Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The peas are ready. They are sweet from the vine but I hope enough pods survive to be cooked.
The blueberries are ready to pop! Birds are eating the strawberries - the pie pans are no longer a deterrent so we'll have to go to netting. The strawberries have sent out runners so I'll need to thin them out this weekend.
The bush beans have put out flowers and the pole beans are climbing. The tomatoes LOVE the hot weather and frequent overnight rains.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
From greenhouse where the seed potatoes were rooted and leafed: To the pots lined up for planting....
These were planted into the old pyramid composter repurposed as a potato container:
The container is lasgana method with manure, compost, peat, straw and dirt. As the plants grow, we'll be adding more peat/straw/dirt as we go.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The strawberry plants are lush with fruit!
These are 2-3 year old plants.
This is one of the new lasagna boxes with compost, peat and dirt. I gave the plants a big helping of coffee grounds last week as well.
The bottles are used for continuous watering and water conservation. They also helped keep the plants warm along with straw during the frosts.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
These are the tulips we cut to bring inside the house. The crocus are about finished blooming. Asian lilies are about 3-5 inches tall. Naked Ladies are in full leaf. Peonies are also coming up.
I had thought that I had pruned Rose of Sharon too harshly last fall but the main branches have small buds developing. I may not get any flowers this year, but at least they'll survive.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tonight is a frost warning so the covers will have to go on the boxes and we'll wrap the blueberries in bed sheet.
Friday, April 15, 2011
- expand garden beds on northern fence (approximately six 4' raised beds) -- completed
- double dig the new beds (borrow tiller from Harry?) -- decided to use lasagna method
- use old compost "pyramid" to cultivate potatoes -- check. seed potatoes are sprouting.
- plant container blueberry bush (and new ones) in northwest corner -- completed
- add raspberry and blackberry canes using esplanier method (trellis trained)
- add dwarf fruit trees esplanier method (maybe apricot/peach/cherry) along north fence
- strawberry bed -- three different varieties. straw placed in bed to protect plants from spring chilliness
- add perennial flowering herbs to side yard (north side)
- check asparagus patch -- asparagus is up. thinking of buying more male plants - more plants bought, need to dig them in.
- construct raised bed boxs (4'x4') for old and new beds. -- completed. have 5 4'x4' and 5 6'x4' beds
- use slow watering techniques (2L pop bottles) -- installed in tomato and strawberry beds
- set up soaker hose in new beds -- not sure if this is viable using the existing hose and new beds.
- rain water catchment on northeast corner of house to water new beds
- wildflower bed - long stemmed for flower arrangements -- seeded.
- rabbit proof yard -- dog fur along openings check.
- basement - set up indoor growing site for seedlings -- yes. done. still have some things downstairs - green onions, yellow squash
- early tomatoes? -- probably not.
- supplies for row coverings (PVC pipe and clear plastic ) -- check.
I've been diagnosed with psoaratic arthritis - I have all the symptoms of Rhuematoid arthritis but tested negative for the Rh factor. I am being treated with a combination of piroxicam, humira (a "biologic" - monoclonal antibody - anti-TNF) and methotrexate. I take tramadol for pain. It currently affects the mobility and dexterity in my hands/wrists, neck, hip, and toes. Reducing localized and systemic inflammation is a main health goal.
My friend, Alexa, is a wonderful supporter in this endeavor.
I expect to grow most of our spring/summer/autumn vegetables in the backyard this year. There are two exceptions: corn and squash which can be had very cheap at the farmer's market and in plentiful supply. Both are heavy feeders and take up a lot of space in the garden so it makes economic sense to simply buy local from trusted farmers.
I've toyed with the four season harvest and one year harvested winter carrots in March. I use the double dig, raised bed method with succesive, intensive planting. I have three compost tumblers for soil improvement.
My gardening has a purpose - mental, physical, spiritual.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
1. Don’t go digital on February 17. It’ll save money and liberate time. Affirmative! I didn't go digital and do not have television in my house. I got rid of internet as well so I don't watch any television programming on the laptop either. I do watch DVDs either on the laptop or with Alexa at her house. I have a blackberry so I do get email at home.
2. Commit to an anti-inflammation (mostly vegetarian) lifestyle. This comes and goes. Recommitted with the new season and Alexa's support.
3. Eat 75% local (100 mile ) nutrition. Ditto. The garden was expanded and much more produce will be available from less than 10 ft away. Farmer's market for things I can't or won't grow: zucchini, peaches, apples, specialty plants.
4. Eliminate packaged foods to all extent possible. Mmm, partial success.
5. Reduce waste in the household. Increase recycling. Yep. No-sort recycling with a new company makes it easy to dump everything (plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, etc) into the big tote. 6. Determine and follow a financial plan and schedule for home improvements (roof, bathroom, deck, etc). I have saved up enough money to complete the projects. Prioritization completed. Now to get quotes and start work.
7. Expand the garden beds. I have twice the growing space as last year. The boxes were built in 4'x4' and 6'x4' dimensions.
8. Plant dwarf fruit trees. The potted lemon tree that Mom gave me in 2009 is in good shape an dproducing fruit. This is on schedule for this year. Blueberry, blackberry/raspberry, and cherry esplanier.
9. Implement rain water catchment for irrigating the garden beds. Also on schedule for this year with the new beds.
10. Ride my bike for enjoyment at least twice a week, weather permitting. With my RA under control, this should be good to go for this summer.
11. Use bike/trailer to do local shopping on weekend. Maybe. Traffic is a problem unless I do grocery shopping at 6 am.
12. Ride to work at least once a week. Possibly. Safety in traffic a concern. 13. Continue reducing “things” in the house aka the 100 Thing Challenge. Pretty good. I still have a big closet to go. The neighborhood grarage sale is coming up 3rd week in May.
14. Explore different compost systems to maximize production and minimize space.I obtained 3 compost tumblers which work pretty efficiently. Also have a cold pile box.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Seedlings were started in the first week of March.
Direct seeding of some crops was accomplished in the third week in March.
Compost was redistributed amongst the tumblers for better and quicker cooking. The manufacturer boasts usuable compost in 21 days. The temperatures haven't been too warm laterly.
We had a couple days of 60's and now due for two weeks of 30's. Cold frames ready.
Oh, I forgot to mention - the mint. It has escaped containment and I was very careful not to cultivate and spread the little segments all over. I'm sure I'll be pulling up peppermint throughout the growing season.