Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The bounty!

It's been too long since I have blogged but that's just how the month's of April and May roll. To much to do and not enough day light to do it in.

The garden has been feeding us different greens, broccoli & broccoli rabbe for over the last month. We have had lovely salads, wilted greens, and the guinea pigs have been feasting like queens. This is them with their cage top over some lettuce planted just for them. They get fresh air & a buffet, I get free fertilizer.

The chickens arrived 2 weeks ago tomorrow. They are so stinkin' cute! Everything I've read mentioned how quickly they grew but man, I never could have imagined! They noticeably change within just 6-8 hours!

We just finished naming them last night. We have Clucky & Lucy (Easter Eggers), Daphne & Rosie (Australorps), Coco & Penelope (Barnevelders). They are all trying to fly from water dish, to perch, to food dish. I will have to start putting the top on when we are not around just to make sure they stay safe. My daughter told me Al the cat has gotten in there with them to 'cuddle' a few times. She said all he does is sleep and they peck at him some. He's such a good old man.

The garden is coming along so nicely. Our potatoes plants are HUGE! Thank you sand. I'm expecting that to be a great crop! 13 tomatoes are in the ground, I've run out of room for the other 3 so they will go in pots. 9 kinds of peppers. We will have awesome hot pepper jam this fall if all goes as planned. The broccoli's are coming out as they are about finished and more peppers are going in their places. The peas are outgrowing their fence so I will have to extend that soon.

I have begun trading with a local restaurant Nosh. I take them my extra produce, and herbs and they give me trade credit for food and drinks. It's a beautiful thing!

Well here is a few more shots of garden, I can't think of much else I may be missing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cold Crop Finished

Well today is my 27th birthday. I have to say I am pretty happy with where I am in my life. There are always place for improvement and my life sure has it, but overall life is good.

I finished planting the rest of my cold crops today. In bed #2 I planted 2 butter-crunch lettuce's, 2 romaine, bourdex spinich, swiss chard, 4 kinds of carrots, beets, mustard greens, dinosaur kale, and more shelling peas along the fence.

I thought this picture with labels might be helpful.

The weather was rather crummy today. 35 MPH winds with highs in the mid 50's but still very sunny. It sure felt colder then that out there! Luckily the seeding went quickly, we will have to see who pops up where with this crazy wind. When seed is only 1/8" down it had a tendency to 'travel', LOL!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Color & Paths

This evening after work I spread Sphagnum in the rest of the beds and turned what I am calling bed #2 or the tomato and pepper bed. Jeff worked on the edging and the pathways getting one whole row done. We are putting 18" pavers down the center and a brick edging. We are hoping the pavers will help keep weeds down and the brick will help keep the soil off the pathways. As a bonus it looks nice too :)

Yesterday the rest of the alpaca was deposited into the new raspberry bed as well as a healthy dose of Sphagnum peat moss and was all turned. We ordered Autumn Britten (red) and Bristol (black) from Nourse Farms in MA. Just beautiful plants! We got bare root crowns 5/$11 or so plus shipping and the roots systems on these things where about 18" long and they are beginning to leaf out. We actually received 6 of one and 7 of the other so thank you very much Nourse Farms for the extra plants!

We also got 25 strawberry crowns, Annapolis. Only 13 fit in the new space so I have 12 more to find homes for or stuff in somewhere else.

I got Amelia and Noah their annual pack of Pansies and they did a great job digging the holes to plant them. Amelia did most of hers by herself and Noah needed redirection away from the worm and back to the plants but he kept insisting on "I do it" and tried hard.

We also managed to get the 20 Borrettana Onions, Russian Banana & Desiree potatoes, red & yellow shallots, Silver rose garlic and some radish seed all in bed #1 or the root crop bed.

I just couldn't squeeze in the broccoli rabbi or broccoli tonight. Maybe tomorrow morning before work if I get up early enough...probably not.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And then there was defination

Oh boy, was yesterday tiring, but the alpaca is moved.

Here's the running tally of yesterday's work:

Finished removing sod from new strawberry bed
Dung out 5' Elm tree from new strawberry bed
Cut back and removed stump of dead Weigela shrub
Filled both areas with compost
Defined beds in veg garden with loads of alpaca

All that's left in the main garden is to put on alfalfa pellets and peat moss and ask me dear friend to come till it all in for me. Then place stepping stones for defined paths, and PLANT!

I will just turn in the compost in the new strawberry bed and the raspberries will go where the Weigela was so that will need turning as well but the sites are about 90% ready for when my roots arrive tomorrow!

After the full docket yesterday I finished off the evening by working in Pat's yard too (Pat is my gardening client). Amelia came with me this time and helped transplant the many HUGE earthworms that where coming to the surface. She love the carry them around and them place them in the compost pile. I love her for that! I also took on another client for Spring clean up. I'm beat, but losing the weight I wanted and gathering the money I needed for my apiaries quicker then I imagined!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

King and Queens of Mud

Today was a beautiful 78 degree day in Colorado. Can't beat these warm ups before the cold front. I'm just happy it worked out that they happened in my days off this week. Tomorrow is suppose to be just a nice, if not nicer. The kids finished a long day of gardening with a mud bath, they really had a blast and are exhausted.

We got a TON done today, even with 2 additional 'helping hands'. Amelia's dear friends Violet and Oliver spent the day with us and really where great kids. I spent the morning making tomato and pepper cages with my friend Suzanne from the spool of construction grid wire I found from behind my house. We made about 25 or so in about an hour and I still have enough wire to make about 15-20 more. Simply awesome!

I got an e-mail telling me the 10 raspberries, 25 strawberries and 2 blueberries will be arriving about April 2nd so I needed to get at least one of the three sites cleared today. I cleaned out the sod from the strawberry bed expansion and need to just bring in the compost and it's ready. I'm hoping about 2 buckets will do it tomorrow. We will get to the metal edging eventually.

The area next to the blackberry is where one of the two raspberry varieties will go and the other will be along the back fence where the sod still needs to be removed.

I hauled about 8 five gallon buckets of alpaca around and into the area that I am filling with cold crops. I turned it all in along the fence and at least got the peas in today. Tomorrow I will turn most of the rest of it and get the carrots, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, beets, broccoli and assorted greens in.

As you might have already guessed the pile of alpaca compost has not moved yet. Slowly making headway on that. sometimes playing in the mud is just funner. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Come on weather...enough snow already!

It's been so cold and muddy outside I have gotten nothing done. Playing hookie from work on Thursday didn't work out like planned at all. I got no yard work done because it was so chilly and snowy out, but I did get almost all of my house cleaned. Amazing what you can get done when the little tornadoes are not following behind messing everything up again!

I guess this will give me the change to tell you a little more about the other things in my life that I hold dear. There are my two crazy kids, Amelia (4) and Noah (2).

My hubby works at Colorado College fixing things that the kids break, definite job security there, those kids are consistently breaking or plugging up something.

We have 3 dogs, Princess (10 yr old) Mini Schnauzer, Layla (2yr old) Border Collie/Blue Healer, and Charlie (12 wk old) Chocolate Lab/Aussie Mix.

Al is our old man cat, you've heard about him before.

We also have 3 female guinea pigs; Willow, Crystal and Dandelion...I bet you can't guess who 2 I named! And with the chickens coming the end of May we will have one crazy house, as if it's not already.

My hubby and I both have a very big soft spots for animals of all kinds which usually gets us into trouble ;) Especially since we both are suckers for older 'senior' pets.

I'm 27 and have been working in garden centers since I was 15. I have been at the garden center I work at now for about 9 years and love it very much. Working there is good for my soul. I get to spend most of my year outside, under blue Colorado skies helping people improve their small plot of this planet. I'm defiantly not the kind of person who could work in a building all day.

I enjoy reading, sleeping, gardening, hiking, camping, writing, bugs, birds, sharks and about anything else related to nature or growing things. I love kids and love the idea of having lots of them but realistically our family is complete with the two kids we have. Maybe in a few years we will have the little sister Amelia keeps telling us we will have. She's spooky sometimes with that stuff.

Til next time...


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ready and waiting for amending...

The fencing is in! Yesterday we finished removing the last 2 rows of sod, put the edging in and got the fencing completed and the boards are in place on the low end to help catching the soil. We are ready to bring the alpaca compost in (I'm sure my neighbor will be glad to see it leave my driveway) and define the paths.

The weather was overcast and a bit breezy yesterday with a high of about 40 I think. We had a crazy spring snow storm drop something like 6"-8" all over town in about 3-5 hours last night. Springtime in the Rockies! At least it's a good heavy, wet snow, the greening grass will appreciate the moisture. We warm right back up tomorrow, about 45 I hear with mostly sunny skies...we will see weather man...we will see. That 45 makes today's 10 with crazy wind seem like a summer heat wave.

I can see it, see it all grown and big with a bounty of food hanging from it's heavy limbs. The vision is my heaven on Earth. I cannot wait!

I had to buy myself something Spring yesterday at the store and I found these golden rays of sunshine. They where even on sale for $1.50 a bunch instead of the usual $2.99, I bought 3 bunches, must have been fate.