Sunday, February 28, 2010

Second Flat Planted

Where did the weekend go? Oh well, yogurt, granola, bread, rice, and beans got made for the upcoming week's breakfast's and lunches. Kitchen is not even a disaster area. Laundry is done. First new cloche is up (I'm hoping to warm the soil a little faster so it will be more conducive to the plants when I set them out). We bought 100 edging stones for retaining the bed where the grapes are going to go so it doesn't ooze onto the neighbor's driveway...

I'm starting to see where the weekend went...

Most exciting - the basil, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage have been planted in an indoor seed flat. I was hoping to direct sow the snow peas, shelling peas, radishes, beets and carrots this weekend but it looks like they'll have to wait.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring Projects and Flowers

The weather here has been amazing for the last couple of weeks. On a sunny weekend two weeks ago Q put in a new set of bricks to delineate the driveway. The primary purpose was to create the new asparagus bed at the front of the yard.

The west side - now I won't have to constantly try to keep the "driveway weeds" from encroaching on the beds.

The east side - including the new asparagus bed. I hope they come up soon so I know my planting was a success. I put 14 up here and 6 more up by the house to see if they could do okay in shadier conditions. Hopefully, two years of waiting and we'll have asparagus.

Q's birthday cake - special request of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. He's a man of simple wants. The only stimulation was that I didn't substitute any ingredients - including using plain old white wheat flour.

A sixth rhubarb baby has just barely burst forth. We've been having 60 degree days and 28 degree mornings. I hope the light frosts aren't hurting the early leaves.

Blueberry leaves about to burst open

The neighbor's forsythia


Quince from beside the cherry tree

The celery seedlings recently got their first true leaves

The first flat of seedings - onions and celery

Here's the full seedling growing set-up. The light is on a timer to be on 6a - 6p each day. I've unplugged the heat mat for the time being since they've gotten bigger now. They seem to be liking the set-up so far.

Chalkboard Drawings for January and February

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Owl Color Scheme

I like the addition of the stars and moons on this one. The lighter blue and darker owl colors really allow the owls to pop more. The original is here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Squirrels are Nature's Party Animals"

The title is a quote from Quentin when I expressed that somehow squirrels seemed fitting for Valentine cookies. He said that squirrels fitted with every holiday.

Cookies are going school tomorrow for the last day before Valentine's Day. (Thursday and Friday are Parent Teacher Conferences.) Q's work will just have to get them early because they're fresh.

I love these cookies. New cookie cutters that we picked up at Ikea just after Christmas - yay hedgehogs! I also got to use my very favorite sugar cookie glaze recipe! The recipe for cookies at the link is really good too but tonight I tried the one from America's Test Kitchen.

I made the rainbow snails. Q made the blue Sonic hedgehog, the "turkey vulture", and the psychedelic moose. We managed to get the elusive purple frosting this time too for the bear cubs.
Scary demonic red-eyed squirrels are not getting taken to school but the regular pink ones are cute.
I'm really happy with the Valentine sprinkle mix!

Flowers and Bees Hat

I like how this hat turned out. It's fun when I'm kind of figuring out what to do next as I go and it works out.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kirby Hat

Compost Problem

Problem with one mouse - it quickly becomes 4. We're going to have to find some icky solution although I'm willing to try more regular turning to try to convince them that it's a lousy nest location. I don't want mice trying to find their way into the house. Aren't the babies oh so cute though? Stupid genetic predisposition to care for small furry things.

Signs of Spring

Crocuses came up, seemingly overnight

Blueberry leaf buds, we need to do the first fertilizer this weekend (1 oz. blood meal/plant)
BTW - "blood meal" only adds to the illusion that gardening is some sort of black, alchemical magic

Garlic loves this weather.

The lemon balm is starting its new growth.

Brand new mint sprouts. I'm so glad it's in a sectioned off bed. It can't spread any farther than it already has without some serious evolution.

I didn't kill it during division!
(Even though I've heard that it's well nigh impossible, there's always the fear.)

At least 5 plants "took" and are starting new growth from the two, too close together original plants.

The flowering quince by the cherry tree, just outside our bedroom window.

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Sprouts

I think I've become a very big fan of heated seed mats and covered flats. I planted the celery and onions last Saturday.

Celery "days to emergence" is said to be 10-20 days. I already got tiny little sprouts yesterday!
Similarly, many of the onions were up by Wednesday, even though their germination time is supposed to be 6-12 days.

This gives me high hopes that I'll have decent sized seedlings for transplant to larger containers by the time I want to reuse the flat at the end of the month for the next starts. Yay!

Still too small to get decent pictures, but soon.