Monday, May 17, 2010


Would you like a 2,000% return profit after just 4 years on less than $20 ? A profit that not only will save you money on your grocery bill but also make you healthy naturally ? One which gives you a return on your investment even while your asleep?
Not true you say. What's the catch ? Really just send me $19.99 with a SASE to ...

Of all the various urban gardening aspects such as container or raised bed, a cold frame will get you the most return on your dollar. Built in 2006 this frame has easily given us a few thousand $ in gourmet organic salad greens. The seed packets were bought last Fall on discount for a dime each. Seeded with mustard, red oak, arugula, butter crunch, and 2 over Wintered Swiss Card plants in early April. There's also the complimentary volunteer Naturism's that pop up. Need to replace the cracked plastic before Winter.

Made it a point to place a sheet of plastic over my 8 year old Rhubarb plant last month to increase the quantity of harvest. Will gift some to bbgf & use the rest in baked goods both now & Winter for bartering. Since it's a small amount freezing will be the preservation method of choice. No need for canning up - still have over a dozen pts. of Strawberry Rhubarb jam on pantry shelf from the last two years. Considering thinning this patch & potting up what I can to sell or trade.

Snow peas & White Radishes. Unfortunately something has nibbled on the leaves. Marigolds would come in hand shoulda started some in late February. Noticed the plastic sheeting on this bed & the next pic. Packaging off our new mattress & box spring. Hoops are PVC odds & ends.

This is the year that I am all framed up. The plastic covered bed in the foreground is where Green Bell Peppers were last year. DD#2 planted this bed with Yellow Wax Beans & Carrots in Mid April. So far no seeds have sprouted. Sometime this week I'll rework the soil & replant with tomato seedlings that I didn't start from seed. Yes, you read right. Despite the fact that the plant light stand has been set up since March no seeds to speak of have been started for the main garden. Only excuse that can be offered up is that when Mom works outside the home amnesia is epidemic. The plastic covered box behind this bed is a covered bunny cage. Direct placement of organic fertilizer.

However DH was able to start a few for his cold frame. Today he took down the light stand with the barren plywood table underneath 'cept an old collection of empty containers & toilet paper tubes once destined for seedlings. I had such great ideas for blog posts on seed starting.
He is taking me plant shopping on payday for veggies.
So much for my plans of no "bought" garden stock but realistically speaking our home life is in huge turmoil. The job I accepted here in the neighborhood which was originally scheduled for a few hours a day has developed into full time, with many over night shifts. Also I & one of my brothers have entered the sandwich generation, caring for & overseeing all of our Mother's affairs. Add in two daughter's playing JV softball, orchestra concerts, church youth group meetings, there goes my child labor pool. That's my excuse as lame as it is.
Up side is the roof fund has $1800 dead presidents.

Something to be said for a man who plants his rows straight.
Another version of a cold frame made out of scrap lumber, collected plastic sheeting, & hardware taken off of odds & ends found while curb shopping. Think drawer knobs & cabinet hinges when you see discarded furniture.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby's Got Wood

This is what's left of the oldest tree on my street after a wind storm the night before Mother's day. Those are city workers & a few of their posse gleaning firewood. As you can see DH & I were out numbered. The Public works fella on the far left is no doubt texting his gang of urban lumber jacks this location.

This is a street shot showing how the base of this 80 year old Maple took up the city side walk along with the median. Again we were out weighed by the sub contractors a.k.a. well connected friends of city public works. Notice the bright yellow truck is gone.

NP, got my own lumber jack. While the firewood down the block was divided up we went around our hood & score very well. And yes this is our own modern day version of a horse & wagon. And yes it is an Aveo 4 cylinder.

This is about 4 & half face cords that we collected prior to the gleaning effort pictured above. Mostly Linden and some Sugar Maple. Will be used in early Fall & Late Spring because of the low BTU value. Also for the canning stove.

Notice the 100 y.o. Maple in my neighbor's yard. Come June it will have blocked out majority of the sun for my garden from 11:00 a.m. until about 4:00 p.m. Then around 5:00 or 5:30 my house blocks what is left of the day.

If only I had a posse of well connected lumber jacks ...

~~ pelenaka ~~

P.S. 5/17/2010 - Cash out lay for trailer; $330 tax included, $25 for regirstation, inspection $8, hitch with wiring was $200 ish installed last year. So far IMHO I'd say that the hitch, inspection, gov. taxes, and a 1/3 of the cost of the trailer has been recouped in the value of the firewood that has been collected.