Gardening is hazardous to your health

I wasn’t going to buy seeds this year with the expense of putting in the raised beds and all. Started lots of leftover seeds we’ve kept in the freezer. The kid and I enjoyed it- good fun.

But somehow the seedlings got COMPLETELY infested with spiders. Hundreds of tiny spiders all over the seedlings spinning strangling webs at seemingly miles per second. It was to the point that there were dozens spiders on the ceiling and to kill them I sprayed the ceiling with vinegar but then a dead vinegar-soaked spider landed in my eye. Gardening is dangerous.

The seedlings I flung out the second story sunroom window. Scared the shit out of the chickens- they are used to only bread and vegetable scraps crashing down around them, not flats of spider infested potting soil.

20110421-083635.jpgSo we will not be starting everything from leftover seeds this year and I had to buy more seeds because we used up everything that needed to be started already. And of course I had to buy even more seeds than necessary because the packages are pretty and omgilikeprettypackages. And the little potted herbs are so cute, how could one resist? Best to get one of each. And the raised beds still don’t even have dirt in them. Oh dear… I think this should be considered a rebuilding year.

Outside and in the city

I got the raised beds in the ground and leveled today and the compost bin (yes, another one) finished, in and leveled. It’s pretty sweet. But more importantly, I had the most lovely conversation with my neighbor, who is probably a little older than my mom and with whom I have spoken very little in the 11 years we have lived here.

He was very excited about the raised beds and actually worked with his kids today to put in some of their own. (They have more sun and I’m jealous.) We talked about his garden from his younger days when he grew corn and lettuces and Romania tomatoes the size of a heart-shaped fist. He talked about growing up in Lawrenceville and raising chickens and rabbits as a boy in the 40′s, and mean roosters used to keep away rats. He gave me some suggestions on my compost bin, asked if they could feed the chickens extra lettuce, and remarked at how good the eggs were that I gave them the other day after the chickens ended up in their yard.

He does not think I am crazy to plant a tiny garden on what amounts to a sloping rumble heap, to want to use our leftovers to improve our soil and decrease our garbage, to raise chickens for eggs and a lesson on where food comes from. He does not disapprove of clotheslines or DIY rain barrels or the probably dozens of other things that most suburban neighbors would complain about. He made me miss my grandparents.

Rain rain go away

Done!  Ok...not exactly.

and my hill will look like this forever. I want to install the raised beds and matching compost bin (yes – I built another one.) I want to have 3 cubic of dirt and 7 cubic yards of mulch delivered by a company called Chicken Brain Hauling. I want to carry it all down the hill in Rubbermaid tubs and hopefully not kill myself. but it just.won’t.stop.raining.

This is not what I expected in July.

Peach Cobbler

Last July I dutifully packed up roughly a shit-ton of peaches and put them in the freezer to enjoy in the depths of bitter cold winter.

I did not expect the depths of bitter cold winter to extend into April. This weather is beastly and I consider Peach Cobbler to be a suitable weapon against said beast. Recipe courtesy of Epicurious, with slight adaptations:  I accidentally threw in 3x the amount of boiling water I should have so I added an extra handful of flour and a shake of baking powder to compensate.  Do not try this at home.

Now I’m going to go pick up the cedar for the raised beds, and imagine that it’s 70 degrees and sunny.  If I’m feeling really desperate I will pick up some vanilla ice cream to go with the cobbler as I intend to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner til it’s gone, and that way it will be a complete meal :)