Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good Day's work

Had the day off today, and it's been a scorcher! But I had to get some garden in anyway, as we're supposed to get some rain tonight. Here's a shot from the southwest corner, showing about half of the garden. Click on the picture to enlarge it if you wish. I'm gradually relocating it to get it out of the shade of the big oak tree. The shady part is still good for some things -- lettuce, carrots, etc, but full-sun loving crops need to be on the far side. The tall stuff on the right is garlic, planted last fall. It's just a couple of feet east of the center of the garden, so you can get an idea just how big 8000 square feet of garden really is.
Today I planted 36 tomatoes, two dozen peppers, red onions, and moved a volunteer clump of violas that appeared in the other garlic patch. Oh, and more cucumbers and squash. Can't have enough pickles! Still have sunflowers, more radishes, some potatoes, pumpkins, pole beans, scallions, marigolds, carrots, parsnips, basil, coriander (cilantro when green, coriander when the seeds mature) chard, nasturtiums, lettuce, broccoli, kale, turnips, and other stuff. Some crops will go in later, to mature towards the fall.
Already have bush beans, beets, garlic, radishes, 50 asparagus plants, yellow and zucchini squash, carrots, gladiolus, dahlias, and a few other flowers. Gotta have flowers!
It's a bit of work, but I love it, and fresh veggies are way better than the stuff they overcharge us for at the supermarket. We eat what we can, and what we can't eat, we can! It's a pretty sight in the dead of winter to see all the jars of home-canned, home-grown GOOD food!

Someone asked about all the white garden stakes -- I recycled them from the railing around a swimming pool deck. They last forever, and they make great marker stakes!

Using Picasa3 to view and upload to here --- dunno how it works.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Miep Gies

A beautiful human being passed away in January, at age 100, and I just learned of it. Her name was Miep Gies, and I imagine it is unfamiliar to many, if not most of the people who have been touched by her life.

And that is a crying shame.

Miep Gies was the woman who hid and protected Anne Frank and her family, at the dire peril of losing her own life for it. She is the one who recovered Anne's diary, and gave it to Anne's father, Otto, after the war. Without her we would never have known Anne's story, yet she considered what she did for them to be nothing worthy of note; she was only doing what one human being should do for another.

The NY TImes did run an article about her -- you can read it at
NY TImes Gies Article
It is a good reminder of an era and an atrocity that many -- including some our own current administration seem to be determined to downplay.

Please read the article, and also do a Google search on her name. She deserves to be remembered forever, for what she did.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's that season again

They say the ticks are going to be especally bad this summer -- just found one on the back of my knee. Maybe I'll get a flock of Guinea Hens to help keep them under control. Wonder if my Golden Retriever (Sam) will leave them alone?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What the ...!???

Hot button warning!
Was listening to a local talk radio show in the truck this morning, and a caller opened his chat by saying "I'm not going to vote [on the school budget] today, because I'm only one vote, and it wouldn't count anyway, because blahblahblah." He then proceeded to sound off on the evils of our political and educational systems, and I had to agree with him on 99% of what he was saying.


That first part, where he said "I'm not going to vote ..."

To my limited cognizance, that means that he had already given up on his right to complain. He was not willing to even attempt to hold up his end of the bargain, so where did he get the right to berate the ones on the other end of the yoke?

I'm not purposely singling out this gentleman, because I know he's definitely not alone. But that's the point, isn't it? He contends that he has only one vote, and it is already rendered nil by the powers that be. His actions don't mean anything in today's world. The actions of one person carry no weight in society whatsoever.

Tell that to Rosa Parks.

Echo it to the young man who stood in front of that Chinese tank in Tienamin Square.

Neither of them are with us any more, but none of us will forget them, and their one "vote" to stand up for what they knew to be right did make a difference to the world they lived in.

Just an opinion.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Strategy!

I think I've discovered the best strategy for keeping the tomato plants from freezing -- Procrastination! :-) !!!

I was gonna put 'em in last week, and get a head start this year, but just didn't get around to it. Last night it snowed here, and we've got freeze warnings for the next two days.

So ,,, maybe next week ...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rose Bush

Finally moved the yellow rose bush from beside Bev and Aaron's home to its new home in the corner fence in our side yard. Could almost hear the poor thing crying "Not again!" It does have a history:

My Grandma moved from Sydney, NY to Bainbridge, NY when my dad was two or three, (1919 or 1920) and took this climbing yellow rose with her. It had been growing for years at the home where she lived. Then when they moved to Binghamton they moved it again -- around 1938. It got moved a couple more times in the early 40s, just after I was born, and in 1947 it got moved to our home on Bunn Hill, between Vestal and Binghamton.
In 1959 we dug it up again, and moved it into Vestal, where it stayed for a couple of years, until Mother and Dad bought this house in Lisle, NY. Dad put it next to the barn in 1961 or 62, where half of it still grows, and then moved half of it up the road when we bought this place, and they put a mobile home on a foundation just on the other side of the barn.
Bev and Aaron bought the mobile home a few years ago, and now they want to build an addition right where the rose bush grew.
So today I moved it, and I'm hoping that it will survive yet again.
It's a beautiful old-fashioned single yellow rose, with the nicest fragrance, and I want to keep it.
After all, it has to be over 100 years old by now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Got compost?

An 11AM start time at work gives opportunity for other things! I went to the landfill yesterday morning and got a truckload of nice (free) compost for the garden. It took about an hour, and I'll probably do it again later in the week.
They do this every year, and have a huge composting area to handle yard waste to recycle it instead of filling up the landfill with it.
Check your local landfill for a similar program!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To plant or not to plant

Lots of work to do in the garden! Removed most of the posts and fencing -- it's easier to till that way, and gotta rotate the beds anyway. I've been tilling every few days to try to kill off the weeds as they sprout, and watching for volunteer potatoes so I can dig them out before they can get a start. Garden co-op says that is best way to avoid a repeat of the blight that destroyed the tomato and most of the potato crop last season.

My asparagus roots arrived from Miller Nursery -- 25 Purple, and 25 Super Male -- so I've gotta make the final decision where I want the bed to be, and get the trenches dug for them. We do love fresh home-grown asparagus, and the bed I planted some years ago is starting to peter out.

Will have to buy pepper plants now, as the seed I started was mostly no-show. Sometimes happens, especially with peppers. At least with the peppers I start! :-)

We're out of home-canned beets now, so I've gotta get some out of the garden this year. That's one crop I've had to worst luck with. Maybe better this year.

Cari Grace is planning her garden plot, and will probably plant a 3-sisters garden again, plus a few other goodies. If you've never done one, there are good instructions here Just be sure to explain the history behind them to your kids -- Cari loved it, and can still tell you the story behind it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lessons From Armed America

Recommended reading for anyone interested in the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. Kathy Jackson and Mark Walters have written a riveting book outlining exactly what it means to be armed in America. Whether you carry, or contemplate carrying, a handgun for sport, competition, or defense, you would do well to read and consider this excellent book. It combines anecdotal with statistical evidence to present the privilege and responsibility embodied in the second amendment. Again, highly recommended!