Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Well, that sure felt like a long winter. And I don't actually think it was a long winter, but my tolerance for cold, wet and dark has dwindled over the years. Now, I just want sunshin-y spring weather year round. I'm pretty terrible about keeping up with my garden enthusiasm during the winter - I mostly just want to sit by the fire and read or crochet when it's cold out - so I'm glad the warmer days are returning, and with them the urge to get my hands in the dirt and grow things.

Two weeks ago, I direct sowed my first round of seeds, and then more last week. Already, I'm seeing sprouts of beans, peas, onions, potatoes, lettuce, basil, beets, radish.....on my evening rounds. I'm already fantasizing about scarlet runner beans and fresh figs.... Also, the chickens are in full production now, and we're getting 5 eggs a day! The bees are back too. After losing a population a few months ago to the cold and wet conditions in my hive (poor management I think) I now have a new swarm caught by a friend, and I'm thrilled that they seem to be staying. We did harvest a bit of honey from the last bunch of bees, but not nearly enough to satisfy us and our friends.
The current big project is to terrace the ravine behind our house. Very extensive work since we're discovering that most of the hill is filled with concrete, brick and random buried junk. I spent last weekend shoveling dirt, and will probably do the same every weekend with M. until the terrace is leveled. Once completed, our plan is to plant the new space up with things like fennel, nettles and squash. Also, we may try to do some vertical planting on the terrace walls of sun-loving things like peppers and tomatoes. Very exciting. With the new bed we added a few months ago, we now have 5 raised beds, and the terrace will almost double that space. Amazing considering our total land is about 1,000 sq. feet.

And finally, our dream for the summer is to get a greywater system going. Considering that we also need to replace our roof and do a bunch of indoor painting projects, I'm not sure how we'll find the time, but it would be nice to set something up that we can use to water our veggies. More on that later.....
P.S. Just read a wonderful book - Radical Homemakers..... I highly recommend it... Talks about moving from being a consumer to being more involved in producing your own life, food, everything. Celebrates things like raising chickens, canning and staying home. Very inspiring.