23 April, 2010

progress report

the side garden has been planted. my wife saw asparagus roots on sale the local home improvement store and bought them. we have a trench planted with twenty four 1-2 year old asparagus roots, i thought it was going to be 3 asparagus crowns, more is better. i moved the rhubarb plant to this side as well. i put in mesclun under the dome in the front yard. peas will go into this space as well.

the first batch of compost for this year has cooled and will need to be sifted/screened before i can use it as a side dressing. there are more than a few sticks and a few corncobs that need to be reprocessed in the next pile. composting proceeds through a ‘hot stage’ at the beginning of the process, this is due to the action of beneficial microbes. the heat also is purported to kill the weed seeds. when i first dug into the pile after a week , i was impressed by the color change and the heat. the color change was due to the rapid growth of fungi. i continued turning the pile every 3 -7 days until it cooled, six weeks is good time frame for an active pile with plenty of aeration. it’s not a completely broken down pile, but there are no discernible ‘kitchen scraps’ evident and it looks a lot like dirt and smells earthy not rancid.

enjoy your spring, the planting of warm weather crops is still a few weeks off in Minnesota. see ya in the garden.

09 April, 2010

asparagus pasta

asparagus pasta

  • 1/2 cup asparagus
  • 3 lbs cooked pasta
  • mushrooms
  • prosciutto
  • gr. onion
  • thyme,tarragon
  • olive oil
  • heavy cream(cedar summit 42% butterfat)
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated(stravecchio)
  • egg yolk
  1. saute asparagus, mushrooms and green onion in olive oil in a hot 12″ saute pan with olive oil
  2. add prosciutto, and herbs
  3. add cream and reduce
  4. add parmesan cheese and finish/thicken sauce with1 egg yolk(remove pan from heat)
  5. mix in pasta
    serve in pasta bowl with garnish

08 April, 2010

planting soon in a front yard near you...

the front yard has been improved to include a $20 coldframe. it consists of 3 ten foot 1/2 inch cpvc tubes and a roll of 3 mm plastic. i have used this set up successfully in the past and i have no reason to believe it won’t prevent an early spring frost from killing my lettuce crop. i’m looking at planting a 6 ft square bed of mesclun, i haven’t decided which of 3 seed catalogs will win the contract for seed.

last year i dug up the sod and planted corn, mainly just to get something (that i knew would grow) in the ground. first year gardens are not meant for intensive gardening. i pretty much just turned over the soil and really didn’t weed or tend it that much. in the fall i raked leaves over the whole thing threw a little compost over it and let it rest under a tarp. this spring the soil looks better and is definitely easier to till and prepare for planting.

over the winter i accumulated a larger volume of kitchen scraps and may have a better compost pile working to enrich the soil in a few more weeks. i’ll let you know how that turns out. when i put the seeds in the ground, gentle readers, you will be there.

until next week, andrew