Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some Veggies Might Taste Austrian?

2012 On the plains in Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Last of the butternut
Butternut squash is an amazing vegetable. Our garden put out enough to last us most of the winter. Until a couple of days ago, we were still eating fresh butternut. They last for ages. The last five in the pantry were beginning to get brown spots so I peeled and canned them. We'll either make soup, Christie makes fabulous butternut squash soup, or we can steam and mash with butter.

Butternut canned
Spaghetti squash has the same lasting power as butternut, but we don't seem to be quite as enamored by it. I find it kind of tasteless. This variety depends more on sauces where butternut is tasty without anything on it.

Garlic shoots
The garlic has punched through the cold earth. We didn't have garlic last year because we didn't move in until after Christmas. This last October, no one else seemed to be thinking about planting. But we use a lot of garlic, I love garlic and so I took the lead on this crop. I used gloves of garlic - yep, regular old garlic from the store. I did a minimal amount of research - not exactly the farmer lady - and this was the easiest route to go. They've popped up. I put mulch around them. A hard freeze will probably kill them back and in the spring they are supposed to send up more shoots. Keep your fingers crossed.

Flower garden surprise
In the front flower garden there are green shoots. Most of what is out there came with the house. I did plant some seeds of various flowers but without success last summer. I'm not sure if what is coming up is from before or what I planted. There's no way for me to tell at this point as they're not recognizable, to me anyway. I love surprises!

The other early green is on the strawberry plants. I haven't taken the time yet to read up on them. We planted a few late in the year and only got a handful of fruit. I planted two out front in my flower garden that would produce one or two berries at a time. It was a game to see if I could get to them before Xena when they came ripe. I didn't know dogs liked strawberries.

Some of the work is starting soon. The blackberry bushes need cutting back in the next couple of weeks. Truthfully, not looking forward to it. They are tangled and stickery (no such word but really says it). I sort of took the lead on them last year so I'm afraid I set a precedent. I'm working on some sort of blackmail to get a few more hands tackling the thorny bushes.

I've mentioned the seeds we've purchased, but forgot to mention we have seeds from Austria. Our friends in Austria, Harte and Uli, sent Lance and Christie a box of seed packets for a wedding gift. What a fun gift. Maybe seeds are seeds, but I find this a fascinating concept.  How cool to think about something growing in Paulden, Arizona that came from another continent.


  1. Brenda, it is so exciting to see signs of spring! Back in MN we don't have those signs. I'm only hoping the tempurature continues to go up and not fall back down, at least not too far down. I'm excited to hear about the Austrian seeds, how they grow and what they produce. As always, thanks for sharing your adventures.

    1. And thank you for stopping in and commenting.Spring in the cities is so awesome. It's like one minute it's winter and overnight it's spring.

  2. Great post, Brenda. I can't wait for the ones about the baby. Woot! Yup, I'm a baby lover.

  3. I think butternut squash is the ONLY squash with any flavour. Pumpkins and various other squashes grow wild here and they have no flavour at all. It's amazing when you think they're related to melons, which are delicious.
    I'm so glad my dog hasn't developed a taste for strawberries. There are never quite enough ripe at the same time anyway, without the dog eating them!

    1. Butternut is the tastiest. I didn't realize the melon connection. I'm not a big melon eater. Xena is the only one that will steal the berries right off the plant. They should produce more this year so I might have to put a fence around them.