Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Diary 2/28

Down to some of the last potatoes from last year, mostly Yukon Golds.  The onion selection is bottom of the barrel types also;small, but still usable.  Kinda scary here until more food comes along.  It will be about a month before the asparagus and some of the baby stuff is available.  The last of the carrots, spinach, and broccoli are still there to harvest from the greenhouse, and kale of course, but there is a bit of a gap here between what I have and what is coming.  Hard to buy produce for me, but at some point I bite the bullet and purchase an onion or two and some potatoes to go with the up and coming greens.  When asparagus gets here, it signals the start of a new year.  Until then, we do have a couple pumpkins...curry soup, hmmmm?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Diary 2/27

Over in the meadow, in the old scotch pine~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Diary 2/26

Girl Party-clothing exchange worked out well.  I took a couple backpacks, and purses, 2 pair of gloves, and some rain pants, came home with some long sleeve cotton pullover shirts, a scarf and a lightweight purple jacket.  Fun and practical get together idea. Nice day today but cold after freezing hard.  Maybe more snow tomorrow and then rain all week.  Hope it doesn't take all the snow pack away. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diary 2/24

It graupelled for awhile an hour ago.  Graupel looks like small chi-chi balls or the stuffing of a beanbag chair.  It occurs when snow flakes fall through supercooled cloud droplets. When these droplets his the crystal, they freeze, covering the original form. (The Weather Book by Jack Williams).  Now it is snowing again, but downgraded from initial snowstorm warnings.  Cooling quickly.  Lost a degree in the last 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diary 2/23

Planted red onions at the end of the Walla Wallas using the same method.  Supposed big snow storm on its way.  Sometimes the weather people make a huge deal out of these things and they don't mature.  It has snowed all day, but we have very little accumulation.  Tonight and tomorrow morning they are saying close to a foot of snow at our level.  I guess it is possible, though the sun is peeking out right now, but that can mean lowering temperatures.  After the storm we are to have a couple very cold nights.  If the snow is covering everything like pipes, it will not be so bad.  If not, and it is 15 degrees and dry, it can be hard on plastic pipes.  Here's hoping.  We have insulated well, but you never know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diary 2/22

The first farm produce of 2011 is up and at 'em in the upper greenhouse.  There are some Napa cabbages, Bok Choy, red cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce.  Still to come are the onions, chard, and spinach.  I have few peas planted that have sprouted, but not poked out of the soil, yet. Need to get some more peas planted, but as it going to snow for the next three days with record cold, I think I will wait until the weekend when the sun pokes out again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Diary 2/21

Other than planting onions, I cleaned up a place in the front section of the lower greenhouse to make a people friendly area.  Instead of coming in the door, and immediately banging into a vegetable bed, there will be a sitting and reflecting area which I will hang the shade cloth over to keep cooler.  Eventually, I would like to have a very small water feature there; well, other than Garden Dog's bowl.  I am very excited about this.  It may be a saving grace for a weary farmer.

Starting Onions

Mixing seed and dry scattering medium

Scattering by hand

Prepared bed

Mulch and water
Today I finally got the Walla Walla seed in the ground.  The onions will ripen with the descending light of shorter days in late summer, and may keep better for it. First I work up the bed.  I picked a loose one I hadn't grow onions in last year.  Took out a few rocks and crumbled a few clods.  Then I mix the seed with a medium (some dusty stuff I found under the soil mixer) that does not look like the surrounding soil you are planting in inside a bowl, gallon or quart milk jug, whatever you can get your hand or cup in.  Be frugal with the amount of seeds per medium, you would like the onions plantlets to be about a green onion apart from one another ideally. Mix well, and begin scattering by shaking handfuls or cupfuls onto your prepared bed.  Then, I cover with a thin layer of mulch, in this case I used coconut fiber, then water.  You can see the black seeds as you are scattering and tell how far apart they are landing.  It becomes regulated by how proficient a scatterer you are.  Tricky, but after twenty some years of doing it this way, I am getting the hang of it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Diary 2/20

Firewood hauling!  This is a part of life here.  About every ten days a load comes over from the woodshed where wood has been stashed to dry and keep dry; the ticket for good clean burning.  The wood in the shed was brought from the woods in rounds, halves, or quarters depending on what was manageable.  Then split using a hydraulic splitter.  Then those peices are hauled to the woodshed, and then brought to a stack by the house as seen here.  After that, armloads at a time are brought indoors to a round rack to further dry, waiting to go into the wood stove.  The wood stove we have is up to "code" as it has a catalytic converter which reburns the gases or something.  It is nice to warm the bones by.  Electricity isn't always available if there are outages and gas is very expensive to have hauled here.  So, wood is an obvious heat source when you are managing a tree farm and forest.  Every peice of wood we put in the stove is handled at least six times!  Keeps us in good shape, lol. If you look closely you can see a16 month old in pink just inside the house being held by her Dad, the hat of the wood stacker behind the trailer,and the rear end of a dog in the foreground.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diary 2/19

I threatened to put this on the blog and here it is.  I put together a luncheon in honor of a new friend who has to move further away at the end of this month.  Although we are organizing an every other week garden day when she may come to work in the garden as she did last year each week, I know it will be harder to accomplish than it sounds.  A few of the other ladies help also, so the idea of Thursdays or whatever day we pick as an open garden day may work well in their lives also.  I will be sad to see my friend move, but she is a friend and not just a neighbor or acquaintance, so I know it will survive the displacement factor. Plus, as I always say, you never know what tomorrow may bring.  I hope more fun like today!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Diary 2/18

Worked for a very short time in greenhouse this morning, but it was too cold to be comfortable, so gave up early.  The snow is disappearing quickly locally, but more is due next week.  Nice to see a good amount still on the mountains all around us and as it is freezing at night (and part of the day) , the snow will stay until there is another warm front or maybe until Spring. We need the snow pack to feed the rivers for a good fish habitat.  Speaking of which, both natural occurring dead fish and some that the Fish and Wildlife place along the banks of the creeks to supply the watershed with the special isotope found only in dead fish, have attracked the eagles.  Almost every good size creek around here has a resident eagle this time of year.  It may be a Bald Eagle such as this guy up Flat Creek, or a Golden Eagle which is the next size up.  They will also eat the leftovers from sheep and cows that are birthing over the next couple months.  We have even seen them on road kill deer. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diary 2/17

Blogging has been difficult as it has snowed on and off for two days, and the satellite dish doesn't like it or maybe I am trying at busy times.  Either way, it has not let me on.  This morning there was a new 5 inches, but it has all but melted away through the day.  The creeks must be high if not crazy again.  I did get out for a walk in the snow yesterday morning and found the tracks of two Black Tail deer ahead of me on the field.  Though the track is slightly melted out, the way you can see the ground within it, it is still crisp and no snow inside it, so it was fairly fresh.  The two dots behind the track of the hooves are from the dew claws which denotes that it was a male deer, a buck. Today, I have a cold, again!  UrrghhhXXOO!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Diary 2/15

Satellite internet was not cooperating yesterday, maybe due to snow.  Woke up to heavy snow, but though it snowed until the afternoon, we only had a couple inches, but three inches of moisture!  Now it is colder and we have a little over an inch here and in the shadows maybe two to three.  This bit will freeze in place as it continues to cool down.  When we were getting wood we could see the storm abrewin'.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Diary 2/14

 Firewood gathering before it is raining for a week.  The cat is jealous that Garden Dog was on the blog and he wasn't, so I promised him I would totally post something about him this week. So, here goes! He likes to come in when I am brushing my teeth and bug me to turn on the faucet very slowly so he can get a drink. So, well-trained as I am, I do.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Diary 2/13

It is not raining rain to me,
    It's raining daffodils;
In every dimpled drop I see
    Wildflowers on the hills.
Ahealth unto the happy!
    A fig for him who frets!-
It is noe raining rain for me,
    It's raining violets.
Robert Loveman

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Diary 2/12

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln.  It was a school holiday on the 12th, and then again on the 22nd for Washington when I was growing up.  Worked on lower greenhouse while Garden Dog had a visitor.  Bear is a gentle goon of a dog no matter how fierce he looks.  I just wouldn't want to see what he might do if his owner was distressed, he loves her so. Planted some potatoes in a bed in the top greenhouse as an experiment.  The other seed potatoes won't go in until mid-April so that they won't freeze back too hard.  I planted a few small potatoes around the edges in the greenhouse last year and forgot about them.  As we clean up beds, they keep showing up and they did well, albeit neglected.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Diary 2/11

Another nice day ahead of some cloudy and rainy weather soon.  I noticed these blooming in the woods yesterday.  I knew they were out around Valentine's Day as my children used to wander the forest on their way up from the bus stop picking copious bouquets of them for me this time of year.  I have struggled to find their name, even though I own several wildflower books.  In our area, they are the first to bloom, and may have escaped notice for that reason.  The leaves look very geraniumesque, but the flowers are a simple bell.  Linnaeus, where are you? 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Diary 2/10

Lovely day, warm in the sun, cold in the shadows.  Found this crocus hiding in the lawn. Worked on finishing clean-up in upper greenhouse.  I am thinking of planting some alfalfa under the side bench where it is difficult to work the soil.  I have grown tomatoes, squash, basil, and most recently lettuce under there, but as I said, it is difficult to work.  I think if the alfalfa grew it might crowd out the weeds that want to be there, add nitrogen, and look pretty!  I could cut and use the grass for mulch if it got that far.  Worked on a row of raspberries outside that were in the full sun.  Felt good to get going on them.  There are five rows to do, so most of one is a great start! I think we are in for a change in our weather, so good thing to take advantage of this beautiful day.  Soon I need to work on the asparagus bed, but it was not nearly so sunny and warm where it is.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diary 2/9

Hey, I forgot to blog last night.  I guess I was yogad out.  Worked on upper greenhouse beds yesterday and started some seeds in there as the soil has warmed up considerably.  I poked in some cabbage, broccoli, chard, the rainbow ones again, snap peas, and white onions.  I have new seed coming, the Walla Walla sweet onions and some more pod peas.  I also put a small line of Ruby lettuce in, but need to get Romaine and Nevada Batavian going, maybe today.  As these seeds sprout, I will transplant them apart and ultimately to where they will grow.  By starting them all together, I can babysit them easier until they have at least two sets of leaves and can go out on their own. The garlic is coming up, as you can see in the picture. The one bed of garlic looks great.  The other bed looks like something dug many of the cloves up.  A squirrel?  A fox?  Not sure, but I am mad enough to evict whoever it was...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Diary 2/7

Back to the grind, or should I say the shovel?  Working on a place to put onion seed.  I will get some going in sandy bed of greenhouse to transplant outdoors later.  I also have some potatoes that are sprouting and I am going to put an experimental bed of them in one of the greenhouses somewhere.  I had a few in the greenhouses last year and they did fine.  It was supposed to be sunny and warm this week, but it is windy and changing out there.  I think it may snow tonight. It probably won't be much, but it is NOT sunny and warm.  Lucky find of the day were these onions hiding under the pile of drip lines.  Actually, I think the drip lines mulched them and protected them from freezing and turning into mush.  The fact that they are planted in the sandier soil helped also.  Good score!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Diary 2/6

Despite the signs everywhere about not approaching or feeding the wildlife in Mount Rainier National Park, this guy met us in the parking lot by the lodge as if to say"what ya got for me?"  It would seem someone has fed him from a car sometime or else why would he be there and so friendly?  He is a Clark's Nutcracker and very important to the ecology of the ancient Bristle Cone Pine trees here at Crater Lake National Park.  There may well be Bristle Cones at Rainier, too.  These birds harvest the seeds and plant them else where.  It is important that the seeds mature and the warmer drier summer have been taking their toll on that part of the cycle. Football is over until next year, now what to watch on t.v. on Sat., Sun., Mon., and Thurs, ha-ha?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Diary 2/5

Recovering from vacation.  Cleaning up for Super Bowl party tomorrow.  Gonna make some chili.  I have to say, Mt. Rainier, at some 14,000 feet tall was beautiful, but everywhere were indications of how small a part humans play in the progression of geology in the area.  Many floods including the same one we had here a couple weeks ago, make for destruction of river beds, uprooted trees, and in some cases roads and homes.  There were signs about earthquakes and the dangers of a not so extinct volcano.

Diary 2/4

Long drive home from the mountain.  What mountain?  Well, if I could figure out how to download photos, I would show you... Hmmm.  Oh, here we go.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Diary 2/3

OK, so I haven't figured out the picture thing,yet,but I will keep working on it!meanwhile I have taken some great photos of mountains,and one big one in particular. Weather changing today!, but it has been delightful and sunny here at ...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diary 2/2

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as the sunshine in the trees. The wind will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. John Muir

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diary 1/31

I think I may have this! I am at Lazy Bear cabin and I will take some pictures today so you can guess where!