Put lettuce stumps in water to watch them grow. You can do this with almost all of your vegetables. Use them for vegetable soup and stock.

Greetings fellow gardeners,  

Seed Catalogue

My OSC 2022 seed catalogue has arrived, and it is beautiful. It would seem that the company has updated their catalogue and added many new products. I always like to recommend this catalogue to new vegetable gardeners. For example, they have a package of seeds called the Vegetable Starter Kit. Each of these seeds can be planted directly into the ground with no need to start ahead of time. This is a great offer for new gardeners with a limited space who would like to start growing vegetables. 

Forsythia is Being Very Useful

Winter is here! My perennials are heaving a sigh of relief, grateful to be covered in a fluffy blanket of snow. This amount of snow makes moving about a slow process; it took me quite a while to get to the chickens. The little birds seem happy with the bird feeders, and I am so pleased with the heated bird bath. The too-many cats have been lounging by the wood stove instead of watching the birds and I don’t blame them. I am glad that I left so many seed-heads; I can see little footprints all around the area. As I made it back this morning from feeding the chickens, I stopped to look at the forsythia near my driveway. I got this shrub from my mother who laid a branch from her forsythia on the ground where it rooted. She cut the little stem from the mother shrub, and I planted it near my driveway. Now it stops the snow from drifting, and it is a shelter for many birds as they eat their seeds or await their turn at the feeder. 

A forsythia serving as a snow block and bird refuge
Driveway Forsythia

I checked the seeds that I planted last week and there is no germination so far. It might be too cold for them, so I plugged in the heating mat. As the seeds that I planted are not necessarily able to germinate, I want to give them all the advantages that I can. The Raspberry Royale sage may not do anything at all, but it is fun to try. As well as planting seeds I have been making many pots of vegetable soup (recipe to follow). I use the peelings of the vegetables to make stock and eventually all the bits are fed to the chickens. I have also been putting things like lettuce stumps in water to watch them grow. You can do this with almost all of your vegetables.

Vegetable Soup and Stock

  • 2 onions peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 red or green pepper chopped
  • ½ zucchini chopped
  • 1 potato peeled and chopped or ½ cup pearl barley
  • ½ cup or peas or chopped spinach
  • 4 cups of stock

For the stock, put all of the peelings, a bay leaf and four cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for half an hour. Salt, pepper, and season to taste. Pour through a sieve into a large mason jar to keep in the fridge for soup. The cooked peelings can be composted.

For the soup, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a large pot and sauté the onions and garlic. When the onions have softened add 1 cup of the stock and turn the heat down to low. Add all of the rest of the vegetables and stir well. Add the remaining stock and season to taste. Cover, let the soup simmer for at least an hour, and enjoy. It tastes even better the next day.

The blanket of snow that we received is wonderful for your garden. Enjoy your week.  Judith. 

(Email: sghorticultural@gmail.com)

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