Monday, May 6, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
We removed the prickly pear from the ugly concrete thing it was in and replanted it in the back yard along the fence. It's growing new paddles now!
Lavender strawberries in various locations and going wild.
The garden as a whole is pretty symmetrical and filled out. I have 5 beds on one side and the other has 3 plus a big one.
Along one fence I have beans and corn.
My 1015 onions are getting big and I have a few red onions growing too.
I'm trying not to get my hopes up about the squash, but it's looking pretty good.
I have elephant garlic flowering. I cut the scapes today and will probably make pesto with them.
And here is my big bed (covered in pecan blooms).
I'm trying the "three sisters" method here substituting sweet potato vines for squash since we have such problems with squash vine borer and I wanted to keep my squash under cover until it started blooming. Here I will have corn, with beans growing up the corn stalks and vines acting as mulch. I also have a ton of swiss chard, spinach, bibb lettuce, and a little arugula, a few hot peppers, and a ton of green tomatoes. I had to pull my snap peas because they were covered in powdery mildew (and at 7 feet tall they had outgrown themselves anyway) and so I've replaced them with cucumber vines instead. Our jasmine and blackberries are also growing and hopefully they'll cover the fences we built for them soon!
Oh, and here is a tiny fig.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
I wanted to keep tabs on what the garden produced and an estimated dollar value but I'm just not meticulous enough for that. I've been pulling an assortment of spinach, bibb, chard, beet, and arugula leaves every few days and we've had enough for a salad almost every night. With some homemade vinaigrette, maybe some bleu cheese and the pecans from my in laws, it's pretty tasty!
There are 2 peaches growing on the peach trees and the pear tree seems to be attempting to make pears.
The asparagus is shooting up, I can't believe I have to wait 2 more years to harvest it!
I checked on the bees and things look good. I should have reversed the hive bodies when I checked so I'm hoping to do that tomorrow. I have a couple of extra deep frames so I'd like to swap them out with some of the frames with old, dark wax before they get filled up. I also had some hive beetles in the top of the uppermost super so I need to track down the little beetle trap I have and get that installed too. We have plenty of flowers and now we have plenty of water too, so hopefully we'll have a good nectar flow.
I created one last raised bed, I plan to use the "three sisters" method in it except instead of squash I'll use sweet potatoes. The corn I planted didn't sprout though, so it may be too old. Will buy more corn seed. The idea is you plant the corn and once it's about 6 inches tall you plant beans to grow up the corn stalk. Then you have squash vines below to act as a ground cover/mulch.
I chose not to plant squash there becuase I had such a problem last year with the squash vine borers that I'm going all out with insect covers and some other strategies this year in hopes of a better outcome. Of course the fabric already tore, I need to figure out a better setup.
We got a lot of rain this week, which was desperately needed.
We're still in the process of getting our rain barrel/cistern setup figured out. The one barrel I have below the shed filled in minutes and water was shooting out the overflow holes. I got some long soaker hoses hooked up to them and now hopefully the overflow will divert to the fruit trees and the vegetable bed. We need to have tanks to hold 500 gallons or so for it to be of real use, since we tend to have heavy rains with long dry periods between.
And I continue in my attempt to grow alpine strawberries from seed. I had some that had gotten almost 1/2 inch tall (this took months!) and then I inadvertently killed them all. I've started over and have them in the window now in hopes that a little sun will help them out.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The spinach is looking spinachy and the chard finally seems to be outpacing the caterpillars (knock on wood).
The peas on the side fence are looking good (well, the Amish Snap Peas are, the shelling peas are a tangled stumpy mess).
We ate the first batch last night raw with sesame oil and poppy seeds, and they were tasty! It was a pretty good-looking plate with chard from my neighbor's garden, sweet potatoes and sage from mine, bread I baked, and a salad from the farmer's market. Too bad I didn't grow the wild rice or make the provolone... but it's good to have something to work toward!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The first day I worked 8-5 and because traffic sucked I didn't get home until closer to 6. It sucked horribly as I hate to be stuck in a car in traffic in any situation much less with my sweetie waiting for me at home. Since we start winding him down for bed around 6:45-7:00, this was unacceptable. So, I've started leaving for work in the dark which allows Aaron 2 hours of dad and boy time in the mornings and then I get home before 4:30 on a good day and get a couple hours of walks by the lake, stroller jogging, rolling on the bed play time, and lay in the grass while mom shovels stuff time (on a blanket, with a guard cat, of course).
It might be a different story if I had him with a stranger, but since my mom is taking care of him, I don't miss him too much. I get just enough time with him each day to fill up my inner basket of snuggles and smiles, and to be reminded how exhausting it is to take care of him all day. He seems happy, too.
I've been reading a French parenting book and it talks about how they make a point to have their kids wait regularly and play independently, to teach them frustration tolerance, patience, and self-entertainment. This fits in well with how I work also - I'm never ignoring him but I do try to give him time to play on his own when he seems content to do so. I've had a few experiences where he started shrieking or complaining and I couldn't rush over to him (hands covered in dough, etc) and I found that 15 seconds or so later he might be perfectly content again as he found another toy/turned himself around/forgot what was bothering him/who knows what. I do want him to grow up to be an independent little person who can make himself happy and does not rely on me to do that for him.
His happiness makes me wonder a lot. Like, wonder in a good way... it seems to be his base state to just be kicking around and happy. I like that. Sure, he gets frustrated when he's tired, hungry, lonely. As adults it seems we require a lot for happiness to sprout, not just the absence of crappy stuff. Of course he's usually smiling at somebody so I supposed his happiness may stem from connecting with other humans. We adults like that too. Working in a drug and alcohol detox I see people every day who really don't know how to be happy. Either they never knew or they forgot while they were chasing the artificial happiness for years and decades. I think I want to think more about happiness.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Winters loves to get his picture taken, he's just enamored of the camera. Here he saw me trying to get a shot of these pea shoots and thought I was taking his photo. He stopped paying attention to Aaron playing with him and turned on his little grinning bobblehead charm.