Garden and CSA update: June 2017

It’s an exciting time in Minnesota, as the days have gotten longer (and now shorter again already) and things are in bloom. That includes our garden and now our CSA!

CSA week 1 2017 | Kale and Ale

CSA 2017 Week 1

Regarding the CSA, week one started. Although it’s small, I know the amount of food will grow soon, and I’m excited for nice greens and radishes. Next week peas will be added to the mix. I probably say this every year, but I just love when I don’t need to rely on the grocery store for all my produce, but can get most or soon all of it from the farm. It also makes menu planning so less stressful, as I have food given to me and I have to use it in the next week.

Related: Garden and CSA 101-Getting Started

June 2017 garden | Kale and Ale

June 2017 garden growing update

A few weeks ago we got hail, and the garden took a little bit of a beating but, except for the broccoli, it’s doing OK now. Broccoli was our “new to us this year” food we are growing, so we have no idea what to expect, which is a bit of a risk and part of the fun. (If you have any hot broccoli growing tips, send them my way!) Otherwise, carrots are starting to come up, a few tomatoes and peppers are beginning to show and the chives are growing as strong as ever. I highly recommend them!

What are you growing this year, and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below.

FOLLOW ALONG: To see how my garden is doing and what I’m getting in my CSA, be sure to follow Kale and Ale on Instagram and Facebook.

Garden: 2017

Garden 2017 planting day | Kale and Ale

Tonight we planted our garden. Every year it’s an exciting day: The possibilities are endless and there are no failed plants at this point. Everything is cute and small, and the yield and hopes are great.

We like to try some standbys and some new things. This year we are trying broccoli for the first time, wish us luck. (Disclosure: The last minute thing we try usually doesn’t do great.) Now in our third year, Aaron and I tried to plan for how big things get, how much sun they get and how much space they need. Each year we learn a little more and take that into consideration.

RELATED: Tips for first-time gardeners

This year, we went to the University of Minnesota Master Gardener sale, where they sell what they have grown, which often means unique or heirloom varieties of food. The garden has:

  • Sugarsnax carrots
  • Rosemary (in a pot)
  • Apple mint (in a pot)
  • Packman broccoli
  • Basil
  • Peppers:
    • Marconi
    • Serrano
    • Carmen
    • Chocolate beauty
  • Tomato:
    • Martino’s roma
    • Lemon boy
    • Tumbling Tom (in a hanging pot)
  • Chives (already had)

For reference, read my post of what I planted in 2016.

What will you be growing this year? What is your favorite thing about gardening?

Friday Links

Chickpeasdrained

Don’t throw away that liquid, save it for the hot food aquafaba. Flickr photo by Robyn Anderson

You are reading the blog soon to be renamed Aquafaba and Ale. Don’t you like the alliteration? Just kidding, but since many sources cite kale is on the way out and aquafaba seems to be the hot new food, I thought it was a fun thought. What is aquafaba, you ask? Simply put, the cooking liquid of beans. Read about aquafaba here. It’s popular in the news this week, heralded as the new vegan wonderfood:

This past weekend I planted my garden and containers.

Garden 2016 Containers | Kale and Ale

Read about my 2016 garden, a guide to regrowing fruits and vegetables from scrapes and tips for first-time gardeners.

This paragraph contains Amazon Affiliate links. Other than that, I’ve been reading books like crazy. I just met with my book club and we discussed “The Book of the Unknown Americans,” but I also just finished “Taking the Stage” and started “Adventures for Your Soul.” I joined Goodreads (follow me on Goodreads) to keep track of my books to read. What are you reading?

Garden 2016: Planting

This past weekend I planted my garden. It’s a bit early for Minnesota standards, so fingers crossed I didn’t jinx the weather.

The garden was planted earlier this year for two reasons:

  • It’s been craaazy nice this spring, confirmed by the Old Farmer’s Almanac that last frost was April 30.
  • I can’t go to the plant sale I went to last year, so Aaron and I went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum sale Saturday. (Read my review of the Arboretum.) It’s put on by the same group as the sale last year, but it’s not as busy and the selection might be greater, focusing on Minnesota specific, heirloom and new hybrid varieties of plants.

Related: Tips for first-time gardeners.

Since we had the plants and a gorgeous weekend, and frost/freeze seemed behind us, we planted. We probably put more—and by more I mean too much—in the garden, but we plotted out where it will grow and how big it will all get much better than last year. One wrench in the system was that each plant was sold as a four-pack, so we ended up with lots of plants.

Garden 2016 | Kale and Ale

Garden 2016 Containers | Kale and Ale

This year we planted:

  • Carrots-Rainbow
  • Cucumber-Spacemaster
  • Kalettes-Autumn Star
  • Pepper:
    • Sweet Rainbow mix
    • Thai hot
    • Candlelight
  • Basil
  • Tomato
    • Sungold
    • Celebrity
    • Czech’s Bush

I’m really excited to see how this turns out and try new varieties. After canning last fall for the first time, I’m not worried about having too much food. It’s a very relaxing hobby and after-work activity that supplements our CSA membership. Check back here and the Kale and Ale Facebook page throughout the summer and watch my garden grow!

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum living roof | Kale and Ale

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum living roof where the vegetables and herbs were being sold

What are you growing this summer?