Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hey, That Worked Well!

Just came in from planting the leeks. That really worked well! As you can see by my timestamps, the job went quickly – this used to take hours over 2 days, and we didn’t even plant as many last year. I did 279 plants. Seems like a lot, eh? But there are so many of us, and all summer long we do leek/potato/ crop-o-the-day soup.

Unanticipated bonus to the lazy jig: the marking for three inches was right there on it, and leeks like to be planted 3 inches deep, so I just held each leek up to the jig and put my finger where it should meet the ground, as it were. Took way longer to type that than to do it.

Leek bed, aren’t they cute?

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Lazy Garden Planting “Jig”

I’ve mentioned it before: the garden blog and website that is most helpful to me is “The Modern Victory Garden”, and she constructed a fabulous planting jig - you can read about it here. But I always seem to be scurrying along behind schedule, and have wee leeks from Territorial Nursery that need to go out, so I just whipped up a Lazy Girl Jig from an Amazon shipping box, and thought I’d post it really quick before I run outside and get it all dirty.

Since I have raised beds, I plant in square feet. My first step was to cut out a cardboard square foot. For leeks, we plant 9 per square foot, so I measured off a grid at inches 3, 6, and 9, and poked holes at the intersections as big as a pencil.

I’m about to take it out to the bed, lay it down square by square, poke an old pencil through each hole, make little registration marks to line up the next spot, and repeat, repeat, repeat until there are holes for all of the little guys. A pencil is about right for the leek starts I’ve gotten.

How easy was that?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

I Find Him Both Handy AND Handsome!

Not quite ready for the big reveal yet, so thought I’d do another hint post, this time with camera batteries.

We’re big fans around here of the “Red Green Show” (well, on video since we don’t have TV), where Red always says, “If women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy”. Eat your heart out, women of the world, I got the whole package :-).

Three days of the delectable smell of wood being cut, and the sounds of hammering and drills and such, and the guys are done with the project. I’m still painting, though, and need to apply one or two coats of polyurethane, so you’ll still have to wait for the Big Reveal. In the meantime,

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One product review sort of note: Behr’s primer/paint stuff . . . what is it called, “Ultra Premium” or something? Yuck. At least in espresso over bare wood. Dried blotchy, and looks like chalk got in my cup of espresso. A second coat didn’t help at all, so I’m pausing to think, but we’ll get there soon. Can hardly wait to post pics and show off The Patriarch’s amazing skills!

Awww, They’re Getting So Big.

The broccoli is already ready to get into a bigger container – I’ve re-used my grocery store plastic cups for two years now and I think most of them can be re-used a third year. Yayyy cheap!

Here are the little guys:

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The set I planted first is the set that needs potting up:

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Isn’t the chard in the foreground fun with red and yellow stems?

Still haven’t gotten the peas in, but I’m not too upset by that. I follow the rule to plant peas when the lilacs most local to you have leaves the size of mouse ears, and the lilac in our backyard just did reach that point this last week. So the peas will hopefully go out this week, after The Patriarch picks up a bale of peat moss (we need to top up the beds with dirt/peat mix). Nice to have spring both on the calendar and in daily tasks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things Are Happening.

Things that involve wood. And drills. And a buddy of The Patriarch hanging out with tools. And I’m thinking espresso brown paint. I’d give a little hint photo, but the camera is out of batteries. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Dream House Takes a Twist

Well, well, well.
When last we left our story, the Dream House had been removed from the market. I was thinking primarily, “Well, doesn’t matter because The Patriarch was right, we can’t afford to do all of the repairs to this place to ever buy that house anyway”. But you know how the human heart goes – there was a corner of me thinking, “Hmmm, could this be God’s way of keeping it off the market while we get this place ready?”
As of 5 days ago (after a break of several months), the house is re-listed. For . . . get this . . . TWICE the previous asking price. I went through the new photos; no remodeling whatsoever. Maybe the market? Nahhhh, every other Sunday paper has another article on how our local housing market is still sliding, and expected to for at least the rest of the year.
I drove by it recently. Looks like someone had done some vandalism to an outbuilding. Can’t tell from the pictures on the real estate website, though, since they’re all old pictures.
One thing they did accomplish by waiting long enough was having the listing not show that the place has been for sale for 4 years now.
This should be fascinating to observe. And at that asking price, “observe” is all we’ll do! We just did qualify at the old asking price.

First Wee Sprouts

Got a chance to start a few seeds this weekend. I’m behind where I wanted to be for the first week of March. But at least our most important crop (we are broccoli lovers here) got started, and some chard:

009 You can see the pink-ish chard poking up in the middle left of this picture – the ones that look like clover are broccoli.

I’ll start a bunch of other seeds this weekend, hopefully. Just need my guys to get the light “benches” out of the garage and, since we have used these bulbs for two summers, better replace those as well.  Here is my post about our very, very cheap and simple light bench: I can get a bunch of seedlings in there.

Still harvesting kale, despite our snow and it not even being covered! I HAVE to ask the woman who gave it to me what the variety was . . . the stuff is indestructible and delicious!