Monday, February 06, 2006

Quite Contrary...

...has been my computer. But now it seems to be functioning at its old capacity. It looked to be a hardware issue. Happily, D accidentally fixed it when he took my RAM out to install a replacement. When he found that he had brought the wrong size RAM, he put mine back in the other slot. Well, problem solved. WTFBBQ! There are some lingering [strange] issues of hibernation/power saver settings, but these have caused no problems with my work. Back in the saddle am I.

And how does my garden grow? Well, I gave the raised beds a rest last year, so now I'm ready to get back to my vegetable gardening. Here's the menu:
Little Caesar romaine; Sungold cherry tomatoes (SOOOOO sweet); Mixed lettuces, arugula, spinach; Royal Chantenay and Sweet Sunshine carrots; Tenderpick green snap beans; Fukagawa bunching onions; Bonanza Hybrid broccoli; First White cauliflower; Joy Choi Hybrid mini-pak choi; Carola potatoes (golden flesh); Hot Lemon peppers; Blushing Beauty bell peppers; Sugar Crunch Hybrid cucumbers; Saffron squash; and Purple Rain Hybrid eggplant. I'll try to keep my current herbs alive (rosemary, thyme, oregano), and add some Italian parsley and basil to the patch.

Everything except the spinach seeds and the organic seed potatoes (from Wood Prairie Farms in Maine) will be grown from seeds I've had for three years. That's right folks. My seeds live in their folded up seed packets, within zipper bags, inside a plastic grocery sack, in their own refrigerator vegetable drawer. I've done it this way for many years, and I always have great sprouting percentage. Saves lots of $$$, too.

I plan to start the greens, the onions, and the cole crops inside in another week, or whenever I can clean off the table and set up my grow light--whichever comes first. The seed potatoes will go into their bed in mid-March. (They will be shipped on March 7.) I will not grow peas or sugar snap peas this year, as the limited space of my raised beds and the time spent preparing them made the payoff poor the last few times I tried them.

I will NOT be doing a CSA subscription this year, but we do have a local pesticide-free farm/orchard I will buy from as needed. I HIGHLY recommend to those of you who can, to get a CSA subscription to a local organic farm. Eat in season, support your local growers!

So, just as the weather has become downright wintry again, let's dream of spring! What are you all going to grow?


Erik Ivan James said...

Welcome back!

Well, I live in northern Michigan so haven't started to think about the garden yet and I'm not nearly as accomplished at gardening as you seem to be. Mine is quite basic. This year, I'll throw in a few tomatoes, peas, carrots, string beans, green onions, radishes, beets and maybe some sweet corn.

jason evans said...

Glad to hear the computer is back in shape. I've been computing my butt off for two weeks to recover from an operating system implosion (oh, that's right, you knew that).

Even though I don't have enough time, I really enjoy vegetable gardening also. Something supremely satisfying about it.

Christa M. Miller said...

I grow flowers. :)

How do you keep the weeds down?

Jeff said...

I used to put out a garden years ago and enjoyed it. It's a lot of work and I guess I just got lazy. I especially loved the fresh sweet corn and beans. :)

Mary Louisa said...

EIJ, thanks for the welcome back. So many nursery and garden centers are in Michigan that I assume it is some kind of grower's paradise! But the season has to be short...

Jason, I hope you get back on track with your work. It was awful for me not to be able to do my writing as usual (w/o the 'puter).

Christa, I try to do minimal flowers. Vegetables are my first love. I weed every few days. Since I use raised beds (four 4X4 and one 1X8), it is very easy to get in there and pluck out the sprouts.

Jeff, I can't garden every year. It is time consuming. Last year I gave birth in March, and so limited myself to flowers and herbs in the raised beds. That's one of the main reasons why I got a farm subscription!

Stephanie said...


We do not have the space set aside for a veggie garden, yet, but I will be planting impatients around the oak tree and splitting up a friend's hostas for the shady areas. I went with pink impatients last year, this year red and white or just white or a mix. The front of the house I had red, white and blue petunias. They did pretty well, but I am looking for something different. I want more wild flowers, too. There are always the 5 bushes of peonies that come up every spring.

*sigh* I long to be digging in the dirt.

Kate R said...

I have high hopes for my worm bins this year. I want them to produce enough castings to turn our horrible soil into something a tomato plant can really enjoy.

So far the worms have disposed of the garbage but haven't done much else.

anne frasier said...

all this garden talk!! i can smell the tomato plants. i like the old varieties like big boy. then i think better boy and better girl came along... was never sure if they were really better, but they're just as good.

Dy said...

Ah, you're back.

This is the year we grow our future. Casa pSycho is making 2006 The Year of the Budget (that we actually stick to!).

If there's room left in the budget I hope to build raised beds in the fall for next spring. Yours sound yummy!

Mary Louisa said...

Steph, your talk of flowers is making me pine for spring. Please take a photo when your blooms are up.

Kate, that is so cool! Please post sometime about this. My BIL does worm bins; I haven't asked him lately if he's gotten enough castings to amend his soil.

Anne, thanks for mentioning that SMELL. Aaaaaaah. We grew Big Boys when I was a Little Girl. I suck at growing big tomatoes, so I'm sticking to the Sungold cherries this year--they are THE SWEETEST.

Dy, YOU CAN DO IT. It is an investment, initally, of both $$ and muscle, but having the beds will be awesome.