Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fruits of our labor

Okay, mostly Keith's labor.

He thinned the carrots this morning. We planted some heirloom type variety or something---anyway they are all sorts of colors: orange, yellow, white, red, purple. I am a sucker for nature novelty (and I'm told I come by it honestly--that my dad's dad loved to plant anything offbeat or weird-colored) and actually I'm not all that fond of carrots, but I am excited about these. Keith said these little ones weren't too tasty (not that he picked them for eating, just to allow the others to grow larger) but we ate a larger one that was very sweet. (Sidenote: I found another siamese raspberry the other night!! but I didn't take any photos.)

My sunflowers are coming up great--surprisingly. Keith counted 43 sprouts this morning!

sunflowers in the fore/
watermelon in the back

The squash families (watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini) were taking over more than their allotted corner of the garden so Keith chopped out a couple of the plants...we're still going to have more than we can handle once they start coming on.

The wood ash/garden lime treatment we've been putting around the squash and tomatoes have really helped keep the bugs down. Definitely recommend that if you're having pest trouble. Equal parts wood ash and garden lime, spread a circle of it around the base of each plant. You can also sprinkle it directly on the leaves of the plants, but it's pretty alkaline so be careful not to burn the plants. That's totally SWAG, as my dad says. Scientific Wild Ass Guess. Pretty much how we operate around here.

The raspberries are really overstaying their welcome. And I try to be grateful for all of the food that we get, but it's really hard to pick raspberries every other day and not get sick of it. Complainy Complainerton! The freezer is full of them and we have enough jam to last at least this year if not next year as well. We've been eating them on cereal. And I've been giving them away to friends, too... including Mia. She loves her some raspberries! What a funny dog. Sometimes if you're not looking she sneaks them out of the bucket. But usually I hand feed them to her.

Keith finished the larger shelf for the greenhouse and we moved all of the heirloom tomato plants in there as well as the herbs. Keith said the dill grew about 4" today! There was a really interesting and disgusting article in the local paper last week(end?) about a nearby maggot farm. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a maggot farm!! They sell them for bait, but also to raise to maturity and sell the bluebottle flies that they turn into because they are great for pollinating plants in greenhouses. Apparently bees do not always like the confines of a greenhouse, but flies do just fine. Good thing to keep in mind, I guess.

The other shelves will be a bit lower so the tomatoes will have room to grow. But several of the plants have blossoms already. Don't know how that will work out---if the plants are big enough to support fruit or what. Again, SWAG rules. Amateurs!

The butcher block wouldn't fit in the greenhouse so we posted it outside. We hauled it to Missoula five or so years ago and then back here to put in storage while we lived in Portland and now it's out in circulation again. It was on my great-grandfather's ranch in southern Idaho way back when. I think I rescued it from my grandma who wasn't sure anyone would want it? Maybe because it weighs 3 tons. Her dad was a cattle rancher and spent all but about 18 months of his life on the ranch. There's a newspaper article on the wall of my parents' house that says the family's brand, an "X," holds the state record for the brand remaining in the same family for the longest period of time. It was registered by my great-great-grandfather in 1896. Last time I asked my mom she said she thought it was still somewhere in the family---this is something I should track down, I think. Very interesting: I just found there is a resevoir named for him in southern Idaho: Adin Hall Resevoir. (My mom's middle name is the feminized version of his name--Adine--and so is mine.) This concludes Family History Minute.

another panorama of the garden

I'm almost finished with my work week---just Wednesday to go. And I found out today that I get to place classifieds FOR FREE. W00t. This means my bartering ad is definitely going in next week and Roxanne even encouraged me to put some graphics on it and make it bigger if we need to fill some space. Can do! We usually have to put some stock/"house" ads in for fillers, so instead I'll use mine. I am very excited about that. But she also told me that they are probably going to want me to start taking on some of the real estate guide layout work and that I should stick up for myself re: wages. She said she has worked there three years and is only making $.25/hour more than when she started. Which is, frankly, bullshit. I mean, this is not just a job that your average Joe off the street can do well---it takes a lot of organization and attention to detail and apparently the Powers That Be think they can get away with paying slave wages. What're they going to do if someone puts up a fight? It's not like there's exactly a plethora of uber-qualified people in this town---most of them already have jobs. Of course I didn't move here or take the job to get rich--that isnt' the point. But I do think if you're going to increase someone's work load and responsibility you should acknowledge that it means they're a good worker who deserves a little more pay. But tomorrow is Free Lunch Wednesday (the last Wednesday of every month the paper buys us lunch), so I will wait and air my grievances at a later date. Hey, it's free lunch.

One thing about Having A Job that I am not too terribly fond of: having to wear a watch again. But at least I don't have to wake up to alarm clock...Keith wakes me up if I'm not up by 7 a.m. Really, the only reason I need the watch is to make sure I come back from lunch on time. Wah wah wah.

Check out this psychedelic shirt!

On a semi-related note I found this really neat interactive design website ("public interactive art project") called Type Is Art. You choose different parts of characters to enlarge, rotate, etc. and you make a design out of it. The possibilities are endless. I would love to hand something like this (oversize) in our house. Or maybe even sell them---if that's legal/not prohibited by some smalltype I haven't seen.

This was my first attempt.
I can see how it could be addictive.

Thursday we're taking a trip to the edge of town. There's a place that sells used lumber and we're going to get some quotes on what we'll need for the tiny house. I think I've already said we changed plans a little and decided to make it all one level, but we also increased the size a little. Instead of 8'x12' we're going 12'x20'--which is quite a big jump. But still pretty tiny. There's just no way we could fit our bed inside a house that's only 8' wide at the outside. Yesterday Keith got home from work and put pencil to paper for about 3 hours and laid out a detailed plan of dimensions and what lumber/plywood we will need to get started. We're hoping to have it built (well, winterized and habitable but not necessarily finished) by this fall/winter. Nothing against my parents, but I don't think all 4 of us could live in their house all winter and not go berserk. So----that means we have to get serious about our house plans. Which we are---getting serious. We also decided to look for a wood stove for heat...and if we do it right we can hook it up so our water (in the tanks on the roof) are also heated by the wood stove. If we find a flat top stove we could do some cooking on top of it. Plus run pipes to the bathroom end of the house to heat it (like radiant heat floors, kinda, only extremely simplified). Needless to say, with harvesting the garden and preserving the food and house plans and Farmers Market shenanigans, we are going to be plenty busy for the rest of the summer. Time to get crackin!


Arika said...

Yum! I love yellow carrots they are delicious. My dog digs up the carrots in our garden and eats them.. no joke! She's like a rabbit but she LOVES Them.

April said...

oh great---i hope our dogs don't figure that out. we wouldn't have any left!