what a fun day so far and it's not even 11am on the time clock! aside from the fact that this is my first full weekend day home in months, aside from the fact this crazy semester is over, aside from the fact that it is a perfect 60 to 70 degree day, aside from the fact that the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the squirrels are out and about doing their foraging, digging, burying thing, life is tremendously good.
and let me tell you, i am ready for this day. i'm so ready for this day. i could easily bet that this might be the my most looked forward to day thus far into the year 2008. today is the beginning of the semester break. projects still require grading, faculty meetings are still to be attending but the end is near and fresh air and digging and chicken mama duties are in the forecast of happiness.
deep deep breath. truly deep deep breath. i am so ready for this day
so ready that i got up early, fixed up a cup of iced coffee and headed out the door in my pajamas will no concern or regret for my attire. after all the tops and bottoms match and i live in a small town not built on the idea of who has how much money or who bought which lawn mower this spring and i like that.
it was time, in my mind to pull up the alliums and the garlics; so i did. i pulled up leeks, shallots, garlic and white onions. i left two small patches of red and white onions in though it took great restraint to do so. and do not be surprised if you read about their being pulled in the near future.
why is that? well, i have a verve like feeling that it's time to change over the beds. i act mostly on instinct when it comes to picking. though i've been gardening now for three years in the south, i must admit that i do not truly understand the calender for planting and picking. i do have a really good idea but i'm not expert and i believe in instinct. the more i dig, the more i plant, the more i trust my instinct. it's all part of my concerted effort to understand the land.
once the onions, garlic and such were up and out, i gave them a simple brush off and began sorting and braiding for the curing process. so out there just this morning i sat and braided and braided and braided. i made use of the row cover supports for tie-ing off. i simply left enough greenery for a tie off to the support. for me, this was very exciting. even now, it's exciting to look outside and see the braids. they are beautiful.
i decided to keep the shallots in the harvest pails. two full pails, not bad and what a pretty reddish yellow they are. they all came out in varying size. those with more sunlight are bigger and some smaller due to intensive planting. don't know until you try. lessons noted but i'm happy just the same. i'll braid up the shallots a bit later today or maybe tomorrow.
i pulled up a few other underground lovelies this morning; carrots and fresh new red potatoes. just a couple of each, no more than i can eat in the next few days. but oh how beautiful and healthy they were. the carrots have been growing in an area more shady and the are huge! huge because these carrots were supposed to be of the mini sort, not so.
now the question is...
what to do with the garden space?
aha! what a great dilemma to have.
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checking in at 2:15pm
got back out for the second round to todoooooos including the cleaning out of the outback garden. i pulled some of the overgrown fennel, though i made sure to relocated and butterfly caterpillars before doing so. i cut down a whole lot of overtall, falling over borage. i've got plenty of borage elsewhere so the garden will not be the worse for the ware sans this bit.
i hoed up the areas i cleared out, gave them a good watering and a good raking. i then decided to plant a smaller patch of mesclun sweet salad mix under the towering chards. i'm hoping the shade from the chard keeps it from going to bolt right off. this is definitely an experiment. hoping for the best.
i then raked in a new patch of carrots. the shade seems to do the carrots well and i'll soon have the currently growing carrots picked and eaten. i threw in a few christmas lima bean seeds around the chicken coop. the vines should provide shade for the ladies and beans for me. the hardwire cloth on the outside of the coop is too small for the ladies to poke through so i don't think they'll be grabbing beans unless they begin to grow through the cloth of which i'll have to watch out for.
in the east side garden, i planted a smaller patch of carrots mixed in with some sweet allysum and nasturtium seeds for good bug attraction and bad bug protection. i planted some more beans of a red kidney sort, also combined with nasturtium seed. round the corner from these beans i put in some tangerine marigold seeds. i threw in a few eggplant seeds as well, these will do well for the fall picking. my eggplant seeds did quite well last year.
last bit of veggie seed going into the ground today will be red okra. i've got a few babies growing now but not enough for my desired pickled okra patch. i know just the place and they'll do real well though i may wait until this evening to pop them in. i may soak them a bit before planting to give them a bit of head start.
i dropped in a few datura seeds as well. they are not of the eating sort but boy oh boy are they beauties. i believe in the benefits of mixing veggies with flowers. in another area, i planted some echinacea seeds that i had kept in the freezer for a bit to replicate a hard winter. i hope they'll come up, would be nice.
out front i put in some bee balm and some red flax seeds and gave everything a good watering including the fruit trees, the comfrey and the volunteer squashes/pumpkins, who knows what they'll be.
i think it's finally time for a shower and something to eat. i'm feeling a bit jacked up on all of the iced coffee and iced tea i've been drinking. not so good.
lunch today will be: morning picked new red potatoes and a steamed artichoke. mmm