Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring seed starting

Two weeks ago I started the first seeds in my window boxes on the patio: lettuce mix, spinach, and bok choi. I started some parsley and basil, too. The bok choi is coming up all cute and tiny. I can't help but look at the soil each day, even when I know there's no hope of anything coming up yet.

Then on Monday I started some things in the cold frames: carrots, radishes, and beets. Turns out the orache (red mountain spinach) self-seeded out, which is great because I didn't have much seed left. And I started the peas by their trellis.

Tuesday I started seeds in little pots, which are currently also in the cold frames. I did hubbard and butternut squash, three kinds of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplants.

I have a calendar in which I keep track of what I planted and when. Last year I counted out days and wrote down what the seed packet said for when to harvest. They all say "Harvest in 60/90/110/whatever days." But last summer was so cool that everything took longer. Anyway, knowing when each vegetable was started is useful. If it says the seeds will sprout in 10 days, and 20 days later nothing is happening, it's time to buy a fresh packet. I use old seeds all the time. Turns out carrots and onions are the only seeds I've found that don't hold up well.

Still to be planted: swiss chard, cantaloupe, brussel sprouts, cilantro, and magic pole beans. And more tomato varieties.

In terms of the perennials, the strawberry plants are nice and green, the rhubarb is coming up, and I've been eating chives, oregano, and sage already. No sign yet of the asparagus or arugula.We are doing a few new things this year, including the traditional Three Sisters of corn, pole beans, and squash. I can't wait until it warmed up again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book club pick

Next month: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

It was picked before the movie came out, so you can just keep your High and Mighty comments to yourself, ok? Not everyone worships at the alter of Leo, you know. No, we don't. We're more into Johnny Depp, all right?!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Lots o' creativity around Chez Bluestem lately. I have photographic proof! First up, Nea's snowman. A fine fine snowman it is, too. Boo reports that no one else's in the kindergarten class looked like Nea's! I bet. You can even see the eyes, smile, scarf, and buttons if you look closely. I want to frame this one. She's not much into arts and crafts, unlike her big sister, so when you find a piece like this one in the backpack, it's time to celebrate.

Next up: Mittens by Oma. I know what you're thinking right now! Jealous, aren't you. Are they not gorgeous? And warm! Believe you me.

Lastly, N, as is typical, is working on a project that has immediately snowballed into a larger affair. Project entitled "Enlarge closet door opening to make wide closet more useable" (ECDOTMWCMU) is now "Enlarge closet door opening to make wide closet more useable after removing some other drywall and setting up some venting for the bathroom that will eventually be put in the basement" (ECDOTMWCMUARSODASUSVFTBTWEBPITB). He wanted me to see how it was coming, and so we were standing in the closet regarding this hole in the wall. As married couples are wont to do. He said, "I can't believe the crap plumbing job I was doing back then." I know you were thinking the same thing. Look at that pipe on the right. I mean, it's embarrassing. I can't believe I have to live in a house where that sort of ridiculous higglety pigglety is going on inside the walls. What must the neighbors be saying about us behind our backs.

But if you call it "creative plumbing" it's suddenly all ok again, isn't it. I'm guessing Project ECDOTMWCMUARSODASUSVFTBTWEBPITB will take us well into May at the current rate of progress.