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Thursday, December 30, 2010

oh so cold...

We're heading back into a deep freeze here in northern Wyoming.  Single digits will be the HIGH today.  Can you say, BURRRR????

And tonight is supposed to get really cold... double digits below zero!  Yikes!!!

338 AM MST THU DEC 30 2010

My little hoop house experiment continues despite the cold! 
HOOP HOUSE Temperature this morning just before 7AM... 39.7 degrees F.
OUTSIDE Temperature... 7 degrees!
I have beautiful living, thriving greens including beet greens, arugula, spinach, swiss chard... and the broccoli seeds that I sprinkled in the soil months ago have sprouted!
I swapped out the shop light for a warming lamp in my hoop house the other day and even though it's a blustery 7 degrees F outside... inside my hoop house is a cozy 39.7!
Tonight it will be really frigid with double digits below freezing... so I'll add an extra layer of covering on the inside of the hoop house over my plants taking extra care to cover the plants on the outer edges.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Microgreen Harvest 12/28/10

pea microgreens

spinach and radish microgreens

shoot... can't remember what I planted in the bottom planter!

I bought this indoor green house a few years ago.  It's perfect for getting my seeds started... and growing my microgreens!

pea microgreens
I read in a gardening magazine a few months ago about growing microgreens.  And thought... ya... I can do that!

So I grabbed a couple long planters and some left over seeds.  I sprinkled the seeds thickly over the soil then lightly covered with soil.  Placed the 2 long planters in my indoor greenhouse near a south facing window.  Watered every so often... well, really I just misted...

It's been a few weeks.  I've so enjoyed watching the seeds sprout and grow their first little leaves!

Today the pea sprouts were a good 3 or 4 inches tall... so I decided that it was time to harvest!!!

I plan on using my microgreens in salads, on sandwiches, and in my green smoothies!

Today those tender, fragrant, tasty pea microgreens went into my fruity green smoothie!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas dear gardening friends!

Merry Christmas my dear gardening friends!

You have inspired me and taught me so much this year.  Thank you!

PS... I've got two trays of mircogreens growing inside!!! They are about an inch high or so... when they reach 3 to 4 inches I'll be able to clip them for use in salads and green smoothies!  Oh... probably by Christmas Day actually!!!



microgreens growing in our inside greenhouse

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

yes... 68.5 degrees

Hi gardening friends!

I'm just back from walking the dog.  I was surprised by how warm it is out there... I know... warm is relative and you might be laughing at me when I say that it's 31 degrees F here.

But the sun is shining in the bright blue sky... and it feels so good!

The temperature in the hoop house is 68.5 degrees F (and climbing!)... and with bright sunshine it's sure to be nice and cozy by this afternoon!

I'm about ready to begin laying tile in the 1st floor bathroom... yay... we're going to have a bathroom on the first floor just in time for Christmas!!!  Well... if I get off the computer and get to work...LOL...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

it's 53.6 degrees...

Hello gardening friends!

I am so enjoying my little hoop house.  It's fun to make little adjustments to see how to add warmth.

Most of my plants survived the November/December chill of single digit temps or weeks of temperatures in the teens at night.  Usually we get 2 weeks of deep freeze in January.  I'm hoping that we're done with the really cold cold weather... but that might be a little optimistic!

Having a light bulb hanging in the middle of the hoop house has made the biggest difference... and covering the hoop house up at night... yes... with a sleeping bag!

This morning at 7am (before sunrise), it's 53.6 degrees F.  Outside, according to my truck, it's only 24 degrees.

Who is your favorite seed supplier?

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's here... let the dreaming begin!

I am the proud recipient of my very own Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog!  I have been on the list to get one for months now... and here it is in my hands!

It is beautiful!!!  Filled with gorgeous pictures of fruit and vegetables to drool over!

Just a moment ago, my husband and I were fighting over who got to look at it first!  He won when I mistakenly put it down to type something on the computer.  Possibly, he needs his own copy...

OK... marker in hand... off to bed I go with my precious seed catalog!!  Ah the dreams I will have tonight!!!!

59.0 degrees F at 8am...

Boy, we are having a heat wave here in northern Wyoming!!!!

It's actually in the 30s outside this morning!  It was really nice NOT to have to scrape ice off the windshield before taking my son to school.

Inside the little hoop house it's a balmy 59.0 degrees F!  Yes... I said 59.0 degrees at 8:15am without sunshine!  Of course... it's still covered up with the sleeping bag... and the work light inside the dome is still on...
all snug and cozy with it's sleeping bag cover...

Have a great gardening day!  I'm off to get some tiling done in our 1st floor bathroom!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 degrees outside this morning at 7am... but...

It's 12 degrees outside this morning at 7am... but... inside my hoop house, it's a cozy 43.7 degrees F.

It's amazing what a  light bulb can do... and it has made all the difference in keeping the temperature up.

see the work light dangling from the center of the hoop house?

sleeping bag covering my little hoop house, an extra layer for frigid nights

Friday, December 10, 2010

Morning surprise...

I've got my painting clothes on this morning!  Going to give the 1st floor bathroom a 2nd coat of paint today!!!

As I stepped outside shortly before 6am, in my short sleeve shirt to let the dog out, I was surprised by how warm it was out there!!!!

It's in the 30s this morning!!!  Not having to scrape the windshield... "It's a good thing!"

In the little hoop house it's 52.7 degrees!

I'm heading out there shortly to pick some nice fresh greens!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the light bulb...

So I replaced the light bulb yesterday afternoon.  Wow... what a difference!

It's 12 degrees outside according to my truck's temperature gauge... but it's a cozy 41.7 in my hoop house!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's 26.6 degrees in the hoop house this morning....

Good morning...

We had hoar frost on Monday.  Everything was covered in glimmering crystals!
It's 6am here in the wilds of Wyoming.  Still dark outside.

The outside temperature is 15 degrees.  But, inside the hoop house it's 26.6 but my temperature display says that it got down to 24.0 during the night.

During the day with bright sun it gets up to the 70s in my little hoop house even though it'll be only in the 30s.

My work light that I have dangling from the hoops burned out a while ago.  Today I'll put a new bulb in it.  It helps to raise the temperature about 5 degrees or so.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's 70 degrees today!

It's a bright sunny day here in northern Wyoming!  The sun feels really warm!

It's 70 degrees today... in my little hoop house that is...

I just harvested some more greens!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's 6:15am...

Happy Monday Gardening friends!

Ah.... don't you just love a brand new week?

It's 6:15am here in Northern Wyoming.  We had fog so thick yesterday that visibility was probably less than 100 feet!  From what I can see in the dark, it looks like the trees will be all covered in hoar frost.  (Come back later this morning, I'll post a picture!)

It's a bone chilling 15 degrees outside, but inside my little hoop house it's 25.3 degrees F.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Watered the plants in the hoop house

Took a break from mudding walls to do a little work in my hoop house on the beautiful sunny warmish (maybe 30?) afternoon.

a peek into the hoop house
Here's what I did today:
-pulled the large arugula plant that died in the chilly teens last week
-planted some spinach and radish seeds

Hoop House improvements:
-put a large piece of styrofoam on the north side
-put a smaller piece of styrofoam on the west side
-added 2 hot water filled containers to the north side

Hopefully these improvements should help shelter the plants a little better.

sad little swiss chard in the north west corner... can't you just see it shivering?


swiss chard

swiss chard

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hoop House Experiment update 12/3/10

Sorry for the long absence!  The weather was really cold for a good week or so before Thanksgiving.  Too cold for photographs!

It's been a little warmer since black Friday with temps getting up to the 30s during the day and teens at night.

Hoop House update...
My little hoop house stays between the 20s & 30s during the night even with the chilly teen temps thanks to my fortifications (Christmas lights and a sleeping bag cover over the plastic).

Unfortunately, I did lose some plants to the bitter cold though.  My huge arugula "bush" that was growing so nicely on the west side really took a beating... not sure if it'll make a come back, we'll see.  And 2 of my swiss chard plants on the north side look really sad.

But still growing are spinach, swiss chard, and arugula... as well as my micro greens including mesclun, radish, and sunflower.

Today I harvested some of the greens that will be used in my morning green smoothie... yup... still drinking down that delicious fruity green stuff!

greens harvested from the hoop house 12/3/10

Hope that you had a yummy Thanksgiving!

For the first time in our new home, we hosted 16 family & friends.  And it looks like Christmas dinner will be here too this year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's 7 degrees...

We got a couple inches of snow last night... but now it's 7 degrees.

this photo taken last year... 
Somehow my little hoop house is staying warm in the 30s!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

16 degrees outside...

Oh my gosh, it's 6:45 am and pitch black here in northern Wyoming... and it is COLD out there!!!!  It's 18 degrees Fahrenheit!  There's even a dusting of snow on the ground!

The hoop house experiment continues!!!
I'm going to see how long I can grow greens in my little 4x4 hoop house!

But in my little hoop house... it's a cozy 37.2 degrees!  Yeah!
It only took:
-styrofoam sheets on the north & west sides
-jugs of water to collect & retain warmth
-Christmas lights on the soil around the plants
-a work light hanging from the supports
-a light cover on the plants inside the dome
-and... a sleeping bag covering the outside of the dome!

I'll go check on the plants later today when it hopefully warms up a bit!

For more information on having your own backyard hoop house, here's a nice article that I just read on the Mother Earth News website.    (link added to my Reference list)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hoop House Drastic Measures...

Greetings on this chilly night...

The hoop house had gotten down to 29.5 degrees... and it's on it's way down into the teens.
The Hoop House before I covered it with a sleeping bag!

So I hurried outside (NOT properly dressed mind you) and...
-Turned ON the work light & Christmas lights that are inside my hoop house.
-Then covered my plants with a tent tarp.
-And on the outside over the plastic covering, I placed a sleeping bag.

All that done... my hoop house is up to 35.4!

Hope it's OK tonight... my arugula seems kind of crispy...

It's going to be BELOW zero (Fahrenheit) at night in a couple days.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harvested Arugula from the hoop house

Greetings gardening blogger friends!

The weather has indeed turned nippy here in northern Wyoming...  we're heading into a chill that will give us teens for a high... and below zero temps at night... burrr...

inside the hoop house at 2pm (overcast): 51 degrees
outside 32 degrees

Notes from the hoop house...
My arugula just keeps growing and growing!  Had to give it a haircut today!
I harvested a bowl of these zippy greens for my vegetable beef stew!

Vegetable beef stew...
Tonight is "friends over for supper" night... so I'm trying something fun!  Bread bowls filled with steamy and nutritious vegetable beef stew!  Into the stew go those spicy greens!
Vegetable Beef Stew with Arugula greens

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's snowing...

It's almost 9pm on Sunday night as I write this post.  Snow is coming down with some accumulation.

It's 41.5 degrees in my hoop house and about 35 outside.

Hoop House Report...
The Arugula is growing like crazy on the West side of the hoop house.  I cut it back not too long ago.  It must really like 40 degree weather!  Anyone want some Arugula?  I've got enough to share!

I cut the rest of my radish micro greens for my husband's tuna sandwich today... Will need to reseed some more!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can you say Burrrr?

A quick note to let you know that NO, I haven't frozen to death!

It's getting cold here in northern Wyoming.  The Indian Summer that we were so enjoying... gone...  a distant memory... sigh...

We even had snow flurries today!  That happened on my walk back from the post office.  I was so happy that I wore my country bumpkin rag wool hat and my fleece mitties!

It's getting cold!  The next few days will be in the 40s and in the teens (like 13 degrees!) during the night!  Burrr...

I will put a blanket over my cold frame and inside my hoop house!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Pounds of Green Beans

Greetings from northern Wyoming where Indian Summer continues....

Ah... if I could just "can" this awesome weather and preserve it for a below zero day this winter... wouldn't that be awesome?

Hoop House Report...
The hoop house has been cozy at night in the 40s.  My greens are doing well.  Really been enjoying the radish sprouts.

notice grasshoppers on either side of this pot... urghhhhh...

Look baby spinach leaves!!!!

Some of the seed that I planted is starting to sprout in the cold frame (just a 3x3'ish box with a window on top).

But... beginning Tuesday the high will be 40 and the low at night 20...  burr....

30 pounds of green beans...
I belong to a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  Their produce is fresh and sooo yummy!  We pick up our "share" on Saturdays.  I ordered a case... 30 pounds... of green beans.  I love green beans but I don't care for then commercially canned.  Someday I hope to grow enough green beans in my garden to can... but until then...

Monday afternoon I will dig out my pressure canner and get to work canning my beans!  But first... got to get my jars cleaned up!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hoop House report 11/5/10

It's 41.0 degrees F in the hoop house this morning.

Update at 8am: I'm just back from dropping my son off at school.  I had no idea how cold it was outside!  My truck said 23 degrees F!  All the while my little hoop house is a cozy 41 degrees!  Yeah!

Yesterday was a sunny, beautiful, warm day in the 60s here in northern Wyoming.  I opened up the hoop house for a while in the afternoon.

Would you believe that I found a few grasshoppers in my hoop house?  I'm sure that they think that they've found paradise... of course that was until I found them...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cold Frame #1 set up

I set up Cold Frame #1 today!  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the 60s here in northern Wyoming.

I'll be growing micro greens...
Cold Frame #1: will be growing micro greens... spinach, kale, peas, lettuce
 I put gravel in the box as well as some large rocks that were warm from the nice sunshine today.
Cold Frame #1 all cozied up for the night...
Then I covered the box up with my fish insulation topped with the window.

Wish me luck!

Hoop House Report 11/2/10

Hoop House report...
6am temperature in the hoop house: 48.3 degrees F.

I'm going to harvest more radish & sunflower greens this morning!  Some of the radish sprouts will go on my husband's tuna sandwich.... the rest... into my fruity green smoothie!

Cold Frame report...
I acquired 3 more windows yesterday for a total of 5 or 6...  Today I will set up one or two cold frames!

I plan to grow mostly micro greens in these two cold frames.  Micro greens are sprouts grown in soil till they're about 2 to 4 inches tall... then they're harvested for salads and in my case fruity green smoothies!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hoop House Report 10/31/10: Harvesting Micro Greens

inside the hoop house... happy greens!
Since I added Christmas lights around my plants in the hoop house... they've been nice and cozy!

Growing Micro Greens...
I read about growing Micro Greens in the Urban Farmer magazine last month and thought... YES... I can do that!!!!

So... in my hoop house in pots, I'm growing some greens... they will be harvested when they are between 2 & 4 inches tall:
-Corn Salad

 Today I harvested some radish & sunflower greens!!!
Micro Greens: I harvest some radish greens this morning!  
 All of my greens are very happy in the hoop house!
Micro Greens: I also clipped some sunflower greens..
I also harvested some greens that are growing in the Hoop House soil.
My little green harvest goes into my fruity Green Smoothie!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Giant Pumpkin weighed in at....

Remember that BIG pumpkin we grew?    Well the lumber yard GREAT PUMPKIN WEIGH IN was today!  

And... our pumpkin won!!!!
the Giant Pumpkin is loaded into the pickup

and it's weighed in Wyoming style

Our son with his pumpkin 
Up it goes..

how much will it weigh?

71 Pounds!  A winner for the kid's division!

All the Giant Pumpkins...

Our son wins with a 71 pound Giant Pumpkin!
As I was surfing around this afternoon, I came across this website on how to roast a pumpkin and other pumpkin recipes.  

So... if you've got Pumpkins this site might be helpful!!!