Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making cheese and then pirogies

I decided to start trying to make cheese. I'm starting with the simple fresh cheeses like cottage cheese. I started on Saturday and finished Sunday afternoon. It takes about 24 hours to make small curd cottage cheese. This is a photo of the curd being heated in a water bath.

Hanging the curd and draining the whey. I used the whey to make a batch of ricotta cheese. The leftover whey is going to be given to the dogs over the next couple of days.

Final cottage cheese. I didn't rinse it so it has a tangy taste to it. Perfect for making cheese pirogies.

Starting to make pirogies.

The first pirogi waits for the boiling water. The rolling pin was hand made by my friend John Fetterman. Thanks John!

Finally some pirogies to eat. Yum.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lilac with 5 petals

The white lilac has many flowers with 5 petals instead of 4. I believe 4 petals are more common.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tomato Seeds in Flats

Last weekend I built these seed flats and today I planted my tomato seeds. I planted my chile pepper seeds about 4 weeks ago. You can kind of see it under the shade cloth to the right. Most of those have germinated. Peppers take a lot longer to get start then tomatoes.

This is a photo of my gardening notebook where I detail what I planted, when, where and how. I will also keep track of which plants do better than others, when the first tomatoes are harvested and many other details. These should be ready to plant in the garden by May 1 give or take a week.
Week 3 of Edible gardening class

We discussed seeds, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings and planting seedlings in to the garden.

This is a set of spacing sticks that someone made for our teacher. In biointensive gardening it is important to space plants properly in order to create a living mulch. The living mulch will help ensure the correct environment for the plants by keeping in moisture and shading out weeds.

It's a 4 inch spacing for parsnips.
Lilacs, plum blossoms and vetch flowers

This is a lilac flower in it's early stage.

Then it starts to look more like the lilac flowers we know.

Finally it opens and lets loose it's beautiful fragrance.

The purple lilac is always a little behind in development compared to the white variety I have.

Plum blossoms.

Common vetch is a legume that I plant as a cover crop. The flowers attract bees and the roots put nitrogen back into the soil.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Puppy training class
I stopped by the pet store after my gardening class and there was a puppy training session going on. I thought this pup was cute.
Speckle Trout and peas

Forellenschuss is the name of this lettuce. The greener leaves are from the shaded plant and the dark red is the plant that was in full sun. It's a very pretty lettuce. I also harvested some shelling peas today.