Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gardening Pics and Food Independence Days Update

So.... A bunch of pictures of things that were accomplished here at my place this past weekend.

First off, a pic from the street of the front of our house as it is now. We just installed the two plant beds that are visible. The support posts were taken from around my birch tree, and we built up a circular rock bed, into which I planted pansies, alyssum, and some sweet peas. (All as seed, so nothings come up yet and there aren't any flowers currently in the flower bed.

The other bed is just visible against the house (a better picture is below). It's made of redwood "logs", each log approximately 6" (maybe 8") in diameter, stacked two high, then back filled with top-soil. Again, planted flower seed, so no flowers are yet in the bed.

Here is a better picture of the flower bed against the house. In it, I planted Batchelor's Buttons; Black Eyed Susans; Forget-me-nots; Shasta Daisies; Delphiniums; Larkspur; Hollyhock; Columbine; Persian Jewels (also called "love in a mist"); Echinacea (also called Purple Coneflower); Scarlet Poppies and multi-colored Iceland Poppies; Marigold; Johnny Jump-ups (also called Viola); Lobelia; Baby Blue Eyes (also called Nemophila); Snapdragons; and Sweet Peas.

Scott said he thinks I bought out the entire stock of flower seed, and why the heck was I planting so much seed. I told him it's mainly so SOMETHING comes up! I haven't had incredible luck in the past with my flowers germinating and growing, so I figured the MORE seed, the better. If even a part of it all grows, we should end up with a reasonably full flower bed this year. *grin* And some of it is perennial, so hopefully if it grows this year, it'll self-seed and grow again next year. (The Shasta Daisies, Poppies, Echinacea, Columbine, Hollyhock, Delphinium, Black Eyed Susans and Johnny Jump-ups are all perennial.)

Here is a close-up of the bed around the birch tree. Scott picked out these lovely "rose brown" stones. They're actually concrete, poured into these angled molds that make paving stones that stack nicely into a circle. It's almost 4 feet in diameter. I planted the alyssum around the outter edge, the pansies in the middle, and a few sweet peas right up against the tree. Hopefully the alyssum will fill in those cracks in between the stones and drape over the edge. Unfortunately, when watered, the water also wands to run out between the stones at this bottom edge, taking soil with it. I hope I'm not washing away all my alyssum seed before it has a chance to germinate and take root.

Now, if only that poor little birch would thicken up and bulk out. I still think it really resembles an adolescent boy, all gangly and lanky and no meat in "his bones." *grin*

Next, a picture of my veggie beds in the back. Yes, I said veggie "BEDS". We got my second one built this weekend. Or, more accurately, Scott built it then we rototilled out where we wanted it to go, partially took some of the rototilled dirt out (basically set the dirt back around the OUTSIDE of the bed to anchor the bed in place), and back-filled it with fresh top-soil.

Here in this pic you can see the veggie bed we put in LAST summer. I've partially planted it, but I'm waiting for my carrot seed to arrive before I finish planting it. (I realized early on last week that I forgot to order any new carrot seed and we'd used up ALL the carrot seed I bought last year. So I ordered more, but it hasn't arrived yet.)

The new veggie bed sits back there at a 90 degree angle to the old bed, but a foot or so further back, and 2 feet to the left. I may yet get a barrel planter back there in that corner. I'm not sure. That, or a pallet or two holding my cucumbers and such, if they don't die first.

I'm going to put in a couple rows of carrots, and at least one more row of Swiss Chard.

Here, lastly, is a close-up of my newest veggie bed. When I took this picture yesterday I didn't have much in the bed already. A row of turnips down the right side, a row of beets down the left. (I learned from last year, and planted the beets where they won't be overshadowed by the turnips, and I put them so that the sun runs up the LENGTH of the rows, instead of across rows.)

What isn't seen here is that we came home last night and I planted 4 cabbage starts into this bed, and 8 broccoli starts. That pretty well fills it up. (A tiny little strip at the far end of the bed that I may put more lettuce into.)

So, there you have it. This is what we accomplished HERE this weekend. That's not even to mention all the planting we did over at the FIL's house yesterday.

So, here's my FIDC (Food Independence Day Challenge) Update for the past week.

Planted: lots & lots of flowers (as they were mentioned above by name, I won't do so again here); onion; beets; turnips; cabbage starts; broccoli starts; another pepper plant from the FIL's house. 3 potato barrels. AT the FIL's house: half-row lettuce, half-row spinach; half row onion, half row radishes; 1 row swiss chard; 2 rows beets; 2 rows carrots (FIL went and bought more yesterday rather than wait on my order to arrive); 2 rows bushy beans; 2 rows peas; 1 row (18 plants, I think?) broccoli (or cabbage, remember the mix up with the seed?); 21 cabbage (2 rows); and 1 cucumber seedling that was in dire need of transplanting. FIL said he's not working this week, so told us to leave the transplanting of the cucumbers, tomatoes and squash to him, to give him SOMETHING constructive to do this week. (Well, something that doesn't involve working on MIL's "Honey-Do" list.) Scott and FIL actually planted the potatoes last Monday over at the FIL's house.

Harvested: a LOT of sun, and freckles, and some sun-burn.

Tended: My previously planted bean patch. (8 seedlings have sprouted so far! 17 left to go.) My barrels with the zucchini seeds and the dill seeds. (None of those have come up yet. Another day or two and I'm going to re-try.) My pots here in the house with rosemary seed; thyme seed (2 little sprouts!); MORE tomato seed; corn seed; and sage seed. My pepper plant (which started to die. *gasp!* My rhubarb and chive plants.

Preserved something: Nope.

Make Preps: got 4 5-gal-sized buckets from a coworker who has cats. (These buckets contain the un-used cat-litter. When she gets a good number of buckets accumulated, she asks at work if anybody wants them. They're free for the asking. I got 4. Not a WHOLE lot of "preparation", but once I get the other two washed out, they'll work great for storing flour or sugar or such in, instead of the bags being stored in my cabinet. (2 of them are holding top-soil for my potato plants.)

Eat Your Veggies: (previously "Cook Something New") That is, not just our veggies, but the things we're putting aside, we should be eatting them and cooking with them. Making good use of the preparations we ARE making. If I had chickens, this would include eatting the eggs and the cooking the chickens after "processing" them. Let's see now.... We DID have salmon this past week (caught by Scott's buddy Jeremy, last year). Also eatting our pickled beets & carrots & green tomatoes & cucumber-pickles that we put up last fall. (DANG!!! Those cucumber pickles are POTENT! But the beets aren't nearly pickled enough, and have TOO much clove, for my taste.) Gotta clear out the previously pickled goods so we can reuse the jars this coming fall.

Manage Your Reserves: Finished up the last of the potatoes from last year (put 3 of them in my potato barrels, planted a bunch over at the FIL's house); ate a couple of them. Eatting the canned goods as mentioned above.

Work on/Toward Local Food Systems: nope, not unless you count the fact that I'm gardening here AND at the FIL's house.

Reduce Waste: (Was compost something) not really.... Again, unless you include me taking those 4 buckets; and the fact that I'm now using my clothes line. (But, I'm NOT harvesting rain water yet, due to the fact that Scott's currently digging up the spot where my rain barrel sits, trying to figure out why we kept losing fuel pressure from our fuel tank to our furnace, all winter.)

Learn a new skill: Nope.

So, what else is new??? I saw the Dr. on Thursday and she put me on Advair for allergies. It's been helping, too!! So, I get to call her tomorrow morning and tell her it works, and ask her for a full prescription for it. Eventually (once everything with Tay slows down) I'm going to get in and get some allergy tests done, so we can find out exactly what it is I'm allergic to. And we'll take it from there, but for now, the Advair is working enough that I'm not miserable & feeling sick any more.

I've got a new addiction. It's called "Farm Town" and it's a game on Facebook. I've been spending FAR too much time playing this game. *wry smile*

I think that's it, really.... Nothing new to pass on, really. Hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to get by everybody's blogs.
Have a Blessed Week!


LadyStyx said...

Lookin good. Hopin somethin nice comes up for ya this year!

heather said...

When you plant something in Farm
Town at least you know that it is absolutely going to grow!

MarmiteToasty said...

Looking wonderful... hope it all grows.... we planted our runner beans in pots and when I thought they was big enough for the chickens to leave be, we planted them out around the wigwam sticks, one day and the chickens had thought it was crimbo and had pecked the lot to nuffin LOL

so today me and my Jacob put a little wire fence around the little veggie plot and replanted straight in the ground and put the courgettes in, the chickens were eyeing them up but cant get at them :)


Tori_z said...

WOW! You really have been busy! Hope you get a good harvest after all that work.

Glad the allergy meds are helping.

Sian said...

Birch trees are deceptive little suckers, one miniute all gangly, the next, hulking great brutes!

Best of luck with the allysum, I can't grow them wither but they smell heavenly don't they?

Celticspirit said...

Looks great! I love reading your gardening posts. You sure do seem to have a green thumb.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...


I'm exhausted, and all I have done is to read what you have done.

Wendy said...

Getting the garden planted always makes me feel good :).

So? When are you getting the chickens? ... :).

whimsical brainpan said...

Kati I am so impressed with all you have learned and accomplished.

Celticspirit said...

Just checking to see if you are OK. Hope you are all doing well.

Robin said...

I know I've been busy, but are you okay?

Robin said...

You okay?

Robin said...

Just wondering if you're okay.....