April 17, 2010

Time for tea

Random personal fact: I'm on day 6 of "no sugar, no coffee, no alcohol" and it's an interesting experience. All of those things have been replaced with tea, so as you can imagine, it's always time for tea. Like now.

This cup is rooibos, which according to a two-minute web search cures or prevents every disease known to man. That's good, because the last cup was rooibos, too, and so was the one before it.

So during this 45th cup of tea of the day, I decided to take the the blogosphere to share a garden update with y'all. Here it is:

Everything is growing well! The end.

See? That's sort of boring to read. Though it's true - garlic is good. Chard is good (and yummy). Lettuce is coming along well. Kale, herbs, strawberries, yadda yadda yadda. But the asparagus is still hiding and all I see is unbroken dirt. I got a little impatient today and poked around in the dirt to look for growth, but I didn't find anything. I think one of the potatoes is throwing up a sprout, which rocks. And soon it will be time to do some more planting out.

Meanwhile, the chickens are little ladies. They're about the size and heft of a standard-issue football, but with more feathers. And tonight for the first time, they managed to put themselves to sleep in their little house! Most nights, Erik and I trekk outside lighting our way by headlamp and scoop up the comatose pullets and carry them to their little brooder box. But tonight they were big girls and figured it out. The 37-degree weather helped a bit, I think.

Here's a happy picture Erik took of me and the girls a few days ago.

Tea time over. Next cup in five minutes.

April 5, 2010

Live blogging the NCAA Championship

Well, sort of.

See, there are two parts to married life. The first is proximity. Example: after dinner, Erik and I are sitting on the couch together. The second is compromise. Example two: 'we' are watching basketball. But not just any game -- a 'very important' game, I am reminded.

So I'm going to live blog about what I'm thinking about, which is about how I just planted a crazy amount of asparagus, or what the seed company promises will someday be asparagus.

Because right now, it looks like a 3-day dead squid:

Ah, this just in: "Butler knocking down threes like crazy from way outside the line to go up one."

I have no idea what that means.

Back to asparagus.

So it arrived in a box today with the strawberries we ordered. Our plan was to plant 4 little squares of asparagus, and allow that to become the permanent asparagus stand. But as you can see, we had quite a few of these little roots (or 'crowns' as they're called).

Game time interruption: something just happened in slow motion involving an orange ball and about 4 armpits.

So instead of 4 squares, we cleared 6 and decided to plant the rest in the back garden.

Time out; Duke. 2:40 to go in the half.

We dug down about 6-8 inches and placed the crowns kinda far apart (but not as far as the direction sheet recommended), and fanned the roots out.

Interruption: apparently, there's a button on our remote control that freezes the image on the TV. Amazing.

Then we covered them up with dirt. Yay.

Going to the half - a one point game. Many cheerleaders.

I scooped up the rest of the crowns and assessed the back garden.

In my digging, I encountered what could only be buried treasure simply because it was too big for me to dig out myself. Intrigued, Erik came along with his shovel to help.

We figured out what it was: a concrete footer for an old fence. But it left an astounding hole, perfect for me to sit in.

(That's my impression of a spring bulb. A 'tulip,' to be exact.)

And the sun went down, so I worked fast. Here they are - planted.

Apparently, it's still halftime, so they keep showing spirited and informative segments about how fabulous these teams are. And still more slow motion and color commentary. Lots of mentioning about how "hard these guys work."

Strawberries have to wait until tomorrow, I'm afraid. I leave you with some pretty tidbits to give you a sense of how the garden grows.

Chard (overwintered):

Lettuces (various types):

Kale (Lacinato):


And my perennial favorite:

Game's tied. Wait, no, now 36-38. Wait, no - tied again.

I'm going to bed. Y'all are just going to have to watch the game yourselves.

April 3, 2010

We put the chickens outside!

This weekend was a big first for everyone in the CitylovesCountry household: friends, family, felines and fowl. On April 1, we kicked the chickies out of the house and showed them their new (outdoor) digs.

Here's a video of this momentous day!

They're a little over 4 weeks old, so for the first few nights we brought them back in at dusk. But tonight they're outside all night (with the heat lamp, of course) like big girls.