Sunday, December 07, 2008

Gardening - not painting

Okay - I know - it's not art , it's not painting, but it is Sunday after all - and I do take weekends off normally. I have a couple of reasons for showing you my "victory garden" endeavors. The first reason is my husband reads my blog and I want to show him (hi Honey) how the garden is coming along, while he's out in sub-zero Chicago on business. The second reason is we used to be "urban farmers", that was 25 years or so ago - way before it was cool or P.C. or "green". I was pretty much always into self sufficiency. Reusing and re-purposing things was always (and still is) an interest, it was a challenge and fun and Euell Gibbons was my hero - I had all his books and living off the land, alternative building methods, and independence was always a huge interest and priority for me. I don't normally like to talk about this stuff now as it is just so P.C and trendy, it just annoys me.
With moving, kids, and life in general, we sort of got away from all of it, but lately with all the concerns about poisons from China and people getting sick from our foods - I figured it's time to get back in the saddle and see how much of our own food we can grow on this very tiny piece of land we have. Also becasue we have decided to probably stay in this house for longer than we originally planned - becasue of market conditions, but it's a nice place to be. But boy howdy - it is a tiny, tiny yard, the smallest we've ever had. The third reason is I am horrible at keeping a garden journal and so I never know what I did or when - by keeping my notes in my blog I will be killing 2 birds with 1 stone (figure of speech - I love birds - I would never kill them, in fact I've been looking into the possibility of squeezing a few little chicken into the yard) - keeping track of my gardening on the blog will motivate me as well and act as my journal. OK - "nuff chat" - here are some pictures -

Sugar snap peas and mixed lettuces. I've never tried planting pea transplant as I've always been told they don't transplant well - so here we have some transplants to see how it works - but I also have 2 rows of seeds in here too, just in case the transplants die. They are surrounded with cheap wire border fencing and covered with bird netting mostly to keep the dogs out and then I tied ribbons on so they could see it was there - so far so good.

Our ground here is so hard that you need a jack hammer to work in it - really. When we moved in I watched landscapers break several jack hammers while trying to install sprinkler systems in the neighbors yard, so we do raised beds and tuck them in where ever we can. This spot doesn't get a lot of sun, but peas and lettuce don't require a whole lot. In the box on the right are 3 broccoli plants and bunching onions. I've never grown bunching onions - not sure exactly what they are but I think they are like scallions.

Here is my little salad box - mixed lettuce and a few bunching onions all crowded into this plant stand which I lined with a garbage bag and planted. Looks pretty and easy to do because it is REALLY raised - in a few days I will under-plant this with more lettuce seed to keep the lettuce coming as we harvest it

Above is an herb pot with thyme, bar-b-q rosemary, parsley and some more bunching onions. The bar-b-q rosemary is called that because this variety grows straight stiff branches that can be cut and used for shish-ka-bob skewers. I will eventually probably want to get this into the ground - it will grow about 6 feet tall if it is allowed to. On the right is a pot of spinach, and below are a few left overs, I am looking for a place to plant them

I am out of dirt and time for this weekend. I'll go tomorrow and get a few more bags of dirt, and maybe this week I will start a worm-composting bin.
Back to art and painting tomorrow.

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