Welcome to my new website. It will be both fun and informative. It will have five of my favorite topics: pictures, thoughts, recipes, gardening ideas and did you know? Please enjoy, leave comments, ask questions and visit often.
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  • PLAN YOUR 2014 GARDEN NOW

    Posted on October 2nd, 2013 Pam No comments
    Yes I said ‘plan your 2014 garden now.
    Is your garden ‘put to bed?’  Are you tired of gardening now?
    All of these statement my be true, but now is the time to begin gardening…not gardening in the ground, but gardening in your head.
    Make changes for next year, while it is still fresh on your mind.
    My dad called it ‘next year farming’ He realized the mistakes he made or took note of the things he wanted to change for the next year so the ‘next’ year would be more successful.
    So now is the time to note the changes you want to make next year….really!!!
    Sketch a rough garden map and include the changes.  Gardeners rarely plant the same garden every year, they are always making changes.
    Now is also a good time to remember which vegetables were successful and which were not.  Then you won’t make the same mistakes again and again.  Also, if certain vegetables were great producers, write them down so they can be planted again next year. Now is also a good time to take pictures, this will help with the future garden plan too.
    For example if the onions will do better if moved in the sun, plan the new space for the onions next year. If there is still 40 pints of beans on the shelf, plant less beans next year.  If you love peas and want to freeze more peas–make a note of how many more should be planted.
    Try to think of each vegetable separately, and note any changes that may be needed.
    Don’t forget to rotate your garden too.  NOTE: tomatoes, peppers and potatoes all belong to the nightshade family. Rotate them with something else, not with themselves. In other words, don’t plant tomatoes where you have planted potatoes or peppers this past year.

  • ALL I KNOW ABOUT GARLIC, ‘HOW TO PLANT AND GROW GARLIC’

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 Pam 2 comments
     I LOVE GROWING GARLIC, IT WAS MY FAVORITE THING TO GROW EVERY YEAR.
    It is very easy to grow. Here are some steps to growing garlic the easy way.

    1. Only plant garlic purchased from a garden center, commercial greenhouse or me. NEVER plant garlic from the grocery store. The largest garlic I have grown is called Musik, some cloves can be as large as a golf ball.
    2. Plant mid September or early October.
    3. Divide the bulb into the separate cloves. Try to keep the thin paper on the cloves.
    4. Dig a hole or furrow and water well.
    5. Plant cloves 3″ – 4″ deep, pointed side up.
    6. Plant about 8″- 12″ apart. If planting several in one row, stagger the cloves.
    7. Fertilize and cover with soil.
    8. Mulch with grass clippings, leaves, potting soil or straw, I like straw the best.
    9. In the spring, carefully rake off the straw and use it as mulch in garden paths, it helps keep weeds down. It is best to uncover the mulch gradually in the spring. The garlic will be 6″-8″ tall. The leaves will be tender, so uncover slowly over a few days. Uncovering them in the evening is also a good idea.
    10. Water at least 1″ per week, 2″ is better.  Reduce watering as harvest time grows near.
    11. After a few months ‘scapes ‘will grow from the center of the plant. It is best to trim these off when they are about 10″ and use them in cooking. They are great to stir fry or chop and use in any dish requiring garlic. NOTE: not all garlic will grow scapes, usually the soft neck will not grow a normal sized scape.
    12. The scapes are trimmed because they rob strength from the garlic bulb. If left on the plant they will go to seed. Leave on a few plants if you want to save seeds. BUT I DON’T RECOMMEND THIS.
    13. Garlic begins to mature when the bottom leaves begin to turn brown or dry up and the main stalk is still green. This is usually late June to the middle of July. Harvest when three to four of the bottom leaves turn brown and before the entire stalk turns brown. I have found the weather is a large factor and determines when the garlic is ready to dig. For example, in 2015 I started digging garlic the end of June, but in 2017 I didn’t dig in June but late July.
    14. To harvest, use a shovel and dig the entire bulb. Do not leave any garlic in the garden, harvest everything you plant. Allow to dry on a rack, in the shade for two to three weeks. Then trim the top to about two inches and trim the roots to about ½ inch.
    15. Rub one or two paper layers off to clean the garlic. Keep the garlic dry. DO NOT CLEAN GARLIC WITH WATER.
    NOTE: Each garlic bulb will have 4-18 cloves, depending on the type. Figure how much garlic you use and plant twice as much….you will love this ‘fresh’ garlic!!!!
    Did you know 80% of the garlic purchased from the grocery store is from China? It is easy to see how your fresh garlic will taste much better.

    Read more articles at my blogs:
    www.pamolsen.net
    www.gardeninglifestyle.blogspot.com

    Pam Olsen
    ‘ON THE SUNNYSIDE’
    208-406-1243
    pamolsen@prophoto.bz

  • GARDENING WEEK 8, BUY SEEDS NOW

    Posted on February 22nd, 2013 Pam No comments
    Yes, now is the time to buy garden seeds. Why??
    1.  Because the best selections are in stores now.  Be aware that the most popular seeds sell out quickly.
    2.  It may take up to four weeks to receive seeds when ordering from a catalog.
    3.  Spring is coming and it will be time to plant before we know it, buy or order now.
    4.  It is best to have seeds on hand when you want to plant them.
    Below is a 11 week schedule, we are on week 8.
    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts

  • GARDENING WEEK 3

    Posted on January 18th, 2013 Pam No comments

    This week let’s take a family survey. For example, a family of five may have two adults and three children, but only one person may be the gardener. Try to make gardening more of a family activity by involving everyone. Include the children no matter the age. It is surprising what positive additions youth lends to the garden. It is a good idea to let them choose a few vegetables or flowers to plant.

    Make up a survey by asking questions like:
    What vegetables do you like to eat?
    What flowers do you enjoy?
    Would you like to plant or maintain your own area of the garden or yard?
    Would you like to try something new?

    Asking questions like these will enlighten you as to the interests, wants and needs of your entire family. Maybe trying something new will excite a family member into being more of a part of the garden activities.
    The reason most people garden is that it’s fun, but sometimes you have to make it fun. It’s fun to look at the new garden catalogs (you should be getting them by now if you ordered them during week 1) and let everyone choose a few things to plant.

    Include in the survey things like what improvement projects would you like to see in your yard. One large project and three small projects per year are good goals to work toward. So let everyone be a part of the choices that are made. Someone may come up with an exciting project that may not have been thought of before.

    Take time to organize the survey and let everyone have a few days to complete it. Keep the survey short, 10 to 15 questions. Help small children by using pictures to aid in their choices. After gathering information from the survey, you will have lots of choices in your garden this year.

  • THINK ABOUT THIS

    Posted on January 3rd, 2013 Pam No comments

    I saw this on a bumper sticker yesterday.
    Have you feed your kids today? Thank a farmer.

    I saw this on TV yesterday.
    ‘No Farmers, No Food’

    Farmers work hard to bring food to you.
    They love what they do.
    Thank them for it.

  • STORING POTATOES

    Posted on December 2nd, 2011 Pam No comments

    Many of you have received potatoes this time of year. I thought I might give a few suggestions about how to store them.

    Here is a picture of potatoes and carrots ready to go into storage.


    Here it shows the tubs the potatoes and carrots are stored in.

    LIGHT
    Always keep potatoes out of any light. They will turn green and bitter if they are in direct light. The way to tell if a potato is ‘green’ is to scratch the skin back, if it is white, it is okay. If it is ‘green’ the potato will be bitter. I always throw away any green potatoes I find.

    SORTING
    It is a good idea to sort the potatoes before storing them. The smaller potatoes won’t last as long as the large ones, so sort them out and use them first. Then look for any ‘green’ potatoes and any that may be cut or spoiled.

    DIRTY POTATOES
    It isn’t a good idea to wash the potatoes before putting the