Independence Days 2010 week…I dunno.

Already I’m lost with what week it is!

I know Sharon Astyk started it based on a statement made by Carla Emry in the Encyclopedia of Country Living (great book btw…well worth the investment) but I live in  a different climate zone and my new planting year starts sooner than Sharon’s does.  So.  Based on that my new planting year started in the second week of January.  Making this week 9, going into week 10.

Plant something:  Bush beans, peas, cow peas, swiss chard, sage, tarragon, chives.  Transplanted rhubarb and chives into bigger pots.  Put some of the sprouted swiss chard and spinach out in the garden.  Transplanted the fig tree into its permanent home, next to the deck and in front of my bedroom window.  Hopefully it lives; it’s beginning to bud already and I don’t want to shock it into dying.  I got it last year and transplanted it into a bigger pot immediately; it lived and did well so I’m hoping it’s not too late in the spring already and it will take to its new place well.  Come on tree, be tough!  I want figs!

The rhubarb that ‘died’ last summer apparently just went dormant in the heat; I went to water the grapes and jerusalem artichokes and lo, there was a very nice (but small) rhubarb sprout!  It looks like a very happy plant, so I’m hoping it will do better this year.  Just in case, I’m hedging my bets with potted rhubarb I can bring into the house if it gets too hot.  I miss rhubarb pie!

Waste not:  not much on that front, we’re wasting a little more food than I’d like but that’s my fault from forgetting about it in my cooler on my last day of work.  I come home, drop it on the floor, and don’t think about it again until the night before it’s time to go back.

Eat the food:  onions, corn, green beans, rice, lentils, tomato sauce, eggs.  Hooray for spring!  The chickens have been getting all the weeds I’ve been pulling from the garden, and the yolks are again that lurid orange color I love so much!

Build community:  got my neighbor into container gardening, and gave him an Amish Candy cherry tomato plant.  He was at Home Depot yesterday and purchased a bunch of rubbermaid containers, plants, and potting soil.  He used to garden, years ago, but after seeing how well we’ve done, he’s excited about having his own produce again.

Some girls like Dillards, some like Fashion Gal…me, I like Home Depot.  And Ace Hardware.  So I go to both a lot, just to wander and imagine.  I was stunned the last time I was at Home Depot.  For the first time, they had asparagus starts, rhubarb starts, and onion sets.  And the seed rack was nearly wiped out!  Seriously!  The live plants were in abundance though.  And you would not believe the number of people buying soil, compost, manure, and plants!  They even sell a prefab raised bed marketed by the Square Foot Gardening guy, and a special soil mix that meets his specs.  Wow.  Very pricey.  But hey, whatever gets people into growing their own, I guess.  His book is partly what started me on this path, but although I stick with containers and raised beds, I do so for irrigation reasons and soil reasons, not for the fashion statement part of it.

Since I’m going to drastically expand the garden, this year is the year I will have to put in drip irrigation, at least for some of it.  I will also need a trailer full of dirt, which will cost me between $150 and $200.  Yikes!!!  But, buying it in 2 cubic foot bags is getting very expensive; I may as well get it once, deal with it all at once, and be done with it.  I feel another extra shift in my future to pay for the dirt, and one to pay for the drip irrigation setup.

I teach ACLS tomorrow, and work Tuesday.  Today is the first day I’ve felt decent enough to get motivated to do anything in the garden.  I discovered that I may have killed my little eggplants; I didn’t water (never thought about it) while I was sick, and neither did Mr. TF.  Oops.  Hopefully they can be saved, they look pretty pale and pathetic.  Otherwise I guess I’ll be replanting eggplant!

Guess that’s it, time to get work on my homework; it’s due before midnight.

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