March 27, 2012
things have been pretty busy around here as you can see in the photo. richard and i have been very busy too. the extended warm spell and dry conditions have given us plenty of time to work in the gardens and other parts of the property. to add to our excitement, richard found an add for free red raspberries; all we had to do was go dig them up, so we did and we now have enough for a market garden size raspberry patch. we are busy transplanting them right now, i hope all goes well.
right now, we have: peas, radish, beets, carrots, lettuces all emerging. we have several volunteers coming up such as kale, cilantro, a few carrots and onions; we leave them where they are and plant or weed around them. the garlic wintered nicely and is looking very happy. along with the raspberry canes, i have planted potatoes and spinach. currently we are in a bit of a cool down spell with storms predicted the next few days. i’m hoping to get in another succession planting of lettuce in the ground today.
the compost heap is working nicely and we have started our second batch. when we moved the first batch to bin number two, it started cooling down. still haven’t figured out why it stopped cooking. i’m going to research that and think we can figure out just what made that happen.
hope you are having a pleasant spring.
March 20, 2012
happy first day of spring!
richard and i have been hard at work in the spring greens garden. even though the photo might not look like it, there is a lot going on: i have planted a variety of heirloom lettuces, arugala, and spinach. we also have planted radishes, beets, carrots, and oh, i mustn’t forget peas! we have planted sweet peas, which are grown for their flowers. sweet peas are one of my favorite flowers, and i grow them in honor of helen and scott nearing. the other pea is the sugar snap pea which is a favorite of richard’s. along with the pea plants we have built a trellis for them to climb on to. richard did a really nice job on the fence post/ tree limb supports, but i’m not so sure of my twine grid job. after the peas are done we hope to put summer squash and cucumbers that we will trellis too, so i hope my twine job will also hold the weight of the squash and cucumber. keep your fingers crossed for me.
in other garden news:
the garlic is very happy and loving the fertilizer that we applied a month ago.
the newly established compost is heap is coming a long very well. we are turning it to keep it aerated and letting the rain keep it moist. it’s starting to cook ; when we turn it we can feel some heat and also see steam ! this is a good indication that we are on the right track.
i have successfully started lettuce and spinach early in our homemade cold frame (see straw bales and windows at south of garden).
we have started the arduous task of eradicating invasive brush and richard has cleared out a ditch full of it, with the earliest work started in december. this is a very big, long term project and one we will work on as time allows. you have to start somewhere, right?
the turkey vultures have returned and i’m afraid that the eagles have gone. we have 3 species of woodpecker that we enjoy at the feeders. we bought a vinyl record album of bird calls from cornell university, and it’s very enjoyable to listen to.
please note: we are about 1 to 2 weeks earlier on planting this year. this is due to a very mild winter and an extremely warm spring. this past week we have experienced high temps in the upper 70’s lows in the 50’s and 60’s, and have record highs predicted for the next couple of days. we have a weather radio that we keep in the kitchen and listen to in the morning, it’s a great way to know how to plan your workday. we have lots of windows open airing out the stuffy wintriness. also, i fall into fits of sporadic spring cleaning jobs.
never a dull moment.
March 9, 2012
March 3, 2012
what is it about watching the flames of a fire that hypnotize us? flame gazing has a therapeutic, meditative quality about it that allows us to still our mind. perhaps it’s fascination with fire that we have genetically inherited by the earliest humans? do we control the flames or do the flames control us? something to contemplate.
although i don’t think this photo is of the best quality. i love the subject.
enjoy your weekend.
March 1, 2012
hello and happy march 1st!
richard grew these birdhouse gourds a couple of seasons ago and we made them into homes for our feathered friends last winter. i really appreciate how utilitarian growing and using this particular gourd can be. we didn’t get too fancy by painting them, although, i think a coat of some sort of weatherproofing might be a good idea. however, i don’t think i would be able to put them in the compost heap if they were treated with some sort of paint or varnish. the birds moved in last spring and seem to like them very much and that gives me a good feeling.
we are starting to work on a 3 bin composting system made from standard wooden skids which we have on hand. large amounts of compost are essential for a healthy, fertile, soil and plants. along with the compost bins we have also set up a simple cold frame made from bales of straw and old single pane windows that were laying idle in the attic. i have planted various lettuces and some spinach as well. of course, i’ve got the elusive (for me anyway) corn salad in there as part of my desire to learn how to best make that delicious herb grow.