Saturday, March 14, 2009

perpetual pea gravel

It has come to my attention that I am never going to get ahead. I just barely hold the house together each day, by a thread. But I need to be cleaning and organizing, repairing and creating, readying the house for Karl's family to visit and Spring and Canning.

Last night Hermione, our queen cat, ran into the house and was looking for a den. So I set her up in the laundry room. No kittens last night, but soon I think. I will put her up in the laundry room full time once I get it organized and cat-bathroom situation. I am such a sucker for big, pregnant things.

Karl is working today and then after taking some kids to the city for errands. I would like to be brave and sew a curtain. Just. One. Curtain. A lot of my trouble in this regard is that I feel like I must finish all the other cleaning and cooking and chores before I sew, which is impossible because those things are never done. And suddenly the day is over.

I daydream that I could stay up late to sew or cook, but the kids will just stay awake with me. We don't have separate rooms in our tiny house. I can't be loud or use a light or anything.  I know I have discussed this before but it is just endlessly frustrating.

Today, there is the everlasting chore list. In addition I would like to sew a curtain as I said, clean more in the laundry room, and Read a chapter with the kids in Story of the World. Is that so much to ask?

--- garden stuff---

The tomato seedlings are in desperate need of re-potting. I am waiting for Karl to bring home pots from his friend Bob's greenhouse. At the same time I need to clean out the chick's brooder. They are doing fine.

It is almost time for potato planting. I have store bought potato starts, which are actually fine. Yes you can bring certain diseases into your garden with these if you are not careful, but chances are you already have those diseases in your soil and strong plants will grow past them. They are clones of themselves and there is no reason not to use them. I bought fancy organic starts our first year, but they are so expensive that you may as well just buy your potatoes for the year. The only issue with store bought is that they are (yuck) sprayed with anti-sprouting agents. But somehow I manage to have my potatoes spout all the time. The 25 pounds or so I have for planting are all accidentally sprouted potatoes that I initially bought to eat over the winter. I have some Yukon Gold, some Red and some Russet. We'll see!

I have sweet potato slips growing from last year's crop. We bought slips last year from Brown's of Omaha. I saved some sweet potatoes and now they are growing.

The strawberries we transplanted in our new bed are very happy. They were last year's babies from the big bed. I top-dressed the big bed with beautiful compost and the rain watered it in. My berries are early bloomers and I expect they will bloom in early April. I need to devise a deer- guard. Last year the deer ate all the young leaves and while we still had a good crop, it could have been better.

I prepped the asparagus bed for spring last weekend. I weeded and removed all the chaff and top dressed with a wheelbarrow load of compost. After we pick this year, I will compost and mulch.

The compost. Karl has outdone himself with this batch. I think it is about 3 yards of black gold, indistinguishable from rich earth but made entirely from hay and cow manure. It is good compost when I will bury my face in it and breathe deeply. Karl is King of Compost. We have several other batches ready, waiting for the tomatoes and other needs. One is made from chicken manure- 3 years worth rotted into soil. That will be handy stuff. We don't compost our food scraps. They go to chickens, pigs, cats or the dog. Except coffee grounds- which go right into the garden.

I Love Spring.
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