Unlike much of the northeastern United States, we here in the South have had sunny weather this week. No snow for us. However, it has been a bit nippy. We’ve had several nights below freezing – with a couple more to come – so I’ve had the plastic on my hoop tunnels the past few days. I’ll get a break for a day or two this week when I can take them off, just in time for a bit of rain. Then the plastic will go back on for a few more frost-filled nights. I still can’t complain though. While my family back home is digging out of yet another snow storm, my garden is now showing a few signs of impending spring!
IN THE GROW ROOM:
All of my melons, watermelons, and squash have secondary leaves now. However, only one Black futsu squash and no pumpkins have germinated yet. Odd for cucurbits, so I replanted yesterday.
My paste tomatoes are up, and I have a few cherry tomatoes up. However, only one slicing tomato has germinated…out of 24 planted…and it’s been two weeks now. I replanted the Tiny Tim tomatoes yesterday, and I may replant the rest today. In case. If two seedlings come up, all the better.
I finally have a handful of chili pepper seedlings, but, as you can see, not near enough. It seems peppers can take a month to germinate. (I’m so impatient, I know.)
Meanwhile, I have only one green bell pepper seedling out of a tray of sweet peppers. <sigh>
IN THE GARDEN:
Remember the Dwarf Gray peas I planted two months earlier than recommended? Well, there’s a reason the seed packet has the instructions it does. It was only an experiment, so I’m not upset. But the peas in this pot obviously didn’t make it through the frost filled nights.
However, in my other pot, it looks like one pea plant is hanging on.
Meanwhile, despite the frosty nights, there are some signs of spring in my garden! Three of my tulip bulbs have sent small shoots up in the past couple of days.
My elderberries are sprouting new growth everywhere. The canes are full of new leaf growth.
There’s even new growth coming up from the base of the trees.
Both trees also have new shoots/canes growing up a foot or so away from the base of the trees. Wow.
So excited to see signs of spring!
IN THE KITCHEN:
I didn’t harvest anything this past week. Too cold to think about getting out there around sunset (after work) to pull anything. However, I did run out of store bought popcorn this week, so it was finally time to try my own homegrown Glass Gem popcorn! Here it is in the air popper.
However, I was a little disappointed in the outcome.
I believe my popcorn is too dry. Popcorn must have 13-14% moisture to pop correctly. I’ll have to do some more research on this and keep experimenting until I get it right – then I’ll share it with all of you.
It’ll be worth the trouble though. See those few kernels that did pop? When I put them in my mouth and compared them to store bought popcorn, I was ruined. The store bought popcorn tasted like styrofoam in comparison. No wonder we need butter and salt to make it taste good! My popcorn needed nothing. It was al dente in texture and had a nice nutty taste to it. I’m going to keep trying to get the popping right because I have just found my favorite popcorn!
What’s happening on your homestead this week?