3.31.2011

I am SO HAPPY March is OVER!

This month has been absolutely crazy for me in terms of working... I have worked way more hours than I am used to, and while I love the paycheck I will be getting, I have been in a little bit of a poor mental state. I have been searching for a new job, its not going well, and now I have been thinking I should just stick with this place until the end of next summer to make my school life easier. Hubby has encouraged me to change my attitude about my job, and focus on the good things it offers me... The ability to change my days off (sometimes) and the ability to get school work done. I generally do not work as much as I have this past month, and the garden and schooling has suffered. Mostly the garden... That seemed like a little bit of a babble, sorry...

So the garden! I am totally behind on my planting schedule. I need to sow the kale, more lettuces, and fennel... Fennel has never worked for me, but I am going to try it again anyways. I need to transplant my peppers and lettuces, as they are becoming root bound. The tomatoes are getting VERY big, and are taller than our breakfast bar. The color is not a very rich green, and they need more light. Soon my little babies, soon! Next year, I will fight the urge (like I do every year and fail) to plant my tomatoes as soon as Christmas is over. I just cant help it... I get all the holiday decor put away, and then I am hit with the winter blues, and I need a pick me up! It's like an emotional high, I swear!

My tulips outside have all popped up, and are now COVERED in snow... And speaking of snow, I am worried about my peas. I know peas are spring lovers and love the wet coldness, but this is ridiculous. I am not so much worried about them freezing, but rotting. They are only 1 dollar per packet at Home Depot, but I would just really love it if they make it. Next year, I will not be so worried about planting on St Patty's day, as it has not faired me well this year.

I hope everyone is doing well with their seedlings, and I am sorry I have been such an absentee gardener! It is all getting back to normal, slowly but surely.

On a side note... Tonight we are going to dinner for Lawyer Man Jon's (Hubby's brother) and Cool Whip Momma's (Hubby's Momma) birthday. Jon and his wonderful wife Wendy will be announcing to Momma that they are..... Prego!!!! I am so excited!!!!! I shouldn't be posting this on my blog until everything come's out and is officially announced, but I am just so excited!

3.24.2011

Why Do YOU Garden?

I am writing a research paper on the urban gardening movement. I put forth this question... Why do you garden? Be as blatant and open as you want. Political? Green? Food? Sustainable? All of the above? Some posts by real people would be such an awesome resource. Thanks Everyone!

3.23.2011

The Job Hunt

So BFF Steph rewrote my resume, and let me tell you... I would not have hired me if I had this new resume in front of me. Hot damn! She did an amazing job! She put me up for an exec asst position at her company, and today I was informed that I would not even be considered because several people have applied internally. So, back to square one, but with a new and improved resume! I have a better outlook now that my revamped resume is practically on steroids, but am still discouraged that I am stuck in this place. You know you need a new job when scheduling calls you at midnight to go to work and you start crying uncontrollably for nearly 30 minutes... The only thing I can do is keep on truckin'

Let me ask a question to all of you who do not have "traditional" jobs... What do you do about health benefits?

A Little Taste of Sweetness

Ok, soI am finally posting about Bee Keeper Linette, Bee Keeper Extraordinaire. This past year was BKL's first year with the bees, and she has so much honey, she doesn't know what to do! I do believe she told me she is a second generation bee keeper, or was it third? I can't remember, but Thanks Linette for keeping this wonderful and necessary trade alive. It's wonderful! We had a trade. I got honey, and she got peach jam. The honey is so delicious! Honestly, it really is. It is nothing like honey you would get at the store, or even at a farmers market. It tastes distinctly different. Not too sweet, but just right. Floral. It's just awesome. Here is a pic of my little jar of heaven (It used to be full, but I have a small container in my lunch bag for work.) (as a side note... I am have been using a new photo editor, and sometimes my edits don't turn up on my blog... I am not sure why, but I am working on it...)

I also did a little shopping while I was in Baltimore, and this is what I got...

Two magazines (or books rather, or a mixture) about gardening, and some seeds from Whole Foods. I am excited about these seeds, well, honestly, I am excited about ALL seeds! These seeds are from Botanical Interests, and they are dedicated to supplying untreated, non GMO seeds. Wonderful! I can't wait to get the mung beans sprouting and the French Pumpkins in the ground to see how they turn out! Yum yum! Also in there is a basil mix (I am obsessed with growing basil now... I can't get enough of it) and some leeks. I have never grown leeks, so it will just have to be an experiment...

Earth Day is a very important day, and it is coming up soon! Less than a month! April 22 will be the day. Everyone needs to celebrate the planet we live on, and dedicate themselves to a more sustainable lifestyle. Gardening and creating my own food is just one thing I do to create a smaller carbon footprint. We also do not use paper towels, only use biodegradable soaps and laundry products, and try to reuse, recycle, or upcycle everything can. Jan at Thanks for Today is hosting a giveaway to celebrate Earth Day and sustainable living. Please give her a visit and feel free to enter the giveaway! Thanks for hosting this event Jan, and Thanks for encouraging everyone to have less impact and be more sustainable! Here is the link to the giveaway: http://thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/2011/03/gardeners-sustainable-living-2011-win.html

3.21.2011

The First Day of Spring!

Happy Spring everyone!!! I am at work of course, flying a thousand flights all over Texas. Yesterday we spent the day in Baltimore, which was nice since we rarely get long layovers anymore. The sun was shining, it was cool, and the air smelled like sea. I took a few pictures with my phone, but nothing too extensive. Its a good but long day today. I love one of my crew members, which always makes it easier. I ran into some friends at the Houston airport, and that is always nice. One of them being Bee Keeper Linette, Bee keeper extraodinaire. We exchanged some peach jam for some honey, and I promised her I would do a nice post about it. I will as soon as I am home so I can take a picture of it. Only posting one pic of Charm City for now, since I only have my cell phone to work with. I hope everyone has a wonderful first day of Spring! Its the gardeners holiday!!!
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3.17.2011

Happy Pea Planting Day!

No really, I mean it. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!! For the first time I was able to get my peas into the ground on the garden fabled pea planting day. Happy St Patrick's Day! I am also proud to say that I am the first community gardener to have done any work to their plot. A lot of my plot neighbors still have old pepper and eggplant plants dead and withered with moldy fruit in their plots. I was very excited to see that a new rule this year was keep your plot clean and harvested or risk being kicked out. It really ticked me off last year to see so many fruits and veg going to waste in these lazy gardeners plots.

Anywho... I got about 10 packets of peas planted, mostly sugar snap and a few snow, and I also got all of my onions planted. My pea supposrt structure has been different every year, and this year is no different... I went this year with a teepee approach using 1x2 boards, string, and nails.  I had bought some sets of red and white onions, and they were starting to send out shoots, so in the ground they go!!! Here are some pics...

My plot, hard and compacted and begging for seeds!

My Pea Teepee
My plot, after... Peas and Onions


Neighbors overwintered asparagus

Neighbors dead peppers... I can't believe they are still hanging after this winter!

Community mint bed

3.16.2011

Oh Crap! I Have Some Catching Up To Do!

WOWZA! I have a lot to write about! Last weekend, Hubby and I went down to The Row Family Farm for my nephew's and niece's birthday party. Grady was 3 on March 10th, and Shelby will be 1 tomorrow. Happy birthday to my favorite kids! Row Farmer Extraordinaire Jason sent me home with 10 pallets from the hay barn for my compost, and Row Farmer Extraordinaire Michelle sent me home with a big box of beef!!! Thank God! We were really starting to miss red meat around here. Our stock ran out in about October and our beef cow (steer maybe?) won't be ready until August. Gotta let them babies fatten up on good ole grass and hay. No grain raised beef in this house! I have to go down to the Row Family Farm again soon, Row Farmer Extraordinaire Jason was telling me his neighbor's pigs got into fight with their pit bulls (other way around actually, and the neighbors had to put the pits down sadly because of it) and the piggies did not fair so well. So pork all around! So here are some pics of what I have...
These pallets....

...Will go on top of this concrete

Beef! It's what's for dinner!
 The plants are also doing very well! The tomatoes are happy in their bigger cups containers, and I still have 2 more on the shelf to transplant. The herbs are happy, sort of. The basil is great, The tarragon is great... Some of the others are turning purple and anemic looking. Oh well... Honestly, I am losing my gusto for the herbs. I think I will worry more about them when I see what is growing back from last year. My rosemary AND lavender have both sprouted! I hope they make it! I may even get to plant peppers this year! The Plant-Eating-She-Devil has left them alone! They have true leaves now, so will need to go into bigger containers soon. I have read that once their true leaves form, they don't like to have their feet wet until they get into the actual ground. The brassicas of all sorts are large and need to be thinned out. Peas go into the ground tomorrow at the community garden. It is supposed to be 59 tomorrow! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I got lucky (sort of?) Scheduling rolled my day off (today) to tomorrow so I could work a trip yesterday and this morning. Lucky though because we were done at 8 am, so I get today AND tomorrow off. Maybe one of the only good things to happen lately, but I will take it! I had a great crew, and am thankful to have an actual holiday off. And I get to plant my peas when they are supposed to be planted!!!

Anemic herbs

Bushy Basil

Amethyst Basil! I am so excited for this!!!

2 more tomatoes, and some peppers
Tomato Land!

3.11.2011

This Really Isn't Funny Anymore

Ok Mother Nature... We need to have a serious powwow. I am tired of this snow, and you just think its hilarious! Honestly, I don't really see the humor in all of this... First you try to ice us into our home, then you let us free. Then you bury us under mountains of snow, then you melt it and show me sprouting tulips. Now, we get this???
I dont't think this is very funny.....

3.10.2011

Let the Annual Plant Shuffle Begin!

Today, I decided it was transplant day. The tomatoes were getting too big for the starter cell thing they were initially sown in, so it was time to get them into something bigger. I bought a sleeve of party cups (you know, the kind you play beer pong with) and the wrapper said their was 50... Now, if I were feeling like a smart gardener yesterday, I would have noticed that, Hey! There is no way there are 50 cups in here! Yeah... I ended up with only 24. Maybe that's why they were 50% off?

So, I got half of my tomatoes transplanted, and still have to find something for he peppers to go into. I found some smaller cups in my pantry, and began using those, but then I ran out of tray to put them on. So, I'm thinking I may have to break out my serving platters so the water doesn't drain all over the place. By the way, here is my new planting table! Its really just my awesome dining room table with table pads and plastic covering it.

I was out buying potting soil this morning and thought, I need to figure out how to NOT get my tomatoes mixed up (like I do EVERY YEAR) and I thought about MeemsNYC at Gardening in the Boroughs of NYC and her awesome find for making your own plant markers. We aren't too keen on milk drinking in our house, so no plastic jugs around here. However, I did remember that we have a Pat Catans close by, and I picked a box of 500 popsicle sticks for $6.42. Not bad, that comes in at only 1.3 cents per marker, and I can use them again next year. I don't think I will be running out of plant markers anytime soon.

So here is photo of my somewhat healthy but leggy looking tomatoes in their new bigger containers. I must remember not to make this mistake again and simply start the little buggers in bigger containers from the get go.
And here is a photo of the Plant-Eating-She-Devil thinking I don't see the wheels turning in her tiny little head...
And so the plant shuffling begins. Where do they get the most light? Are they warm enough? Did I water them today? How many do I have again? What kind is that?

What do you do in your house when it comes time for the shuffling game?

Oh! Last night was the community garden meeting, ever uneventful, and now I have my key. The peas will be going into the ground next week! I am so excited! 

3.07.2011

Not to be a crazy cat lady or anything....

But I have really cute cats! And how is it that they always seem to find the laundry pile? He is my Punkin lounging in the sun on a pile of towels.
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3.05.2011

The Traveling Gardener

This isn't really a post I expect to get much comment on, but more of a post just to complain to someone (something?) that wont yell back at me or make me feel like poo for simply existing. Last night on my flight, a passenger lost her Visa card. Well, I was simply walking through the aisle, passing out headsets, when she asked me for a flashlight. I pulled the little one out that is attached to my ID badge, and she promptly attempted to rip it off my neck, taking my head with it. I said, Mam, that is ATTACHED to me! She goes, well take it off then! Alrighty... Now I have some patience when it comes to work because I know I can be fired for simply reacting to people, but this woman tested my limits. As we were pulling through with the beverage cart, I asked her "do you care for a beverage?" I got no words, simply a sneer and a head shake. She was pissed because she still couldn't find her Visa card. Like I stole it or something or that the plane has this mysterious magical power to swallow up credit cards. As she was leaving the aircraft after the flight from weird and smelly hell (Portland), her travel companion exclaimed in joy, "We found it!" The woman offered no apology for her nasty attitude towards me, nor one for ripping my head off (literally). I was more than thrilled to get these weirdos off my plane, even if I got nothing more than a sneer and a head shake.

3.01.2011

The First Signs of Life

Can you see them?
How about now?
Look!
TULIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I counted 10, TEN sprouting up!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! There is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!