Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oregon Snow Pea

We have some of these growing in the garden. 


They are starting to get big enough that I need to go back and add a trellis for them to climb on.  We really should have put one in when we planted the seeds because now we need to work it in amongst all the plants already growing up.  And it’s gotten really hot here so we don’t want to spend a lot of time outside unless it’s next to a pool – working around all the leaves & branches of the other plants takes a little bit of time.


I remember growing these when I was a kid.  I’m not sure any ever made it into the house.  We’d be in the back yard playing and get hungry.  Over to the garden we’d go to the garden an pull up a carrot, pick some peas, or swipe some other yummy goodness and wash it off in the sprinkler.  A backyard garden is a win-win – parents get kids to eat health snacks & kids don’t have to take time out of playing to trudge inside for something to eat.


Category Vegetable
Common Name
  • Bush Snow Pea
  • Sugar Pea Pod
Formal Name type formal name here
Description This pea was developed by the University or Oregon to produce an abundant crop of 4” pea pods.


  • Eating Raw (excellent for getting dip into your mouth)
  • Stir Fry
Light Requirements

Full Sun 

Soil Requirements Rich, nicely composted
Water Requirements Average
Height 30” – 36”
Spread Rows should be at least 12” – 18” apart although 24” apart is ideal.
Growing Zone Will perform anywhere soil maintains a temperature of 50 degrees or more.
Harvesting Harvest about 68 days after sowing when pods are just getting firm.  As long as there are at least 68 days until frost, a second crop may be sown and harvested in the fall.
Fertilization As long as seeds are planted in decent soil, supplementing fertilizer about one week after planting should be sufficient
Growth Cycle Germination in 1 to 2 weeks; ready for harvest in 60 – 70 days.
Bloom Time NA
Bloom Color NA

Seeds  (dried peas)

Maintenance Level Low
Special Features
  • Freezes well with no loss of color (Place them on a cookie sheet and place in freezer.  Once frozen store them in the freezer in a re-sealable plastic bag).
  • The more you pick, the more you get.  Plant will continue to produce.
  • Will endure a light frost without protection.
Known Issues Will likely stop producing one the temperatures consistently reach 80 degrees or higher.
Planting Instructions Sow directly in garden about 2” below soil level and cover with garden soil.  Plant six inches apart in rows.  A trellis will help this vine-y plant grow to its fullest potential – only one is necessary for every two rows. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Local Foods - Change the World Wednesday

Sorry this is getting out so late guys! Unfortunately, we had a funeral to attend today and I'm just now sitting down at the computer.

This week's challenge is to only eat local foods. I can sort of make an attempt at this, but I'm not making any promises. I have two little ones who will eat chicken nuggets, fish sticks, PB&J and cereal for every meal. This kind of challenge takes planning on our part so to just jump out and do this on a moments notice isn't going to happen. I'd think it take planning for most people - you need to figure out where you're going to get fresh meat!

Here's what I can definitely do: local fruits, vegetables & eggs. We have a garden with almost nothing to harvest, but there are a bunch of other farmer's markets near by. The Pleasantville farm has fresh veggies and eggs straight from the hen house. Seriously, my friend Barbie collects eggs and puts them in the cartons - I've been thinking about being one of the neighborhood volunteers.

Update on how I did last week with the plastic bags. Pretty good - I only messed up once. I don't think I did a lot of shopping, but I royally screwed up by going to Wal-Mart. Being at the store of ultimate consumerism, I didn't even think about the plastic bags until I has half way home :(

I'll just have to keep on trying!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Plastic Bags - Change the World Wednesday

I just found something pretty nifty, and I want to share with all of you.

I started this gardening blog at first just to get my personal plant research written down somewhere. Then, I started my garden at the Pleasantville farm (which is 100% organic) and have come to realize how important it is to preserve, and in many cases, get back to the natural order of things.

I'm not going to stop using deodorant or anything like that, and I believe there is a really strong case for many man created things (modern medicine like epidurals included), but there are some things even the least environmentally conscious of us can do.

Reduce Footprints issues a challenge each week. This week, the challenge is to avoid plastic shopping bags. Please click on the picture above to see the specifics on the challenge. I'll post a link every week and let you know whether or not I'll be participating. I at least want you to know whether I'm being a hypocrite or not before you elect to be part of the challenge :)

Since I just bought a re-usable shopping bag from Aldi yesterday, I am going to try meeting the challenge!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cherry Belle Radish

We had our first harvest!!!!!

We hadn’t been up to the Pleasantville farm for at least a week and a half because it’s been raining so much. I figured I didn’t need to check on everything because they were getting plenty of water.

I was right because the plants are getting huge. One in particular, our radishes. We actually lost some because they got too big and burst open. Apparently, you’re supposed to pull them when the red part of the plant starts to come out of the ground. Oops, that was happening last time we checked in.

Oh well, lesson learned.

In now present, the Cherry Belle Radish

Common Name


Formal NameRaphanus sativus
DescriptionA salad garden standard, this tasty red radish is tolerant of poor soils. It is also resistant to pithiness, even in hot weather.

Note: Pithiness is when the center gets all spongy – took me awhile to figure this out so I thought I’d share.

  • Salads
  • A vehicle to get dip into your mouth
  • If you’re really talented, you can cut them to look like roses. This can be a hoity-toity way of decorating your buffet platters. Yah, and I use that kale stuff too.
Light Requirements
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Sun
Soil RequirementsPrefers moderately fertile soil enriched with compost. Will perform in poor soil.
Water RequirementsRegular watering
Height1-2” root
Growing ZoneAnnual so it can planted anywhere the soil gets to at least 45 – 70 degrees. Prefers a slightly cooler climate.
HarvestingHarvest when bulbs begin to form and show color. The longer they are in the ground, the hotter they will get.
FertilizationFertilize one week after planting.
Growth CycleReady to harvest in 20 – 30 days.
Bloom TimeNA
Bloom ColorNA


Maintenance LevelLow
Special Features

Fast growing

Known IssuesI don’t know of any
Planting InstructionsDirect sow at 1/2” soil depth. For a steady harvest, plant desired amount every 2-3 weeks.

Here are some other pictures:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rainbow Lewisia

Category Perennial
Common Name
  • Rainbow Lewisia
  • Rainbow Mix Bitterroot
Formal Name Lewisia cotyledon-hybrid 'Regenbogen' (Rainbow)
Description This little evergreen is a compact, heavy bloomer.  Star shaped flowers bloom for several weeks upon succulent foliage that has a rosette appearance.


  • Borders
  • Rock Garden
Light Requirements
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
Soil Requirements Well drained is a must.  Gritty and sandy is good.
Water Requirements This is a succulent so it is drought tolerant.  Do not let it sit in water or it will get root rot.
Height 8” – 10”
Spread 10” – 12”
Growing Zone 5 - 8
Manicuring or Pruning No pruning, but dead-heading will promote continuous blooming.
Fertilization Once a year with slow release fertilizer.
Growth Cycle Slow to moderate growth rate.
Bloom Time Early to late spring
Bloom Color Pink, Purple, White, Orange & Yellow


Maintenance Level Low
Special Features
  • Evergreen
  • Rock Garden
Known Issues Sharp drainage a must.  Susceptible to root rot is it is watered too much.
Planting Instructions Plant in sandy, gritty soil with the crowns high to help prevent root rot.

If planting from seed, the seeds do need to be frozen at some point in order for them to grow.  It is suggested that an entire seed packet be planted in one hole 3/8” below surface in a pot (let it winterize).  Leave in the pot for an entire season.  The next year, the sprouts can be separated and planted individually 8” – 12” apart.