Raised Vegetable Beds 042713

Perinneal Leek and Garlic bed getting more topsoil, next up is a layer of compost and worm castings.

Topsoil layer is finished.  The top round of wood is the cover for the bed, this week John will reinstall the pvc pipe hoops and I'll help with the bird netting. 

John loading the middle raised bed, otherwise known as my salad bed, with topsoil.

Just a couple wheelbarrows more and this bed will be ready for compost as well.

We saved money by purchasing the amended topsoil locally and by picking it up from KCI Landscaping, we save even more by not having it delivered.  So far we've purchased two yards of the amended topsoil. 

My herb and kale garden, still needs topsoil and then a final layer of compost.  I'll probably tuck some beets, parsnips, and carrots in between the rows of kale in this garden.  I'm dreaming of a fresh sun kissed salad!

Raised Beds and Hoop Houses

This raised bed is waiting for it's hoops still, first I need to turn the soil and then plant it with lettuce, chard, and other salad nummies.

Tomorrow I'll add the mesh and then the plastic to the hoops.  The mesh is for later in the season to keep the critters out, the mesh I use is a half inch square plastic netting.

The boards are covering my leek trenches.

Today's Plantings

Well today John and I managed to get the peas planted, he tilled the garden a third time. While he worked on that I planted radishes and lettuce in the cold frame. Later I hand dug the leek garden 8 x 8 foot area lets just say I'm really tired now!

Tomorrow I'll replant my garlic, dug it up so I could thin it out, plant leeks and onion seeds, I may pick up some onion sets as well to plant. I have yet to decide where I will put my strawberry plants - three varieties, Ozark, Sequioa and some ever bearing whose name I'm not able to remember.

Making Potato Leek Soup

The remainder of the the leeks and my potatoes ready to be sliced thin.

Leeks and onions ready to be sauted with a little butter.

Some russett potatoes, I used six for this batch of soup.

Slice your potatoes thin.
Saute leeks and onions with three tablespoons of butter for three minutes - I actually saute them for about six minutes.

Take a taste and see if it needs more salt and pepper, I added more because we like it peppery.

Onions and leeks have been sauting for about three minutes and I've added more salt and pepper.
Chicken broth left over from last nights chicken canning session, I didn't strain the stuff out but no one will know it's in the soup when all is said and done.

Add potatoes to the onions and leeks.

Add salt and pepper to the potato broth mixture.

Cover in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

When potatoes are fork tender blend everything using blender or food processor, I used my kitchenaid stick blender.

Add 2 cups cream or milk slowly to the potato stock.

The cream being blended with the blender stick, the heat is off so the cream doesn't curdle.

Blend cream/milk thoroughly and your ready to serve.

If you like bacon in your soup then see the previous post, this is my bowl without bacon. The recipe is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. This made three quarts of soup, two of which I gave to the neighbor otherwise we'd be eating it for four days! The soup is very rich and is excellent on a freezing cold evening, currently the wind chill here is -28F so it's chilly here right now.

Potato Leek Soup

Going camping this summer, looking for a food gift that doesn't require much in the way of cooking or can be used later or do you simply want to put some food up for a rainy day (or a blizzard) - that actually tastes good then try this recipe on for size:

I found this recipe online and changed it to make it "taste" better.

1 3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 cups dry milk powder (I used dry whole milk as it's richer)
4 T. chicken bouillon granules (originally called for 2 T. we like ours richer)
2 T. dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (originally called for white pepper)
1/4 teaspoon dried chives (make sure you use onion chives and NOT garlic chives!!!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (originally called for seasoned salt)
1/8 cup dehydrated leeks
2T. dehydrated carrot chunks (adds color)
1/4 cup dehydrated potato chunks (these can be whirled in a food processor but I didn't bother)


1.Combine potato flakes, dry milk, bouillon granules, onion,parsley, pepper and salt in a plastic bag and shake to mix (original recipe said to use a bowl to mix but I have lots of recycled sandwich bags and chose to use one of them instead). Pour into a 1 quart jar.

2. Attach the following instructions to jar (use waterproof ink on label glued to jar or card attached with a ribbon): To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water until smooth.

If you want to use this in long term food storage or for camping, then put into mylar or food saver bags and vacuum seal shut. Assuming you used fresh ingredients this will keep for quite some time in a cool dark place.