Archives for posts with tag: Seeds

The crop circles have each gotten a big dose of compost. It’s time to start the garden.

I got the tiller out and tilled the center of the first vegetable garden. The ground seemed dry on the surface, but was still quite soggy a few centimeters down, so I only did a little. Casting up raised beds was a bit heavy, but I made 8 and sowed seed in four.

I put in the usual first starters – onion sets, carrots, turnips, parsley, spinach and cilantro. Starting early before the dirt warms up and dries out properly gives almost always poor results, but I couldn’t hold myself.

Last year I started even earlier because the weather was so nice, then it went into freezing mode for a week. It all turned out OK, but later sowing was better. This year the prognosis looks like warm weather for the next 10 days and nights.

Kohnan Home Store in the middle of Kobe Harbor. 


This is my last and best chance to find pumpkin seeds. 


Alas, no pumpkin seeds, but among the garden tools and kitchen utensils we found 2 hori hori (digging knives) and bought both. 


Steamer cloths


Garden shoes


And more in season seeds


That should be enough for now. 

Oh yes, I could have bought a mochi pounding set (morter, hammer and stand) for a mere 30,000 yen. But to get it home….

Some seeds are viable for many years, and others are best bought fresh every year. I have many seeds left over from last year and previous years, but I always buy a lot of new ones, most from an ecological seed company Runabergs Seeds. Now this years order has come. 


I should get into growing my own seeds but have never gotten started. 

The weather is great, but that doesn’t matter, I always start sowing indoors around the 15th of april. It’s time to start sowing seeds and growing small hearty plants to plant out in may and june. 

 
Four trays of different brassicas and lactucas (cabbage and lettuce families). 

They will be in a warm place in the basement until germination, then transfered to a new cold frame out side. 

Just five days on vacation, and the seeds for the most of the cabbages and lettuces germinated and started to grow too long and scraggly.   

My experience is that it often takes weeks to get them up and going. It was evidently too warm and dark in the basement this time. Now they are out cooling down in the cold frame, and I sowed more seeds of the same to make sure I get good strong plants. 

I’ll keep a better eye on them this time.  

We are home again at Timogarden after a fantastic three weeks in Japan. The weather here is warm, spring-like and the garden looks great. I’m really inspired to get into it again. Inspite of the jet lag, I’ve been weeding winter weeds and spreading compost.

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In Japan I got lots of seeds – mostly different kinds of pumpkins, but also sweet corn, turnips, black soybeans, red shiso, burdock and more.

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I found plenty of seeds but not the exact ones I wanted and not in large packages which would have been cheaper and more convenient. My skills in Japanese were just too meager. I’ll have to study more diligently the next few years until we go again. And I’m sure there will be a next time. Japan is just toooo nice not to.

We didn’t get everything done that we wanted to do on this trip – like get to an ecological farm or a miso factory (language skills not good enough and too little time), so there is still much to look forward to, and It will have to be for two months at least next time.

Toji Temple in Kyoto has a flea market the 21st of every month.

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We managed to get it in the last full day of our trip.

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Lots of food

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Here, piles of wakame seaweed and fish

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Antiques, garden art and stuff

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Handicrafts

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Even seeds and plants

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It took us all day just to go around and look at everything. In the end we bought quite little – we had gotten almost everything we wanted already, and the prices were the same or higher than we had found in shops earlier.

Our bags are already full anyway.

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My favorite seed catalog has come.

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Runåbergs Seeds are all organic with no hybrids, and I love the cover art.

First I’ll have to go through all the old seeds and figure out what I need, check a couple other catalogs and then make the order. I invariably miss something and have to buy more seeds later.

We’ll be taking a trip to Japan this spring and picking up lots of seeds there too, but I can’t wait till after that for the seed order.

It’s the time of year for starting out the curbits. Various kinds of pumpkin, squash, sunflowers and many other flowers need to be started out earlier than the weather and short growing season of this part of Sweden permit. The seeds are sown in flats that can be kept indoors and can thus get going a few weeks ahead of time for later planting out after frost risk is over in the beginning of june.

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Two flats of hokkari kabocha a Japanese pumpkin, also known as the hokkaido pumpkin.

It has an exceptionally delicious flavor with a thick orange meat – my favorite. Even tho it’s a hybrid variety, I have to have it, and so do my Japanese customers. I get the seeds directly from Japan by way of Japanese friends who go back and forth often. Next year we are planning on going ourselves.

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Most of the snow melted earlier in February, then it got cold again. So far it’s the coldest March I’ve ever experienced. As long as the sun is shining all day, the daylight grows longer and the stars are ever bright, it feels good. The snow covering is hard packed and frozen – perfect for long walks.

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Or a dance. The dance floor is complete for this year, but it will need some trimming. And by the looks of it, it will need to be expanded with another ring. Something to do next winter.

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It ‘folds up’ nicely.

I haven’t seen any wild boar yet, but there are solid reports of them being seen in the woods next to my garden. It’s only a matter of time before they find my space and start wreaking havoc. When that time comes…

I haven’t sown any seeds yet or even ordered a supply of new seeds for this season. The apple trees haven’t been pruned either, but there’s plenty of time. After all, it’s still winter. I never rush spring activities. Whenever I have, it hasn’t seemed to speed things up at all.

In fact we are taking vacation for a couple of weeks. We will be travelling to Seattle to see friends and relatives. I also hope to find some gardening or food processing places to gain inspiration from, take some pictures of and report on.