Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gardeners: Plant a row for the hungry

I had never heard of this program until today. Basically, you donate extra produce from your garden to local food banks, who are happy to have fresh produce. What a great idea! I will definitely participate next year, and may even try to persuade the neighborhood association to go along with it!

"Plant a row for the hungry"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Orleans North

Well, several adults, 3 cats and one dog are on their way to our house, evacuating Hurricane Gustav. We were expecting two more adults and a six-month-old baby, but they are hunkering down in Memphis instead.

I am sad for New Orleans, my former home, and sad for my friends who just finished all of their Katrina repairs. Here we go again.

Today I hugged the Bean and I told him how thankful I was that we were safe and happy and didn't have to evacuate and start all over again.

It was hard enough once. We didn't want to do it again. (FYI, I was driven out of Nola by Katrina and had to start life over again in Ohio, and spent 9 grueling months battling insurance companies and trying against all odds to sell our house.)

That said, I cleaned the house tonight, went to the farm market for some sweet corn today, and am about to go set up a queen size futon bed in the basement. Our basement is gigantic, all finished and the same size as the upstairs. This way, everyone will have their own bathroom and their own space and no one will have to listen to my Bean scream at night!

I pray it doesn't hit New Orleans again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Garden plan

I have ambitious plans to beautify the outside of our house. Part of this is to eliminate grass,because I hate mowing, and since all of the full sun on our property is in the front, build beds large enough that I can secretly grow vegetables behind the flowers without raising the ire of the neighbors.

And then there's covering up those glamorous sink holes that showed up last year!
Here is the plan. The dark areas are the new beds. Now that the roof is finished, my goal is to dig the beds during the month of September. If all goes well, I will be able to buy stone and lay the stone retaining walls around the beds as well.

The dark parts of the diagram are the new flower beds. There should be enough room to plant some perennials for a butterfly garden, and then a hidden strawberry patch, herb garden, and watermelon patch, and some zucchini plants. From the street, all you will be able to see are flowers, if all goes according to plan.

It's like a stealth agriculture plan! I'm such an anarchist...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sad thing happened today.

A crow flew into our yard and spent the day sitting under our dogwood tree. I could tell something wasn't right. He was alone and wouldn't fly away. Well, I just came home and he's dead. I think I'm supposed to call the health department and have him tested for West Nile Virus. At least that's what I've read. Poor little guy.

The cool part about a chemical-free garden

I went out into the garden today and saw two praying mantis. One was about 6 inches tall, the other, about 2 inches tall. I love them. They are so cool. I thought that if I used pesticides I wouldn't have such a magnificent creature in the garden. Just another plus.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Picked 12 lbs of roma tomatoes today.

Mmmm. MMMM. This is the best time of year, when those industrious little plants start really putting out. We picked 12 pounds of romas tonight and I've already made them into spaghetti sauce. We're eating noodles now, and the leftovers will be frozen for winter. we should also have enough left on the vine to make another batch probably next week.

I hope to have a much better garden next year. The wheels are already turning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

pound pound...

Well, the roofers are here. Part of me does feel guilty watching all of those asphalt shingles go into the dumpster. But what can I do? If I can't afford the eco roof, I can't afford it right? It goes against all of my morals to buy something I really can't afford. So, alas, I watch the dumpster fill up.

As a weird penance, I've started collecting recyclables on my walks with baby Bean. I carry a grocery sack and put all the not too icky plastic bottles and cans in there and bring them home to my recycle bin. That probably makes me crazy, but hey, civic pride right? Gotta keep the neighborhood clean.

It's also been hard keeping hubby into the composter, now that he knows it's gonna take a while. I keep having to remind him not to throw those coffee grounds into the trash. Just because the compost won't be ready for this year's veggie garden doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hired a roofer-- finally. it's like I couldn't give my money away.

I finally hired a roofer yesterday. I like them a lot (so far)!. For a while, I felt like I couldn't even give my money away. I've had 4 estimates. Of course, I called more roofers than that and many didn't even show up to do an estimate. I thought the housing downturn meant more contractors looking for work. I guess not!

Three weeks ago I had actually hired a roofer, the one recommended by my neighbor, and he never came by to pick up the deposit. Geesh. Is there something wrong with my cold hard cash?

I have two other projects that are on hold waiting for the roof, so my entire summer project list has been on hold. I keep promising the neighbors that yes, I do have a plan for making the front of the house presentable, nay, even look fabulous, but they are starting to not believe me!

I can't put my landscape plan into place until the roofers are done, because I can't have old shingles falling all over my flowerbeds.

Maybe this will get the show on the road.

Our yard looks awful because after we got our geothermal furnace and re-sodded the grass, we had two weeks of heavy rain,and parts of the yard where the furnace lines run sunk in. So i have a wavy, awful looking yard!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still no compost...

Well, it's been 2 months or so since we got the composter and we still don't have a batch of compost. It's y fault. I know it's working, because the thing seems like a bottomles pit. I put a lot in, but it never seems to fill up. We messed up because we put really large items in there. We don't have the energy to grind up all of our compost-headed veggies into tiny bits, so it takes longer to compost. I also realized that we forgot to take the plugs out of the base, which means extra liquid was staying in the drum rather than draining into the compost tea collector.

Oh well, we're new at this!