5.31.2012

Cecile Brunner

This is the story of the rose that tried to eat my house.

According to Google Earth, this climbing rose has been trying to eat my house since at least March of 2008.

The rose in question... easily 15 feet tall and wide.  

My guess is that it has been trying for much longer, but this is the first photographic evidence.

When we gutted the house in December of 2010, my dear, sweet, hardworking husband pulled this rose out of the attic!  Yes, this rose had grown into the house and throughout the attic.  No joke, kids.  Obviously, we took this sucker almost down to the ground.  In August 2011 we were finally living in the house and I went out back again to cut it down because it was starting to creep up over the gutters!

Today I looked beyond the fence and there she was.  Brushed up against the soffit, just itching to make her way into the attic.  So out I went again.  About 20 minutes later, I had whacked it back down to a two foot tall stump when a flashy piece of metal caught my eye.  It was a little tag with the name "Cecile Brunner" stamped on it.  It was then I also noticed two little roses on the ground.  Now I'd seen these beauties in the photo above, but it wasn't until I smelled it that my whole attitude on this aggressive climber changed.  Holy cow!  It's just about the most beautiful smelling rose I've ever come across!  Honestly, the unbelievable perfume coming from this dainty flower (barely the size of a half dollar) is incredible.

My lovely Cecile Brunner in a vase... atop The Binder, of course.
I'll summarize the next twenty minutes by saying my husband was not exactly thrilled with my change of heart. :)

I'm not what you would call a rose girl.  My grandmother loved them, my mom is fairly indifferent, but me?  Not a chance.  As a landscaping element, I've always viewed them as high-maintenance and stuffy.  At this stage in my life, I have no time for high maintenance or stuffy, but when you smell something as beautiful as this rose, it makes you stop and think for a moment.  Could I do this?  Could I actually keep a rose?

To back things up a bit, our house sits toward the back of a pie-shaped property.  Therefore, we have no official "backyard."  Everything is in the front and around the sides.  It's our hope that this year we can fence the property line, but we'd like to keep this little bit of fence connecting the corner of the house to the property line (see first photo.)  It'd be for practical reasons, really.  The big red dog needs a place to go potty (we let him out the back door) and I'd like to keep it contained to the small side yard instead of picking up little "presents" all around our property.  However, it was in the plan to drop this portion of the fence down to three feet tall and have an arbor with a small gate.  The placement of the Cecile Brunner is actually perfect for training it along the fence and up over an arbor!

Sadly, the binder was no help.  I don't have a single picture of a climbing rose!  But I did find some goodies on the internet and Pinterest that have me thinking.  Also, check here (Mr. Martha), here (Rose Notes), and here (also Rose Notes)


Climbing up the perfect pergola (via)


Adorable print on Etsy featuring the rose in question.


So now the debate begins.  What do you think?  Is Cecile Brunner worth the effort for the unbelievable blooms and fragrance?  If you were me, what would you do?  Help!

xo, k

5.29.2012

A teachable moment... seed growth!

The other day I was checking germination rates on an old package of Blue Lake Pole Beans I was intending to plant.  It's a simple thing to do, actually.  You take a paper towel, fold it in quarters, saturate it with water and stick a few seeds in the middle.  Next, you pop it in a plastic bag and place it in a sunny place.  Boom.  Done.  Check it a few days later to see what kind of good things are happening!  It will give you a good idea of the percentage of viable seeds that are left in your seed pack.  You can also pop these little sprouted goodies in the garden.

In any event, this whole process got me thinking.  For the past few months, The Captain has seen me plant seed after seed in the garden.  He watches patiently and then one day, just like magic, they pop out of the ground as a plant!  We chatted and he understands that a seed becomes a plant, but he can't visualize the magic that happens beneath the soil.  So I thought I'd show him.

The first week in the life of a Blue Lake pole bean!

Isn't it amazing?!?  I mean, seriously.  All this magic happens in one little week!  I think The Captain was a little blown away too.  He's only 3 1/2, but he now understands that the food we eat starts from just one little seed.  He also now knows that plants have a top and a bottom and there is a giant root system beneath the soil holding our little plants in place.

So if you're interested in teaching a little person in your life the basics of germination (or as we like to call it, "growin' some seed") here you go:

1.  Select your seed.  I find that beans are my favorite because the development is so obvious.  If you don't have left over beans, I suppose you could use any sizable seed such as a pumpkin, pea or cucumber, but I'll be honest.  Beans are best.  You want your little person to be able to hold and touch the seeds and seedlings.  Worst case scenario, go buy a pack.  Heck.  It's science and irreplaceable knowledge for $1.49!

2.  Fold a paper towel into quarters and wet it well.

3.  Place 3 or 4 seeds on the paper towel, fold it in half yet again and place it in a plastic bag (don't seal the top).  Set the bag in a warm spot and wait.  Your prepped bag of seeds should look something like this:



4.  Repeat the process every other day for a week.

5.  Open all the bags, narrow it down to 6 or 7 stages of development and show them to the kiddos!  Since The Captain is still little, I placed them in order like you see in the photo at the top of the post.  If your children are older, it would be fun for them to put the seeds/seedlings in order and then discuss the changes that are taking place.  This is also a great moment to teach anatomy of a seedling to your older children (root system, stem, cotyledon or "baby leaves", true leaves, primary root, root hairs, etc.)

For me, I'm just excited that my little guy knows about seeds sprouting roots, stems and "baby" and "big boy" leaves.  I'm also elated that he finds all this interesting and can now relate it to the growth he sees in the garden every day.

Now go forth and do some teachin'!

xo, k

PS.  As I teach my boys about where their food comes from, I'm constantly reminded of the scene in Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" when the class of kids can't identify a pea, potato, eggplant, etc.  Have you seen the series?  It was really inspiring for me to watch.  Check out his Kitchen Garden Project!  It's right up my alley.  :)

5.27.2012

The Husband did some Pinning...

So I woke up this morning and the first question out of my husband's mouth was, "Can you check your Pinterest page?  I think I may have Pinned something... accidentally."  Say what?!?

I checked, and nothing random was on my Pinterest page.  Obviously, my next question was, "What exactly did you think you Pinned?" Turns out the husband was watching "Duck Dynasty" on the computer and thought he Pinned this little beauty...


Seriously.  Have you seen this show?!?  Basically, the patriarch of the family, Phil, made "the world's best" duck call which became a family business... and now has now made them into millionaires.  Let's just say that we have become totally addicted and I almost peed my pants watching Uncle Si do a "trust fall"!  Also, up until this show, I had never seen anyone catch, kill, cook and eat squirrel and frog.  Unreal.

Hope you are enjoying your memorial day weekend!

xo, k

PS.  I realize this post has nothing to do with my Binder.  It does have to do with my crazy life though, so there you go.  :)

5.24.2012

Holy Cow! I made jam!

Hello, my name is Kate and I made jam.  Yup.  Canned jam.

Let's back up a few days, shall we?  My dear friend, Shelby runs a AMAZING non-profit called Cranio Care Bears.  As a small non-profit, they rely heavily on donations... thus the reason I was there.  I was donating a little coffee gift package for her silent auction.  Well, I came with coffee and left with a giant bag of rhubarb!  In any event, it sat in my fridge for a few days until I saw this post over at another blog about rhubarb-cinnamon jam.  I sat back and thought for a moment.  I like jam and certainly the idea of canning, but the actual act of canning freaks me out.  What if I don't do it right?  How do I know it worked?  What if I feed my family botulism?!?

Well, I swallowed those fears and check it out... I made jam!

Rhubarb-cinnamon jam (with just a touch of strawberry)

I am so proud of myself!  Now, of course, this has created a total monster.  I'm thinking ahead to all the apples I get in the fall (applesauce?  apple butter?)  And then I'm thinking about those 16 tomato plants (stewed tomatoes? spaghetti sauce?)  And what about that mountain of pole beans I've started (pickled beans?)  Well, let's just say I may be a busy woman in a few months.

Of course, we can take it all back to The Binder with the millions of tear sheets featuring beautifully preserved goods and perfectly staged pantries.  Sigh.  If only I had more time on my hands... and maybe a bigger garden. :)

Phat Beets! (MS Living)
Martha prepping strawberry jam last year (via themarthablog)
And then there's this recipe for pickled beans from Sunset Magazine

Can't wait until this garden gets fully going!  In the meantime, I might try and trade Shelby a few jars of jam for some more rhubarb.  Yum!

Rhubarb-Cinnamon Jam
(adapted from a Sure Jell Recipe)

4-1/2 cups prepared fruit (about 5 lg stalks, 6 c. chopped)
1 cup water
1 box Sure Jell Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp butter or margarine
6-1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to a simmer.  Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rincse with warm water.  Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat.  Let stand in hot water until ready to use.  Drain jars well before filling.

Chop rhubarb into medium dice.  Place rhubarb and water into 4-qt. saucepan.  Bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer 2 min. or until rhubarb is tender.  Measure exactly 4-1/2 cups prepared rhubarb into 6- or 8-qt. pot.  I was a wee bit short here so I added a few strawberries to bring it up to the full 4-1/2 cups.

Stir pectin and lemon juice into prepared rhubarb.  Add butter to reduce foaming.  Bring to a full rolling boil (one that doesn't stop when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in sugar and cinnamon.  Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, skim off any foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of the tops.  Wipe jar rims and threads.  Cover with two-piece lids.  Screw bands tightly.  Place jars on elevated rack in canner.  Lower rack into canner, making sure the jars are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water.  Add boiling water if necessary.  Cover and bring water to a gentle boil.  Process 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.  You should start to hear the lids pop in the first hour or so of cooling.  After jars cool 12-24 hours, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger.  If the lid springs back, it is not sealed and needs to be refrigerated.

Makes 5 - 12 oz jars or 7.5 - 8 oz jars

Enjoy!

xo, k

PS.  The glorious sound of can lids popping is my new favorite noise.


5.21.2012

A Snapshot...

Evenings are always a little interesting.  The kiddos are in bed, the hubby and I are getting everything cleaned up before tomorrow's madness begins... it's one part wind-down and one part prep.  So here is my night tonight.  Cucumbers have just popped up, the second batch of basil is hanging out under the lights and I'm prepping jam jars for tomorrow... details to come.  Oh!  And I have another batch of celery going crazy.  If the rain lets up, it'll be planted by this weekend.

Countertop madness.  Garden prep, seed bin and jam-making central... all in my little kitchen!

Goodnight, everyone!

xo, k

PS.  In lieu of fancy equipment, I took the covers off my fluorescent under cabinet lights and am propping my starts up on plastic cups.  So far I've had fabulous results!

PPS.  Tonight's menu included the first goodies from the garden!  Citrus-herb roasted chicken using fresh thyme and oregano.  Dang, I love fresh herbs!

Citrus Trees

So last weekend it dawned on me that I had 16 tomato plants and about 9 pots to put them in.  EEK!  Obviously, this ratio was off, but I didn't really have any extra funds to work with.  Suddenly, I remembered passing by a huge stack of black plastic pots at Home Depot a few weeks ago... they were all headed to the recycle bin.  So I loaded the crew in the car, left the husband mowing our jungle-esque lawn and headed to HD.  Sadly they only had gallon and 4" pots in the recycle heap... neither of which will do it for the tomatoes.  What they DID have were the most adorable citrus trees!  I'm not kidding you... sweet little lemons, oranges and kumquats!  They all touted impressive adjectives alluding to their cold-hardiness, but I'm no fool.  Here are a few things I know about me and citrus trees:

1.  They will NEVER withstand the northwest weather.
2.  I'll probably forget to pull the darn tree inside until it's too late.
3.  Even if I do pull the tree indoors, my cat will most likely eat it.  Seriously.  Only one plant has survived since Emmette came home with me.  It's an anthurium from my dear sweet friend, Megan, and it's appearance is, um, interesting. :)

Needless to say, I will not be purchasing a beautiful Meyer lemon tree, but The Binder holds evidence of my love for the indoor tree.  Maybe some day.

Peter Dunham's Fiddle Leaf Fig (Elle Decor, November, 2008)
From Martha Stewart's "How To Grow Citrus Indoors".  Maybe I should re-read this one. :)
Victoria Pearson's master bath... and sweet potted fig. (via House Beautiful)
Hope you're having a fantastic Monday!

xo, k

5.16.2012

Personal Style

As you know, the dear husband and I have been discussing our downstairs bathroom.  In doing so, we are frequently gathering inspiration from The Binder and now I can't get one of my favorite bathrooms of all time out of my head.  Here she is... Lou Marotta's master bathroom (featured in Elle Decor, June 2005):

Double sinks with moldings I would DIE for.

That tub!!!  Who doesn't love a 19th century French bronze soaking tub?!?

I guess what I love most about this house is it's story.  Marotta and his long-time partner saw this shabby little 1987 builder spec home and decided to make it their own.  They approached the remodel with total abandon and personalized every nook and cranny.  It had no identity, no historical reference... so they gave it one.  I love that!  It speaks so clearly to me now.  Our home was much the same... it didn't have a personality.  It was one of dozens of mid-century, brick homes and absolutely nothing stood out about it other than it's atrocious state of neglect (have I mentioned our neighbors thanked us for cleaning up the place and getting rid of their rat problems?  True story.)  In any event, I love that they didn't cling to a style, they didn't adhere to what was typical for their country home.  They made it what they loved and what they saw as beautiful.  Does it all come together seamlessly?  Nope.  But isn't that what makes it amazing?  It's a celebration of personal style and interior transformation.

So here are some of my favorite rooms in his home.  Truly eclectic spaces mixing his love of antiques (he's an antiques dealer) with Greek Revival, Victorian and Swedish styles.  I love random.

The woodwork and moldings throughout the home were designed by Marotta and were a major inspiration for those in our home.  I love the simple lines!

How can you wake up in that bathroom and not feel jazzed about your day?!?  I love orange.

I love this simple row of square windows with swing arm curtains.  It is applicable in so many spaces... especially those city lots where you want the light, but don't want to look at your neighbors and you have no idea how you would ever dress those windows.  I love it!

This dining area is a total mix and really showcases Marotta's design inspiration.  I just love a good Greek key.

Such a great reminder to always make it your own.  So go forth... and make it personal!

xo, k

5.15.2012

Veggie Roll Call!

Hey Kids!

I can't believe how long it's been since I did a veggie garden update!  As I mentioned in this post, I'm going for broke this year.  It's the year.  So now that my little veggies are finally up, let's talk about what's going on in the garden.

The raised beds:
- snap peas (once they die back, they'll be traded out for my cucumber seedlings)
- beets (Bull's Blood and Winter Keeper)
- carrots (Little Finger and Ingot)
- lettuce (Jericho Romain and misc. greens)
- collard greens (Morris Heading)
- garlic (Purple Italian)
- onions (Walla Walla sweet and red onion)
- leeks (Bandit)
- celery (half started from organic store-bought ends, half from seed... I hope.)

Around the yard:
- rhubarb
- apple tree (unknown variety... came with the house and it's a mega producer!)
- cherry tree (unknown variety... came with the house and the birds stole all the fruit last year. Argh!)
- blueberry bushes (Patriot and Bluejay)
- green beans (Blue Lake... we just set up the kids' teepee and planted the seeds this weekend!)
- potatoes (Red La Soda)

In pots:
- strawberries (Puget Reliance, Alexandria Alpine and two mystery varieties that were picked up at the end of the season last year on clearance)
- thyme
- oregano
- chives
- cilantro (should be up any day!)
- parsley (Italian flat leaf)
- basil (Sweet Italian... soon to be joined by his friends in the kitchen... see below.)
- horseradish (roots gifted from my cousin's grandfather's plant via my mom... did you follow that? :)
- spearmint
- rosemary (Tuscan Blue)
- sweet peppers (King of the North and Bullnose Bell)

In the kitchen:
- tomatoes... in transition actually.  I've been hardening them off for the past week so they are almost ready for their debut! (Stupice, Cherokee Purple and Sweetie... all started from seed.)
- basil (Italian large leaf... I started a few more plants because what good are 16 tomato plants if you don't have a bumper crop of basil to go with it!)
- broccoli (Calabrese)

Still to do:
- pumpkins
- zucchini
- brussel sprouts
- corn (Although this is being debated.  I offered a few rows of corn as a genius fencing alternative... the husband declined comment.)

So there it is... the master list.  It's coming right along and the garden beds are filling out! With any luck, we should start harvesting soon.  The herbs are looking particularly awesome so I'll start digging into those sooner rather than later.  The lettuce seems to be calling my name too.  I'll keep you posted as to what I'm cooking up in the kitchen!

The raised beds as of May 14th

The new recruits purchased at Seattle Tilth's Edible Plant Sale!  I can't wait until their  Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour... seriously dying over it!

Hope you are enjoying the great outdoors wherever you are!

xo, k

5.13.2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers out there.  We are on the hardest, but most rewarding journey, aren't we?


xo, k

5.11.2012

This is why I love Seattle...

I had a friend once describe Seattle as "The hot girlfriend who is always sick."  Oh, man.  So true.  But this week she is back in true form and it is sooooo good to be a Seattleite!  Especially when you take the kiddos to the park and this is the view that greets you...

Ella Bailey Park in Magnolia

Happy weekend to you all!

xo, k

5.10.2012

The Downstairs Bathroom

"Honey, can you please bring your inspiration binders to bed?"

Ummm... excuse me?!?  Yes.  These are the words my dear, sweet, construction-loving husband said to me last night.  I'm not kidding you, folks.  He asked me to bring the binders to bed so we could look through them before going to sleep.  So you think that's funny?  Get this.  The next thing he says is, "For some reason, I'm thinking of a sand-colored tile for the downstairs bath."  Say what?!?

So let's rewind.  Most of you know that a year and a half ago, we closed on our new/old home.  Every single surface had to be touched.  However, we really just wanted to move in.  So we tackled the biggest and baddest problems and left the minor, cosmetic, and secondary items for later.  One of these items was the downstairs bathroom.  We have just a few more months before the plumbing permit closes (and then are forced to pay for an extension/re-apply) so we're gearing up to tackle the finishing details.  It's already been plumbed, wired for the outlets and fixtures, and the tub is installed.  Now it's on to the fun stuff.  Now back to our story...

After I scooped myself off the floor, we began looking through the binders and my Pinterest files.  I'm more of a "white bathroom" kind of girl so I didn't have exactly what he was envisioning, but then I reminded him that he shouldn't just be looking through the binders for bathrooms.  He should be looking through the binders for color stories that inspire him!  So here are the husband's picks for bathroom inspiration.  Enjoy!


His top pick for flooring and cabinetry.  (via Architectural Digest)

Lake House traditional bathroom
He desperately wants sandy floors and dark wood trim.  Who knew? (Atlanta Designer Yvonne McFadden)

Loved the floors but thought the rest of the room was "too darn blue"! (Sarah Richardson)

Loved the floors and wall color.  Even liked the red and dark wood accents.  Folks, this may be a jumping off point for our downstairs bathroom!  (Sarah Richardson)

As a side note, we actually have two entrances to this bathroom.  One formal entrance, but a second doorway that we haven't opened up yet.  Basically, back when we were re-framing the basement, we installed a second header so that once the boys are knee-deep in soccer and other sports, we can have them enter the bathroom through the basement mudroom/laundry room and head straight for the shower... leaving all the dirty clothes right by the washing machine.  The dear husband also works in construction, so this entrance will be particularly handy when he has had a little too much fun at work.  Is this mama smart or what?!?

Enjoy your day wherever you are!

xo, k

5.04.2012

The Reality of Meat

So here's the deal.  I fully admit to having dreams of getting off the grid and living off the land (stylishly, of course.)  But then there is the reality of having to know where everything comes from.  Yes, I can grow veggies and fruit and could totally get into foraging, but what about meat?  I'm down for getting some chickens, but the Dear Husband gave that a big fat "no go" as long as we live in the city (I'm working on him though!)  I'd love to walk out in the morning, collect fresh eggs, but then what happens when I want to serve those eggs up with a side of bacon?  The truth is, bacon doesn't grow in it's tidy little plastic package.  It doesn't start from seed.  Someone has to raise the pig, butcher it, smoke it and then deliver it to the packaging facility so it can be sold in the store... where someone like me doesn't need to think about where that magical meat came from.  But is this really a healthy idea?

So here is where I'm going.  Last night I was jumping around to various blogs and somehow ended up on Vimeo where I found a video from Farmrun and Farmstead Meatsmith.  Truth be told, I wasn't actually sure I could watch this video, but I sucked it up and watched this local artisan butcher a hog he lovingly raised on his Vashon Island farm.  It was a serious reality check for me.  Up until last night, I could not tell you where the pork tenderloin came from.  Now I know.  And it actually makes me feel better.  I should know what I'm feeding my family.  I should know what I'm feeding myself.

If you ever find yourself in Seattle, I encourage you to visit my favorite butcher (and trusted Seattle staple), A&J Meats.

My local butcher... A & J Meats on Queen Anne. (photo credit)

These folks have been in business since 1951 and not much has changed!  They still have the long wooden countertop, beautiful glass cases and staff that will go above and beyond to educate and serve you.  Honestly, it's the best.  And here's an awesome fact... they know where all their meat is sourced from!  You'd be hard pressed to find that little tidbit at your typical grocery store... and that's sort of sad.  On another note, my husband has been threatening a hunting trip with some of his work friends.  While I'm not sure I'm up for hundreds of pounds of elk, I know I'll be talking to Rick at A&J Meats should the need arise. :)

So if you're feeling brave and want to learn about the art of butchering a hog, here you go.  These folks are pro and totally inspiring to watch!



xo, k

PS.  In doing some research for this post, it turns out Martha has even gotten in on the action.  Check her out butchering a side of pig here!  She even wears chain mail.  No lie, folks.

5.01.2012

Celery Starts

I love gardening.  What I don't love is the cost of gardening.  So when I see an interesting idea that involves taking waste and turning it into a new plant, I get super excited. :)

A few months ago, I was cruising around on Pinterest (because that's what happens when you have a Pinterest account... eek!) and I stumbled upon an idea for growing celery using the discarded end.  Obviously, I bookmarked it.  Flash forward a few months and guess what I have out in my veggie garden?  This little sweetie...

My little celery start thriving in the garden!

So here is how we started.  My mom is on a juicing kick that has turned into a juicing lifestyle (yes, she still eats real food too.)  As a side note, it was largely inspired by the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (which I totally recommend watching).  Even if you don't end up juicing, the movie calls you to think about what we put into our bodies and the impact it has on our health.  All that to say, my mom goes through celery at a pretty good clip.  Anyway, I had her save a few ends for me.  I simply set them in water and within two days, the cut ends started to raise up a bit in the center.

Day two for the top celery, day three for the bottom one.

A few more days went by (and one more end-cut added) and little tiny leaves began to emerge on my first celery start!  It was at this point The Captain and I began to show just about everyone who walked in the door.

Day 2 (top right) vs. Day 7 (bottom)

A few weeks later and one more celery added.  It was about this time when I noticed new little roots shooting off the bottom of my oldest start.  Very exciting!

Well, it was about this stage when I could no longer contain my excitement and the allure of spring weather in Seattle called to me.  So I planted the darn things.  Big mistake.  A few unexpected dips below 55 degrees and half my crop was annihilated.  The little babes were not hearty enough.  So here are my tips for you:

1.  Make sure to leave enough of the end so that the center can regrow.  This is super important.  Your celery end will not regrow properly without it.  If you skip this part, your celery will look like the two "freeform" specimens below.

Notice the height difference?  The centers of the two on the left were cut too short and regrew from the outer stalks.

2.  If you're like me and you don't want to waste any of the goodness, peal off the stalks until you're only left with a few in the center.  Then you can lop off the top, stick it in a bowl of water and watch the magic happen!

3.  Do not submerge the celery past the root.  If the stalks are left hanging out in the water, they will get all mushy and gross.  As the celery starts to grow, I pealed back the remaining outer layers.  It looked a bit tidier and didn't impact growth.  It also prevented the outer celery stalks from sitting in water.

4.  If you rush the babies outside and the temp starts to dip, simply grab your largest drinking glass or even a small bowl and pop it on top of the celery start.  I didn't think of this until after the low temps had picked off three of mine, but basically you want to create a make-shift greenhouse.  It's advisable not to put it on later than 3pm or leave it on later than 10am.  You want your celery to retain some of the afternoon heat, but you don't want to suffocate the poor thing and hold too much moisture on the leaves.

5.  When all else fails, start again!  You will have wonderfully spaced plantings that will allow each one to grow and be harvested a few days and/or weeks apart.  As a bonus, you'll look super smart for doing so.

So there you have it!  A super easy veggie to start and a fun project for the kiddos too.  I hope to be munching on plenty of yummy celery this year!

xo, k