Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June updates

If anyone is persistent enough to still be checking my sorry blog, I should at least do you the courtesy of changing that photo of our raised bed.  Much has changed-- more soil, then strings (for my experiment with Square Foot Gardening), then seeds, then seedlings, now (some) plants.  It's heading in the right direction,but it's not perfect.  Either we lost many seedlings early, or our germination rate was poor.  Anyway, some of the boxes are empty and some only half filled.  Many of our onions didn't germinate, and some germinated but the seedling looks very weak.  Our bush beans look okay, but they have been partially eaten up by... birds?  bugs?  It's hard for me to tell.   However, all told, we've done SO MUCH more this year than we did last year.  First of all, whether our raised bed is glorious or pathetic, it exists!  And we'll eat something out of it at some point this year.  We can improve next year.  Our Sugar Snap Peas are out of this world.  I have a new herb garden with Chives, Basil, Oregano, Dill, Thyme, Rosemary, and Parsley.  There is a new tomato/pepper/basil bed (courtesy of my brother who visited us in May).  We have 5 wonderful tomato plants out there-  2 Juliets, 2 Sungolds, and 1 German Johnson (an Heirloom).  We also have 4 pepper plants and if I had a little more gumption tonight I'd be able to walk out back & report the varieties to you.  We have 2 basil plants, both from our CSA. 

Which is great, by the way.  Just great.  I really like both Ty and David, the folks who run it, but moreover I love the food we've gotten already this year.  I look forward to our pick ups, and I look forward to eating the produce all week long.  The farm has a good personality-- the way they communicate with the shareholders has been so surprisingly nice.  Aesthetically, it looks good, too!  The farmhouse is painted a whimsical pink, and the pick up shed is decked out with Ty's artwork (and she's so talented).  I'll be forever grateful, also, that this farm introduced me to garlic scapes.

In our academic household, May and June are always different.  Our routines shift.  So many things we plan to do "once the semester ends" are either happening, or -- *puh*-- not at all happening.  A friend and fellow academic says this time of year she invariably gets depressed.  We're shifted out of that thing we've been doing and voila it's "summer."  But it's not the summer of childhood with those endless reading-books-in-hammocks times.  It's that quick little "ahhhh" before realizing that if you (and spouse) don't get yourselves together it will suddenly be August and you'll still have a basement full of, ahem, crap.  Our season got off to a tough start with the worst stomach virus I have ever seen tear through a little 3 year old.  Not a 24 or 48 hour thing.  A week long thing that no one else caught.  Thank heavens for small miracles.  See why I haven't written? 

I haven't written here, nor have I made any move, symbolic or otherwise, to get back to writing my dissertation.  That's one of those summer things, or so I've said to myself.  I'm seriously stalled, but starting to at least feel motivated to start again.  It's only June, right?  I still have time. 

My brave husband has taken on our basement as his special project this summer.  Our little guy is now old enough to accompany him on long sorting and organizing spells down there, and seems to have endless enthusiasm for such projects.  We're all in a very good frame of mind to let go of things that have been cluttering up our lives.  Yes, even books are leaving our house.  Many, many books.  Good books.  Books I like.  Books given to me by people I love.  Books that might be "useful someday."  Antique books and brand-new-unread books.  I'm just done with that right now.   Mind you we still have waaaaaay more books than average people.  We still have 20 copies of Moby Dick and 15 copies of Walden.  I'm just saying we're trying not to, for example, have 5 copies of Age of Innocence, when one will do.  We're just culling a bit.   We're letting go of a lot of big and little things that we have been carrying around with us for no good reason.  Do I need my senior prom dress?  Ick. I mean, why was I keeping that?  I hated the prom.  And I have a photo to prove it!

So if at the end of the summer we have a manageable basement (this goal is in sight!), I think we will both feel like we've stepped over some line in the sands of mental clarity.  Having that space available will allow us both the creative space we need.  Him for recording projects, me for sewing. 

Here are a couple of shots from the garden in front of the house: 
The little perennial geranium in the bottom right corner is pink, but this photo doesn't do it justice.  I thought it might die, but it's really picked up & continues to flower. The yarrow is really rich and lovely, and is that Salvia in purple?  I think so.  Behind the bird bath to the left is the hydrangea our neighbor gave us. I can't wait to see what color the blooms are. I love hydrangea.


Coreopsis, anyone?  Am I spelling that correctly?  And one of my pretty petunias.


Little guy's hand and some pretty day lilies.  No idea what variety, but a nice mellow buttery color. 



2 comments:

  1. Emily, did you use Mels Mix in you square foot garden? I did, and it seems everything is struggling. I don't know it's the lack of sun, or the mxi... would love to hear your opinion!

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  2. We didn't exactly use Mel's mix. We got a lot of compost from a charter school that does farming and we mixed in 2 bags of vermiculite, and we didn't mix it very well. The compost was not yet 'screened' so we have a lot of pinecones & stuff in it. I think we were supposed to screen it first. The amount of vermiculite is really small for a 4 by 8 box, and we used no peat moss at all. So basically, no-- not Mel's mix. Honestly, I can't even tell if our soil is too moist or too dry. I think one of the problems with Square Foot Gardening is the "one seed should germinate" thing, so that you avoid thinning and wasting seeds. Nice in theory, but I feel like if I planted at least 2 per hole, I would have had better luck.

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