Saturday, March 26, 2011

Salad from the Greenhouse

We've enjoyed a couple of salads from the greenhouse. When we get the planting schedule figured out and get to know the cool season and winter crops, we should always have home grown salad, but this being one of the first, it was pretty exciting.

This salad has green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce, arugula, Baby Bak Choy, Radish, Onion, Tokyo Bakana, Mazuna, Spinach and onion. We read about the Asian greens from market grower, Eliot Coleman's books. He farms in Maine and grows salad vegetables all winter. He describes his greenhouses as cool and cold. He keeps one house just above freezing and the others have no supplemental heat. The idea is to plant vegetables that like to grow in winter temperatures. Tomatoes and melons and green beans will benefit from growing in high tunnels (also called hoop houses and plastic covered greenhouses) in the spring, summer and fall, but not during winter. I am really enjoying learning about and trying lots of new vegetables.  One of my favorites has been a red leaf lettuce called, "Amaze".  I'll have to get a picture of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall

My mom explained how to make this quilt years ago. She used newspaper for the foundation. I'm using muslin so I don't have to tear it off. It's a scrap quilt, but I have bought a couple of remnants since starting it. My color choices are iffy. Sometimes I like them and then other times, I wish I would have put other colors together.

I saw the preview for a training DVD (on Knitting Daily) about putting colors together. I'm going to research that and consider purchasing. Maybe you get better with practice, but a little self-help / training couldn't hurt.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what other quilters are working on   here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Here's our little (10' x 30') greenhouse that my husband designed and built. Pictures of wind collapsed greenhouses prompted us to put ours here behind the shop for some wind protection. 

There are three beds on one side and benches along the other side. The structure is made from top rail (the pipe used for chain link fence). You bend the top rail using a pipe bender. We got our pipe bender and greenhouse plastic from these folks in Texas. Lost Creek
We presently have one layer of 6 mil greenhouse plastic covering the frame, but plan to add a second plastic layer with an air space between the two for next winter. That white fluffy stuff in the picture is the cover that is pulled over the beds at night if it's below freezing. The fan at the end is thermostatically controlled to open the vents at the other end when the temperature reaches the set temperature (76). This winter when it was sunny but below freezing outside it would be over 80 inside. 

There are many hardy greens that will grow right through the winter. We had some this year and hope to have the greenhouse full next year.  Spinach, lettuce, radishes, green onions, arugula, mache (corn salad) are a few that will grow in the greenhouse with no additional heat. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I recently enjoyed my first quilt class.  It was so much fun. Sue, from my daughter's church taught a room full of mothers and daughters and granddaughters how to make the Log Cabin block using Eleanor Burns, Quilt in a Day book. I needed a lot of help to get started, but by the end of the class I was able to see the progression of putting the pieces together to make the block. Granddaughter, Elyse, who's 11,  got some practice sewing and 9 year old granddaughter, Abigail sewed for a minute, but was lured away from the sewing machine by the other children. 

The next step is to finish the blocks. Then I'll decide how to finish the project. I'm thinking it will be big enough for a recliner throw. I use those frequently; a snugly throw and the recliner. Ha Ha.  

To see more Design Wall Monday inspiration visit Judy L's, Patchwork Times. here's a link

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I really like these popovers. My dear husband does not care for them. He'd rather have a hard crusty bread like the bread in the "Artisan Bread 5 Minutes a Day" book I just ordered.

These are so quick to stir up, I can put them in the oven while preparing the rest of a meal.


1 Cup Flour (Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or White Flour)
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon butter for pan (approximately)

Mix together the flour, eggs, milk, and melted butter until nice and smooth. I use the food processor but you can also do it by hand.

Put a little bit of extra butter in each cup of the pan and put in the oven to melt.

When the butter in the pan is mostly melted, fill the cups about hallway full.

425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 for 15 - 20 minutes.

I use Wilton's large size muffin pan, but you can use a regular muffin pan or a popover pan.
This bread provides some protein so you can serve these with a large salad and have a complete meal or you can also serve with "meat and potatoes" if that's what the rest of your household likes.