Archive for February, 2015

New CobraHead How-To Videos

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Our daughter Anneliese has a good friend, Jason Weiss, who is a professional cinematographer. Jason and I spent a few days in the garden last summer shooting CobraHead tools in action.  Jason then edited the videos and produced eight different titles and a loop for us to use at trade shows.

We’re quite happy with the finished product.  We’ve got them loaded up on YouTube and our website.  If you’d like to spend a few minutes looking at them, it may make you forget the nasty cold we are enjoying all over the north, right now.

Starting Onions Indoors

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Onion Flats Under Lights

Onion Flats Under Lights

Here are three flats of onions I planted on February 8th, 9 days ago. Most of the nearly 1,600 seeds are sprouting nicely in flats in the basement. The flats are on a heat mat and lit with various LED grow lights we have accumulated over the last few years.

The onions are growing in a commercial potting soil. I used to make my own potting soils, but I’ve found the commercial mixes to be much more reliable in giving me good strong root growth, and they are certainly a lot easier to work with. Mostly, I’ve been using Jiffy Mix. Jiffy now offers organic mixes and they sell it in large bags, which I like, since I go through a lot.

Copra Onion Seedlings

Copra Onion Seedlings

These seedlings are Copra onions, a very reliable commercial yellow hybrid storage onion that I’ve grown many times. Also planted is Red Bull, a red storage hybrid, new for us. That’s it for the hybrids, the rest of the crop includes, Borretta Cipollini, an old time heirloom flat Italian onion that we’ve only grown once before, and Rossa Lunga di Tropea, a torpedo shaped red Italian heirloom that we have not previously grown.

Finally, we have just over 300 Lincoln leeks seedlings. Lincoln is an old American heirloom that normally does well, although I had a leek crop failure last year. I know my mistake and I hope to have a good leek harvest by replanting my leeks to another outside bed for some growth before I plant them deeply in their final home.

I’ll start fertilizing the flats, soon, and transfer them upstairs to a south facing window to free up the heat mats for tomatoes and other crops that also need the heat to get started.

Mashed Potato Salmon Pie

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Mashed Potatoes and Salmon Pie

Mashed Potatoes and Salmon Pie

Last week I wanted a “stick to your ribs” meal for dinner. I had potatoes and salmon on the brain so I went searching on the internet for a recipe with those ingredients. I found a salmon and potato casserole recipe that looked interesting, so I gave it a try. While it was very tasty we thought it was on the dry side.   So here’s my version that we liked a whole lot better.




15 oz canned pink salmon, drained, skin and bones removed, and separated into chunks

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut in 1″ pieces – I used unpeeled Colorado Rose potatoes (from the garden)

1 cup milk, warmed – I used soy milk that I had on hand

4 ounces shredded cheese – I used a mix of Monterey Jack & Swiss – whatever you have on hand

3 T. parmesan cheese, grated

2 large eggs, beaten

2 T. butter

4 oz. Neufchatel cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (from the garden)

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Grease a 10″ diameter pie pan.
  2. Cook potato chunks in boiling salted water until tender – about 20 minutes and drain.
  3. Using a large bowl mash the potatoes along with the warmed milk, shredded cheese, 1 Tbls. parmesan cheese, butter and Neufchatel cheese. I left it a little chunky.
  4. Stir in the salmon and onions and check for seasoning.
  5. Stir in the 2 beaten eggs and mix well.
  6. Place in prepared pie pan and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, until heated through.

Serve with a nice big salad and you’re good to go! Also makes great leftovers. The chilled baked mixture slices very nicely. Cut into 3/4″ slabs and pan fry in a little olive oil preheated on medium high for about 4 minutes (2 minutes on each side) until heated through. Serve for breakfast with some fried eggs or serve with sliced apple and celery sticks for a quick lunch.