Spring will come soon enough! Here's how we are keeping busy starting seeds, planning workshops & weddings, and staying mostly sane in this cold winter weather in the greenhouse and kitchen (awesome recipes below).
In the garden
January is my planning month. I spend a lot of time figuring out how I will fill everything I need to grow in our small space. I am growing for some amazing weddings in addition to farmers market bouquets - so planning both the amount and timing of each seed sown is key. Once the ground begins to the thaw in early March the season begins in the garden and I planting or weeding every day until October!
This year I am expanding my growing area to Fred Groenke's (aka Farmer Fred) fields. His microclimate is a little cooler than in town, so I hope to keep my cool flowers blooming a little longer than usual. Fred is an avid flower-lover and we are hoping more flowers in his fields will attract beneficial insects to protect his cabbage and veggie crops.
Speaking of cool flowers, or hardy annuals, I have already started: lisianthus, sweet william, pin cushion flower, iceland poppies, and sweet peas. Stock and snapdragons are up this week too (photo left). And next week I will soak the ranunculus and anenome corms to get them started. Click here to read more about cool flowers and gardening on Lisa Mason Ziegler's The Gardener's Workshop website - she has great resources.
These hardy plants will go into the ground mid- to late-March with cool-loving veggies like spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and kale. They require cool conditions to get established before the heat begins and can survive freezing and the occasional snow storm, but once they are over 5" tall, I cover them to protect them from getting smushed by the snow (that happened to my stock and snapdragons last May). One of my first lessons of flower farming was don't always believe the seed packet and take advantage of our cool, wet spring because our season is so short!
I am super excited to offer two workshops as part of the CWC Community Enrichment Courses (click here to access the catalog). Hope to see you there!
Mr. McGregor's Vegetable, Flower, and Herb Patch - planning a family garden.
Saturday, March 17th, 10:00 - 11:30 am, CWC Lander, $20 each parent/child pair
This fun, family-friendly workshop will lead participants through the steps of how to plan a successful garden. I had no idea a Peter Rabbit movie would be released this year! This class is part gardening and part figuring out what you should really grow to fit your family's needs - if you are one or 10!
Flower Arranging 101
Tuesday, June 26th, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, CWC Lander, $45
Unleash your creative side and learn an enjoyable new skill! This class stems from my passion and belief that we all can benefit from both the act of arranging flowers and the final arrangement. Imagine buckets of flowers to play with!
In The Kitchen
The produce aisles can be a little bleak this time of year - but these are my favorite recipes that use whatever seasonal produce looks best. By the time June rolls around, we are grilling everything and I don't spend as much time in the kitchen. But long winter days mean hearty meals and baking! Use the relative amounts of veggies in each recipe as a guide and make your our combinations:
Andrea Bemis is one of my favorite farmer/authors to follow. Her blog and website, Dishing Up the Dirt, is beautiful and full of amazing and healthy recipes. My favorite right now is this Brussel Sprouts and Sausage Quiche with Almond Crust - the first yummy gluten-free crust I have found to work flawlessly.
Asparagus is starting to show up in force, and here is a great recipe pairing it with salmon: Grilled King Salmon with Asparagus, Morels, and Leeks. I just use whatever dried mushrooms I could find and it turned out delicious.
Spring Garden Community Events
Winter Farmers Market - Saturdays, 1-3pm @ Old Fremont Motors Bldg on the hill
Fremont County Wedding Expo - March 3rd, 12 - 4pm, Lander Community Center
Wind River Farm to Plate Free Gardening Classes - Monday, March 5th, 5:30 pm, Lander Library
Garden Expo - Saturday, April 14th, 9am - 3pm, LVHS Field House. We will be there with blooming hyacinths this year!
Mother's Day Brunch at Middle Fork Restaurant - our tulip bouquets will be available with your Mother's Day reservation. This year's tulips are unique and fragrant doubles, lily-flowering, & fringed in pastel colors.