Monday, April 16, 2012

Covert Robin Gift

Hello!  I'm Rikki from Optimistic Slacker & I was Amanda's Covert Robin.  From what I was able to ascertain, Amanda, like me, is taking it one day at a time & doing what she can to make good, healthy choices for herself & her family - and she gardens!  My husband (Yobo) & I (ok, mostly Yobo) have been working on our garden over the past few years and have spent a lot of time experimenting with what yummies we can grow that will be productive up our way in Alaska.  When we found out where Amanda's at, Yobo immediately asked if we could move there because they have some EXCELLENT growing conditions!  Saving the trip, we settled on gardening vicariously through her  - hope she doesn't mind! :)   

Somewhere in Amanda's blog, I read that she didn't have much for winter wear, so some mittens were in order!   These are just some lightweight, lovely feeling mittens.  Now, I didn't knit the mittens or dye the yarn, but I did spin the yarn  :D   This was some 70/30 merino/silk spun about about 2 years ago that was dyed & knit by a friend and fellow Alaskan.  Now put those mittens away until fall and let's bring on the summer!

We've recently come into possession of some TRUE potato seeds - as in not seed potatoes, but potatoes that grow from true seeds!  Given the somewhat difficulty in finding these, we thought they'd make an excellent addition to Amanda's food growing endeavors. 

Some lovely tomatoes that should do quite well in that lovely weather!  These beauties are NOT green tomatoes!  They are true red tomatoes with an abundance of anthocyanins, giving them a beautifully lush purple color  :D

And, a personal favorite, last but not least, paracress!  This is sure to spice up many dishes with it's bite!  Or have some fun with Halloween pranks with a tingly twist!  They really are quite tasty, but the slight-numbing action is hard to beat.  Eating leaves from our plant sure made dealing with braces a heck of a lot easier for me - works way better than orajel or the like.  The "toothache plant" was a big hit with our teething baby, too  :D

Well, happy gardening & have a wonderful summer!



Thank you so much Rikki!!  I loved everything.  The gloves are super soft and they're even cooler now that I know you spun the wool yourself :-)

And the seeds totally made my day!  I am super excited for the "toothache" plant as Alyssa's been teething for almost 3 months trying to get some teeth to pop up (funny enough this weekend 2 did finally break through.  Of the 4 I was expecting it wasn't any of them.)  Even though she's handled it like a champ I bet she'd like a little break from it.   Not that I am meaning to take away from the other seeds - I'm pumped for them all!

(I should clarify something: I don't garden... yet... I'm starting my first real attempt at it since we've finally got a yard to do it in.  So, Rikki, if you and Yobo have any tips for me I'll Happily take them!!)

Thank you so much Rikki for my gift!! 


  1. New follower from Blog Hop! Your blog looks great!

  2. New follower from blog hop, thanks for following me as well.

  3. fabulous!! thanks for participating :)

  4. New follower from the blog hop!

  5. Great swap! I am jealous of the food things as we are growers in our little plot of home too. :)

  6. Oh my goodness Amanda! I am so sorry for the delay & poor researching skills. Here is a fabulous gardening website/forum we use often -

    I only send you elsewhere because they have forums that are regional & would have information more pertinent to your zone. If you have any questions though, please feel free to drop me a line & I would be more than happy to answer them (really, passing them onto Yobo to answer - gotta give the man his props) LOL

    We have our paracress in a pot indoors. You should have no problem growing it outdoors where you're at though. They don't require anything special - just good soil, water, a little sun, and some love :)

    People normally do potatoes with what are referred to as "seed potatoes", which are just established potatoes with some eyes ready for producing more potatoes. What you have are TRUE potato seeds, actual seeds.

    The potato seeds will produce delicate, little potatoes the first year (please check out the links I included on the card). Use some of those 1 year taters as seedling potatoes for next year. This is a great, hardy variety to start your potato adventures! Plus, kids LOVE harvesting potatoes because they're basically just digging in the dirt for treasure LOL next year, you can just drop your seed potatoes (not potato seeds) on a piece of cardboard on the lawn or in some dirt & cover them regularly with mulch (we just use our grass clippings). That's it. No fuss, no muss = AWESOME.

    Tomatoes need heat & sun. I would definitely talk to some locals to see what they're doing & when to put them out. There is a ton of information on tomatoes at Dave's.

    My research skills are somewhat lacking, but yay! for hooking you up with some loveliness with which to start your garden. Happy gardening!

  7. Update on the potatoes (this is our first year with potato seeds, too) - little dudes really are delicate; plant 1-2 to a 4" pot with airy soil. Read up more on this one - you may be able to direct seed them.

    Totally on the plus side, odds are there aren't many people around you growing potatoes from seed... that kinda makes you a cool cat in my book LOL be a rebel from the beginning!