Friday, October 29, 2010

Random Roundup

At least I've been earning my apple cake this week and yesterday I did penance for it. I finally finished up the beds and getting all that dirt moved. Three hours of heavy labor. And then I went to dance class in the evening. Weirdly I'm not even sore today. I think my body is finally back into working shape. I'm guessing you all want to see the finished product.

You can see it all from my front porch.

The overhead view from the second floor is a weird perspective and you can't even see one of the beds.

This is looking straight down from the same window so you can see the last bed. Yeah OK it looks just the same as all the others, but imagine a white fence along the driveway to the right with an arbor over the path. There will be a 2' strip of herbs and mostly flowers for the bees all along the fence. The fence is supposed to be put in next week. I'm hoping.

Someone (I think Toni) was asking the other day if the paths were wide enough to work in. They are very tight. They are only 19" across. Which is wide enough to bring in my wheelbarrow and set it down. Just. Barely. If I had gotten rid of one of the beds I could have had a good two feet between. A lot of people go for wide paths. I went back and forth in my mind so often. But I figured if I'm going to weed something it is going to be the bed and not the path. I'll mulch the paths, but I'll still be weeding. It will be a veritable jungle in there during growing season. I'll have to be vicious about keeping the foliage out of the paths.

I finally pickled my jalapenos and serranos. If I get any more from the garden before the first frost I can just toss them into the jars. These are refrigerator pickles and not canned. They will be used up long before they go bad.

The last time I was canning - hmm OK EVERYTIME I can I wish I had an apron as I get splattered with red sauce. I had plenty of cloth hidden away and I decided to start making one. This one is partly finished. I really ought to use a pattern as then I know it will come out right the first time. I kept changing how things were getting done after cutting the fabric. But I wanted a cutesy apron with frills and those don't usually cover enough. I wanted the skirt to wrap around a bit. The top part hasn't been added yet. Eventually I'll get it done. Maybe. I really hate sewing. I'd rather be digging in the garden.

I picked a reddish color so it won't show my tomato splatters as much. Maybe I should have picked off white. Then I could wear it when I bake. I get flour all over the place.

Last week I put some GabrielleAnn seeds on the top of the fridge to ferment. I forgot about them. This is the norm for me and tomato seeds. But I usually don't forget too long. I'm allergic to mold and when the sneezing starts, I know I'd better deal with my seeds. There was some pretty gross mold growing on top, but luckily the seeds hadn't dried out yet. So I washed off the seeds to dry. I'm thinking next year I ought to grow the F4 seeds and a real sungold and see how far apart they are in taste and habit. I could get fancy and back cross them. I've never done that before. Then again I could just let nature takes its course.

Today is garlic day. I soaked the seed garlic last night. I had just gotten into bed when I remembered I hadn't done it yet. Whoops. Back downstairs to take apart my cloves. I'm planting some unknown softneck which I really ought to name because "unknown" just doesn't do it justice. And some German Extra Hardy. I love German Extra Hardy, but the issue with planting it is that it only has four cloves on each head. Four really huge cloves. So to get the same amount as last year I have to plant a quarter of my garlic. This year I'm dumping the Bogatyr so I need to fill in with more German XH. This means I won't get to eat much of it this year. Sad, but I think making more is the best choice. Those cloves had better all make it through the winter. Having only four cloves is really a negative when it comes to planting time.

And at least last night I ate a little bit better. I had a mix of white and brown rice in the freezer. So I defrosted it and added the fish I had bought on Wednesday to make a nice fried rice. The green is a head of my green stemmed bok choy. So at least I got my veggies yesterday. I love fried rice. Simple fast and so easy. Well as long as there is left over rice in the house.


  1. You certainly did earn your apple cake this week! The beds look great! You will have a lot of room next year.

    I think that your apron looks good....why use a pattern?? I don't use them unless I have too.

  2. Etsy to the rescue for aprons. This lady
    has full aprons for $33.50 which includes shipping. That's a bit pricier than I was expecting, I guess it depends on if you hate sewing :-)

  3. That reminds me, I've got an apron to make for Christmas! Those beds look good, although the paths do look quite narrow. A couple of my paths are narrow (don't ask me why, I don't know)and sometimes I nearly fall into the beds!

  4. Robin, well when you have a pattern they tell you how to put it together. Not that I can't figure it out, but sometimes it is easier and it certainly is quicker. And they tell you how much material you need. I was worried about having enough of the lighter pink cloth for all that I wanted to do. I just had enough. But I had to change the ruffles on the edge to make it work.

    Karen Anne, Boy you could look at aprons forever on Etsy. There are just so many. I wanted a very specific kind. I have issues with my shoulder and neck. If there is any weight on my neck it can cause a lot of pain. I finished it up today and made the straps go all the way around to the back and attach to the ties and I made them pretty loose. Now I have no pressure at all on my neck or my shoulders but I have protection from the bib in front so I don't get tomato splatter.

    Jan, Hopefully I won't be falling into the beds, but I probably will. I certainly did it in my last garden and the paths were about 2' wide.

  5. Are you planning to put down weed block in the paths before you mulch? Some things will go right through it, but I put a strip down in my new garden this year (no mulch) and it worked really well for me.

  6. Your apple cake reminds me that I need to make some more of your apple sauce cake recipe. That stuff is amazing!

    Your bed spacing looks good to me. I have no space in between the beds and it can be a real pain at times.

  7. Yeah!!! So happy to see your beds all done! Yup, it was me worrying about the space between your beds.

    Don't you just hate when you're laying in bed and then it's like lightening strikes and you remember something that's GOT TO BE DONE before you fall asleep!!!!

    The fence, arbor, and bees all sound wonder! I could even picture it Daphne!

  8. The beds look wonderful. One of these days I'll get around to raising my beds. It was a good day to plant garlic. The cool down is nice.

  9. Ah! Your beautiful beds are finally done. Their glorious emptiness gives me chills ... all of that potential, just waiting there. I've really enjoyed reading all of the posts as you planned and executed your new space. Bet you can't wait for spring.

  10. What a charming and functional garden area that is going to be! I can really see the fence and herb/flower borders you described. What a great new garden you have to work with this coming year.

    I think the apron is turning out brilliantly! I think you should just make a second one in off white so you have an option.

    Dinner looked good too. ;)

  11. I just love fried rice, also. It's the perfect homey, comfort food to me. Those beds look fantastic! I'm so glad things will be mostly together for you so you can get a jump on the spring.

  12. That's a lot of work. Some day. . . some day when there are fewer people under double-digits in my house, I will be more organized.

    The beds look terrific.

  13. Your beds look great. I'd have to agree that you more than paid for your apple cake. What a ton of work, but it will be worth it when the produce starts rolling in!

  14. It never occured to me to make refrigerator pickles with hot peppers, but that's a good way to preserve them for awhile. I'll file it away in my brain for next year...

  15. You've added a lot more growing space! I am sure you will put it to good use. I think the narrow space will work as long as you are vigilant about controlling rampant growth. Good luck with that.

    I am not, but like you I find it hard to pass up growing space! Are you going to start fall greens for overwintering? I plan to but still haven't planted any spinach. This fall has been too busy!

    Cute apron, too, BTW.

  16. maggie, I'll probably put down cardboard before the mulch, but haven't totally made up my mind yet.

    Dan, thanks, I love the applecake too. Which is good and bad. Sometimes I like it a bit too much.

    Toni, I do hate not being able to sleep and then remembering that I HAD to do something. It is a pain. Usually what I forget to do about now is to soak my beans. I leave it all out on the counter so I will remember before going to bed, but I don't.

    The Mom, I should water them though. I was thinking we might get more rain, but it looks like Thursday is the first day.

    Kelly, In my mind I'm freaking out when I see them. I don't like all that empty dirt. It is bad for the soil. Usually I've got something on it. Compost, cover crop, or at least the roots from the last planting. But there is nothing there holding it all together right now.

    Laura, I should make another. That doesn't mean I will, but I really ought to. I have plenty of fabric.

    Ribbit, I was hoping I'd get them done before spring. This way I can plant as soon as they dethaw. I can imagine the spinach now.

    Stefaneener, well mine all grew up so it is pretty sane around here. At least usually.

    Char's Gardening, I'm going to have to plan well this winter. It is the first time I've had this much space so I'll need to figure out what to grow in it all. All those things I've wanted to grow but didn't have the space for will show up.

    foodgardenkitchen, I started doing it last year. I froze some chopped up and pickled some. And I really liked using the pickled ones best. It was easier. So this year I didn't freeze any.

    Ali, I started some spinach. It didn't come up well. I tried again and again it didn't want to germinate. So I'm guessing I'll have a bit of spinach for the spring but not as much as I was hoping for. That is the only thing I'm trying to overwinter this year.

  17. Would you be able to get a small harvest if you made a hoop row over one or some of the beds? You know, the pvc pipe bent in an arc with plastic sheeting on top. Like a large row cover. It would sure be tempting to try in order to be able to pick some more fresh veggies this year.


    Veggie PAK

  18. Veggie PAK, No. Up here things don't grow in the winter well at all. For those that are trying to have veggies all winter, they go into the winter with the veggies almost all grown or all grown. The hoop tunnels help us hold over the crop, but there isn't too much growing going on. A little, but not much. Also these beds are mostly in shade at this time. As soon as the leaves fall (which is about now) the open up mostly, but not all. Some of the sun is blocked by the surrounding houses. The beds by the driveway do better as that part is less blocked by the tall maples in the area. Next year I will grow fall veggies, but we will see how early I have to plant with the reduced sun. I will be experimenting for the next couple of years.

  19. Those beds look so beautiful. They really appeal to the neat-and-tidy gardener in me! (Though I definitely think you did the right thing to leave in those two "weird" circular beds for contrast). I can't wait to see it all brimming over with green.