Thursday, March 19, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Spring is picking up speed and so are we. This week we had daytime temperatures in the 50s to 70s and some lovely blue skies. The seasons are definitely shifting. As we approach the Spring Equinox tomorrow, we move from Winter sleep into Spring awakening. Here is a brief listing of what's been going on:

We use the Biodynamic calendar which factors in Moon, Planetary and Constellations as a basis for our actions related to plants. So far this week, we have been in Flower, Leaf and Fruit signs. For "Flowers", I transplanted Snapdragons, Petunias, Pansies. I started Wax Begonias and Geraniums from last year's plants. Melanie planted Shungiku Edible Mums. After 2 days, they were already coming up! For "Leaves", I transplanted herbs (Catnip, Parsley). We have plans to hide the Catnip from the Cats. Melanie planted Hyssop, Feverfew, Marjoram, Yarrow, Stevia, Beebalm, Thyme, Lemon Grass (a replant), Early Snowball Cauliflower. She transplanted the Giant Pascal Celery, which now could be called Pipsqueak Pascal Celery. For "Fruit", she planted Eggplants, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, and Peppers. She would tell us their names, but since there are a lot, we won't go into that here.

Our Seedlings are now taking up every South Window and then some. We decided to use natural light, rather than grow lights and heating pads (which take fossil fuel and increase carbon load). Other more established plants sing praises at East and West windows. That's just like Aunt Lula, my Grandfather Fred, and my Dad would do. If it was good enough for them, it should be good enough for us. We have a lot of oxygen in the house these days. Perhaps that explains why we sometimes get a bit giddy. But, we were giddy before.

Richard gathered posts from the Osage Orange for the Grape Arbor and an outdoor plant stand. He drug in the smaller posts himself and pulled in the bigger ones with Betsy, the lawn tractor. He built an outdoor plant stand which will hold the small little plants during the day.

Melanie and Richard headed South to gather sawdust compost from the site of a sawmill which was to be sold today. That stuff will be great for the garden in its nutrient base as well as tilth.

We are now putting the Spinach, Lettuce, Beets, Leeks, Broccoli, Cabbage seedlings outside on the outdoor plant stand on nice days.

Kindred spirit Vicki Svedarsky from northwestern Minnesota came through on Tuesday. She was on her way to visit her elderly Father in southern Missouri. I met her at the end of the drive. She pulled up her coat from the back seat for me to examine: "Do you remember those down parkas?" We laughed a good belly laugh. They had 17 inches of snow up in the area that we used to live just last week. The 3 of us had brunch outside and a wonderful visit. I got my first tan of the season.

Stuff is sprouting in the cold frame (Parsley, Kale).

Richard cleared off the garden, piled up the debris, and on a calm day set fire to the piles. Those nutrients left in the ash go right back into the soil. He also started a new compost pile in the garden. He has made plans to begin the "fence" around the garden tomorrow.

We are making our own seedling mix out of 1 part garden soil, 1 part commercial organic soil mix (from Gardener's Supply) or peat moss, 1 part compost. Today, Melanie added sawdust and threw in egg shells.

The Chickens are producing more and more eggs. Production is "light dependent". With increasing sunlight, they are now producing an average of 20 eggs per day.

Melanie is making more plans toward "setting a Henny" soon. While I type away here, she is reading about the dynamics of such an operation. I can imagine the Hennies are chuckling that we have to read a book. Stay tuned.

Rain is predicted for Saturday. Richard plans to roto-till some dry parts of the garden tomorrw. Ideal times to plant "roots" are Saturday and most of Sunday. Assuming all goes well, we will be planting Potatoes and Onions outside in the garden on Saturday.

And did we note we make mid-day visits to Mother in the hospital, bringing her a milkshake from homemade kefir, frozen fruit from last year's crop, stevia, and occasionally fax oil? Plus, we continue to interact with hospital staff to work through details of her care. Some unknown angel brought her Daffodils which now smile broadly in her room.

The lovely bulbs that Caleb sent me after my fall are beginning to bloom. Outside, the Pussy Willows are proudly sharing their furry catkins. If we think we have been busy, all of Nature seems to have taken a turn.

Yes, we are busy, busy, busy, but grateful for every minute of a blossoming Spring.

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