March 28, 2009

We have a trellis!

Remember that trellis I told you we were going to build? Here it is (pre-paint):
Erik build me this grand structure on which to grow our cucumbers, beans, peas and squashes. And whatever else I think we can fit. Here 'tis after a coat of purple paint (on the outside of the box only, of course):I love its lines. I hoped it would be functional, but I didn't thing it would be pretty, too!
Here are some pictures from the square foot gardens, just because they're so happy. This is the garlic, which I think will be ready long before its scheduled harvest time in early summer:And here's some very green, lovely chard:
Now, when do I harvest it? Should I start now with the outside leaves? Will that encourage new growth? Advice?

March 20, 2009

Proof that coldframes rock!

Here's a wee video update about how much green things love little glass houses.

March 19, 2009

Rainwater collection system

Though gardening can save you money, be prepared for your water bill to increase significantly if you water your garden the way I did last summer. This year, we're trying something different, and, I think, better for us, the plants and the environment.

Erik installed this rainwater collection system (aka, a 55-gallon barrel with some non-fancy plumbing) that directs the pure, free stuff directly to my garden hose. I especially appreciate that the water is free from additives such as fluoride which are added to protect our teeth. Fluoride is toxic to plants (and to us, really, but we're bigger). I made this little video showing the blue wonder in action.

March 15, 2009

We have a sprout!

Ahem, cold frames rock.Those would be the first sprouts of 2009. Hello, Arugula. Amazing!

Oh, and the squirrels were digging frustrated holes all over the lawn to day, but - heh, heh, heh - they can't get to the tender shoots just inches from their greedy little snouts. Cold frames are squirrel proof!

Specimen 2:That's the rainbow chard that overwintered and I nearly pulled up last weekend. It's going gangbusters! So's the other chard:I've not yet managed to get my chard to 'take,' though I've heard people boast about how, once established, you can't get the stuff to stop growing. So I'm super optimistic that soon, I won't have to buy $4 bunches of the stuff at Whole Foods.

And lookie: Those are the chives that overwintered. I pointed out in my video that they were coming back from the dead a few weeks back. And now look at them! Soon, I'll make more grass cookies.

Just had to share! Spring has sprung!

March 7, 2009


I wore shorts outside today for three minutes.

There is less snow in my lawn.

I am not currently drinking tea.

The neighbors have tucked away their Christmas lights.

Could it be (almost) spring?

Yes, I did plant some stuff last weekend in a fit of optimism. Then we were blasted by arctic air and two feet of snow. Some humble-Eskimo-pie for this upstart gardener here in Massachusetts. But I am so ready, so achingly ready for things to be green and a little warm again.

True confession: I just sat on my behind for fully 20 minutes trying to decide which picture of last summer's garden to put on the desktop of my computer. This is pathetic for two reasons.

1. I gave up "e-idling" for lent, even though I'm Jewish.
2. The real reason I want to look at this picture is because I don't believe that anything will grow out of my lawn again after this frozen recession winter.

This is the picture that's currently on my desktop:
Taken last September 9. Not an overly exciting picture, but like childhood pictures, saturated with sentiment and funny, poignant-only-to-me stories. Like, ha ha, that time when I accidentally cut the main vine of my favorite squash plant. Or that night when I set beer traps for the slugs, and then sat vigil for hours to rescue them before they fell in.

Ah, summer.

What silly things will happen in this season's warmth and abundance? That's a happy reverse memory. To contemplate what will be when the sun returns, and I can smell the earth again for longer than a brief thaw.

Tonight when I returned to my house after a wonderful dinner with friends (thank you, Liz and Jason), I stood on my porch and leaned into the breeze, quiet all around. It was one of those moments when nothing belongs to you, not even yourself, and you see your life from 30 feet up and a million miles away. I looked up at the moon, which was hidden behind the fir branches, and had the funny sensation that I was seeing it from below -- that I was seeing it from a particular vantage point that didn't define the moon, only my direct experience of it right now, in this life, in this body. I looked down at the two front gardens, which are covered only partly right now by snow. I tried to imagine them as they will be in July, absolutely realized green glory. Everyone on my block is asleep, I decided, judging from the dark windows. And the wind was so soft, and not cold, really.

This is my life. I feel so grateful.

And so ready for spring.