Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The snow, the garden, the seeds, the life

Our snow blanket from late last week. It is melting, now, slowly, but while it lasted it was evenly beautiful.

Taken from our neighbors (two floors up). 

Last year's arugula crop is very happy in the snow, preferring it to dry, icy blasts. I posted these two pictures to Instagram (@66squarefeet), which is where you can find me every day, when I am not here. With a new book on the horizon I will have less time than ever for blogging, unfortunately, but Instagram serves as a mini blog and a very positive space, compared with Facebook's comparative whininess. And you can get a sneak peak a some of the recipes I am testing for Forage and Harvest.

The garlic! Last October I planted two rows of bone fide seed garlic from Botanical Interests, two rows of organic bulbs as well as elephant garlic from Whole Foods, and two rows from the local farmers market. Last year's garlic crop was very rewarding, despite the relative shade,* so I got a little carried away.

* Shade recap: Full shade from fall through April. Right now, at 10am, the first sliver of sun is touching a small space at the very back fence. Daily, as the sun rises higher in the sky, it creeps bigger. So the crops that need the most sun are planted from the back, forwards, towards the house. And, as I learned last year, right up against the house in 100% shade, I can grow ginger (and Thai basil). This year they will be joined by turmeric.

Boxes of seed have been arriving and soon the fun will begin. First in will be fava beans and peas. Then there is some crazy stuff. Like annual artichokes. And celtuce. A new 'Wasabi' arugula. Pink-spotted chicory. I'm going to try spy beans. And 'Magenta Spreen' lambs quarters. And a few other things, too.



  1. Hello Marie,
    I have read your blog for years and enjoy it.
    I work at a wholesale plant nursery in growing perennials.
    I do grow other than perennials in my own city garden in Lancaster PA.
    I wanted to let you know that I have grown Artichoke Imperial Star in some shade and got a decent harvest. I think I have more sun than you describe though. I would start them soon and have good size plants to set out.
    I love Artichokes and even if bud set is poor the plants are beautiful.
    Good luck!

    1. Hi Bryan - thank you for commenting!

      I am glad to hear about your artichokes - yes, I will start them indoors, soon. Our sun situation is extreme, with pretty much only June through July being full sun (6 hours on the nose) and the months on either side of those eating away at its edges again.

      If the seedlings do well I will set them in the sunniest spot and then we will see what happens.

  2. Beautiful snow pictures and great information for those of us with shady, and shade, garden spaces...thank you!

  3. The garlic plantings look so healthy in the snow and I must say the snow simply looks exquisite when taken from above.

  4. I got of Facebook entirely shortly after the election because I just could not take it anymore, and similarly feel that Instagram is a more positive space.

  5. Hi Marie, I'm sorry to hear you will be blogging less. Your writing is just magnificent and so thorough, thoughtful & poetic. While trying to follow FlowerJane, Jennifer & Amelia on IG, all I see is tons of repetitive photos, multi-!!!!!!! as replies and a bunch of silly giggly cat-obsessives. Heck we all love our cats but those people are just obsessed. The prose of the 3 mentioned above is too good to lose -- and now you. Quel dommage. Love these snow pix & look forward to watching Spring emerge in your city space. Hope your father is holding up & your mother doing well.
    Diane as you guessed in Demver

    1. If we had a cat maybe we'd be cat bombing too :-) Maybe as I do more I can do more. We'll see. Thank you for the good wishes. x

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