Sunday, September 30, 2007

woooosh! the day goes by - party great success

oh my gosh! oh my gosh! what a day. it was fabulous but boy oh boy i had no idea so many folks would make it over. i almost ran out of food stuffs and that's really saying something because i always prepare for a small army. well a small army came and they ate and ate and ate. hey that is fine with me because that is what it's all there for.

the big hits were the pumpkin cornbread muffins, the spiced pumpkin hummus, the veggie soup, the slowed stewed beef stew, the apple cake and the pickles (my own 5 varieties including a spicy pickled okra). oh yeah, the buttermilk biscuits were gone in the wink of an eye and the slow roasted sweet potatoe slices disappeared just as fast.

it was good. so many folks got to relax, try various beers and simply socialized or take a sit in the yard. though rain was predicted, not a drop fell. rather we experienced white puffy clouds and a very slight breeze. i don't think it could have been better.

i'm beat. early morning prepping, cooking and setting up and post party clean up can take a lot out of a person. mr. t. was great all day. he greeted folks, cuddled a few and pretty much minded his own business the rest of the day. the last few dishes are in the dishwasher air drying until the morning. the kitchen counters are spic and span, everything that can be composted in the pile and various pumpkins artfully (ha ha) placed out and about the yard. time for a bit of a snooze.

all this and the clock just turning to nine p.m. - good day good friends good night

autumnal celebration rock on!

10:54 am
i am so ready! and truth be told, i did not even up until 7 a.m.

this is what i cooked up this am:
  • guacamole
  • spiced pumpkin hummus
  • buttermilk biscuits
  • apple cake w/walnuts
  • apple cake w/o walnuts
  • pumpkin corn bread muffins
  • corn bread muffins
  • 2 peach ginger pies (lattice pastry and all!)
the kitchen is cleaned up
dishes washed (though not me yet ah hem!)
and the recycling is out and sorted
trash report: short of 1 of those nasty plastic grocery bags (you know the kind they put two items in and send you home with 2o bags. all went into paper before heading into the can.

now it's just about cleaning myself up, sweeping the floor and placing the 4 bails of hay out and about the yard along with the gourds, pumpkins, etc. can't talk much now but i'll report back once all is said and done. enjoy your day! happy autumn!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

almost ready & those darn ants!

we got most of the party prep complete. just a few bits left to do in the morning. the onion soup is simmering on the stove now. mmm it smells outstanding. the slow roasting beef stew is also doing it's thing. i decided not to make the biscuits, breads and pies until tomorrow early a.m. that way they'll be just as fresh as can be. i think our friends and their tummies will be most pleased.

i had another run in with the ants today. this time from under the base boards in the sun room. they got into mr. t's dry food dish. those pesky darn ants. so i pulled out another tube of interior caulk and got to work. i sealed the base board area and around a number of the windows. this is pretty typical this time of year in texas. the pesky ants let you know loud and clear where you've neglected to seal the house. i guess i could turn it around and thank them for that. i don't know if mr. t feels the same way. they did get into his breakfast for pete's sake. well all is sealed, mr. t has a clean dish of goodies. we won't know how well we did until morning when the ant folk are most active.

i'm not feeling tired but i think it's time i think about bed time. have to get up early. tomorrow is going to be such a great day!

for now, we'll bask in the super smelling onion soup. mmm, mmm.

shellywoman's autumnal beer tasting party tomorrow!

today's the day to prep the last of the goods for tomorrows gathering of good citizens and friends for shellywoman's first annual autumnal celebration and uber cool beer tasting.

i have so far collected 18 types of beers. each and every one in a bottle with a good number of organic brews. i am so so excited. it's going to be great fun. there is a bit of rain predicted but i've got plenty of room inside, two small but cozy screened in porches, a garage and an outdoor covered eating area. i'd say we are good to go.

it's been a week of early morning and late night cooking and i could not be happier. i love to share with friends. i do not get the chance to do so often enough, so when i do, i do it right. here is the menu.

The following are all cooked with my own home grown veggies, beans and herbs:
- carrot soup
- vegetable bean soup w/ tomato base (minestrone type)
- vegetable soup w/broad beans (veggie broth base)
- baked beans
- various types of pickles (bread and butter, dill and lemon dill)
- green tomato pickles (bread and butter style)
- oven roasted sweet potatoes (just out of the ground last Sunday!)
- oven roasted salsa
- baba ghannouj

And the following will contain some of my home grown bits but are not fully home grown.
- onion soup
- slow roasted beef stew
- cheese grits
- cole slaw creamy style
- red slaw vinegar style
- sweet corn bread
- pumpkin corn bread
- buttermilk biscuits
- guacamole
- ginger peach pie
- spiced apple cake

it's going to be fun. we'll be carving pumpkins, lawn bowling with veggies, jousting with french breads, bobbing for apples, building a scare crow and of course, eating and tasting various beers.

so today is about sprucing up the lawn, picking up a few bails of hay, prepping the support for the scare crow, making the onion soup, baked beans, biscuits, breads, pies, cakes, guacamole and the slaws. i can do that!

ohhhh this is exciting.

and it's important to note that we are taking steps towards our adventure in sustainable party living. all serving materials will either be compost-able, recycle-able or washable. i'm going to prep several bins so as to keep the actual trash to an absolute minimum. all soups will be served in hollowed out pumpkins, all plates and bowls will land in the compost bin. i'll use the empty bottles to continue edging my out back gardens and wash the rest. the goal is to keep garbage to one full bag or less. let's see how that goes!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

powdered milk looters mysteriously vanish

veggie plants, flowering plants and garden folk alike have been watching and waiting for any sign of the sneaky garden bed powdered milk looters no avail. they have vanished. it's seems to be a hit and run assault system. this type of behaviour leads all to suspect the very illusive raccoon gang that hangs out in the neighborhood off and on though there is no evidence to prove so. the site was clean of prints. the looters, all suspect, are professionals.

all tomatoe and pepper plants claim to feel no sign of weakness or malaise from the event. in fact, the garden is all a twitter with the excitement of being the center of such and investigation. the morning glories looked especially beautiful this morning, maybe in hopes of the tv cameras catching them at their best. all are hoping for an interview opportunity.

shellywoman the gardener when asked how she planned to prevent another hit says she "chose simply to water in the powdered milk a bit in hopes of deterring a second hit" though she also expressed a respect for the creative craftsmanship of the looters themselves. " they took what they wanted without the destruction of a single plant, i thank them for their consideration."

several of the basil plants hope they are given a second chance to see the culprits; flirts that they are. their scent when interviewed was especially potent. all denied any intentional enhancement of their fragrance but suspiciously each blushed at the question.

for now the case of the illusive powdered milk looters remains open.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

when do crickets sleep

they harp before bed and they are harping at my 5am waking hour.
when do crickets sleep?

click on the question above to find out more.

Monday, September 24, 2007

creatures digging for a shot of powdered milk

i went out to check on the wee ones in the garden this morning to find little holes dug up around each and every plant gifted with powdered milk yesterday. so who is it? don't know but i suspect a squirrel. could be a cat, a racoon, a very talented bird or a creative team of collaborating critters. the holes were fairly large and quite precise. i don't know how appetising it would be for the critters considering it's mixed in pretty well with compost, leaves, dirt, etc. i just flipped some soil back over the holes and the pine much over the whole lot. i'll have to keep my eyes open at night to see who it might be. you never know who you'll find late at night in the garden beds.

the lesson might be to mix the powdered milk with liquid before feeding the plant babies. we'll try that next time.

aside from that all looks good. i moved a smaller 1 year old hydrangea baby to a sunnier partial shade area. it was in a spot that i thought might do well but it seemed to express a want for more sun. i listened and moved it next to my 2 year old hydrangeas. now we have a trio of happy hydrangeas. and with the move all three got a nice drink with fish emulsion and coffee grinds.
mmm they expressed and smiled, faces all turned toward the sun.

well today is a studio day. i've got a big project due for wednesday. my goal is to finish today. i don't think it's out of the question either. i've been working on it in bits the past few days. today will be the final push and maybe we'll be visiting the express mail box tomorrow.

so off we go. day 3 no ac. looking good.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

kicken' some booty!

hey there! shellywoman's adventure toward sustainable happiness just took one step further today. it's been a long time coming. i installed a beautiful 30' long clothes line today! she looks quite nice out there between her two support pecan trees. mr. t and i chose blue plastic coated line which catches the western sunshine beautifully. she's taught, she's above heads so as not to be a problem when mowing the lawn or weighed down by a heavy load. the line will offer lots and lots of energy free clothes and linen drying for as long as we're both here. hooray for shellywoman, mr. t the amazing catinator machine and the new clothes line.

and we're on day 2 of no air conditioning in texas. wohoo! keep it coming.

finally cleaned out some of the gutters today too. i find the job actually quite fun. and there's a great pay off in the end. excellent mix ins for the compost pile! it's mostly live oak leaves. some of them already in the mushy stage and some fairly fresh. it's the perfect combo. i just swept them up and tossed them in the pile on top of the grass clippings and such from yesterday's lawn work. now one of three 3'x3' bins is more than 1/2 full and the leaves here really haven't started dropping yet. it could turn out to be an excellent leaf collection year.

i dug up and moved a large beauty of a lavender plant today. i moved it closer to the veggie patch. it will be a great addition to the flowers already in place. i've been steadily integrating more flowering plants into and around the veggie garden. the goal is to attract more good bugs, frogs, toads, birds, lizards. all the fellows that keep the ecology of the garden above par.

i played part time tree monkey today too. I got the big ladder out, my limb trimmer and got to work. i've been thinking about hiring someone to trim the trees for me never seem to get to making the phone call. i knew in the back of my mind that i could do it myself given the time. well most of it. all but one limb on a live oak too tall for me to reach. and by doing so i'd save a bunch of bucks which is always helpful. so i hefted up and down that ladder for several hours trimming and clipping. the result is fantastic. in fact part of the trimming allowed the new clothes line to go up. two for one fun!

i have to say that this weekend has really been a thrill. i never know what all the sweat and achy bits will lead to. this weekend i'm especially pleased with my efforts, my endurance, my drive towards beauty and the fun i have while i work. i think the yard and the garden are looking pretty darn beautiful if i may say. this little hippy chick loves her home. now all we need are a few chickens. if only my schedule would allow. someday... (dreaming...)

I took a peek at the beds i seeded last week and found to great surprise that the kentucky wonder beans, the lettuce and the cabbage are already shooting up. and they are big! truly, the beans are now over 5" tall. i've not seen anything like it in my garden before. i'm sure it's part the growing conditions being just right and part a result of the extra care i've been taking to really improve the soil. hard work pays off and organic methods are the way. it's so good to know where your food comes from and to know exactly what it's being fed with.

ah ha! i gave the tomatoes and pepper plants a special treat today. powdered milk. each and every plant got it's own special shot of calcium. makes a body strong. i just mix it right into the soil near the roots. i bury all my banana peels around these same fellows too for a potassium fix. they should be happy for a while.

and lastly, i picked up few things for my autumnal equinox party next sunday. (yes, i know the autumnal equinox is today, that's ok!) it's going be great fun. they'll be lots of big people and i hope a good number of little people too. we're going to lawn bowl with butternut squash as the pins and onions as the balls. we'll be bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, jousting with french bread loafs and eating lots and lots of home made organic fare: salsa, gumbo, carrot soup, pickles, breads, pies, quiche, pesto and whatever else i think of in the next week or so. it will be great fun. i love hosting gatherings for good folks. and this is my favorite time of year so why not celebrate? mr t. always enjoys the visits as well; nothing like a few hundred more scratches on the head to keep the purring machine full throttle.
ah well, that's the scoop. back to school tomorrow. big project due wednesday. it will be hectic but there's a great prize at the end. a sunday gathering with friends. looking forward to it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

peonies in the garden

in the midst of moving perennial flowers and small flowering bushes to better homes today, i came upon my peonies. it seemed that where they were was actually a better place for a flowering sage. so i dug them up, finished moving all the other flower babies around and still had no idea where to place the peonies. they are my favorite flower and deserve a place where they may be admired.

hm! why not in the garden then? i thought...
ok, so at long last i found a loving spot for the peonies in the garden. it now seems to make perfect sense. they love soft mulchy soil, they are sweet and oh so beautiful in bud and full open and their smell is heavenly. so i found a spot, a perfect spot, a spot right across from the kitchen window.

i've not read anything to date that says that peonies should not be included in the garden. not yet anyway. so until i hear otherwise they'll stay in their new home. hmm. just think how beautiful spring will be in the garden now.

hard workin' no matter what i do

i've come to learn that there are those who work hard some of the time, hardly ever work hard and those that work hard no matter what the task or day of the week. and i've come to discover that i'm of the third type, the work hard no matter what you are doing type. it's an ethic i take pride in and find great pleasure in. there do come those days though that no matter how hard you'd like to work your body says hold back, a little less today, i want you to slow down just a bit.

i think today my body would like to be resting more that i'm allowing it to. it's been a tough week, long hours and lots of work. but there's just a few more tasks to accomplish before i feel ok with some slowing down. my back is aching again, my limbs feel heavy, my head is clear and feeling good, it's just the body. ahh it's ok. there's plenty to do inside that needs attention and the task are much lower in impact to the body.

but today is beautiful day!

i've turned off the a.c., opened the windows and doors to the porches. there is a slight breeze and mr. t is just as happy as he can be. it's really quite lovely. i hope we can keep the a.c. off from here on out. i'm really not a fan but the heat here just gets crazy and you really are better off just giving in. i've got a number of trees that help us in the cooling department and the plants around the house i'm sure help as well. but i love it most with window and doors open. there just is no replacement for fresh air.

here's the list for today.
  • watered all gardens and veggie plants with 50 gallons of compost tea
    • brewed right at home
    • it was foaming and fruity smelling - perfection!
  • composted the weeks veggie and fruit trimmings right into the garden
    • into one of the beds in waiting
    • no better way to prep it for future growth
  • moved perennial flowers and small bushes to better homes
    • small fragrant sage bush (2)
    • peonies
    • daisies
  • burned down a pile of brush and cuttings
  • turned the compost pile and fed it with grass trimmings and pulled weeds
    • lots of worms working away - perfection!
  • set up a second compost pile in the side yard
    • don't want to waste any leaves or good bits
    • i collect from the neighbors who leave their leaves out
    • this pile will be for the flower gardens
  • replanted the blackberry canes in the side yard
    • buried with some home mixed compost and shredded paper
  • mowed the lawn front and back
  • weed whacked the fence edge
    • everything looks so neat and trim now
  • cooked a pound of linguine and mixed in some of my canned spicy tomatoe sauce and freshly made pesto
  • washed a load of laundry
  • perked fresh coffee for the week
    • for the iced coffee bank
    • i only drink it cold
  • mixed up a batch of herbed iced tea for the week
still to do
  • clean the gutters
  • sweep, vacuum and scrub the floors
  • clean the bathroom counters and mirrors
  • wash and change the bed
  • clean the studio
  • sweep out both porches
  • give the outdoor furniture a cleaning with a wet cloth
  • sit for a bit, eat and grab a read for a while
  • hang with mr. t - enjoy our happiness
we'll see, we'll see. I'm off to see what i can get done. It's just hard to be inside with a day a beautiful as today. cheers!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

little bits each day

it's weeks like this current week that i feel lucky if i get much done around the garden at all. still i do in little bits each day. and i enjoy the little bits. sometimes it's 15 minutes sometimes a little more but i enjoy each and every minute out there.

even now as i take a short break from the writing of a complicated lecture on the theory of light and color (to be presented early in the a.m. tomorrow) to think about my little bit of paradise, i smile. there's something quite amazing about the cultivation of a plot of dirt, about the digging and the learning of what a healthy soil community looks and feels like, about the close appreciation of beneficial buggypoos and organic means to repel the not so welcome fellows. it really is lovely.

and then the brain is back on the topic of the late night prep and immediately my body feels tired. a thought of "i'll just get up early and finish" crosses my mind. no can do shellypoo. better to finish now and sleep sound than to rustle and wake for the anticipation.

so i hope tomorrow i get a chance to spend just a bit of time out and about the growing garden creatures. if not, tomorrow night i'll be sure to pay a visit.

back to color, light and the wonder of the visible spectrum.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

and the sky brought rain
motion returning that which once was
nothing is lost
was is is
is soon is was

the garden gods sacrifice a great pepper stalk

we in the garden of hippy chick's adventure to sustainable happiness are sad to report a great loss this morning. the loss is that of a great and fruitful stalk of green peppers. the stalk had fully bloomed, was loaded with baby peppers and one teen sized pepper. it was a great producer and regretfully found lying (snapped off) in the dirt. we remain grateful for the joy it gave to us and wish it well as it will now join the holy compost pile and will soon feed future generations in the garden of sustainable happiness.

the pepper stalk is survived by it's main stalk and seven other fruiting pepper plant neighbors and friends, yellow bell, ancho, yellow banana, chipolte and red hot. all surviving peppers were given extra support this morning to prevent any future loss. the teen pepper will be enjoyed as it would have wished as a lunch time snack this afternoon.

a memorial planting occurred in ceremony in remembrance of the power of life and growth. the planting included bouquet dill, sweet marjoram, flat leaf parsley and kentucky wonder pole beans. all shared in the remembrance of the pepper's passing and now look to the wonder and joy of new growth.

Monday, September 17, 2007

up before the sun

got up before the sun today to enjoy the clear crisp morning air. it's a ritual both mr. t and i enjoy. we get up, we open the doors to the screened porches and just wallow in the morning air. it's a very pleasant way to wake.

mr.t took a few drinks from his freshly poured water as I prepared my iced coffee and then in a flash we were both off to our morning walk-a-bout. i to the garden, he to his own posts; the side screen door east and the side screen door west. i'm always safe with mr. t on lookout.

mr. converses with the creatures visiting and sharing shelter of the yard. he keeps them abreast of our plans and he finds out quickly what the news of the creature life is for the day. sometimes i've noticed the communication as simple as eye contact, other times they chatter just like you and i might and other times it's about a twitching of an air, raised fur on the shoulders and back or an excited stance. and then there are times when mr. t just sits quite, eyes closed and enjoys the cool air movement over his coat often lulling him to nap.

but then there are those moments when the outside world loses status to sitting on mommies lap while she writes and is forced to share a good scratch or two. and he, mr. t knows how much he's loved and he, mr. t knows he'll always win his scratch so the morning goes and we share each other's company as the sun rises.

this particular morning there were just two tasks on my mind. seed in the cabbage and feed compost to the compost tea. that's usually how it goes. i'll have just one or two tasks then ah! oh yes i should take care of that and ooh ooh yes that needs tending to as well. so this morning, not only did we seed the cabbage but we seeded some bib lettuce in somewhat shaded bit of dirt (better to protect it from the harsh temps we still get mid day - texas you know) and moved 3 pepper plants to a sunnier local in the company of the fall tomatoe plants. then mr. t pointed out that the okra yet again needed harvesting so indeed we harvested that which was ready for the picking.

last few tasks we completed this morning. a fixing of the fence and some wood fill around several east side windows. a few pickets had been convinced off by the lawn mower's close contact - pesky lawn mower. it's the east windows that i have the most fun with ants. i'm sure it has something to do with the proximity of the garden, aphids and all though in taking a closer look, it was discovered that a bit of the framing seemed a bit worse for the ware. i purchased wood fill and caulk yesterday. so i applied and smoothed in the wood fill this morning. i'll caulk tomorrow or wednesday and see if that's any help at all. although i'm beginning to believe that the ants have the power to transfer their molecules through solid surfaces to appear anywhere they wish. their powers are many, i take them not for granted.

i have begun to take note of all of the beautiful color in the garden thankful to the bees for bringing my attention to that which has probably been right before my eyes for at least a week. lovely sage purples, rock rose pink, a beautiful white and oh so fragrant rosa rugosa bloom, yellow and orange marigolds, pink and white dianthis and peach and super hot pink purslane. each and every one help to make the morning that much more enjoyable.

now it's time to get ready for the outside world. that seeming to be much more of a jolt than waking these days. there is a calm and pleasant understanding i experience in the garden and in my tiny orchard. a pleasantness that does not always carry over with my human exchanges. guess i'll just have to work on that.

till then, pleasant day to you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

bushed and body tired

well got pretty far today. did not get to the gutters but that's one that can wait until the coming weekend seeing as rain is not forecast for the next ten days or so. it is safe to say that the front and back gardens are in excellent shape. my body on the other hand is feeling the efforts of the past two days and to be honest, i'm tuckered out. i'm fit for the couch and turning in early. i enjoyed a bit of stew and an iced cream dessert a while ago and i'm not craving much more. i think i finished off a good gallon of iced tea today thirsty as i was. it's time i get some pictures on the blog so that you can see how things are looking.

i checked into direct seeding dates and it looks like i'll be seeding cabbage tomorrow a.m. i am going to wait on lettuce for a few more weeks. and i might head up to the natural gardener one of these evenings after work to see what types of organic seedlings they have in the greenhouse. usually they have a pretty good selection. i'll be looking for broccoli and possibly cauliflower. kale and collards grow quite easily from seed but i'll see what varieties they have before i say no thank you. it will be a good time to pick up some seeds. beets and carrots are nice for fall. i just have to remember to leave room for all the onions and potatoes. i am just like any other gardener, i get excited and want to grow it all. best to keep it manageable. funny though the garden has grown quite a bit each year and i don't suspect that the growth of the garden is about to cease anytime soon.

so i think it's time to pick up that book and read until my eyes decide enough for one day, you can pick it up again tomorrow.

hope you too had a great weekend. i sure enjoyed mine!

noon-thirty checkin

so far so good we are just wisking through the task list for today.
  • two new garden beds 4'x4' prepped and ready for seeding
    • i'm using cinder blocks for these beds.
    • i'll plant flowers in the openings to attract beneficial bugaroos
  • stone for the oak garden complete
    • 9 more bags of the pea stone but it sure looks great!
    • 9 bags will surly build some muscles!
    • back feeling ok
  • 25 gallons of compost tea is now aerating
    • i'll mix in the compost and goodies tomorrow a.m.
    • better to make sure all the chlorine is evaporated otherwise it will kill the beneficial bacteria
  • swept up the garage
  • recyclables sorted and put out
  • asparagus in their new home - 5 sets of roots
  • all beds manured and mulched
  • blackberry roots wrapped in damp shredded cardboard
    • thinking again about the perfect planting place
    • more to come on that
  • decided to leave the grape vines where they are for the week
    • done enough back pulling for one weekend
and still much of the day to be had. and iced tea is just ready for the drinking!

day 2 spiff up- veggie patch & orchard

i woke up this morning not nearly as sore in the back as i thought i might; a pleasant surprise. prepped my morning iced coffee, gave mr. t a few loving scratches, opened the porch doors to allow the fresh morning air in, popped on the radio tuned to our local public station and stretched and pondered how to start the day.

there are many tasks in the waiting. i've got more garden prepping, moving and cleaning bits to do. i'll move the blackberry roots to a new home today, i may even move the grape vines as well. I'll need to build a support system for them and i think i know just the place. the asparagus roots need a new home and once they are moved i can extend the length of the garden another 8'. the gutters need some clearing, the oak garden (named simple due to it's local under a big live oak) needs more stone and maybe some potted shade plants. (honestly, i think the potted shade plants is another weekend) and the front gardens could use a good few inches of a compost/manure mix. that's probably enough for today. actually, that's quite ambitious. the thing is, i truly revel in the results. i take pride in my planning and upkeep of the vegetable garden and the yard. the healthier they are, the more birds and creatures we attract and thus the more healthier they help us to be. it's a progressive circle of ecological looking out for one another.

ok then, i've got to get out there if i'm going to have a fighting chance at this list. A bit of late start for me 8am but the day looks to be a beauty.

and you, hey! get outside! breath some fresh air. enjoy your day.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

garden day and a bit of an aching back

what a great day so far! mr. t and i have been up since the early hours of the morning and working straight through until just about now 4:25pm. maybe just maybe i might have pushed too hard. me?! yeah, i'm not surprised either but my back is. it's aching pretty bad, i think i'll be applying some ben-gay in the near future. but let's not dwell on that, let's talk about all the progress we made today. here's the list.

  • pulled older okra plants
    • left small patch for fall harvest - which will still provide plenty
    • boy those roots hang on! tough to pull out.
  • mowed the lawn
  • trimmed the pecan trees a bit
    • some heavy limbs needed relief
  • dug up spreading blackberry brambles
    • i'll relocate the babies tomorrow
    • these roots hang on too!
    • they were beginning to take over part of the garden - don't want that.
  • turned soil in all raised beds and applied 2" of composted manure for fall growth
    • good news is that i spotted lots of earth worms
    • looks like the 6" of compost and leaves spread a few weeks back has increased their population and the soil felt great.
      • soft, airy and slightly moist and loose, excellent growing medium
  • pulled up older soaker hoses - they don't seem to be working as well as they once did
    • i'm thinking about a new irrigation system for the near future
    • one that i can feed compost tea right into the water distro
  • lay ed six bags of pea stone in the back oak garden
    • this is where the back aching may be from
    • truth is, i think i need about nine more bags to do the job right
      • but what is there looks great! real snazzy
  • pulled up the bamboo cages i use for tomatoe support
    • i'll dismantle them tomorrow
    • for now they are lying in the front yard, too big to move
  • watered all gardens once the manure was raked into soil
  • planted yellow and red shallots
  • moved artichoke plants to a new garden bed
  • moved lemon verbena and oregano plants to a better garden bed
  • re-mulched all beds with pine straw
  • swept up around each bed
    • everything is looking neat and clean!
    • just the way i like it.
  • gave all the fruit trees a well deserved drink
  • watched the bees hop from the sage flowers to the basil flowers to the marigolds to the bean blossoms.
  • conversed with several lizards, spiders, toads and small baby snakes while moving bits of brush and leafy bits around
    • it's nice to know they like the garden.
    • i make efforts to create spaces and places they might enjoy.
  • made a hearty beef stew with home grown carrots, peppers, onions and herbs
    • fridge and freeze (this coming week's lunch)
  • baked some biscuits
    • they go great with the stew
  • laundry
    • clothes, rugs, sheets & towels
  • brewed some iced coffee and iced tea
  • took a well deserved shower - ahhhhhhhh
and now both mr. t and i are relaxing on the super comfy sofa. he's napping while i write. we're both pretty happy. soon i'll be warming up some stew for dinner along with a biscuit. life does not get much better than this.

i'm really looking forward to the fall garden. the growth of the tomatoes currently planted seems a bit slow. it could be that the hot summer temps really sapped the juice out of the soil. i hope today's manure application will help things out. i'll get a 25 gallon batch of compost tea started tomorrow and apply that in a few days. that might rev things up a bit.

i'm personally thankful for the cooler temperatures that are on their way. i'm thinking about planting some lettuce but i think i might be better off if i wait a few more weeks and maybe even until october to do so. the new batch of seed potatoes and onions should be arriving soon. their beds are ready... i'll prep another bed tomorrow once i give my back a bit of a rest.
looking forward to it. and a restful evening. just thinking i might actually be able to get to bed early, that's a treat!

Friday, September 14, 2007

blind faith

observation of beauty
a woman blind of visual site
her guide dog snoozing with wagging tail nearby
a class drawing her body posed in a chair
silence all except for the breathing, the wagging and the drawing

two brave vines

two brave vines
one squash one gourd volunteer their services
no planting required they say "we are here"
white golden blooms no fee to bees
mint and roses compliment

red chard that survived the heat
morning glorious purple vision
merry yellow marigolds
green rosemary basil bushy blooms
pink natsurtiums small but peeking

broad beans mingle into brambles
require careful picking

lemons weighted full and plump
heavy hands from long days work

okra reaching for the clouds
sweet tater vines spread wide

spider weaving glows with dew
ants keep busy out of doors
trees need trimming branches full
squirrel nut cracking in the yard

two brave vines
one squash one gourd who volunteer their services
no planting required they say "we are here"
the neighborhood look good.