Category: projects
in case you were wondering what 17.5oz of homegrown shiitake looks like
chris. | 10 February 2014 | 5:55 pm | (garden) 2014, food, Upstairs Farm | Only Pings

bowl of homegrown shiitake mushrooms

So this particular shiitake block has been pleasantly productive.  We bought it last saturday, it had started sprouting even before i put it in my growing box on tuesday, and now here we are with over a pound of mushrooms.  Andy’s turning some of them into risotto even as i type this.

I grew Andy his own Totoro umbrella {slide}
chris. | 4 January 2013 | 8:02 pm | slide carousel, Upstairs Farm | Comments closed


That’s actually a shiitake mushroom. Looks like a freakin’ pancake.

lemon harvest {slide}
chris. | 30 December 2012 | 6:59 pm | slide carousel, Upstairs Farm | 2 Comments


I bought an improved Meyer lemon tree back in the spring. This is what it’s produced for its 1st harvest — about 1.7 pounds of lemons of various sizes. I didn’t want to pull them all off at once, but it seemed like the best thing to do since i wanted to wipe down the whole tree to deal with some bug problem it’s been having. UGH.

cabbage, squash, yogurt cheese
chris. | 24 August 2012 | 10:19 pm | Upstairs Farm | 3 Comments

Did a very satisfying clean-out of the crisper drawers tonight.

squash:  Andy found a pickling recipe he wanted to try.  He also cut some into rounds, sprinkled them with seasoning, and threw them into the dehydrator.  We’ll see what comes of either of these experiments.  Neither of us particularly care for summer squash, so it’s a race every summer to find ways to use them before they rot.

We still have probably 6 patty-pans to dispense with.  I may succeed in talking Andy into trying squash tamales or burritos or something.  Been looking for an excuse to get him to try tamales for awhile now.

yogurt:  I had 2 jars kicking around the fridge for a little too long, so i set a strainer over a bowl and put it into the fridge.  Should have cheese tomorrow.  May also pick up more milk at the market to make fresh yogurt, and possibly some fresh paneer.  Haven’t done homemade paneer in awhile.

cabbage:  I’m trying my hand at sauerkraut.  Again.  After shredding, had about a pound of cabbage (fresh as of tuesday!) so sprinkled it with a little less than a tablespoon of kosher salt.  Packed it into my crock and weighted it.  We’ll see how this goes.  Every year i try cabbage, and every year i mess it up somehow.

I think next i’ll try turning my cabbage into kimchi.

Dennis got friends
chris. | 27 May 2012 | 9:17 pm | (deconstructing) class(ism), | Comments closed

All the information i used to house here under “Friends of Dennis” is now housed on its own website.  Not surprisingly, it’s

today on the farm: fuchsia, mushrooms, onion seeds
chris. | 17 February 2011 | 3:32 pm | (garden) 2011, Upstairs Farm | Comments closed

As noted on Twitter over lunch:  The fuchsia is not dead!  There are more mushrooms sprouting from the block!!  Go, little apartment farm, go!

Fuchsia: I have it in a self-watering bucket right now, but i’m thinking of moving it to a hanging basket.  This is a risky idea because the fuchsia does need a fair amount of water, hanging baskets dry out relatively quickly, and i am crap at remembering to water things that are water-needy.  Still!  The fuchsia is a climbing sort and it spent much of last year trying to climb into other buckets.  That’s not going to work.  And i do have clothesline (not for clothes) running overhead on the deck along which i think i’d like to train the fuchsia.  So i might put it in a hanging basket and simply put a reminder in my calendar to water it every other day.

Mushroom: So far i see 4 shiitakes poking their heads out.  Very curious to see how many mushrooms i get during this 2nd round.

Onion seeds: I am never again buying bunching onion seeds from the hardware store.  I don’t recall getting a single onion from the packet the summer i bought it, and, considering onion seeds have a terribly short lifespan, i am not surprised that i haven’t gotten a single onion from the packet in the years since.  I suspect the whole bunch was a dud.  From now on, i’m only buying onion seeds from places where i’ve bought other successful seeds.  Ideally i’d only buy onion seeds from a place where someone else can vouch for successful onion seeds, but i just don’t know enough gardeners in the 1st place to have sufficient data like that on seed companies.

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