Expanding the vegetable plot on a beautiful, early summer day

Our living rototillers

Actually, the chickens had a little help turning over the soil

Dan doing the hard work

Fenced and planted

Resting after a busy day, and daydreaming of ripe bell peppers


The cool, rainy weather we’ve had lately is making my small, young crop of Walla Walla sweet onions grow plump and happy.

Walla Walla sweet onions

Meanwhile, just outside of our small, fenced garden, two of our chickens sing and chuckle to themselves as they cruise about the yard in search of unsuspecting insects to snack on.

"Looking for bugs / in all the wrong places ... " Cluck!

I knew there was something stranger looking than Kohlrabi–Fiddlehead Ferns! According to Wikipedia, fiddlehead ferns are the furled fronds of a young fern and are harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (a leaf).

Check out the article where I found this image. Good info on Fiddleheads, and a nice blog.

And, according to the farmer at the Farmer’s Market, they can only be picked for 2 weeks….a short season, and not easy work.

I woke up at 2am thinking about this post and what I would do with my fiddlehead ferns:

Option 1: Heat a little butter and garlic in a pan, then sauté the fiddleheads for 30-45 seconds. This was a suggested preparation from the folks at the Farmer’s Market.

Option 2: Do something fancier, à la Emeril Lagasse: Fiddlehead Ferns and Angel Hair Pasta

Option 3: Since it’s now 3am, decide that something as crazy sounding as a fiddlehead fern deserves its own tongue twister

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Luckily,  I really liked option 3 because this evening, when I went to experiment with my fiddleheads, they were shoved to the back of my refrigerator and had iced over.

On the bright side, I went to my garden and was able to harvest an entire salad bowl of fresh greens. My first success of the gardening season!

First salad!

And, I’m hoping the fiddlehead ferns are still around this coming Saturday at the Farmer’s Market…I’m dying to try them WHILE reciting my Fiona forages for fiddlehead ferns tongue twister.

First planted


Salad Garden June 7

A few weeks ago, I started buying plants at the local farmer’s markets for my first-ever cool-weather garden.

Bamboo Coyotes at Eagle market

Kale, chard and spinach will make tasty salads springtime salads. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts for use as wholesome side dishes. Shallots and onions will flavor dishes raw and cooked.

Rainbow chard from Next Generation Organics at Downtown Boise market

Meet one of my helpers. She can loosen the soil and add fertilizer at the same time.

Nature's rototiller

Wire fencing keeps curious (and hungry) hens out of the new garden.

Hopefully, the beginning of something beautiful

I have huge plans for my garden this year, but before planting, I decided to make sure that I am able to keep Pablo, the new puppy, out of the garden (yes, he is a 60+ pound, 8 month old Aussiedoodle).

Pablo the puppy


So, I prepped this 8’ x 8’ garden bed, including placing chicken wire around the entire bed, 2 weeks ago. And as of last weekend, I felt quite successful as there had been no puppy break-ins .

Pablo-proofed garden bed

Thus, feeling all cocky in my Pablo-proofing capabilities, I prepped this 4” x 4” garden bed and PLANTED some great lettuce, cipollino onions and spinach seeds.

Pablo-proofed, yes. Critter-proofed?

Looks lovely, yes?
Once again…success! Pablo did not get in to the garden. BUT SOMETHING HAS! And twice “it” has dug up the onions. Not sure who the mystery onion thief is, but it was a good reminder that there is far more to backyard gardening than keeping the new puppy  out.

So, I seek advice…..any thoughts for keeping the critters out?

BTW: I will be planting more plants this weekend. And, for those of you here in Boise,  I will make sure to share information on the wonderful Farmer’s Market vendor(s) selling the plants.