Category Archives: garden

Kale chips {deer version}

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So I’ve been watering very conservatively this summer, trying to save money. Instead of leaving the sprinklers to come on automatically, I’ve been manually turning them on every few days.

Well, we’ve had a nice long stretch of hot weather—and I didn’t water enough. As a result, the garden is looking rather wilty/baked—especially the kale. What’s left of it. I checked on everything today, only to find that a deer has eaten the tops off of almost every single kale! Deer version of kale chips, I guess. I don’t mind sharing. There was way too much kale growing with what I planted this year and the volunteers from last year. It was hard to keep up.

I’m pretty sure it’s a deer, because: big bites! And also, I hadn’t seen many deer this summer, but a few days ago my step-daughter found one in our front yard {where the veggies are}. My step-daughter accidentally scared her away, but obviously she came back. Makes me happy. Really.

Sleep, raisin bread French toast, weeding, the show = Good Sunday

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Good Sunday:

  • Slept in.
  • Made french toast from yesterday’s raisin bread.
  • Weeded most of the rest of the front herb garden (with help from the kids). It’s amazing what 15 minutes a day from each of us accomplished in a little over a week! Also, with kids that can now mow the lawn without excessive supervision, it frees me up to get other things done.
  • Spent the afternoon and evening working on Tuesday’s show.

Worm bin, sans worms

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Worm Compost Bin

Worm Compost Bin

The worm bin, sans worms. We followed these directions. I must admit, it took us a little longer than 3 minutes, even without a beer in one hand. Mainly, because hubby drilled about a zillion air holes for the worms. We decided to keep the bin in the garage for now, as we don’t have a good outdoor location that would be mainly out of the sun. It may need to be relocated or insulated in some way for the winter, though.

Also, our bin is a bit larger than the one in the example {approx 32″ x 16″ wide x 24″ deep}. I chose a plastic tote with a nice hinged lid that we were using for old toys. Rather than use a second bin, we’ve used the tray from a large unused dog crate to catch any drippings underneath—we’ll see how well that works. {I’ve already accidentally broken a corner of the tray, which is annoying, since it goes with a very expensive extra-large greyhound sized dog crate that we were storing in the garage, but will need again someday.} We do have another same-sized bin that we could use underneath later on.

The kids and I cleaned out some of the garage today too, and did some paper shredding. So we have almost too many shreds, but also a week’s worth of veggie trimmings in there as well as some other odds and ends like cardboard, dryer lint, etc.

I’m hoping to pick up some worms this week so they can start munching!

Worms, Reading List, Goose Count

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On my reading list this week:

Also, I found a local source for worms for the compost bin. Now I just need to coordinate a time to pick them up and maybe I’ll actually put the bin together this weekend (although I was kind of hoping to have the kids help construct it, and they’ll be at their mom’s this weekend. I guess I could wait until Monday). I’ve been saving veggie scraps, tea bags, etc. for a week and the amount is surprising. I mean, we are vegan, and we do cook mostly at home, but still!

Tomorrow I’m getting up at the crack of dawn to help with a Canada Goose bird count. So, most unfortunately, I have to attempt a highly unnatural bed time. But I feel it’s important that I help on this one—put some action behind my words.

Meditative, dirty, and just what I needed

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It finally warmed up a bit today. And I took advantage of it by spending a few hours planting some carrot, pea, and bean seeds, weeding as I went. I wish I had planted them a month ago, but the weather has been uninspiring, to say the least. Hopefully we’ll get some harvest by September before it starts freezing again. I can still fill in with some starts as I find them. Most of the kale starts are hanging in there—they’re hardy—except I can see that somebody munched on a few (probably the lone young male deer that’s been hanging around lately). Many of the kale seeds have germinated as well. We’re probably going to have more kale than we know what to do with at some point.

I also assisted my step-son in clearing a weed pile from the middle of the front lawn {adjacent to the veggie beds} so he could mow the lawn weeds. We started a good compost / weed pile at the end of the raised beds, with the aim of killing more grass and eventually extending the beds into that area. I also finally gave in and turned the sprinklers on and tested them: They’ve survived another winter. I don’t feel like we can afford to water the lawns right now, so I’ll can keep it to a minimum and concentrate needed water on the veggie beds.

Planting and weeding today was meditative, dirty, and just what I needed. I also did quite a bit of leisure reading this weekend, which I haven’t made a lot of time for lately, so that felt good. I didn’t get to constructing the worm bin, but I did start collecting veggie scraps. I’m waiting to hear back on purchasing some local worms (I have worms in the raised beds, but not enough to borrow for the compost). Late this evening, I spent a few hours editing our news for the next show. Tomorrow will be crunch day for that, as we have a show coming out Tuesday.

This will be a busy week: Some consulting work, last day of school for the kids is Wednesday, and I have several lunches and user group events on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also juggling summer kid plans and trying to figure out driver’s ed / insurance for the about to be 16-year-old. Yikes.

Contemplating composting

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I’ve been so out of sorts this week. And fighting a cold—or is it allergies? That would explain a lot.

Two books that I’ve enjoyed this week:

I was recently inspired by the following post (from a visitor to this blog) and am determined to start a worm compost bin soon. I’ve always let composting intimidate me, but this makes it seem easy:

http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/lets-build-a-worm-farm/

And then, maybe I can work my way up to some of the other techniques in the Composting book.

CSA Box #1: June 6, 2012

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CSA Box #1, 2012

CSA Box #1, 2012

  • Salad mix
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Pea shoots
  • Yukon Gold new potatoes
  • Vidalia sweet onions
  • Garlic whistles
  • Artichokes
  • ‘Diva’ cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
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We got the twins off to their coast trip early this morning. Only to find that the boy forgot today’s lunch AND they forgot the cooler full of vegan back-up food. Got a call from them this evening though, saying that the school had given them plenty of things to eat, including Field Roast sausages, of all things. I don’t know if they had to take an extra trip to the store or what, but I’m appreciative and relieved that the school is being respectful of our lifestyle and way of eating.
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