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Please help me rank this website in Google by clicking on the following link: Derek Freiman Garden

After you click the link, hit ENTER and my website should appear. Just click back through to my website - it would really help me to rank better!

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Thank you!
Derek Freiman

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Where in the world has Derek Freiman been?!

A lot of you have been asking me the last few weeks: "Where has Derek Freiman been???"

Well, guess what gang, I've been really super busy working outside and helping people get their gardens in full swing. It is summer time, after all! After a mighty June growth spurt, July has brought very little rain to us here in the Pacific Northwest, so I've been making the rounds and making sure that things stay moist.

Except for tomatoes. I don't do a lot of watering on tomato plants and here is why - I leave a lot of space between plants. Usually, I aim for at least 3 feet between each plant and at least 3' between each row. In years past, I've only planted 1 row of tomatoes in any 3 foot wdie bed. This year, I built a new bed that was about 50" wide and I planted 2 side by side rows the length of the bed. They're a little bit crowded, but I've only water 2x nonetheless and they are doing great.

I did some consulting at a local military base and we followed the same model there. They had a space that was only 4 1/2 feet wide and 30' long and they wanted tomatoes planted in the entire space so what we did is kinda staggered the plants. In another words, plant 1 went in the corner on the left side of the bed and plant 2 went along the right side about 2' down. The next plant went back on the left side about 3 1/2 feet down from the first plant, so at the end of the day, they had plenty of room in a criss cross fashion. I was surprised the military guys let me do it that way, considering their knack for precision :)

July is usually a busy time for me. I've harvested a lot of potatoes from my own beds - what a bounty! - and followed those with more beets, cabbage, rutabaga, and a few herbs like cilantro and basil. So, if you want a great garden tip a la Derek Freiman, here it is:

Try to plan your garden around succession crops. Crops like fava beans, potatoes, and peas can all be planted in March and by late June to mid-July, they can all be harvested. Mid-July to early August is a wonderful time to add a round of beets and several other root vegetables into the same space just vacated. 

You can also wait til about August 1 or mid-August and come in with greens like spinach or Arugula. Those cold weather crops just need to get started before the freeze hits and you'll be eating greens all winter! 

Another thing you guys can do is if you grow a lot of fava beans and can't eat them all while they're fresh, just let them dry on the vine. Dried favas are easy to harvest and you'll have two things (1) you'll have your seeds ready to roll for next Spring's planting and (2) you can store the rest of the favas easily and then reconstitute them like you would any bean. Just soak them over night and cook them (think about black and pinto beans preparation). You can either leave them whole in your soup or you can puree them and make them part of a rich broth.

Either way, I recommend adding lots of fresh garlic as the two go together well. Then add a little olive oil, too, so you get that "mouth feel" and some fat flavor. The down side to letting the favas dry is that you'll be keeping in the ground longer - probably another month. So, if you planted in mid March, instead of harvesting fresh favas July 1, plan on leaving them in til about Aug 1. Then pull everything out and let any seeds that aren't dried out yet - just leave those out in the sun. Once they harden up, you'll know it cos they turn brown. Then store them in a bag or jar for whatever use you have in mind (see above).

Okay, well I think that's it for now, please feel free to email me anytime at But take mercy on me during the busy Summer planting and Fall harvest seasons, it might take a little while for me to respond.

Shout out to my boys at the military base - if you guys see this post, you'll know why I haven't returned your text messages to go fishing!

One of my favorite albums to put on the old headphones while I'm working in the garden!
Sincerely, DF

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Derek Freiman Gardening

Hi guys - Wow I have been so busy "working in the field" LOL.

I hope you will continue to call and schedule garden consulting - there is plenty of time to still get warm weather gardens started.

Just 2 days ago, I planted pumpkins and still plan to plant squashes and peppers in the coming weeks.  These are the crops that rely on warm soil to germinate and produce very well with a long summer - which I am crossing my fingers, this will be.  At least the farmers almanac says it will be :)

Derek Freiman
Here is what we have to look forward to!

Derek Freiman Gardening Consultant Rates For Summer

We are still working hard and I now added an assistant to help me.  So you can still order a garden consult and we'll get your herb garden going or whatever you need!  Just $75/hour (Most 8x8 gardens can be done within 4 hours, including compost)!!

derek freiman
Our kale plants are going to seed, so we have excess right now!  LEt me know if I can give you any!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost Summer!

derek freiman
Derek Freiman on Flickr now!

Boy it is so nice these days.  I have spent 3 days last week and 2 days this week working outside in the garden.  Life is a lot more balanced when we are working with the Earth, in the garden.

I have been cleaning things up lately, removing old branches I used to use for garden bed walls.  Now, I have accumulated a lot of scrap 2x4's and other pieces that I'm crafting into sturdy garden beds.  It is so much nicer when things are neat and straight.  The aesthetics in the garden are important to me.

What have you planted so far?

For me in my personal garden, it has been beets, bok choy, carrots, potatoes (last week), fava beans, peas and romaine.  The favas and peas have been in the ground nearly 3 weeks and just starting to come up.  It's been cold recently, so I think that's why it took longer than usual.

Most of the time, they'd come up in 2 weeks.

Anyway, back off to work and helping others get their gardens growing!!

Best, Derek Freiman

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My First Video - Overwintering Veggies!

I put together this pretty basic video to show some of my overwintering vegetables. Most of these things were planted last October, got started and did great over the winter!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tomato Transplanting

I found this video: and I thought I'd share it with you.

derek freiman tomatoesMany people get scared of transplanting tomatoes.  It's super easy - the key is just to harden them off a few days outside when it warms up into the 60's by day and at least mid 40's by night.

When you transplant them, do it like the video suggests - if' you've been growing them indoors for a while (like I do) you'll probably notice the stem's have gotten pretty long and need support.  So, you overcome this by planting deeply.

Don't be scared, just trust your instincts and contact me if you have any questions!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peas And Fave Beans Planted!

Well, with the weather clearing a bit here in the Northwest, it was a real good day to log some hours in the garden.  Just a reminder that you can still get in on the Derek Freiman garden package for 2013.

Okay, now, back to the events of the day - with photos!

I spent a few hours cleaning things up and weeding before I could plant.

derek freiman - fava
Like marking my territory!

derek freiman garden - fava planting

This is where I planted each of the fava beans today - each one was planted about 2' apart.

I know it is hard to tell from this photo, but the bed is 45' long.

The nice thing about planting fava beans is that they come up pretty quick.  IF you plant them in March, you can harvest by July 1 if not sooner, depending on the weather.  Then you can put them up - freezing is best.

Then follow them with another summer crop, depending on when these come out, I will be able to come back with squash, pumpkin, or basil - something like that.

Let me know if you have any questions!