Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pull up a chair

And check 'em out.

Makes me wanna run out to the thrift store.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I know you are wondering

It keeps you up at night, doesn't it? The fact that I rarely post photos... I know. It probably keeps you from coming back too, doesn't it.... Sigh. The truth is that my card reader makes the old computer crash now. The SB set me up with his old laptop and a very nice flat screen, keyboard and mouse. So I am totally set. Except when you upgrade, you have to leave some things behind. Unfortunately, the ancient card reader is it. Now, I am much too lazy and ill informed on such things to explore my other options. It isn't that I don't think about it, but let's be real, on a nice evening I am either outside or babysitting. If it isn't nice, I am inside catching up on blogs and wondering how it is that two people can create so much freakin' laundry.

So, that is why the pictures have come to a screeching halt. I don't know if the SB will allow me to use his camera. Certainly not without a LONG list of instructions, warnings and threats about what happens if anything befalls it while in my possession. Or if, God forbid, I should return it with the batteries low.... I ask you, is it worth it? *pause* The jury is still out.

As for the garden, I have planted tomatoes and peppers. I continue to battle the flea beetles with diatomacous earth and fertilizer to try to get them big enough that the holes don't matter. Neither is particularly effective, but perhaps a teeny bit better.

I tried two new recipes. Both from the New York Times. One, the White House Fruit and Oat bars and Asparagus Pesto. I only modified them a little bit. Adding nuts to the bars and subbing in some OJ for maple syrup. Those Obamas may not like sugar, but they sure like sweet. The asparagus pesto had some arugula added in. Cuz I had it and needed to do something with it.

The SB and I started using the second batch of guanciale. Talk about yummy. Two varieties of sugar cured and two of salt. This time the hog jowls were whole and the entire process was super duper easy. Not sure if we can squeeze in another round before the basement is too warm. I think not. But oh, now I am getting used to the home made deliciousness, it is going to be hard to give it up.

We have gotten into the time between things in the garden. I have put up some greens, chard, mustard and kale, and now am waiting for the other things to come along. The strawberries are doing well other than being struck by mold with all the rain on the ripe berries. But we are still getting enough for a few freezer bags full for smoothies and ice cream. Next is blueberries, though we had some snow damage and probably won't have a lot of extra of those. There is lettuce and some spinach getting ready to bolt. The potatoes are going gangbusters. Soon we should have basil. The beans are up. I am growing both the short and tall varieties. The tall ones will be climbing up the duck yard fencing to give the ducks some afternoon shade. We also have some cukes and squash in, those are coming along slowly.

We still have a huge part of the garden to dig and are looking for a tiller to borrow. If you know someone, hook me up. We don't normally use a tiller (preferring to incapacitate ourselves with hard labor), but with so much new ground to break, it would be too much to try to do by hand... At least if we have any hope of getting corn in this year...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just go

If you haven't already, you must go. You must get in your car and find the most rural, gravel, unmaintained road within a 30 mile radius. But you have to be in Virginia. And if you have a convertible, that is even better. You must drive down the road as the air is cooling in the evening. You know the roads, they go over hill and dale through wood and field and between old barns and their houses. Go around the bend where the trees are, right where the seep comes through the rocks and dribbles under the road into the creek on the other side. And when you come out of the trees into the pasture road where the honeysuckle and the multiflora rose are blooming, you should drive slowly, so as not to kick up any dust. Because nothing should get in the way of the overwhelmingly decadent scent of the flowers. Take your time. The season doesn't last long. But if you miss it, you'll be waiting another year. And every year the roads are harder to find. And the barns fall down, and the creeks get put into concrete culverts. Really. What are you doing today anyway?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Roughly a billion

That would be the number of unfinished projects languishing directly in my way. All in various states of unfinished-ness, from "Really, why have I not hemmed those pants" to "Oh, yeah, I got that for a specific reason and now I don't remember what it was" .....

I am looking forward to a long weekend with possibly some rain to get me out of the yard and into the house for catch up chores.

The beans are up, and despite being in full view and access to the ducks, they have not yet been eaten. We are just crossin' our fingers here. The ducks do seem much more interested in finding beasties in the mulch than munching on the veggies, but it only takes a second to start a frenzy, and that my friends, is not a pretty sight....

Sunday, May 9, 2010


(written Sunday, but I forgot to post...)

So we finally got the tomatoes in. Just in time for the threatened frost which MUST be the last of the season. There is going to be some serious covering of things this afternoon. I don't have enough straw to cover the potatoes with fluffiness like I did last time, so I think I am going to have to resort to the Remay and sheets to keep the cold off of everything. It is a bit nerve wracking as all of the basil eggplants and potatoes are in the ground. No back ups. But I will cross fingers and hope for the best, which is all I ever really do anyway.

The wind has been fierce over the last day, that in combination with some serious dryness has made watering our A #1 priority lately.

I did go to Fifth Season and purchase some organic fertilizer. I have high hopes. We have this very lovely but very porous alluvial soil. Great for growing things except that all the soluble nutrients leach out of it pretty quickly. So I am making a concerted effort to add compost and some pelletized organic fertilizer every month or so. I'll keep you posted.

I have been struggling with flea beetles in the eggplant. My garden friend from work says sprinkle the eggplant with flour and when the beetles eat it they blow up. I also got some diatomaceous earth to cut the little critters to ribbons. Either way, I will be happy. I really just need to get them going, then the beetles won't be so critical, but here in these early stages, it is tough on a plant to have lace for leaves....

It was supposed to be bee day, but it is pretty windy and not so very warm.... If things go better, I'll be out there a bit later in the day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

About time

I put in three types of basil plants and three different kinds of eggplant this weekend. All raised from wee seeds. Eritrean, Italian and Thai basil and two Asian and one Italian type of eggplant. All seem to be settling in despite the fact that we didn't get the rain I was hoping for.... though the overcast skies were good enough to get them through the recent heat...

I still need to put out the peppers and figure out what to do with the tomatoes.... The strawberries are starting to turn red.... EEEP!

The ducks broke into the garden this afternoon when I wasn't looking. They don't usually squeeze through gates but some how the garden and its off limits-ness was irresistible. They didn't do any damage, though they did almost trample the transplants in their wandering. Luckily they were more interested in the straw than the strawberries. They walked right past the chard a number of times, contenting themselves with digging up the paths. It looks like machine gun fire has ripped through the pathways, but the greens and berries are currently safe.

Now that they know the earthly delights of garden , I am guessing they are going to do more of the gate squeezing when they think they can get away with it.