Monday, April 23, 2012

A Warm Weekend In The Pacific Northwest

 April 23, 2012

Springtime in Seattle

We don't have glorious days all the time, they are interspersed with days that are a lovely shade of grey. This is what makes Seattle, the Emerald City. There is so much green here because we have a nice weekend and then four days of grey and rain.

This weekend was glorious in all its sunshine-y awesomeness! We topped 70 degrees, and I understand that it is over a hundred in Texas, but 70 degrees is perfect here. Just warm enough to work out in the yard, not so warm that you peter out after an hour.  The rain will start on Tuesday.

It is beautiful in Seattle during the spring. Well, it is beautiful most of the time, just varying shade of beautiful. Spring and Autumn are my favourite times of year, although Summer is nice too, but it kinda bleeds into the end of one and the beginning of the other without too much notice.

I like Spring because you can plant things and I like Autumn because you can harvest things. Summer is when you have all the work and weeding and watering.

You stand out in the yard and stare as things ripen and hope.

For now, I work in the garden and yard, taking it close to my dream of a urban farm a little more every year. 

I spent Saturday building a fence that separates the front and back yard. The boyfriends has a chihuahua that loves bounding through my garden beds and I swear by the hairs on my chin-y chin chin I will cook that dog if I find her running over my carrot seeds one more time.

I also pulled up my green cone. It is currently in the way.  The space that it is in, will be the expansion of my backyard patio and so I need to move it someplace else and harvest all the lovely compost that has been sitting in it.

Green Cones

So, let's talk about green cones and food waste digesters. Both are ways to compost your food waste. They work on an anaerobic system to break down the food.

 Bacteria, soil life and insects help break down the waste into humus (No. Not the chick pea mash you eat at your local Mediterranean deli.) Basically it digests the food waste kinda like your stomach does.

When finished, it is black and rich and smells sweet like compost and is a great soil amendment to add to your soil.

But it is a slow process that can take months, it helps take food out of the garbage stream and lets you use it to grow more food. But it takes the time that you fill the digester and the time you let it sit and do its work.

So it can take a year and a half to two years before you get the black gold that some people talk about. 

Some things do not break down as well as you might like; egg shells, avocado pits and rinds. But I just smash up what I can with my hands and sift it through a screen if I can't handle too much texture in my compost, but truthfully, I don't mind a stray shell or pit here and there.

Sift it if it bothers you, don't if it doesn't. Dig a trench or two down the sides of your garden beds then, sprinkle a few inches of your food waste compost in to amend the soil and there you have it, you have now added your food back to your food!


This weekend I also took the time to start adding a retaining wall to my front beds. I've lived here for eleven years and have been talking about doing this the whole time. Procrastination and I are very close friends....

Anyways, my friend, Wendy, had a bag of gravel that I weaseled out of her and I had about forty retaining wall blocks that I had from a project never started and subsequently never finished. So, since one and one make two, I built a rocket!  No, just kidding, I built part of a retaining wall! Pretty thing ain't it?

Not the hardest thing in the world to build, but will all the work I did this weekend I feel like I have been beaten with a train. 

Hard Working Woman

So this weekend was busy and so will the remaining weekends from now until the end of November. But I look at the list of things I have done and I don't mind the aches and pains as much...
  • Dug up and emptied food waste digester/green cone
  • Dug up weeds
  • Built fence
  • Leveled out patio expansion location
  • Built part of a retaining wall
  • Bring home bacon
  • Fry it up in a pan...

Pretty little bean plant.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Is In The Air

April 2012

Royal Chantenay Carrots
French Breakfast Radishes

Scarlet Runner Beans
Royal Burgundy Beans
Dow Gauk Beans

Purple Broccoli

Chocolate Cherry Tomato
Stupice Tomato

Bloomsdale Savoy Spinach
Mesclun Mix
Tom Thumb Butterhead Lettuce

Detroit Supreme Beet
Bright Lights Swiss Chard

I have been daydreaming about my garden since the end of December and this is all I have come up with so far, but then the season is just starting.