Friday, February 25, 2011

Sure signs of spring.

I worry about the possibility of another  freeze, but really - it's been very nice and springy out there for a few weeks now.
Things in the greenhouse are coming along great. I'm transplanting lots of seedlings, and starting new seeds - both for CSA and to sell.
Here are some evidence of spring weather effects on plants at STARworks Garden.
 Pear tree is about to bust!
We got some fresh cow manure compost delivered this week from Mr. Brown, who has supplied us since we started building the first beds. We're trying to expand the growing space this year. Eddie and Angela Bernard, the owners of Wet Dog Glass have offered to use a part of their lawn (less to mow!) to turn it into a garden patch for summer crops! That should make it easier to overcome the small space syndrome. I won't have to rush, to plant summer crops on top of greens, or wait too long to get fall crops in - as I'm always reluctant to pull out tomato plants in September... they always seem to get a second wind by then.

Some interesting reads from this week: 

Farm-raised kids are less prone to asthma. Who gets the credit? Germs, researchers say.

Speaking of oatmeal - my family eats it salty, with a dab of butter. Goes great with some bacon from Whipowill Hill Farm and eggs from Hope Farms
Eat Real, folks!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sunshiny day!

This wonderful teasing weather has definitely brought on a Spring Fever for me.
I've spent a few hours each day in the garden, clearing beds from dead plants, pruning, weeding, loosening soil in the beds where I direct sow, and starting seeds in the greenhouse.

Crocuses are blooming and last year's parsley is coming back strong.
 One great thing I did last fall - was to mulch the beds better than in previous years. On most of the beds I added a thick layer of leaves. I've peeked under the leaves, and the earth worms have been having a blast - the soil is moist, soft and crumbly, and with very few weeds.
I also mulched the kale and garlic I planted in the fall - with sheets of newspaper, and shredded office paper. The newspaper has done a good job keeping the weeds down, and where the weeds did grow among the shredded paper - they were super easy to pull out!
(before weeding)
 Mulching well in the fall is really the best gift you can give yourself and the garden!
(after weeding)
I've kept the kale and garlic covered with row cover, to protect them from hard frosts. 

Some of the plants started in the greenhouse include: savoy and regular head cabbage, kale, Chinese kale, Bok Choy, mesclun mix, lettuces, spinach, Swiss Chard of different colors, arugula, sorrel.
Outside I've planted the first round of peas, carrots and beets. 
Lets hope for a good growing year!

Friday, February 4, 2011


with instructors Greg Bender and Hugh Martin.

Dates & Times:
Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. Log cultivation: February 26. 9AM – 12PM
Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. Log cultivation: March 12. 9AM- 12PM

LOCATION: back of STARworks Building, 100 Russell Drive, Star, NC 27356

Price of the workshop: $18.- per person or $20.- on the day of the workshop (if space is available). The price covers the use of tools, wax and spawn. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own logs, maximum 3 logs per person.
Logs have to be cut no longer than 3 weeks prior to the inoculation. Please do not bring logs that have fallen due to disease and have been found on forest floor! Size of logs should be 3” - 4” in diameter and about 2 feet long. If possible, bring your own electric drill, cordless drills are not powerful enough.
Types of wood: For Shiitake – white or red oak is the best, sweetgum will work
For Oyster – cottonwood, oak, alder, maple, aspen, ash, beech, birch, elm, willow, poplar

To register, please contact Anne Pärtna: #336 653 9551 or email:
Space will be filled on first-come-first-serve basis. Payment options include: cash, check, credit card. For credit card payment call :910 428 9001

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gearing up for the summer!

Yesterday gave us all some hope! Seemed like spring is just around the corner. It was amazing to be outside in the middle of the winter, wearing but a t-shirt, weeding and cleaning out the garden beds. I saw tons of fat wriggly earth worms happily doing their job. To think that just a few years ago this was a patch of gravel where even weeds barely grew! And now it's a playground for worms, frogs, toads, lizards, butterflies etc. And me:) And occasionally some kids:)

To get the year going, I've started getting the greenhouse ready, cleared the beds, except for some parsley, cilantro, celery and flowers and perennial herbs. I will be ordering some seed to grow more carrots, green beans, beets and pak choi for the CSA. Some of the Mushroom workshops are lined up for the end of this month, March and June. I will post all that info somewhere on the blog ASAP. 
Stay tuned!