Hexagon garden box

This is kind of cool. I was making a special hexagon garden box. It will be a pole bean teepee garden for the kids. Anyway, I came up with this modular box arrangement almost by accident. It’s really cool. It allows me to build the boxes in my shop, move them up to the garden! And just slide them together. I came up with a bunch of others designs using the same concept spirals snakes etc. I think it will be fun building method to play around with.

PS I will post an update when the teepee is finished and grown in.

Garden Day

In spite of the drizzle yesterday and today are garden days. We cleaned out the beds, added and filled two more beds, mulched and planted. This year my son was old enough to really help out with the heavy lifting, so It went really fast. The news paper cups worked out great and we are about 80% planted. It was a good weekend. I still have to add a fence around the garden a bench and four special beds that are going to fill in all extra space, but the hard parts done…. Well mostly.

Question from Tumblr? Hey! In the Mother Day’s post with the dandelion wine you wrote that the recipe for it can be found in an earlier post but I really don’t find it (it’s not tagged with #dandelion wine or so…) could you perhaps give me the link or the recipe? Thanks! :)

Sure, I changed it any way. This recipe assumes you know how to make basic wild wines as far as procedures and equipment etc.

For a gallon (just double or triple if you want more. No need to add more Yeast or another Campden tablet)
7 cups petals no greens
1/2pt white grape concentrate
2 lbs sugar (or one of sugar one of honey)
3 tsp acid blend
¼ tsp tannin
½ tsp energizer
1 Campden tablet crushed
1 packet champagne yeast
Wash pedants in cold water drain. Add all ingredients except the yeast to a gal of hot water. Mix and let stand 24 hours. Add yeast and in 7 days rack removing the petals. Let go another 2 months (4 months if you use honey) bottle up.

Garlic mustard

Garlic mustard removal.

I spent some time removing garlic mustard from the woods around my house today. It is an invasive species and will completely takeover if left alone. You can eat the leaves when young and they are good in moderation. They have slight garlic spice to them and add kick to the salad. Also the root can be processed like horseradish but is not as good as real horse radish. The seeds will make a mustard. I made a small amount of it a few years back, and it was not bad. Problem is you need a lot of seeds and on top of that its a mistake to let it grow to the point of seeding. I had gotten seeds hiking a new woods late in the season. Over all I hate garlic mustard. Typically I pull it when I see it. Then burn it, or bag it, but I just found out you can feed the leaves to your chickens, and they love it. So I might start stripping the leaves for the chickens before I get rid of it.

Mothers Day

Today was Mother’s Day so we picked and processed 21 cups of Dandelion petals for wine (will make about 3 US gallons of wine) . At this point it’s kind of a tradition. We’ve been doing it every Mother’s Day for four years. We messed up the last 2 batches though so we were extra careful this year. No green at all and everything ready to mix before we started picking. Hopefully today’s wine will be like the first couple batches we did. They were amazingly good and well worth the work in processing. Everyone has there own method for processing petals but I like to pinch and twist the end off between my thumb and finger. It goes fast and keeps the green out. Even at that it can take a few hours to process that many petals. Still it’s a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

BTW I have listed my recipe in previous posts.
Happy Mother’s Day


Went out for ramps and nettles but tried a new area and struck out. I did find a couple other early spring edibles.

Purple trillium – A lot of people eat the leaves as a spinach substitute. I prefer nettles and never pick trillium. Mostly because I think they are beautiful, but also because they are not terribly abundant they might even be protected. Regardless I just like looking at them. I guess I should also add that they were a common traditional birth tonic. Like most herbal medicines, color conditions and preparation really effect dosage. I would love to learn more about discerning the potency of herbs…

Marsh marigold – I know a lot of people who love these as a spinach substitute. I do not, again I prefer nettles. You have to boil and rinse these several times to prep them. I’m too lazy. They are also a traditional medicinal, a tincture was used for anemia and a handful of other ailments. I am skeptical of the medical uses on this one, but they are a really abundant early green and if I was living 100 years ago they would have been a life saver.

Springs of the past

I looked back at the last few years to see when the first real mushroom blooms were in my area. I am anxiously waiting for this years. I plan to go out this weekend and get Ramps and Nettles, but I really want some oyster mushrooms. Here are the picks from the last few years. (No specific order)

2011 First bloom was April 10th
2012 First bloom was March 31st
2013 First bloom was May 15th I think? I do not have a dated pic till the 29th
2014 May 10th