Sunday, May 22, 2011

Indepedance Days - 22 May 2011

The garden is well-started. We need to put up the trellising for the squashes & cucumbers, and when the plants are tall enough we'll get another bale of straw for mulch. It comes with wheat seeds, but the weeds (wheat seedlings) will at least be easier to pull from damp ground, and since we're still hauling our water up there it's worth it to shade the soil and keep the moisture longer. We're still under moderate drought here, according to the US Drought Monitor.

I've also been focusing on the house. I've felt for awhile that it was getting out of control - drifts of stuff piling up in corners or around furniture. It's aggravating for me when it does this, so I've been going through, straightening up and putting things away. Almost nothing ever gets put back exactly where it came from, so when I dust (by moving the items and wiping down the shelf) it's amazing how much less goes back on the shelf and how much neater things are. And I've made some good progress on piles that had to be dealt with rather than put away. Very satisfying to accomplish this.

1. Plant something: I don't think we planted anything this week, actually. I need to check the garden and see what we have left for room to plant more.

2. Harvest something: The turnip thinnings.

3. Preserved something: Just the strawberries, so far.

4. Waste not (preparations): Nothing this week.

5. Want not (manage your stores): Organizing the pantry and just the house in general.

6. Build community: Finding & buying from the local lady with the strawberries.

7. Eat the food: Turnip greens. Ponsett -yes, everyone else spells in pancit, and you can use really really thin rice noodles from the Asian section of the store. Yummy & very easy.

8. Crafting: Sewing - I've done half the sewing pile I had, and finished all the pillowcases. Lots of this stuff has essentially been sewing seams where needed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting the Garden Started

Note: Original post was attempted on April 18. I wanted to add pictures. I just got the pictures in the computer. Please forgive the delay, and enjoy the post, yes?

We're starting with this:
Blank Slate

The first day, we went out and edged the plot, raked it well, and removed any weeds or roots we found. The second day, we weeded and then hoed and raked the beds - removing weeds and then chopping any roots we missed. We're calling it 'preventive weeding' - anything that we get now, is less weeding we do later! Since we go in the evening, anything on the top after Day 1 or Day spent the day withering in the sun - it's mid-70's here both days.

We got compliments while we were working - and I found it neat that a younger couple might do the preventive weeding after seeing us do it, while the older couple with the plot next to ours commented they'd done it yesterday.

Day 3 we planted what we have and watered it. We'll keep going back nightly to water and weed to keep up on things. I still have to order herbs, and find potatoes to plant. (note: never found them, too late in my area)

A good start:
Just Planted

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Harvests

From the garden: A mix of turnip and chard seedlings from thinning our plantings today. Very yummy when we steamed them for dinner!

From the balcony, a scented bouquet. Clockwise, from top left is rosemary, lemon balm (in the 'center'). cilantro, chives, orange mint, and basil. All the herbs were dried for later.

Strawberry season is in full swing, but I don't have pictures because they don't last long enough! Strawberry shortcake desserts, and we have put up 3 dozen half-pints of jams plus dried some as well. And I'll likely put up more - very yummy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Independance Days - 15 May 2011

We've been going to the garden about every other night, keeping it weeded and watered. So far all the seeds are coming up fine!

1. Plant something: Cantaloupe, green beans.

2. Harvest something: Herbs from the patio. Strawberries at the pick-your-own farm.

3. Preserved something: Dried the herbs, made strawberry jam.

4. Waste not (preparations): Not really much in this area right now.

5. Want not (manage your stores): Getting together what we'll need to put up the garden's bounty.

6. Build community: Being friendly at the community garden. I'm delighted to see the diversity there!

7. Eat the food: Strawberry shortcake!

8. Crafting: Working on the Grr hat, and on my lacy fingerless gloves.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teaching Myself to Sew....

from books and what I remember of a long-ago 8th grade home ec. class. I remembered to lock my stitches and how to sew a hem. That was about it.

I've made a couple of t-shirts, and even adjusted the pattern. That wasn't hard because it had a line saying "add length here" which is what I needed! The one I chose also has three choices for collars and sleeve lengths - which makes it very flexible. The shirts I've made are comfortable and look good. None have sleeves yet, because when I tried to add them I found out they won't fit me without adjusting the pattern. While I do have a book that tells me how to do it, I haven't been that brave yet!

I've also modified pillow cases, made a couple from an extra sheet, and done some basic repairs. If it's fixable and not something I'll be heartbroken to loose, I'll try fixing it and count it no-loss if it doesn't work. So far, so good!

Have you tried to teach yourself something new?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Independance Day 2 May 2011

The community garden seems to be getting a great response - They started with 20 plots; now there are 78 plots tilled and most of them have something going on. We've got about half of ours in the ground. More seed to plant still, and I want to get a bale or two of straw to mulch with.

1. Plant something: Lots of things! Still more going in, and I need to get seeds and straw for mulch.

2. Harvest something: nothing yet.

3. Preserved something: nothing yet.

4. Waste not (preparations): Making sure we finish eating the leftovers.

5. Want not (manage your stores): Re-made my custom shopping list and used that this month. I'm less likely to forget stuff we need.

6. Build community: Meeting the other folk at the community garden.

7. Eat the food: Yes. LOL still can't remember what we've eaten, other than trying a recipe for lo mien last night. It came out pretty good!

8. Crafting: Finished the commission blanket. Next up is my fingerless gloves.