Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This was taken in the first few hours of blizzard before the wind picked up.....
it was just gorgeous out there!  An unusual sight to have lost the visual depth of the woods to snow.  A few lone juncos were the only birds out and about.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas gardening friends! I hope your day is filled with plentiful food, good drink, and LOVE.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Favorite Salad

I went to a potluck dinner this week, and someone brought a most delicious salad.  It was so delicious that I just had to go and make it immediately, and I think it will be a part of the Christmas Day menu.  I thought I would share it with you all.  Pecans were substituted for walnuts, and next time around I will be sure to keep the squash pieces nice and small, maybe more like 1/2-3/4 inch dice.  My photo is not very impressive, the salad was tossed and served in my salad spinner with dinner this evening.....and this is all that was left when I thought to take a picture:

In other news, my daughter had her first haircut (at three-and-a-half), and we have been forced to do some window replacement on our 15 year old house (GGRRR!) due to rotten sills, (due to the worst windows ever manufactured)- so it has been an exciting week.  I won't even tell you how many more windows we have left to replace.  If the previous owners are ever within arms reach I will slap them.  Hard.

Luckily the wee one was very happy with her 'trim', and wanted to show everyone her lock of lopped off hair.

"The Super" is pictured above assessing the situation. 
 We have some paint samples up on the wall, cause ya know....might as well paint the damn room since we are already making a mess of things.  I am thinking the bright blue, second from the bottom.
The men are getting ready to rip out the old and are assessing the extent of the rot, things were still looking bright at this point:
And then, not so much.
Two of the three windows had leaked for long enough that there was rot to be fixed in the siding.  Luckily the sides of the house are shakes, things won't be this easy if there is rot on the front of the house as well.  (I didn't take a picture of the 'before', I am not looking to remember the sight of my naked house, plumbing and framing exposed to all.)

And now for the big reveal........

Phew, thank-goodness for good help.  Three down, too many &*#*ing more to go.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some Garden Sketches

I have been trying to lay out the coming year's garden.  Now that the new beds are in things can be tweaked and finalized.  This first sketch was done in attempt to squeeze in lots of tomatoes.  I think the plants would be too closely spaced the way I have it laid out.  This first sketch contains the following:
Garlic- 2 beds
Berries- 2 beds
Greens- 3 small plots
Peas- 2 beds
The remainder of the space is filled by rhubarb, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and a couple of green bean and pepper plants.  The potatoes will be in grow bags and another small raised bed that resides outside the fence.  

Of coarse, the new garden looks a bit different then this initial sketch.  We did add a new long bed in front, but in a different spot/different dimensions, and we will be adding another bed which will function as a permanent grow house/cold frame come Spring.  

Okay, on to the second round of sketches, the ones I will likely tweak and plant by (these are for my 3 available 3'5" x 6' beds).  Oh, and please ignore my directional notations, they are not correct for what I currently have in place.  The beds I have available run East/West; I have not drawn up the new bed however, which does in fact run North/South....so I have some slight revisions to do.

Bed 1: tomato, pepper, basil, and greens.

Bed 2: tomato, eggplant, basil, and more greens.

Bed 3: peas.  

Back to the drawing boards for me, it would be grand to get proper sketches done asap so I can get on with my non-gardening life for a few short weeks before it is time for January/February seed starting.  I need to run outside and measure the new beds.  Brrrrr.

How is your garden planning going?  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wrapping up the old year, planning for the new!

I have taken a bit of a blog-acation.  It has been nice, though I am feeling very out of touch with my fellow garden bloggers.  Hope you all are doing well, staying healthy, and enjoying the seed catalogs as they stream in.

I did some ordering this past week, it was all about tubers.  Sweet and 'Irish' potatoes have been checked off the list.  Georgia Jets and Vardaman (a bush variety) were ordered for sweets, Swedish Peanut Fingerling, Caribe, and Red Cloud for the standard potato varieties.  I started with a few more pounds of seed for this past year's crop, but as I have mentioned just a few (wink, wink) times in the past I am short on space going forth.....so the varieties and total pounds of seed were slashed for 2011.  But no worries, I plan on going back to full scale potato production for 2012, so that helps make it a little less painful.

Still deliberating over eggplant varieties.  Oh, also ordered some Red Baron onion sets to plant in the new garlic bed.  I believe I grew this variety from seed in the past, but the sets were available from Moose Tubers (my potato source) so I went for it.  It will be good for the soil biology to have something growing in it until garlic planting time.

Here is the dirt on the potato varieties from Fedco/Moose Tubers:

Swedish Peanut
These fingerlings were the pleasant surprise in our potato patch this year. We’ve come to expect that our late-season fingerlings will be troubled by rhizoctonia, but these proved otherwise. One September, we pulled ten plants and filled a bushel with spotless thumb-sized spuds, even late in the season. As for taste, it is the only potato that we let ourselves eat before it goes to market. Dry and golden flesh; this year’s pick for “really soaking up the butter.” Seed in short supply; order earlyBACK!

An early digger, and a nice size. Its brilliant purple skin fades in storage, but you won’t have any left to store! For a summer barbecue, make your potato salad shout with Caribe, Red Gold, and a Yukon or two. Even though its name, pronounced ca-REE-bay, invokes the Caribbean, it was released by AgCanada in 1984 to grow in the Maritime provinces so it’s also well suited to our northeastern climate. Caribe has a creamy flavor, a medium-dry texture, and snow-white flesh. You can dig them late into the season, just make sure you hill well, and you will get some gigantors. Medium-sized plants are high yielding with purplish blue flowers. Resistant to scab and storage rot.

Red Cloud
An excellent choice for a red storage potato. With super-dry flesh, your mouth will water as you mash and fluff these pearly white potaters. Named for the Oglala Sioux chief, you will find these plants equally burly, resisting scab, early blight, hollow heart, heat stress, and drought. These plants are medium sized, with spreading vines and dark violet flowers. Supply limited; order earlyBACK!