June 2014

I was able to harvest chives, mint, many bunches of methi, lots of basil and berries. Not everything got pictured though.

I had a very late start to gardening season, seedlings are just emerging from the ground. Here’s an update with lots of pictures.

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Box 6 – Peas, spinach and zucchini seedlings

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Pea seedlings

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Zucchini seedling is barely out of the soil

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Spinach seedlings

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Beets are out of the ground. Beet seedpod contains many individual seeds, notice how seedlings emerge in the clusters. When plants are bigger, it needs transplanting with more space apart.

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More Zucchini

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Green Sorrel

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Box 5 – Peas on both sides and green beans in the middle. Below are close-up shots of germinating green bean seed.

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Beans!!

 

Enjoy Gardening…

Sammamish is not Idaho!

Sammamish is NOT in Idaho, I hope I can still grow potatoes!

Being an Indian is enough to express my love for potatoes. We Indians use potatoes in any dish we can cook. Needless to say, when I first came to this country, I was so happy to see many varieties and colors of tubers. What I LOVE about growing potatoes is – baby tubers aka Dum Aloo.

Big bag of red potatoes from Costco is sitting in the pantry for a week now. Hot and humid pantry did the trick, I saw few potatoes sending out shoots (or chitting).  Nice, it’s time for some potato planting. I am experimenting a bit this year by growing few plants in containers vs. in ground. Hopefully I can update in few months, which method turns out better. okay, so here’s how-to grow potatoes:

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Here are potatoes that are chitting (sending out shoots), I sliced the potato with eyes. remaining potato can be used for cooking.

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Here are few containers I am using to plant these tubers. This year, I am planting a few in pots and few directly in the ground. Lets see which method yields more. Next, I’ll fill in containers half full with soil and some compost.

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Close up few of the container with potato planted, eye side up and just buried under the soil.

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Here are containers with potatoes planted, notice that containers are halfway – or even less – full. Potato plants as they emerge, need to be buried with soil. This hill building will happen throughout next 2 months, buried stems of the plant will bear the tubers. More hilling yields more potato crop. I’ll post few pictures in coming months as potatoes start emerging.

As you can see, I have a very late start to gardening this year, hopefully I’ll pick up some speed in coming months.

Happy Gardening!

2014 – New Season, new beginnings

Gardening is a hobby, not a necessity. Sometimes life takes over, and when life takes over, that is exact the time when one craves for joy and peace it offers. I stayed away from growing, planting, seeding for most of the year so far in 2014 and that translates into very little food supply from garden. We are well within into the spring and this is time for planting for summer and fall.

Well, its a start.

I stepped out the garden and took inventory. My husband has been kind enough to build me new gardening boxes this year. He not only built them but filled them with soil and compost. I am a happy girl.

I have saved seeds from last year, I am going to use the old seeds to start new garden this year. Since we are well into the spring, I can really seed anything.

To start, I soaked seeds in warm water for 3-4 hours before planting them. This is what I seeded this week: Yellow and green summer squash, Sugar snap and shell peas, carrots, methi, beets, bush beans and spinach. I may be a little late for spinach but I’ll take my chance.
I’m waiting for local Fred Meyer to bring out their vegetable starts on sale for this year. I plan to score tomato, pepper, kale and few other vegetable starts from there.

Well, even though I was not much into the garden, it kept on giving. I was able to snip chives, mint and oregano here and there. There were 5-6 basket full of kale – which was promptly made into bhaji and daal. While making new boxes, I had to strip out green sorrel – it was 6 baskets of harvest. Hoping for good season of summer growing.

January 2014, week 5

January is winding down. It’s till winter outside although it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like June… buds are appearing, birds are singing, bulbs are poking out. While rest of US is bitter in cold NW is basking in the sun. There has even been a record streak of no-rain. oh well… my garden sits in a mess. Sooner I have to seek some help to clean up mess from the fall.

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Back in November, I moved some of the pepper plants indoors. I half expected them to survive, let alone give any harvest. But low and behold, here it is – our first harvest of 2014! It’s 3 tiny sweet peppers.

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February is the month to look forward to spring and start some pre-season activities. Here are gardening things to do in February for me:

1 – Hire some help and general clean up of garden
2 – clean up strawberry bed. Last year I left fall leaves as mulch and come spring, slugs had field day in it. No more strawberry mulching, this year it is getting cleaned.
3 – Buy potatoes and start chitting process. Ideally potatoes go in ground late March. This year I plan red, Yukon gold and some fingerlings.
4 – Start building raised beds (after cleanup)

Here’s this week’s total: 
Sweet peppers – 3 count

Off to a good start!!

 

Mi Tula Tu Mala (Honar soon Mi Hya Gharachi ) Lyrics

मी तुला तू मला गुणगुणू लागलो, पांघरू लागलो सावरू लागलो
नाही कळले कधी, नाही कळले कधी

नाही कळले कधी, जीव वेडावला
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला
नाही कळले कधी,  धुंद हूरहुर ही श्वास गंधावला
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला
नाही कळले कधी…..

मी तुला तू मला गुणगुणू लागलो, पांघरू लागलो सावरू लागलो
नाही कळले कधी, नाही कळले कधी

तू काळी कोवळी साजिरी गोजिरी
चिंब ओल्या सरी घेत अंगावारी
स्वप्न भासे खरे स्पर्श होता खूळ आ
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला, धुंद हूरहुर ही श्वास गंधावला
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला
नाही कळले कधी…..

शब्द झाले मुके बोलती पैंजणे
उतरले गालिया सोवरी चांदणे
पाहाताना तुला चंद्र ही लाजला
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला
नाही कळले कधी…..

नाही कळले कधी, जीव वेडावला
ओळखू लागलो तू मला मी तुला
नाही कळले कधी,

मी तुला तू मला गुणगुणू लागलो, पांघरू लागलो सावरू लागलो
नाही कळले कधी, नाही कळले कधी

तू मला मी तुला गुणगुणू लागलो, पांघरू लागलो सावरू लागलो
नाही कळले कधी, नाही कळले कधी

September Harvests

September has brought with it bounty of produce.

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Carrots, broccoli shoots, tomato, pepper and frilly lettuce

 

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Assortment of carrots, beets, kale and beans

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Multi colored beans

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Broccoli shoots, colored tomatoes and bens, cucumber and purple tomatillo!

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More cucumbers and tomatoes!

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Tomatoes, beans, peppers and Methi

 

Happy gardening!

August 2013: week 3

This has been a week of Greens…

We harvested bunch of Kale – lacinto, shared with friends.

kale lacinto

Big head of red sails lettuce was pulled, this was more than enough for 2 lunch salads.

red sails lettuce

and 3 bunches of Methi leaves (pictured below harvest from 1 container)

methi

Looking forward to colors next week…

August 2013 week 2

I am growing Walla Walla sweet onions, variety in farmers market is giant, but mine aren’t getting too big. Garden setting, no fertilizer, shade and cooler temperatures make a lot of difference! 

Many onion types start to form a bulb when the temperature and the number of daylight hours reach certain levels. Varieties listed as short-day onions bulb up when the day length is between 12 and 14 hours. Long-day onions, on the other hand, begin to form a bulb when the day length is between 14 and 16 hours.

Walla Walla onions are Long day types, these start developing roots when day length is about 12-13 hours, right around June-July. Planting time has to be perfected so onions are ready to bulb up by June. Next year, I might plant these earlier and in more fertile space to get maximum yield. In all, not bad for the first year 🙂

How do I know when to harvest Onions?
Once fully developed and mature, onions drop tops, green tops bend over. Something like this –

Onions tops falling

It’s time to harvest onions….

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and  More potatoes, onions,  arugula, few peas…

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and some more…

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Happy Gardening!

Early August Garden Tour

Garden looks green and sunny in early August. Here’s a small tour…

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(L to R)  Onions, green beans, Red Sails Lettuce, Broccoli, blue curled Kale and sorrel

 

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Fenugreek (methi) growing in pot

 

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Mostly Kale, beans and basil here

 

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Kale, Carrots, lettuce and assortment of pepper plants

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New addition – Tomatillos, assorted squash plants, tomatoes, cucumber and methi

 

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Close view of methi and cucumber seedlings

Looking forward to bountiful summer…

August 2013 week 1

June July has gone and we’re into August now, we are left with month and half of warm weather. Around Pacific NW, first frost usually arrives late October, I have been tracking it last 4-5 years and most years it was Oct last week. Plants grow well into September but go into semi-dormant mode after.

So the growing season is in full swing early August. Other things in life (camping, hiking and summering) are taking over life, leaving less time to spend in garden. (It shouldn’t be this way really). Its slow time now, but soon I have to gear up planting for fall/winter.

There’s none planting going on. Here’s what’s harvested:
 

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Red Sails Lettuce and red potatoes

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Potatoes dug out and early carrots

 

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This is how potatoes look like upon harvest
 

 

 

 

Methi is almost ready to be harvested…

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July 2013 Week 4: Harvest Update

Summer heat is here, we are seeing less berries and more varied harvests.

We picked some of the frilly lettuce, it was planted mid-spring. I had packet of American seeds – bought for 0.25 at local ACE hardware store, pretty good returns.

 

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frilly Lettuce and berries

 

Peas are all spent, they are yellowing. Although second flush of flowers is evident (more peas in 15 days!), I decided to rip pea vines out. Last year I kept pea vines longer but they got pretty bad mildew. I don’t want that this year. Peas are out. But before that we got good harvest, me and girls has FUN shelling peas and munching on them. I got few to use in Pohe and Cauliflower subzi.

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Yellowing pea vines are taken down

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Peas for snack

also on the harvest tally are chard and  broccoli florets

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some more chard

 

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Happy Gardening!

Hiking: Mason Lake/Ira Springs Trail

I am so fortunate to live in Pacific Northwest, with its snowpack, mountains and varied terrain makes many wonderful hiking opportunities. One such hike is to Mason Lake. This 6.2-mile out-and-back traverses Ira Spring Memorial Trail, which winds for 3.2 miles above Snoqualmie Valley, ending at the picturesque Mason Lake. Trail is dedicated to efforts of wonderful Ira Springs.

Mason Lake via Ira Springs trail #1038

Location: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest I-90’s Exit 45, Forest Road 9030 
Roundtrip:  6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2550 ft
Highest Point: 4750 ft
Time: 4.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

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IRA Springs Mason Lake Trailhead

 

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Investigating route and distance before heading on

Mason Lake trailhead is off Exit 42 on I-90, few miles on forest road brings to well marked trailhead.

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Alpine Lake wilderness

This is a very pleasant workout hike which begins on the rerouted Ira Spring Trail.

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about a mile into the hike, this creek crosses the trail.

Shortly, we passed Mason Creek, once we hiked in May and we had to cross thundering water creek with help of ropes and poles. In August, waters are tame.

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up and up

 

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Leaving behind tree line, view opens up with huge talus fields

 

mason lake  Talus fields

Above the tree line the trail comes to a junction, sign-posted left for Mason Lake; continue right to Bandera Mountain.

Right here, Majestic Mount Rainier is viable in its full glory.

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Majestic Mount Rainier as seen from the trail

 

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I-90 meanders through down below

 

 

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wildflowers

 

alpine lake wilderness

Trail descends from here, passing Ira springs memorial on the ridge line, another 3/4th of miles lead to Mason lake shores.

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Mason lake

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Mason Lake

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Clear waters of Mason Lake

We returned down on 1038 trail back to our car. 

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Heading back to the car….

Thank you for reading.

July 2013 Week 3

Berries are in high production now, we are eating many berries and clicking less. Here are few of the pictures clicked. This year I didn’t a good job cleaning out Strawberry bed in fall and early spring. There were many weed runner, mainly buttercups and lots of old dead leaves. Many of my strawberries were rotten (neglect to pick up, rotting under leaves mess).  I have to keep up with strawberries and clean up in spring next year for more production.

Strawberry

berries

Here is mid-July garden update:

Pea vines were pulled out, before pulling peas reached high up.

 
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Here is Bed 2 with huge broccoli plant with tiny head 😦 along with kale, lettuce and some chard.

tiny broccoli 

More peas – these are snow peas. I didn’t like the taste and I didn’t use much in cooking. I might not grow snow peas again, I’d rather grow shelling and snap peas.

snow pea vines 

We harvested more Peas (snow peas, snap and shelling) , broccoli shoots and arugula this week.

arugula peas

Next week looks more promising with harvest, many onions are dropping tops so I might get a big harvest out of it.

This week’s harvest:
Snow Peas:  #22
Broccoli shoots: 1 cup
Strawberries: 2 containers (not pictured)
Parsley: 1 bunch
Onions + tops: 32
Raspberries: 2 containers (not pictured)

Happy Gardening!

July 2013 week 2: summer harvests

This post is red and green, harvest colors

This year, we are picking more berries and enjoying them rather taking pictures. These pictures are just symbolic 🙂

Harvested broccoli, some snow peas and parsley bunch.

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Walla walla onions

walla walla onions

More strawberries

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and raspberries

raspberries

This week’s harvest:
Snow Peas:  #22
Broccoli shoots: 1/2 cup
Strawberries: 2 containers (not pictured)
Parsley: 1 bunch
Onions + tops: 32
Raspberries: 2 containers (not pictured)