Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Spite of the Weather

Things are happening at my house! On Saturday, my friend Mary and I went on a grand Willamette Valley adventure that included a trip to Voget's meats and Garden Ironworks in Hubbard, Goodwill and Al's Nursery in Woodburn, Beauman's and EZ Orchards in Salem, and a burger at the Creekside in Silverton. We got lots of asparagus which I have resting in water, waiting to be pickled.

We picked up my new pot rack (yay!) at the Ironworks place- now I just have to figure out how to hang it.

Then I saw this at Beaumans Farm and just had to have it! The perfect snap pea support! You just re-string it each year and it was a bargain!

Sunday started as a lazy day, since Mom and Mary The Intern didn't get to my house until late Saturday night from Conference. We had a great breakfast of bacon, bangers, fried tomatoes and shitake mushrooms, home made sourdough toast with home made jam, and fried eggs! Have to start the day off right!
Anyway, Mom and I worked outside since the weather was halfway decent while Steven and Mary worked on the computer inside. We got all the snap peas planted on their new support.

I also managed to make "Tomato Tuxes" for the tomato cages. These help to protect new tomato starts from inclement weather and wind. I was glad to have Steven's help, as Gorilla Tape can be tricky to work with.

I think I made them sturdy enough to last a few seasons. I'll need to do more field research to be sure...

My onions, radishes, and salad aways look exactly like the day before and I was beginning to get discouraged with the lack of sunshine, when I saw this picture I took a few weeks ago:

And compared it to this picture that I took yesterday:

I was shocked when I realized how much everything had actually grown! I suppose there's lesson about patience that I should learn here (insert pause). Okay, moving on...
My potatoes are coming up! Finally, my Norlands are above soil and I've noticed a few Russet Burbank and Yukon Gold plants poking their way above the surface.

During our trip to Al's Nursery, I picked up some sage, shallots, celery, and a tomatillo. The sage will go in the herb bed, but the other plants managed to fill one whole raised bed. I only have 1/2 of a bed left with nothing in it; I'm thinking Brussels sprout seeds.

On Sunday, Mom and I planted most of the bush bean plants I had started in the greenhouse. We quickly ran out of room and the rest of the starts have found homes with Bob across the street and Linda Kirsch.

And finally, I saw the first honey bee in my yard! It was sluggishly visiting each chive flower. I hope he finds my blueberries soon!

Did You Know...

...that my house is a four-bedroom? I know that to the casual observer, my little 866 square foot house would be impossible to sleep four people, each in their own bed, but it does. Allow me to explain:
My Bedroom with my bed (ahem...unmade):

The Office with Spare Bedroom #1:

The Front Room with Blow-Up mattress and Spare Bed #2:

The Attic with Spare Bed #3:

It's a little crowded, but it can be done! I'm also thinking of adding a new love seat with a pull-out...hmmmm...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Small Speedbump...

...on the Road of Life.
Tensions are high in the chicken coop right now, which affects the whole household. On Saturday night, Steven and I put the chicks (well, pullets now, actually) into the coop with the rest of the hens. I've already had one henpecking injury, but you'll be glad to know that she's recovering nicely in the planter by herself. So far, it's been an isolated incident. But...I'm wary of what I'll find when I go home today. Steven and Matt were at the house all day yesterday and could keep an eye on them to reduce further bloodshed.
Thankfully, it seems as though the babies have learned how to stay out of Blondie's path rather quickly, which should cut down on confrontations. I still think there may be a trip to Woodburn Livestock auction in Blondie's future...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time Passes...

...oh so quickly. It's May already, people!! And it's still raining! Where's the sun? I NEED it!!
Okay, mini tantrum over. Now, on to the important stuff: Oregon Brewfest!
It's held at the Oregon Gardens and the Brewfest ticket includes admission to the gardens and your own tasting mug. Matt and I had a good time strolling in the on-again, off-again sunshine while tasting beer.
Here's Matt reading the Rediscovery Forest project sign. It's a section of the Oregon Gardens reserved for ecological and forestry training.

It was also the inspiration for Tanglewood Fiber Creations new colorway: Discovery Forest!

Matt pretending to be lost...not too much of a stretch there.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to garden work (of course). I got started on the strawberry pyramid project, which proved to be more difficult than it looks (again, of course!). Here is Alexandra's miter saw which is temporarily living at my house since she's on the road and I have this project to finish. Wish me luck...

Here's how far we got before calling it quits. The base and support pieces are in place, but the slats are still pending...

I finally got some seed potatoes in the raised beds. Since they need to be planted so far apart, I only had room for less than half of what I cut up. Anyone need seed potatoes??? I have Norland Reds, Yukon Golds, and Russet Burbanks sprouted and scabbed, ready to plant...

I moved some salad from the greenhouse into the raised beds about a week ago and it turns out I was a little over-confident in the weather. Last Sunday, we had hail the size of peas fall out of the sky, which took its toll on the delicate leaves. But, thankfully, salad greens are pretty resilient and there wasn't too much damage.

My onions and radishes are coming right along, growing bigger every day...

Onions, radishes, carrots (that have yet to show themselves), and salad mix- two beds full so far!

This weekend, since I had the help of Steven, we completed project Light Up Greenhouse!! Finally, after Dad wired all the electricity, I have light! The finished effect:

Light over the sunflower seeds I potted up a couple of weeks ago. They're finally poking up through the dirt!

My bush beans and snap peas reach for light!

Alexandra's seeds are also enjoying the extra light and her salad and beets are growing more everyday!