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.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Me 1 : Sod 0

Veg garden is almost done. It's defiantly taken more time then I previously thought to remove the sod, but I am close. I got 3/6 rows removed today. They are 18" wide and 16'long, kicked my butt!

It was a beautiful 64 degree day with a light breeze. A great day to load up on the Vitamin D we've all been missing. Amelia had a dear friend over who helped keep my kiddos from boredom as well as be a big help in rock removal. It amazing what you can trick a 4 year old into helping with when you call it a 'game'!

Renting the sod cutter was wonderful in helping to expand the garden but I also felt compiled to double the size of the strawberry bed and cut along the back fence for the hopps we may or may not get planted this summer (my hubby brews beer). I just wanted to use up as much of the 2 hour min as possible! Famous last words....

Our resident senior citizen 'Big Al' was fulfilling his catly duties today in patrolling the compost for mice. Al came to us 2 weeks ago. He is 15 and in wonderful health, very sweet and loving and helpful too!

Tomorrow we pick up the alpaca compost at 11. Only $20 for a truck load! Killer price, thanks Dad for taking me in your truck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Step One

This is my first blog ever, so here I go...

I will be dedicating most of this blog to my love of gardening, my continuing effort to become more self sustaining, improving my organic practice's, and helping out the local wildlife.

Our current veggie garden is a 10'x 16' space that faces South West. With the radiant heat from the concrete wall and the southern exposure it's a pretty toasty place. We typically grow WAY to many tomatoes, 2-4 varieties of peppers, onions, greens, beans, peas and some edible flowers in this space, stuffing herbs in where ever there is left over room.

This year is the big expansion for the veggie garden. We removed a chain link fence that once (conveniently) kept the pets and kids out and we are removing another 128 sq ft of lawn to bump the garden from 160 sq ft to a grand total of 288 sq ft.
The two varieties of potatoes, 2 varieties of onions, carrots, corn, peas, peppers, and basically anything else I can cram in there will be in this new space, leaving the older section of garden wide open to the many tomatoes, eggplant, beets, greens...well that's all I can think of for now but I know there is more.

I am truly excited about this wonderful new space but at the same time, I am intimidated. Will I be able to keep up with the weeding and beating back the grass I always battle?

The chickens will be arriving the end of May and we are starting to clear out there eventual home and starting to plan the construction of their coop. The prospect of fresh eggs is terribly exciting and my daughter (a budding young gardener) just can't wait for our little chicks to arrive.

We should be getting the sod cutter tomorrow and removing the grass, then comes the amending of our VERY sandy soil, and when I say VERY I mean we have a beach for a yard. We live at the foot of the beautiful Pikes Peak and what was once a ocean floor geographically. At least we are far enough away from the mountain as to not have to battle the clay and decomposed granite! If I had to choose, give me my sand any day.

A truck load of Alpaca poo, some good compost from my work, alfalfa pellets (yes rabbit food), free grounds from Starbucks (thanks gals), and a quality granular fertilizer (organic of course) should do the trick to bring my soil (or lack there of) up to par for the veggies. Extra compost of course for the potato section.

Sod cutting adventure to come!