Monday, March 16, 2015

Caring for Seedlings and a Little Design Challenge

I apologize for the long gap in posts, but the Green B has been terribly under the weather. In fact, I suffered (and I really want to stress that word...I make suffering an art form, if I'm honest with myself) for two weeks, and I still have a few lingering effects at week three. I was not careful around all of my students who were coughing and sneezing and sweating all over the papers they were turning in. I should have worn a medical mask and rubber gloves and entered the classroom each time with grand bursts of Lysol, but I worried they might think me a little melodramatic. So I got sick and became melodramatic. I now feel as if I'm emerging, once again, from my germ-fueled hibernation.

This makes me feel all the more in tune with nature. After all, lots of things are beginning to come back to life around the property (which is still unnamed). We enjoy seeing all of the spring bulbs produce flowers and the fall-blooming Clematis plants in a sprint to produce leaves. Everything seems to have fresh, swollen buds waiting to burst open. We are even discovering that the previous owners may have planted some things that were not apparent last summer when we first arrived, so we'll be able to take full stock of what we have.

They're sparse, but we have a good show for our
first year growing them.

Things are also moving along in the productive garden. I received a notification email today that my seed potatoes are due to arrive from Seed Savers Exchange on Thursday, and a number of plants I've grown from seed are ready to be transplanted into the garden. I've been hardening off a lot of them now that the temperatures are getting warmer. 

A mix of seedlings getting a little time in the sun

Our average last frost date is in April, so some seedlings will have to continue waiting out the time indoors. By the time it's warm enough for these tomato plants to go out, they may be ready to produce. 

Principe Borghese and Moneymaker tomatoes under grow lights

We've been making progress in the vegetable garden, but I'm not ready to show everyone the full picture yet. In the interim, I hope that a photo of the garlic bed and the recently planted pea and lettuce bed will suggest that we are, indeed, working toward our ultimate goal. 

Let's hope that peas will soon start scrambling up the trellis
I made.

Speaking of goals, I've decided to set myself two little challenges this year. The first is a result of my reading a post on Margaret Roach's blog, A Way to Garden, about Debra Prinzing's books Slow Flowers and The 50-Mile Bouquet. Basically, she challenges us to take what's growing around us to make our floral arrangements. I'm horrible at seeing the potential of such things, so I thought this would be a nice way to stretch myself creatively. My first attempt is meager, but I hope to get better as the season comes into full swing. I'll try to do this every other week.

Flower Arrangement #1:
A duo of daffodils

The second challenge is to post on the alternate weeks something I've made in the kitchen from what's growing in the garden. This could get interesting. Or it could be an unmitigated disaster. We'll just have to wait and see.

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