Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sabbatical busy

It has been the family joke lately that I need to go back to work since I'm too busy being on sabbatical. Between just doing simple homesteading chores like nonelectric housekeeping to my duties being a Deacon & belonging to two committees @ church I don't see any opportunities to stray. Add in the girls softball & end of the year school activities. Also on my plate is one daughter's upcoming confirmation. Ideally, I'd like to have F & F over for a big breakfast before service but that would entail them actually entering my house.
My house that was suppose to be rehabbed ah like over 8 years ago. If you have ever lived with buckets of drywall mud stacked up in your bathroom only to become a nifty spot to place reading material on then you know what I mean.
Not even my BBGF has ever been in my house.
So that being said If I don't blog for days & days it's because I'm demolishing our only bathroom & as usual stripping woodwork, (now would be a good time to insert a sound clip of the Burma Shave song - & yes if you got that joke then your as old as I am)!

This is as far as we'll be going with the greenhouse until October. For the most part the main body is together but the corrugated panels haven't been caulked @ the seems nor the holes from the last time it was assembled. Try as we did we couldn't match up the previous holes in both the panels & the frame so we made allot of new ones. The girls & I finished spray painting the metal frame black to promote solar heat gain. Now all that is needed is for my ever tolerate handyman to put up a back end wall with a few vertical windows that can open & reinstall the front wall & door.
Between all of us we got some cheapo dog eared fence panels, painted them white & jury rigged them in place. Not only keeps prying eyes from looking but also reflects light back into the space. This pic was taken around 5 p.m. so as you can see between the shadows & the setting sun this greenhouse needs all the help it can get.
I already have the Giant Chinchillas set up in the back portion & my plant shelf along with some potted seedlings. By the front is one of those small tabletop greenhouses set up with more seedlings waiting to be potted.
Wood chips are courtesy of a neighbor who had a tree removed.
Working on an idea of laying some plastic trellis that I scored @ a tag sale along the one side & half of the top portion of the greenhouse to grow peas on. TBWOS (two birds with one stone theory) providing shade for buns & food for us.
My cold frame is producing salad greens abundantly well. Really haven't had to close the lid much these past few weeks but I know the minute DH removes the lid it will snow.
Nice not having to buy fancy greens like Butter crunch.
Peach trees are flowering which is great since that bare 'ss tree you see looming just behind the fence is a Black Walnut tree. When they grow little else will except Lilac. The dark green foliage just past the fence line is Lilac shrubs about 15' high. There are 7 of them in colors ranging from White to dark Purple. Our own Lilac Festival gifted by a now vacant lot.

This is DH's cold frame. As you can see he experiments on different design styles for cold frames but I'll let him tell you about that on his own blog since he is fond of saying that I don't give him space (as in his own spot in the garden).

Tomatoes are Bloody Butcher's (his) a salad 'mater & Cherokee Purple, the best ever eating tom. In the center are San Marzano an Italian paste tom that I'm gonna use for canning both whole & sauce. There are also about 10 potted Turban squash plants, a scavenged Rhubarb plant replotted, & clips from various house plants that I'm trying to grow.

This is my 3rd year @ being serious about growing food from seeds instead of relying on purchased (expensive) seedlings. So far I'm batting 500. A good majority of the seeds sprouted & are growing except the Swiss Chard. It's a learning experience.

I have high hopes for this raised bed. Last Summer Cabbage grew here, then in the fall I add anything compostable along with found worms, covered it with black plastic sheeting for the Winter. Last week when I lifted the plastic there were worms galore but this week what with the warmer temps most have burrowed down. Either Green Bell Peppers or Eggplant for this year's crop.

I was reading a post on HT asking if anyone knows if Kudzu can be ground into flour. Since that invasive weed doesn't grow in New York I don't personally have any first hand knowledge but it got me to thinking about other possibilities.

Update on the UPC - well it still ain't happening. I didn't post the total tally for April as I misplaced store receipts but it's in the hood of being $40 over the mark. Will post that a.s.a.p. May should be worse since I neglected to can/store extra food items for daughter's conformation party not to mention Mother's day (dish to pass something special but what?). This is getting to be embarrassing ...


  1. How do those corrugated greenhouse panels hold up in your climate? In our desert summer sun, they would dry-rot in just a season or two.

    Your garden sounds like its steaming along. Sorry to hear about the chard. That's the only thing that's done exceptionally well in our yard so far.

    The kudzu-curious can do a search on "edible kudzu" for a ton of information.

  2. I really like that greenhouse design, I gotta look into making something like that. I love the way you always manage to make something out of anything you get your hands on, I'm the same way.

  3. Chili, here these plastic planels do well as long as nuttin hits them when it is bitterly cold 'cause they crack/splinter.
    There expensive. I justified cost since it not only houses the buns,garden equipment,plants, & when Sunny then I nap out there after working a nightshift. So add medical rx too (SADD). Eventualy savings from not buying seedlings should pay the investment off.

    Chris, thank you for the compliment.
    Greenhouse was orginaly a kit bought @ TS on discount for $99. It had an opaque white cover that lasted almost 3 years but to be truthful the greenhouse was up all year except Summer.
    Unfortunetly it has never keep an even deep Winter temp of 45(without artifical heat source)which is what I'm aiming for(salad greens). Neither has the cold frames.
    This Fall I'll post on my efforts to use solar gain using a solar pool cover,barrels,& h2o.
    Furture plans are to redesign the old cover to make mini greenhouses/row cover ect. to extend our growing season which as you know means less $ spent on buying veggies.

  4. I like the greenhouse design... You said it didn't keep a winter temp of 45, but I'm curious about snow load, any idea how much it could take?

    I just "discovered" your blog today and I look forward to reading more.

  5. Thanks Kathy & welcome.
    The Snow load was never an issue with the orginal tarp like cover. For the most part it slides off the roof since it's shaped like a quanza hut. With the panels having a grove design being corrigated a thin layer of ice tends to build up from the snow melting.
    Since I'm out there everyday to care for the buns or hang out I just hit the panels to bounce whatever has accumulated.
    If I can ever figure a way to maintain an even winter temp without paying for heat,that problem will resolve it self.
    Eatting a nice free salad in Febuary would be a blessing!


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest