March in the Garden

March

March in the garden is shaping up to look an awful lot like February in the garden this year. We had a couple of nice 50 degree days two weeks ago, and I really thought I’d be able to plant my peas by now. But winter returned last week and we got another 6 or 8 inches of snow. As of this afternoon there was still an inch or two on the ground. I stood there for a while staring at the snow, as if I could will it to melt away if I stared hard enough.

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Pickled Jalepeños

Last summer I ended up with a glut of jalepeños, and not knowing what to do with them, I decided to pickle them. I’ve never been a big  jalepeño eater, and I didn’t really have high expectations for them. I thought they might very well end up as forgotten pickles, but in the end they were quite a hit. When I visited my brother  Dave a few months ago, I found him jealously hoarding the brine in the jar long after the last pickle slice had been consumed. My sister Meg has placed a special order for 4 pints this year. We like to put these on tacos, quesadillas, or eggs and grits, or to chop them up and add them to salsas and tomato salads. Continue reading

Starting Seeds with a Homemade Heat Mat

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We are about six weeks out from the last frost date around here, which means it’s time start seeds for a lot of the warm season crops. Last weekend we started seeds for 11 varieties of tomatoes, 8 different kinds of chile peppers, and 2 types of tomatillos. Looking at the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes in the seed catalogs, its hard not to get carried away. Continue reading