Time to Think About Planting!


We started planting our garden today. Of course, we had to clean up a bit first. Should have done that last Fall, but I prefer to talk myself into believing that cleaning up last year’s debris would only leave the soil exposed all winter long- and that’s not good… and if I stretch it… I can even convince myself that the debris I leave in place  composts down and enriches the soil over winter- so we cleaned up today.



We have been watching “The Old Man’s Nose”, west of Mt. St. Helens, and it’s free from snow, however the forecast calls for snow down below pass level this week, so we’re sticking with cool weather crops, and for us that means peas.

This year, I bought a single package of peas at Yard ‘n Garden Land (my local nursery) and ended up using about half the package (I might use the rest in another bed in a few weeks to extend the harvest- we’ll see.)


Our soil looked really good after we cleaned up the bed, so we just turned the dirt and smoothed it out. I don’t really follow the planting instructions since we have a small place to plant in and I always end up packing my stuff pretty close together. I practice succession planting and I mix and layer my garden. There are great books out there for “square foot gardening”, raised beds and small space, layered, gardening– small gardens can really yield a lot, so if you have limited space, time or energy, it is definitely worth a try!


We found a cute little tree frog behind the raised bed.

Our peas should sprout in about two weeks and they will be ready for eating around the end of May. I am excited just thinking about going out the garden in the evening and eating fresh picked peas- I can’t wait!

It started to pour down rain just as we finished planting… I love Spring!



Janine Blackwell

Janine Blackwell

Food has always been a main focus of my family life! At 12 years old I picked berries during the summer and at 15 I started work in the local cannery. This was my summer job all through college (my father was the production manager for Norpac Foods for 30 years, so I had an in!) Each summer my mom would can and preserve fruit and vegetables so we could have "good stuff" all year long. I attended a cooking school while I lived in England for about a year, but my life took a different turn and I did not go into food professionally. My sister owns a restaurant in Colorado and my brother works for a blueberry processing plant in Silverton, OR. Like I said- a family affair! I teach video and film at Columbia River HS (love it) but I also love to cook, can and preserve. I work to use as much home grown, locally produced and organic product as I possibly can.

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