Saturday, April 2, 2011


The other day I was trying to describe to my friend Margaret what I do every day, now that I don't have a 9-5 sort of job. I fumbled around a bit: "I get breakfast and read a make some some" My gosh, I thought, what do I do?

Then a flash of inspiration. "Of course things are different once the growing season starts," I declared. "Then I'm really busy."

So here's what I've been doing lately, just to show you I really am not a total slug.

Shopping: I bought two new rosemary plants (green in the photo) to replace the three that didn't make it through the winter (dead in the photo). I don't know why I didn't know that rosemary needs winter protection. Now I do. And just in case you thought I might be able to walk into a garden store and walk out with only two rosemary plants, you are sadly mistaken. I did manage to keep my extra purchases to four packages of lily and anemone bulbs. This time.

Weeding: This is my specialty. I may not be able to restore order and peace to the world, but I can manage my flower and vegetable beds pretty darn well. Just so you can appreciate the job I tackled today, it's a 40 foot long rhubarb and blueberry raised bed, with rotting wooden planks separating it from the orchard. So grass and morning glory and all kinds of other evil plants creep in through the rotting wood and make themselves at home in my vegetable garden. This is the before.

This is the after.

Whining: Weeding + sore shoulder muscles = ow, ow, ow. See "Weeding" above.

Basking in the sunshine: The sun was out today and it was heaven.

Watching Chicken TV: The six Red Rock Cross chicks are spending time outside in the tractor, learning all about bugs and grass and worms, so of course we spend almost as much time watching Chicken TV. It's just about the most entertainment that can be had without electricity.

Scolding Frankie: We did this a lot today. Frankie barks at the chicks. He barks at the chickens. He barks at our neighbour Nick. He even barks at us if we're on Nick's side of the fence. He barks at Nick's geese, but stopped barking when they charged the fence and hissed at him. Take that, Frankie. Bad boy.

Building new beds: We built two new 20 foot beds for strawberries. It's actually one bed, with the orchard fence running through the middle. We've built beds against the fence before, and then have had to deal with all the grass growing up between the fence and the bed. See "Weeding", above. This time Kim had the ingenious idea of building the bed through the fence. The cross pieces of cedar actually pass through the fence (we had to cut the wire just a bit), and the whole thing is lined with landscape cloth. I'll let you know how it works.

Planting strawberries: See "Building new beds" above.

Finally believing spring has arrived: Buds on the pear tree and little bluebell-like flowers (what are these? Does anyone know?) in the perennial beds convinced me.

Tending seedlings in the greenhouse: Red, yellow and green onions, leeks, shallots, fennel, nine different kinds of tomatoes (okay, I went a little overboard), lettuce, mache, mizuna, arugula, bok choy, brussel sprouts, broccoli, red and green cabbage, spinach, chard, ground cherries, marigolds, nasturtiums, hyssop, calendula, cilantro, mallow, borage, plantain, parsley, summer savory, and two kinds of basil. So far.

Running from the rain and hail: Sunshine one moment, deluge the next. Yup, it's spring.


Flartus said...

Wow. Ok, I'm convinced! So much to look at there...I look forward to the day when I can keep up with the weeding, but I don't think it'll happen before retirement.

Is that bird netting suspended above your strawberry bed? It looks like a very well-planned bed; I hope it works just as it's supposed to.

I feel like I should know what those blue flowers are, but I don't have a name for them. I cannot believe the variety of vegetables you've got going--jealous, again. :) Happy growing season!

Christian said...

Holy wow. I'm just tired from reading your list. Amazing!

Paula said...

I would never call you a slug. Not you. Not after that list especially!

jeanives said...

The blue things are Scilla otherwise known as bluebells or any other local nickname. A weed in some people's minds because they can be prolific.
Margaret, having been brought up on a farm, should not be asking that question. Her brothers would be ashamed of her!

Miriam said...

Scilla - there you go. Thanks Jean! And I should clarify that Margaret wasn't questioning how slug-like I might be - she was genuinely curious about how I spend my days!

Toni@BackyardFeast said...

Wow--if you ever run out of things to do and want to come be a slug on *my* property, feel free! And your rhubarb looks beautiful--it's a good 3 inches bigger than mine. :) And thanks for the reminder of all the seeds I still need to start...Sigh. I don't know where I find the time to work at a job!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Busy, busy, busy. Your seedlings look great as do your raised beds.

I think chicken t.v. is a mandatory homesteading skill. I practice watching it a lot because I want to ace the test if it ever comes about...

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Holy macaroni, girl!! Spring has just arrived and you are already this busy?

Fantastic job, Miriam!

Callie said...

Love your new beds in the fence. Wonderful garden! Hope winter will take a hike soon and let Spring do its thing around here.

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