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

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

Hiking. Gardening. Yoga.

February 8, 2012


margery carlson nature preserve, la salle county, illinois

hello!

here we are into february and still we’ve had no real snowfall to speak of. it’s not that i’m complaining, actually, i’m grateful in many ways for the mild winter; anyone who heats with propane could appreciate that. luckily, we have a wood stove that helps to supplement the high cost of heating with propane.

i took this photo last week while hiking in the margery carlson nature preserve; it’s my across the road neighbor. i like how the little bit of green moss peaks out in the sea of brown leaves.

richard has started seeds for this years garden. it’s always exciting to be able to get to work on the garden. we saved a lot of seeds from last years garden so this is a bit of an experiment for me. i’ve never done much seed saving before, but i think it’s definitely the right direction to go. richard is a member of  seed savers exchange . it’s a great organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. we have started a few variety of pepper seeds and also some ‘mystery’ seeds richard found in the basement; it will be interesting to see what (if anything) sprouts up from those. i love a good mystery :).

i have tried a new yoga dvd featuring teacher jason crandell. i shouldn’t be surprised that he credits rodney yee as one of his influential teachers. i recently heard an interesting interview with william broad on npr’s fresh air about the science of yoga. broad mentions that there is a new movement in yoga that makes yoga more assessable and safe for all of us. he cites the iyengar method of yoga as  yoga that uses props and modifications to make yoga safer. i can appreciate this as someone who , at almost  age 50, wants to get the most benefit but with less risk of injury.

i’ll leave you with a link to a recent video i found on you tube:

peace,

julayne

St. Louis Canyon

January 18, 2012


st. louis canyon, starved rock state park ~ near utica, illinois

happy wednesday!

what a great winter it’s been for being outdoors.

i took this photo just a couple of weeks ago. it was hard to believe it was janurary; the weather was so warm that day. today, we woke up to a temperature of 10 degrees. brrrrrrr

i can tell that the days are getting longer little by little, which is very encouraging to me this time of year.

peace,

julayne