Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Archive for the ‘growing’ Category

Growing Hope

Posted by Nika On November - 18 - 2012

I am brainstorming on how to put together what we have done on our homestead, here on this site and elsewhere into a project that others can become invested in to facilitate a move to the next phase of food production here – a permaculture aquaponics greenhouse.

Stay tuned for more information as the project proceeds.


Survival food forest

Posted by Nika On November - 12 - 2012

Mother Earth garden app

Posted by Nika On May - 6 - 2012


Check out the Mother Earth News “Food Gardening” iPhone/iPad app.

It is a resource on how to grow various crops … Its free so check it out! I will be test driving it myself.

Learn more here

Visit the apple store page

Black Spanish Radishes

Posted by Nika On September - 22 - 2011

I cant tell you how much we enjoyed growing these black spanish radishes! We bought them from the new-old Comstock Ferre, you can see their page here LINK

They were hardy, really tolerant of our fantastically variable weather this year (cold, wet, endless), only a few went to seed.

Here is a youngish one in the soil.

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish

And then we has some really silly fun picking these godzilla radishes. We figure none of these photos of kids-with-gigantic-veggies will ever make the cut to be in a garden seed catalog!

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish + baby oh

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish + baby oh

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish + leo

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish + Q

Humble Garden 2011: black spanish radish + K

Danger in Paradise

Posted by Nika On June - 9 - 2011

tornado-450-2(one of our neighbors down the street)

We had a VERY close call here at Humble Garden.

sat-img-track-annotated(NASA satellite image of the track of this tornado through our area)

We were missed being hit by the Massachusetts EF-4 1/2 mile wide tornado by only a 1/2 a mile – living near a climate induced disaster zone REALLLLY brings home climate change in a way thats almost down to the cells of the body.

Before, in some ways, climate change was academic – charts, presentations, news about far away Pakistan or Moscow, Joplin, MO.

But now the battle has been engaged. We chose this area to build a homestead because its NOT the south or tornado ally or midwest etc and that its supposed to be “cooler” and wetter than the intense droughts in the works for much of the US – well – with this tornado – what i knew – that nothing is safe or sure – is something i know for certain. one can dig an earth home – create a sustainable self sufficient eden in their backyard but mother earth can easily simply wipe it clean.

The real work is inside our heads – and the goal is resilience and hope in the face of chaos.

Here are photos from the apocalyptic devastation just down our street.


Posted by Nika On May - 12 - 2011

2011 garden seed buy

Posted by Nika On February - 20 - 2011


Later winter and early spring around here are exciting times as we enter kidding season and begin to start seeds for this summer’s garden!

We have 10 goats that are likely all to deliver kids in the next few weeks. One goat had to be taken from the herd and is now in our basement (with natural light) because the herd had rejected her and were brutalizing her. They would have certainly killed her by now and if not, would have killed her kids when they were delivered. We think this is because of the very deep snow this year.

I thought I would share with you all a listing of the seeds I have bought so far. I try to support small ethical GMO free seed companies with my purchases. I hope you will too. Note that I also have many seed packed left over from the past couple of years and have also saved some of my seeds from last year so the list below doesnt equal all that will grow in our garden this summer.


Comstock, Ferre & Co.

Comstock, Ferré & Co., located in Wethersfield, Connecticut, has a colorful agricultural history, and despite being in the cross-hairs for demolition, it has risen again as a vibrant seed house offering heirloom varieties to New England and to all of North America. It began as Wethersfield Seed Gardens with an advertisement for Joseph Belden’s seeds published in the Hartford Courant in 1811. This is the earliest known record of a seed business in Wethersfield.

The Birth of Comstock, Ferré & Co.—In 1834, a fire burned Belden’s barns and seed houses, but the business survived. In 1838, he sold it to Judge Franklin Comstock and his son William. Many young men in Wethersfield, known as “travelers,” hitched up their wagons loaded with Comstock’s seed boxes and traveled various routes throughout New England and as far west as the Mississippi River delivering our seed boxes to country stores, collecting money that was due on last year’s box and returning the old boxes to Wethersfield. In 1845, William Comstock took on Henry Ferré from Massachusetts as his partner, and their business flourished. It was incorporated in 1853 under the name of Comstock, Ferré & Co

2011 seeds
Bean, Contender
Broccoli Rabe
Cucumber, Long Island Improved
Cabbage, Copenhagen Market
Cabbage, Danish Ballhead
Melon, Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon
Eggplant, Small Persian
Radish, Black Spanish
Spinach, Bloomsdale Long Standing
Squash, Blue Hubbard
Squash, Golden Hubbard
Squash, Mammoth Red E’tamps
Tomato, Yellow Pear
Tomato, Golden Midget
Sage Broad-leaf


Victory Seeds

The primary reason for our existence as an organization is to help protect open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties during a time when the diversity of plant life on our planet is quickly shrinking.

As we witness the elimination of old varieties from other company’s offerings, the emphasis of commercial unstable hybrids, and the proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we feel an urgency in our mission.

We have therefore dedicated our efforts to preserving and promoting the use of open-pollinated varieties — old commercial releases as well as family heirlooms — and working towards the protection of our genetically diverse horticultural heritage. We truly believe in teaching these principals to all who have ears to learn.

2011 seeds
Chamomile, Roman
Round Zucchini Summer Squash
Early Prolific Straightneck Summer Squash
Benning’s Green Tint Scallop Summer Squash
New Zealand Spinach
Laxton’s Progress Number 9 Pea
Salad Bowl, Green – Leaf Lettuce
Iceberg Head Lettuce
Buttercrunch Bibb Lettuce
Russian Red Kale
Marketmore 76 Cucumber
Lemon Apple Cucumber
Colossus Cowpea
Red Strawberry Popcorn
Blue Hopi Corn


Totally Tomatoes

2011 seeds
Box Car Willie Tomato
Soldacki Tomato
Amana Orange Tomato
Original Tangerine Beefsteak Tomato
Italian Giant Beefsteak Tomato

Do you have any seed recommendations? Anything new and unusual?

Snow and Garden Cartography

Posted by Nika On January - 22 - 2011


The northeast has fallen into a repetitive trough pattern of snow storm after snow storm .. this next wed we may be looking at a proper olde tyme yankee storm I remember from when we first moved here in 1996 winter – a 4 foot storm.

As always I have to be on budget and very frugal re: garden planning and seed starting. I am getting geared up now to set up my calendar of seed starting and planting based on our last frost date of May 15 (which is still quite iffy).

I will also be graphing out the maps for planting in my garden beds – meditating first on what did well where, what needs to be rotated out, which bed had been amended last year. This last summer was different from previous ones because we had pulled down a tree that was blocking a lot of sun. This changed the energy and water dynamics of the garden beds tremendously.

It all gets as complex as you want it to be. Simplicity is good in some places, complexity and deep analysis is good in other places.

Saving seed from garlic chives

Posted by Nika On October - 10 - 2010


I hope all is well with you all!

I have included here a bit of audio – sort of a meditation on – saving seeds from garlic chives.

Tomato Beauty

Posted by Nika On August - 29 - 2010


So much is afoot here! My garden blog lags a bit in summer because of all the gardening! I have a huge amount of photos archived for posts that will likely happen once the harvest is in.

I thought I would share the voluptuous beauty of some of our Gold Medal heirloom tomatoes with you!

Humble Garden 2010: gold medal tomatoes

Look at how crazy heirlooms get!

Humble Garden 2010: gold medal tomatoes

Humble Garden 2010: gold medal tomatoes

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



    CS-TSH / Airbus A321-253NX / Azores Airlines “Magical” / LEBL1M7A1724-CR3_DxO_DeepPRIME.jpgFront Grille for Smart ForFour 454Untitled Flickr photo