And We’re Off! Spring Has Sprung!

Yes we are!

It’s finally here….

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The very first crocus of the year!

IMG_8435It lives right next to this pile of snow.

There will be more crocus on the way as soon as it melts.

… and there’s more good news!

IMG_8439 The first onion seedlings have popped through too!

I planted these last Sunday. Yesterday I checked them first thing in the morning and there was no change at all, just little cells full of seed starting mix.

Yesterday afternoon I saw Ed, one of my onion planting mentors, and he said that once they got going they’d just take off. I held onto that thought amid my worries about too  much moisture, not enough moisture, too much heat, not enough heat and maybe I should I have used a different seed starting mix.

I went back last night and voila… there were several little sprouts.

I am feeling encouraged, uplifted, excited, happy and most of all

READY!

Spring has officially reached Salem, Massachusetts my friends!  Woo hooo!!

How’s your garden growing? Has spring sprung? I hope so!

Michele

Catching Up ~

Wow! The past eight days have flown by! I’m sorry that I’ve been so completely absent. My middle daughter was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society last week, then twenty-four hours later our oldest son graduated from Salem High School. It’s been a whirlwind of events, celebrations, family and fun! I’m “off” today and trying to catch up around here. A lot happens in a week in my cyber world, not to mention on my desk and in my fridge… time to clean out, freshen up and get moving again!  It’s been raining a LOT for the past week. There’s a little glimmer of sun today so I got out for a few minutes this morning and snapped a few very quick photos. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is on Saturday (where did a month go??) so I’ll share most of the blooms that haven’t been destroyed by torrential rain then.

Here we go:

Potatoes, spilling out of their pot… I keep adding soil and hoping that we have a nice harvest from this bucket. I’m starting other potato pots a little at a time in the hope that we can enjoy them over time. I wonder if I could grow potatoes year round if they were in a cool spot? I’m thinking about that, especially for my workplace. IMG_1570The first little Adirondack Blue potato sprout… I hope to see lots of these in a few days!
IMG_1572 I planted and caged quite a few romas. Margaret Roach talked me into staking the rest of the tomatoes this year. Click on the link to read about that. I love Margaret, she is one of my very top gardening mentors…  IMG_1574 Someone is digging a hole, I don’t know who.  I think a Have a Heart trap is in order here…IMG_1575 Okay, one bloom… a very waterlogged white iris. I can’t help it. It’s beautiful, even in it’s frazzled state.IMG_1579 Lots of lettuce… we need to keep eating it. I’ve had a tendency to forget lately!IMG_1582The bush beans sprouted. There’s just a few, I’ll probably start to add a few seeds where the lettuce is as we use it up.
IMG_1583 Hi girls. Their wet too, poor things…IMG_1590Buff orphington chickens are quite friendly and tame. This lady may be doing some visiting around town soon.
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I need to add some twine  to help the poor peas reach the arbor… I’ll be there as soon as I can! My littlest girl grew the lettuce and carrots that are coming up in front of the peas. She’s really proud of “her garden”…

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So, as you can see I have lots of work to do today! Now that I’ve gotten back to my blog and caught up a little I can move on to the outside stuff. I may even get the laundry under control!

Thank you, thank you for stopping by, and reading and commenting! You are all wonderful!

Enjoy everything!

Love, Michele

Zucchini Rotini

The zucchini is growing faster than we can eat it all ready.

Here’s a quick and simple dish that I made for dinner on Sunday. It was delicious!!

The Rotel tomatoes made it quite zippy. My family likes that but if yours is more conservative I’d suggest using fresh tomatoes, diced tomatoes or even the mild Rotel.

Michele’s Zucchini Rotini

1 Lb Rotini pasta

3 T butter

2 T Olive oil

2 T minced onion

1 pinch of sugar

1 t Garlic powder or 1 T chopped fresh garlic

1 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips. I left the skin on half and pealed the other half so as not to overwhelm anyone with too much good nutrition

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes

1 handful of chopped basil

½ cup of half and half, or light or heavy cream

grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta to al dente. While pasta is cooking melt butter and olive oil together in skillet. Add onion and sugar and sauté until onion starts to brown. The sugar helps the onion to caramelize a little bit. Add the garlic and zucchini and sauté until it starts to soften. Add the can of tomatoes and the basil. Cook for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain cooked pasta.

Pour the zucchini sauce over the pasta, then stir in a little half and half (if your not worried about fat content go for the cream instead) just  to moisten the dish and add some extra dimension.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.