Monday, April 6, 2009

Snow Preparations

Squash starts in the sun.

Jeez Oh Pete. I'm not sure exactly how hot it was yesterday but I think it was somewhere in the seventies. B and I both earned sunburns while hiking and working outside. And now we're due for 27 degree weather and some snow. Just in time to earn it's name, this Dogwood Winter is arriving just as the two in our backyard are unfurling their blossoms.

So yesterday B and I rehooped the bed containing our lovely little cabbages and broccoli and lettuces and carrots (carrots!) and beets as well as the bed with our stash of leeks. The garlic and peas are on their own, and the the bok choy is just getting a frost blanket. Honestly I am not very worried about our stuffs but rather worried about the larger blooming and fruiting around here. Two years ago when this happened so late it was a very sad day for apples and berries. Mountain weather.

The tallest garlic is now about 16 inches high!

So I keep talking about this raised bed that B built for me. We really puzzled over what to make it out of because it needed to be fairly tall (it's sitting on top of the jumble of rocks and gravel that gets laid before cement) and cheap. We were both pretty down on buying new wood, but the scrap world was not offering up a lot of options. We talked bricks, but it seemed too pricey and like too much work. So I got this idea that we could chop up old doors, since we actually already had two of those in the garage (functioning as work tables though, so B wasn't in love with that idea). But we headed to the salvage barn anyway, where we remembered that solid wood doors are not cheap either. But old shutters were! The end. I like it so much, and I think it's about 900 times nicer looking than new lumber would have been. We moved the thyme and sage into the far end (easy access in the sharp winter wind was on our mind) where it will soon be joined by rosemary, parsley, cilantro, and dill. The remainder of the bed will likely be used for some pepper and basil overflow and then a bunch of beautiful flowers! Poppies! Lupine! Flax! Borage! Columbine! Love in a Blue Mist!

In other front yard news, we are on the threshold of mulching the entire damn thing. The lawnmower that came with our house was given a death sentence by the lawnmower fixer guy and rather than lay out cash for a machine we are going to extend all three beds, build a fourth, and then sheet mulch what's left. Ben has been dying to do this since we moved in. I am a little less into sheet mulching, but asking the husband to de-sod the remainder of the front yard would not be nice. We'll have to de-sod all the edges anyway, which will keep us busy for a while. Stay tuned, I know everyone is hyperventilating with the excitement.

Ok, this is getting long, but this soup is really, really good. Roasting the tomatoes makes it much tastier than it sounds (I used diced, which seemed to work fine, and I found it strange that they never had you chop the tomatoes down from halves). Easy peasy, with greens and a grilled cheese, yum.

Really the last thing: waffles with peanut butter. You know who you are. We are really converted. Just a little bit of syrup and a smear of peanut butter. I'm just saying.


cake said...

our dogwoods are not blooming yet, but we, too, are getting a cold snap this week. not as cold as you guys, it sounds like. still, i'm covering stuff, and worrying. after seeing your garlic buried in snow, i agree with you that it doesn't need to be covered. ours is looking great, and i'm leaving it.

i'll be looking to you for leek tips, i have some started in the cold frame, it's my first time trying those.

i love that raised bed! the shutters are such a great idea, i know i will steal it sometime. i want to know more about the salvage barn. it sounds like the place of my dreams.

i am also thrilled to know you are mulching your whole lawn! GO! expand those beds! FOOD NOT LAWNS!

queenbeehoney said...

Well, when you guys build a bed, YOU BUILD A BED. I had no idea you were into such a mega-project. It's absolutely gorgeous. Probably a good idea that it's mostly flowers because the paint could have lead in it if the shutters are old. Easy to test for though if you want to know one way or another.

Zarah Maria said...

I can hardly contain my raging jealousy of your garden - but that's what you get when you insist on living in the city. I guess I just can't have it all. Good thing I can live vicariously through you Heather :)

queenbeehoney said...

My seeds arrived today (from High Mowing Seeds). I can hardly wait to start planting! Or as my word verification likes to say, "Wowebil!"