Friday, February 20, 2009

Seed Wealth And The Thief!

I went to bed last night savoring my latest seed delivery and contemplating the sense of fabulous wealth I get from simply possessing these glorious seeds. It is almost paradoxical to get such a feeling simply from possessing the seeds. After all, there is no guarantee I can actually make any of them grow! I think the feeling comes from an appreciation of the tremendous potential each seed represents. It's a feeling closely linked with the impulse to dance with glee every time a seed germinates- despite the odds, they are going for it! A full-on effort to reach their potential every time! What would the world be like if every human hit the ground running with such purpose?

In addition to seeds, something else arrived here yesterday. It is a big-girl toy I have been lusting after for years. I have watched the used for sale ads for longer than I can even remember. Because this toy is way expensive new. And, I have to admit, I got such a good deal I feel like I stole it. I shouldn't. I didn't haggle. I paid what they were asking, without hesitation. And my new toy was one of many tools being sold at discount prices due to the divorce of a landscape company owner. So I didn't really steal it, but gosh it feels like I did. Are you ready? Have you guessed what I bought? Okay, okay, here it is! Ta da!

This is a BCS 730 walking tractor with rear tine tiller (attached). It also came with a 40" street/lawn sweeper attachment you can see to the far right. I will probably never use that, although I could clear the snow from my driveway with two passes. To put this deal in perspective, the tractor is by far the most expensive of the three pieces and the sweeper attachment would be about $1600 new. I paid well below $1600 for the whole shebang. It's not new, and it had been in storage for several years. But with fresh gas it started right up. This is, of course, not the kind of tool you need for a backyard garden. But this year my gardening plans stretch well beyond what I can do in my own yard (if everything continues to fall into place- fingers crossed!). This purchase is a perfectly timed and very exciting development!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maggie's Vinegar Pot

Well, it's here! After months of lusting after Laura's vinegar pot, I have finally managed to get one of my own. How did I manage this? I have people. I call them eBay.

My little pot has a history. I don't know the whole story, but the previous owner(s?) left clues attached to the pot. The Digoin sticker on the front suggests it was born in France. But on the backside is another sticker. This one is in German. But it was shipped to me from Virginia. Previously owned by a military family perhaps? I'll never know for sure. But I thank them for bringing this little pot across the ocean. And I look forward to putting it to work. Now I just need to find some mother and a spigot and we're in business... I'll keep you posted.


The first babies of the season are pak choi. These particular seeds are hybrids. I am moving away from using hybrid seeds, for the most part. But I have several partial packs of seed to use, so naturally, I am! These seeds germinated literally overnight. I am always amazed by this process. My kids tease me about my great wonderment; but I just can't help myself, and don't think I should anyway!

I'll Hold Him; You Give Him The Pill

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Future Garden

I thought I would post a picture of what I plan to turn into the mega-garden. This corner of our backyard gets the best light. The giant pine on the end there will most likely have to go. Don't yell at me please; I hate to do it, but a girl has gotta have a little sun in her life! There are a number of others just like it across the back of the yard and they are all safe. Plus, if I cut down the tree my neighbor likes to hack at, I steal his joy. Not that I'm bitter.

Anyhoo... The little cinder block bed is my garlic bed (it's doing very well!). Right next to it will be the first spinach, in that dug up area. It will also be a raised bed. To the right you can see our three Concord grape vines. And to the far right you can see a little bit of the enormous maple tree that I love (and which is safe), but which casts an enormous shadow over what would otherwise be the best spot for a garden. Humph.

The roof at the bottom of the picture is the roof on the sunroom. So that gives you an idea of what I see from that room. Also, towards the back, almost in the center of the picture, is one of the two dogwoods. I may eventually take that out too, but not now. The line of pines produces a dense line of shade along the back. I know dogwoods grow in woods; but I really think they are happier with a bit more light. My two back there are a bit sparse. The gardener in me can be brutal- perform or be evicted, unless you are especially interesting or sentimental. Being new to this yard, I have no great personal attachment to any of the existing plantings; but I know the former owner does, and I know he comes by once in a while. I almost cried when I took out a nasty prickly bush in the front, because I didn't want to sadden him. But, I have also come to believe that the ghost of his departed wife hates me and wants me out of her house. Grrr... (So Marie, consider this game-on. Quit causing me trouble in the house and I'll quit pulling up your plants in the yard. Otherwise... it could get ugly...)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Growing Challenge, New & Improved

Today I joined the updated Growing Challenge. The new twist is the challenge to raise crops from seed all the way through the growing cycle to harvest your own seed to use next year. Last year, I joined the challenge late and then fell out when life events allowed the indoor garden to collapse. (That was sad) So I am really looking forward to the opportunity to make good on my challenge this year.

Today is still chilly. But the backyard had dried enough that I could turn over a little bit of what will be the garden. It's actually the part of last year's tiny garden that didn't get planted to garlic (which is doing well, by the way). So I expanded that left over bit and will soon plant some spinach there. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not Dead Yet

Well, if anyone is still there, I apologize (again) for my failure to post. I have been trapped in The Land of Chaos and have only just begun to find my way out. Tricky place that Chaos.

While I have not been here, I have at least been thinking about the blog. And I've decided to move more towards a garden focus and away from, er, well come to think of it... chaos. Perhaps I'm inspired by Spring. Perhaps I'm finding more direction in life. I dunno. I just know that if I had my druthers, I would spend all of my time in the garden- dormant or dancing.

However, I also know I have a great tendency to ramble from idea to idea; so I suppose the blog will never become entirely a garden blog. For example, I have just ordered something that is not, strictly speaking, a garden item. But I consider it garden-related, via the kitchen. I am very excited about this purchase- but you will have to wait until it arrives to find out what it is! Hee hee!