Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Independence Days Week 5

Crazy weather continues! On Sunday we hit 18C which is about 15 degrees higher than normal for this time of year! Now one warm day in late winter is not that unusual but it's been warm ever since and we're headed for at least a week of it! On top of our already mild winter, that's going to affect outdoor things dramatically. The maple sap is done for the season and things are greening up! I had a look around the garden on the weekend: normally the ground would still be frozen solid but my hyacinths are up, the rosebush has new leaves (not buds, leaves!) and I even picked some spring onions! Up on the deck things are much the same- my herb garden already has signs of life and the thyme, oregano and sage are already making a comeback.

I was all ready to post this update on the weekend but sitting in front of the computer when it feels like spring outside seemed like a waste of good weather so I'm late posting again. When my inner child wants me to go fly a kite, I'm all for it!

Grow Something: I've got pea sprouts, the beginnings of oyster mushrooms and a whole of tomato seeds germinating! The mushrooms are a bit of dud however- unlike last years shiitake kit which produced tons with a minimum of fuss, the oyster mushrooms keep sending out pins that just shrivel up. I'm misting and I have them covered with a clear plastic bag as directed so I don't think it's a humidity problem- I'm at a loss.

Harvest something: I repeat- Spring onions! From the garden! In March!

Preserve something: Nothing

Waste Not: Good shopping week- found a basket of less than perfect zucchini and two heads of cauliflower for a dollar/basket, two soup chickens for $6, and butter on sale for $2.99. Found a case of paper towels ( which we don't buy) when cleaning out a warehouse so I brought them home too. They have their uses.

Want not: We're building a new outdoor mini greenhouse/shelf system on the deck, using materials we have on hand and salvaged wood. It will have a black plastic backdrop to absorb heat, three levels of shelves, with one removable for larger plants and a clear plastic cover for cooler weather. I plan to install a grow light and eventually hope to incorporate a watering system using run-off from the roof, diverted from the rain barrel.

Eat the food: Lots of roasted cauliflowers soup (with whey!) and zucchini fritters.

Build community food systems: I've been busy putting together resources and getting ready to lead a workshop on how to start a community garden.

Skill Up: Tried a new method to pre-germinate seeds (which I read about on someone's blog but can't remember where!) Last year was such a disaster that I am sprouting them in bags on paper towels before potting them up. It's a good way to see if older seeds are viable and saves me planting a lot of dead seeds.

And on the home front- best news ever! The Russian had his final interview with Immigration Canada yesterday and he's here to stay! Now we can start panning for the future, though what those plans will be are still a mystery.

Happy Early Spring!


  1. Congratulations to the Russian!!

    And isn't it nice to find something green in the garden?? I'm SO tempted to chuck some seeds in the ground, just to see what happens :)

  2. That's a productive post! I'm still working on the greenhouse plans I had discussed earlier, but for some reason, I hadn't thought about lining even a part of it with black plastic. Although I did think about adding bottles of water here and there to heat up and then release the heat late into the night. Like solar collectors, I think. Roasted cauliflower soup sounds wonderful, I'll have to try that one day.
    Although three of my peas shoots died, I have a couple that did not, and it looks like my lettuce seedlings might live too!
    Congratulations to you and your Russian! Yay!

  3. Thanks guys, the weather and garden appearances is divine and the Russian and I are still celebrating!

    Carolyn- the black plastic appears to be a fail- it melted from the heat of the sun! Going back to the drawing board on that one - I'm considering black paint but don't want it off gassing in a sealed (and apparently very hot) environment.