22 April 2016 Parsnips

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An eight foot row of parsnips was planted using the board method. Parsnips are usually hard to geminate, and fresh seed should be used each year.

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22 April 2016 Walla Walla Onion

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An 8 square foot area was planted with Walla Walla Onion Seed using the board method. The onion grows to about softball size and is not hot. Makes nice raw material for sandwiches.

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22 April 2016 Beets Planted

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An eight foot row of beets was planted using the board method to facilitate full germination. Variety Detroit Red.

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22 April 2016 Carrots (Board Method)

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Germinating carrot seed using the board method. The small seeds are planted using a shaker with appropriate sized dispensing holes to get reasonable spacing with minimum effort. The seeds are lightly covered with soil and gently packed into the soil. Watered lightly. Spacer ribs installed to raise the board to allow some space for the emerging plants. Then the board is put in place. The board prevents the seeds from drying out from sun heat, keeps the temperature below 30C, and prevents movement if it rains. The seeds can be watered until they germinate by pouring water on top of the board, enough trickles down to dampen the seeds. The seeds will not germinate if temperature rises above about 30C.

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22 April 2016 Kefir

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I had three batches of kefir fermenting and getting too much ahead. The three jars were strained and the grain all mixed in one jar, milk added for food, and stored in the refrigerator until needed for a new batch. This will be my seed grains for all future batches. It appears about half a liter per day will meet my requirements. The grains will be a mixture of some from a local supplier and some from a commercial supplier.

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21 April 2016 Horseradish

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Two horseradish plants were moved to a new bed to mature. They were over-wintered in pots in the ground. The plant is treated as an annual. Any piece of a root will re-grow. Two plants produce a large quantity of horseradish condiment.

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20 April 2016 Planting Onions

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About 150 Spanish Onions were planted in an area of 4 feet by 8 feet. The sets were planted at 5 inch centers. The soil was firmed around the bulbs using a hand press. When the plants get established the are will be mulched with wood chips.

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19 April 2016 Planting Potatoes

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Each seed potato is marked. The vegetation is all gone when digging and this identifies the center of the clustered new potatoes. If watering is necessary it indicates were to put the water so it goes to the roots.

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Two types of potatoes were planted Red Pontiac and Yukon Gold. A few Red Pontiac were started in the greenhouse in containers as an experiment. The container must not be too wet or the potato will rot. The potato bed is 8 feet by 16 feet and 42 potatoes were planted. Rows are 2 feet apart and spacing in the row is about 15 inches. There are 24 Red Pontiac and 18 Yukon Gold, which is a yellow orange fleshed potato. My typical harvest is average four pounds plus per plant.

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17 April 2016 Kefir

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The finished kefir is thick and is eaten similar to jello, and a drink can be made by adding some of the whey and mixing. This is the conventional method of making, but just using whey as a starter works well.

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17 April 2016 Kefir. Using whey for starter.

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Whey was used for starter and the kefir was processed this morning after 24 hours fermentation. The kefir was good quality but no large grins were obtained. A new batch was started using the whey. Some solids were used to make a batch to see if grains would be produced with another fermentation. Clearly grains are not required as a starter-meaning a bit of whey suffices.

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