, I am getting hungry now!
To celebrate the possibilities that spring holds, I would like to include my recipe for fresh tomato soup. In late summer when there is a gazillion tomatoes, I take a bunch of extras, wash them up well, core them and pop them into plastic bags. I use the kind that you can suck the air out of with a special tool- that really keeps the tomatoes from getting freezer burned. Then you can use them for all sorts of things. When you open them up, especially if they have thawed somewhat, you will be flown right back to summer with the fresh smell of home grown tomatoes.
Fresh Tomato Soup
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 small chopped onion
1/2 c. green (or red sweet) pepper
1/4 cup butter (I use 2 - 3 Tablespoons olive oil)
Stir frequently, until veggies are soft- about 15 minutes.
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar (add more or less depending on your taste and the flavor of the tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
Heat for 10 minutes, on medium low.
Mix 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup of flour. Add to soup, heat until thickened. Freezes well.
From this recipe you can add what you would like- any veggies that you have on hand (not sure about strong flavors like broccoli), or a grain such as rice or barley.
So keep thinking spring, to keep from going completely mad!
Until next time, be a joy giver. Share your smiles.
If you are interested in gardening, I belong to a garden forum called Sprout-off. It is comprised of a wonderful, funny, generous group of gardeners who are thrilled to share their knowledge and antics with all of us. Most of the gardeners have been at it for many, many years, but they are always up for finding out new things and sharing experiences. Take a look! You can enter as a guest or register. I have been a member for 4 or 5 years.
Sprout-off Garden forum