Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let the Currant Carry You Away

A couple of years ago while at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market the kids and I discovered red currants. Actually my son did. Samples were set out to try and when he tried them he insisted that I "needed" to buy them for him.

I couldn't figure out why he needed them, they sure tasted TART to me, but I indulged him. Within the next day and a half, he ate the entire quart. The next week I bought more and made some jam, which he also liked...

While currants aren't my favorite, I did plant a red currant bush in the yard. We didn't get any last year, as the birds ate them all, however I'm going to get them this year. I noticed too that the bush is laden with the flowers. It was those flowers that helped me to recognize the flowers. So where am I going with this post... Right now currants are in flower, so if you are out and about, walking in the woods be sure to look for them. I found an entire patch of wild currant bushes that I intend to keep an eye on as they blossom and ripen.

I believe the plants that I found today were black currant bushes...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Encourage Your Kids to Love Gardening

I posted this on my other blog, however it also merits mention here...Parents in the Ann Arbor area who would like their children to join in on children's gardening classes should check out my post about children's gardening classes at The Produce Station.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wild Asparagus - A Wonderful Treat if You Know Where to Look!

I was out and about today again - looking for this and that, and I decided to once again look for the wild asparagus I spotted growing last fall. The grass was blowing gently in the wind as I slowly meandered down the dirt road, scanning here and there, and suddely there it was.  Standing tall and proud (OK they were really only 6-8" tops!)  in the grass alongside the ditches was several thick and suculent asparagus spears! 

And so it's begun - the scramble for any and all wild foods along roadsides in the country!  I know we'll be eating well tonight!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Build A Greenhouse From Recycled Bottles!

I thought this greenhouse idea was appropriate for Earth Day - These kids made the entire greenhouse using recycled plastic bottles!  I'm not sure my neighbors would appreciate my doing this in my yard, but it does leave me wondering if possibly I could build a cold-frame lid from bottles instead of using plate glass which often breaks!

Be sure to check out the directions to build your own recycled plastic bottle greenhouse - Just try not to irritate your neighbors!

Here's another recycled bottle greenhouse...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Straw Bale Gardening - An Easy Raised Bed Technique for Clay Soil!

I found another very interesting post on creating a raised bed on top of a straw bale - it's of course call "straw bale gardening" and helps promote healthy beds and plants! This would work REALLY well in our heavy clay soil, so it is pretty appealing.  Have other Michigan area gardeners tried this type of gardening technique?  How difficult/easy is it to grow a garden on a bale of straw?  What are your thoughts on this?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Window Farming - Will it Work For Me?

I saw this post on Window Farming on NPR and thought WOW, what a great idea. I'm not sure what, if any of it I will implement, but I have serveral really great windows with light enough to sustain several strings of plants for gardening. I like to do this especially in the cold gray months of winter, however have wondered how successful I would be. At any rate, it's food for thought...

What do you think? Would you sacrifice windows and sunlight in exchange for clean fresh air and salad greens?