Spring Garden

March 20, 2012


spring greens garden 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.

peace,

julayne

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Hypnotized

March 3, 2012


richard at the burn pit during full moon

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.

peace,

julayne


la salle county, illinois

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.

peace,

julayne

Winter’s Retreat

February 27, 2012


la salle county, illinois

greetings!

i thought i would post one more of my snow pics. what a difference a few days makes! the snow is gone and i’ve been busy happily spreading beautiful horse manure on the garden. this is a busy and exciting time for gardeners. i enjoy preparing the garden in the spring. last fall i read  the gardening memoir grow the good life by michelle owens. i truly enjoyed it and was definitely inspired by her gardening experiences. i’m always so interested in learning from those who have boldly gone feet first into gardening and are not afraid to admit all of the crazy mistakes they’ve made so that the rest of  us may learn. thank you michelle!

A late winter poem courtesy of  www.poertyfoundation.org

Hunger Moon

BY JANE COOPER

The last full moon of February
stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position
until now, in the small hours, across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me, not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun of silence.
I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.
Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.
peace,
julayne

Asparagus Patch

February 24, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i know i’ve mentioned in several of my posts that we’ve seen very little snow this winter. i can now actually say that we did receive snow today in the early morning hours. snow this time of year reminds me of the book sugar snow by laura ingalls wilder ; one of a series of early little house books i read to my daughter sierra when she was a preschooler. thinking that this snow might not stick around too long, i grabbed my camera and went  out this morning to take a few photos; it was nice to have the snow to brighten up the landscape. i have to admit i was getting a little frustrated with our winter palette of brown, brown, and more brown.

it’s hard to believe that we will be noticing asparagus spears poking up out of the ground soon by the looks of our patch in the photo. i’m starting to get very excited about spring and the upcoming gardening season. so far the seeds we have started are in various forms of germination and i’m looking through seed catalogs to round out garden plans for this year. i’m very anxious to try an heirloom winter squash called  delicata. also, richard has promised me a spot for a kitchen herb garden right outside the door. i’m such a lucky gal :0).

have a great weekend!

peace,

julayne

Perspective

February 21, 2012


vermillion river, la salle county, illinois

hello!

i took this photo earlier this winter while hiking along the vermillion river. i guess that my natural curiosity got the better of me and i had to bend down and look into the hollow log. not an unusual thing for me to do. looking at the world from a different perspective from time to time can be healthy  in that it may spark creativity or unique thoughts; your own personal way of thinking outside the box.

peace,

julayne

The Best Day Ever

February 17, 2012


la salle county, illinois

oh happy day!  my first eagle photo!

on our way home from town this morning richard and i spotted this beauty on the back road in a pasture. he (or she?) seemed to be a little bit off the beaten path , for an wintering eagle anyway, as i think they tend to stay near the river. we stopped to admire him for just a moment and then zoomed home to grab the camera. when we returned , he was still there. what a thrill!

whatever the reason this beautiful creature was brought to our neck of the woods, i’ll be forever grateful :).

have a great weekend!

peace,

julayne