“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gardening With Your Garbage and Recycling - 2

The next romaine stem I rescued from the compost bin was prepared a bit more per instruction in the article I posted a week ago.
Look at the result. 
Just three days and we are sprouting.
This is fun!
My lunch is growing my lunch!
Meanwhile the first one seems to have run out of steam, but we'll give it a bit more time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cabin Fever Festival, Windsor, CT/ Ice Festival, Ligonier, PA

We have four town facilities that we use for going for walks and hikes with Jock. Northwest Park is the largest, and has umpteen choices of lengths and variety. Basically, you could switch and join and combine and walk all day if you wanted to. Its mostly woods and field type trial, some going by a reservoir and some by barns and soccer fields. Depending on the weather and time, you can be in mostly shade or predominantly sun.

These days, I prefer as much solar help as possible. I don't recall the last time above freezing. Poor Jock's feet are either not as tough as they used to be, or the cold is just taking its toll. We tend to choose our destination by temperature this past month. Some days we get to the park, only to turn around minutes later because Jock begins to limp on three legs, trying to hold up one foot, then another. Its also hard to tell if its just the cold, or the product being used on the roads to melt the ice. Either way, we haven't taken too many walks past a half hour in the past month. We've tried greasing his feet with salve before we head out, but its hard to know how effective that is. Its actually too bad we didn't attend the Cabin Fever Festival yesterday as one of the features was a show with huskies from the Connecticut Valley Siberian Husky Club. Maybe they could have given us some advice.
Left over today was this ice sculpture that I imagine will be there for a while with our weather staying frigid for the rest of this week.

It was a fun reminder of the week-end Ice Festival back in Ligonier, PA, also this week-end. 

If you are passing Ligonier in the next week, I bet you can enjoy the many sculptures there - and maybe a hot drink too!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gardening With Your Garbage and Recycling

Part of this post is old hat. I have been reusing containers for seed starting for years.
Tube holders from a medical lab.
For an Earth Day project 24 years ago, I had my daughter's first grade classmates all bring in a small container to start marigold seeds. In our unscientific study using milk containers, plastic cups, tin cans and detergent caps, the ones started in the detergent caps tended to be deformed. Hmmm?
We crushed egg shells and stirred up coffee grounds to add to the bottom of the pots just to start talking about compost and feeding the earth. It was pretty basic, messy and fun, and yielded at least one flower for each student. Before school let out for the summer, a lovely garden was planted at the school entrance.

So look what has started in my Cracker Barrel "green house". Lupines from the farm garden. I think they are the purple ones, but we will have to wait and see. Usually I have such a hard time starting lupines, but these are at 50% germination so far, and in 10 days. Pretty pleased if I do say so. As soon as the first seedling popped, I moved the container from the warm spot, to the cool window sill, to try and keep them from bolting. Lupines are a childhood memory for me, so I love to see them in the garden.

This time of year I start to horde all the used plastic silverware that shows up at parties and wherever, and clean it to use as plant markers. The Popsicle sticks are okay for starters, but they rot and disintegrate by the time some of the early starts get into the garden.
I do find them handy to help me keep track of the seeds I collect, and have the labeled, flat little stick ready to go with the seeds.
Wisteria Seed 
How many times have I wrapped seeds in a napkin or old envelope, leaving myself a part of the flower or plant as a hint, only to open it up and puzzle over where it came from and what it is. By then the "hint" is a brown, dry crumble. So labeling fast is smart, but I'm still learning that lesson!
So here is something new that I learned and tried, just a week or so ago. Growing Romaine lettuce from the stem or the heart. The article says to leave a couple inches and perhaps a leaf or two. I had already used this lettuce, and this stem was plucked out of my compost after the reading of the article. I figured, "What the heck!" and threw it in my bowl with some water. And just to be clear, this lovely bowl was found in the town's recycling shed.

One week later, and fresh water every day or two, there are four new shoots. I can't wait to see how this goes. The suggestion is that I can put this in the garden when the temperatures are appropriate. That's such a long way off, but I may try a container from my recycled collection.
Pepper seeds from last night's dinner.
I grew up growing carrot tops in water, and bean seeds in cotton balls in egg shells. At my school in Sheffield, England, the class was called "Nature". What a nice way to learn science.

Below is the article that I saw, and if you search "things that grow from garbage" you can have a lot of fun till spring really arrives. Meanwhile my seed order went in last night, so there is more fun to come.

Garden with Garbage: 10 Foods You Can Grow from Scraps


Monday, January 20, 2014

Really - Alright

Phew! We're back online!
I have all sorts of blogs in my head and photos taken, but then I couldn't open Blogger. I think it started a month ago with a fix for one problem, that caused another issue, and next thing you know, I'm getting messages from my computer that I have to go online to decipher. Well, I'm back - at least for now.

I always like to start January with some seed starting, and so I had to go and hunt for my supplies in the yet to be organized basement. I started a few seeds with dreams of the coming spring and my newest garden.
This is a memento of  my herd. Weird maybe, but so be it. 
I thought it a neat image in the snow.
When the polar vortex come through, even the dog wanted to stay in and quilt. We have a few projects underway and I'll have to download those photos from another camera to show you.

So lets hope I can get on a roll and catch up with you.
Happy New Year - a bit late!