...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Spring has Sprung!

The first crocus is blossoming in the front yard and I've planted my spring garden.  It's official--spring is here!  Yesterday we assembled the greenhouse.  It's a small lean-to that will sit on the south side of our garage, where, even though the neighbor's garage is just 5 feet away, it should get plenty of sun.  The two-person project was not without its challenges.  I had a to-do list as long as my arm yesterday, though nothing was urgent.  I should have known the greenhouse would take all afternoon to setup when A) the instructions were first in Danish, then German, THEN English and especially when the first step--putting some hard plastic binding pieces on the bottom of the main sheets of polycarbonate--took us almost 30 minutes.  Ben aligned and joined the pieces while I deciphered the instructions and located all the parts or pieces for the proceeding step.  Considering neither of us is an engineer, we did pretty well putting the thing together.  Ben walked away with a couple minor puncture wounds, but it wasn't anything a couple cold beers couldn't fix.  Vera slept through most of it, which was amazing.

Today I brought out my spring garden diagram, gathered the seeds I'd thankfully organized over the winter,  and busily seeded my early crops, mostly greens (Frisee, Red Salad Bowl lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Mache (a.k.a. Corn Salad), Red Streaks Mustard, Mesclun Mix, India Tendergreen Mustard, Rainbow Chard, and Brown Mustard Seeds) a few beets (Golden Beets and Detroit Red), and some radishes (White Icicle and French Breakfast).  I labeled the rows and covered the newly planted seeds with hardware cloth to keep out the critters.  Later in the season when the seedlings outgrow the mesh protection and I've removed the coldframe, I will cover the whole bed with floating row cover until everything can hold its own this summer.  The floating row cover lets in sun and rain, but keeps out bugs, chipmunks, and the like.  While I worked Vera happily dug around in the dirt with her mini spade and played with her wind-up caterpillar.

Although I drew what I thought was the final garden layout many weeks ago, I recently decided to add even more beds.  I am more or less squaring off the grassy area in the backyard (so Vera still has space to kick a ball and do cartwheels) and building raised beds.  Currently we have the design from the perennial beds that used to exist on the north side of our backyard.  There are so many advantages to raised beds, plus it's time for the backyard to really look like a veggie garden (don't worry, I've saved a space for the chicken coop).  I'm ordering the lumber today and have scoped out a YouTube video of a chick with safety goggles building the beds herself.  I can do it!

Tonight is the backyard chickens workshop.  Stay tuned!

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