knock-knock, anybody home?

ClareBroommaker's picture

Posting sure has been slow around here. Whachalldoin?

I've been trying to make myself physically active everyday in this colder weather. I lose strength and stamina so fast these days! Enough strength and stamina seems permanently gone that I cannot afford to lose more. I still have gardening things to do in winter and that seems more difficult than going for a walk at my best sustainable speed. So I alternate and also do some balance exercises and light weights.

On December 21, I mixed soil and compost to fill 90 2-liter soda bottles and 9 plastic pots. That was hard on my shoulders. I planted 148 peach seeds in these containers.

Finally cleaned the vines (including morning glory and bindweed) off my beloved cylindrical tomato cages. Got half of them piled in a pyramid and half of them under the grape arbor. Need to combine them all into a pyramid so I can clean under the arbor which has a concrete flooring. The mint that grows there still smells nice. Well, it did on tomato cage cleaning day. Since we've had 17F, I imagine the mint is gone for the season.

Stuffed some dahlia tubers and mandevilla roots in the basement. My garden bud told me at least three weeks ago that the dahlias won't survive the way I treated them. Well, he knows dahlias, so I'll see if I can do it properly. It comes down to I thought they'd want dry storage. He says they want moist storage.

You know what I meed to learn this winter? How to really sharpen a blade! My husband and all his family --including my own son-- are very particular about blades being sharp and I've always been lazy about it. But a sharp blade makes such a difference. I need to learn how to sharpen things better.

Oh here's something that amuses me: bird poop and dry leaves. We've got viburnum privacy hedges on the sides of our patio. These viburnums do not lose their leaves all at once. Little finches and wrens love these hedges this year more than ever. So I keep going out to rake up the fallen leaves and there is so much bird poop in with them. Probably a pretty nice balance of "greens" and "browns". At first I put this stuff where cabbages have grown, then I began putting it where next year I'll have spring peas. I think it is kind of cool how this concentration of fertilizer has been attracted to the garden with no intention on my part. Aren't I just lucky?...In the front yard, two mourning doves have a night roost in an oak tree. Their poop is piling up in a dinner plate size. I 'll leave it there at least until I see whether it melts snow. (Just curious.) Then I might just rake it around the tree a little more evenly. I don't know--I probably won't do that. It's not any kind of priority.

So you all? What are you up to?

I check in every day. I don't add new posts because I'm doing nothing new. I write, I edit, I sew, I exercise.

Every day is much like the one before around here. Which is good! Drama usually means something bad is happening.

Glad to hear you're intensively gardening. My back won't let me do what I used to do and I'm impressed by what you are managing.

lathechuck's picture

For the last 20 years or so, I've been storing my recipes in a box made by turning a cardboard box of graham crackers inside out, but when I got out my Christmas recipes this year, I decided that it was time for a new one. I had some 0.2" birch plywood left from a previous carpentry project, so I drew up plans, cut out pieces, glued it together, and varnished it. It looks... OK. There are awkward gaps where the pieces didn't quite fit together. The lid isn't perfectly straight. It's usable, but I think I can do better.

And so, I'm trying to do it all again, with better procedures and more care. If all goes according to plan, I'll post some photos when it's done.

Home cooking is Step 1 in resilient living!

It is high summer here in tasmania, so gardening is going full steam ahead. It has been an unseasonably cool and wet summer so far, so I am struggling with things i don't usually contend with - powdery mildew, unknown tomato wilties, brown rot on the apricots. However, I have my first ever bunches of grapes hanging down from the pergola, small and green so far, but looking splendid. I took the labels off and put them in a safe place, so I will have to wait until they fruit to see which vine is which. Two reds and one white table grape. One is Oregon grape, which i suspect is the most robust vine. Having only ever really seen grapes growing in vineyards before I am astounded at how much growth they put on in a year. I am seeing about six feet of growth per summer. It will take much less time than I thought to cover the pergola. Huzzah!
I am picking lots of herbs to dry for cooking and tea - oregano and lemon balm are drying right now in baskets and I have a lot of blue curly kale, zucchinis and potatoes from the garden to cook up this week. Also, my favourite weed, fat hen (lambs quarters, chenopodium album), is ready for picking, and it is the perfect high summer spinach replacement.

David Trammel's picture

Yes, unfortunately everything has snowballed and I've done nothing to further Green Wizardry it seems like this entire year. One of my goals is to do better in 2021.

mountainmoma's picture

And fighting with insurance company ! For some reason this adjuster just cannot accept paying for a new backdoor that was warped by the heat of the fire and doesnt fit anymore. I mean, sure, I think the bid is high too. All bids for anything look very high to me right now. But, the door shop receommended that installer. A installer that actually came out here and measure and bid on the job, not something anyone else is likely to do ( job is too small for most to bother with. There is a premium to come all the way out here to do small jobs)

I will have my entire outdoor plumbing pipe system dug up next week I think and replaced. I hate PVC, I am getting PVC ! I cant find anyone who will do anything else and I do need pipes. At some point the well people will be able to scheduale. At some point the debris guy will scrape up building remains. I make phone calls.

I did order bareroot strawberries, about 50 of them. I did harvest winter squash that survived, no sweet potatoes grew with being eaten to the ground and not given water. They did live, and I dug up some minit tubers to, if I get around to it, to plant in pots to try again next year. I have not had time to cover the garden for the winter. SO that needs to be done. And, I did though buy transplants and set out brocolli and red russian kale last month. It grows slow this time of year but is going. I have been eating some brocolli leaves from old plants I never took out, it is sweet and tender in teh winter. I have miners lettuce finally coming up, that is a self seed that I started years ago that just comes up on its own. And, I still have onions and potatoes I harvested in July in the pantry. I did have to buy a few cases of canned tomatoes, like acutal cans from the store ! I did not can tomatoes this year. I did can jam in August, so have plenty of canned jam. And, my dd helped me to make homemade soap before christmas. I think I didnt process it long enough and this batch will never be as hard as it should be.

I have mostley left the trailer to sleep in the actual house, downstairs on a new futon by the woodstove. Washing up is still trailer as it has water. clothes are mostly still in trailer, the house is a mess, it was professionallly cleaned but nothing is put away and what is put away is in the wrong place.

ClareBroommaker's picture

I know recovering from a fire is so much work. I've been hoping you were surviving okay. Sure don't envy you in having to work with insurance.

I'm sure you know to save all the pipes dug up from your yard. Metal pipes have so many garden uses.

A house behind one of my gardens burned just after Christmas. House was built in 1903 and is a total loss. Some kind of machine is already parked there to tear it down. The city boarded it up (I think it was a drug house, so the city has a bigger interest in keeping people out.), however someone has already broken into it to scrap and search for valuables. I saw them in there. There's a good chance they will pull out copper pipes for scrap value. The bricks themselves are valuable enough that the demolition business will hire day labor to clean mortar off bricks and stack them on pallets.