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View Diary: What's for Dinner? v.5.37 - Spring has Sprung! (233 comments)

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    Alaska trollers are starting to bring in spring king salmon, so my treat to myself tonight was a $11.50 salmon steak from my favorite smokehouse/fish processor, where the fish was butchered about an hour before I bought it, which means that the fish was caught by a troller this morning.

    I'm not eating as much fresh salmon (at $16/lb in the store) or halibut ($22/lb!) as I used to in the spring, but I do let myself have a treat once a week or so --- last week it was Thai red curry halibut cheeks.

    So I microwaved a couple of baby red spuds, then mashed and added green onions and sour cream, and steamed some broccoli.

    Next week I will rebuild my salad garden bed, destroyed during construction of a new driveway retaining wall, and start planting some chard for early greens.  The 75 year old chive clump is stating to revive, and in the backyard garden, the ancient clump of rhubarb has sprouted about half a dozen thumb-sized sprouts, so I should have chives and rhubarb in a couple of weeks.

    Seed potatoes have arrived in local stores, so it's time to go gather seaweed for my tire tubs.  Here's a great way to grow spuds if you live near the beach:

    Gather seaweed from the top of the high tide line, preferably after rain has washed a lot of the salt off.  Take it home, and rinse it well (I use an old damaged plastic laundry basket for rinsing).  Set it aside as a compost pile.

    Get old tires, and with a cable cutter, cut the bead cords and the tire wall all the way to the tread --- I cut most tires in 8ths, that is 8 cuts evenly spaced around the tire.  Then twist the tire inside out, so that it creates a small barrel.

    If you will be growing on sloping ground, anchor the barrel to the ground by driving a piece of rebar in the ground.  Put about 2 inches of good compost in the bottom of the barrel, add a couple of seed spuds, and cover them with compost.  When they sprout, add an inch of seaweed, and as the plants come up, add an inch or two of seaweed every week.

    The black rubber retains heat and moisture so that the seaweed quickly rots into rich compost.  Keep adding seaweed every week all summer long, and at the end of the summer, all you need to do to harvest is to lift the barrel off the compost pile.  

    You can simply don rubber gloves and sort through the compost to find your spuds.  Save the resulting compost for starting the next year's spuds.

    "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

    by HarpboyAK on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 02:04:23 AM PDT

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