Monday, August 25, 2008

August 25, 2008

Short post tonight as there is nothing particularly garden related to say.  I will however, talk about the weather.  What started out as a decent morning such that I didn't even think to bring a coat to work, ended up pouring rain with thunder and lightning.  It was also dark at 4:30 due to the dark clouds.  It reminded me of October/November weather.  It also made me wonder if the clouds will let enough light into my garden under those hoop covers to grow veggies during the winter.

On a research note, I read up on carrots in my Growing Veggies West of The Cascades book and according to Steve Solomon, I planted my carrots too late.  He says plant no later than July 10th, because if they don't grow a tap root before the first frost, they'll rot or something.  I was under the impression that I could grow them under cover.  Now Mr. Solomon doesn't consider a hoop cover, it does concern me.  Carrots and peas due to the late planting, especially if today is any indication of the next two months.  I sure hope my brother's right about his theory.  I'll be mad if I missed the opportunity to have two pea crops in a year. 

Lastly, my sourdough starter is still showing those same two bubbles. I'm hoping they invite more to the party over the next day.  I also have been pinging DoubleD about my bread as she is also experienced at no-kneed bread making.  That woman is phenomonal.  The CFO of a Puget Sound city, a nearly homesteading gardener and a bread maker.  She amazes me.  Anyway, she said she uses the liner of her crock pot to make bread in.  Unfortunately her recipie only calls for 450 degrees and mine for 500.  I'm not sure it would hold up to 500 degrees, but maybe if I ask Eric over at Breadtopia if his recipie can be adjusted down to 450, I could use our liner and my pizza stone.  That should work, and if it doesn't break for DoubleD, mine shouldn't either.  Hehe I hate to test it at 500 for fear it'll break and I'll have to buy a whole new crock pot AND a dutch oven. hehe.  She did say she wouldn't use it long-term for fear of breaking on repeated usage, but if I like the bread I'll spend the $20 for a dutch oven and find a place for it in my crammed kitchen (the real reason I don't have one already).

Anyway, tomorrow I add more flower to the starter, and use spring water instead of pineapple juice.  I had to buy a gallon of the stuff as it was the smallest container they had, though I only need a few tablespoons, hehe. Hmm, I guess I could have driven up to North Lynnwood and bottled my own artisian well water that would probably have done the trick. It only needs to be clorine free to avoid the clorine stopping the fermination process.  I sure hope it's frothy tomorrow. I guess I'd have to email Eric again if not to see what to do. His test batch was bubbling by now.  The only difference with mine is I used a solid tub not a transparent one.  Not sure if it matters, his instructions didn't specify clear. /shrug

Ah well, enjoy your garden and hope your end of summer weather is better than ours!  Wish me luck to have more tomatoes ripen.


  1. I think you can get rid of just chlorine by letting water sit out for a few days (it evaporates). That's what some people do for their aquarium water.

    As for the dutch oven, you could just...y'know, do bread the 'put it on a pan' way. :)

  2. Growing veggies in Winter in Seattle... I sincerely doubt it. Light levels are just too low. I think at best you can harvest veggies during the Winter that you grew before Oct. 1st. I *hope* to be able to harvest rutabagas, beets, carrots, Kohlrabi and leeks thru the winter. They are all well under way at this point. Lettuce will be tougher still, but under protection might work out OK. If history is any indication, some of my winter veggies will succeed while others fail miserably.

  3. Hey, I'm still excited to hear how the sourdough goes, as well as the good questions about crock liner, etc. It's still too hot to make bread here in San Diego- well I did make super easy Beer Bread a couple times lately since it's so perfect for Brisket au jus in the slow cooker. But I am suddenly- and happily- not needing the air conditioner on, and within a month or so we will have some cooler days for baking. Keep up your reports!

  4. Hi Sinfonian,
    I've been reading your blog for months; 1st time commenter, long timer reader...we built 2 potato bins; having to start over with the 2nd because I buried up too much of the leaves. I have a ? about them-how much leaves should be sticking out before you put up another board and fill them up with Mel's mix. I have 4 potato plants started again. We live in western NC. (Bryson City)
    Thank you for your help,
    Susan & Tom Nebrick

  5. Toasty, hehe I can't say I know how to do bread that way, but the spring water was only 79 cents for a gallon, so no biggie as a one-time expense.

    Tim, You know I thought about that too. Especially under a plastic sheet. But Steve Solomon swears by four season growing west of the Cascades, so I'm giving it a try. So is my brother. We'll see. It's all an experiment.

    Susan, I've got a question or two out to Eric at Breadtopia. We'll see what he says. I'll keep up the updates.

    Susan Nebrick, Thanks for commenting. Glad you enjoy my missives and even happier that you've tried the bins. I sincerely hope they work out for you. Make sure you follow the planting times for potatoes in your area. As for your question, the rule of thumb is when the vine is 4-6 inches high, burry up to the top 2 inches. Don't let them grow a foot like I did. I read that's bad. We'll see if it impacts my yield.

    By 4 plants do you mean 4 bins? I have 8 or so plants per bin. Best of luck and report back on your progress!