20 February 2015

the Farmer arises

from hort.cornell.edu
I have no Book of Good Farming, but when the local pharmacy put out its early veggies I could not resist.  Yes, a few pretty flowers dropped into the car as well - but garlic, snap peas and spinach will get going today.  I've also picked up a third grape vine, a Himrod seedless white; that gives us a good collection of light and dark grapes for juice and snacking starting in about sixteen months.  I had been contemplating Interlaken grapes but none were available, and this is a cross-breed of the same lineage so who's to know?

The autumn of '16 will be a good one for several reasons, so the Canadice and Himrod (oops typed Nimrod, that won't be the last time I'm sure) will be a nice vintage for our table!  Assuming some Gewürtztraminer vines show up soon at the local shop, it could truly become a vintage and not just juice; we'll know more about that in ... maybe fourteen months :·)

The arrival of plants for the garden strongly suggests that the garden begin to take shape!  It's currently a pile of leaves atop some gravelly soil with a tiller in the garage.  The upcoming forecast is reasonably dry, so I'll need to start testing that tiller and get the soil amended.  For now though, several nice pots are doing nothing and the bag of potting soil is nearly full, so the true garden is under no huge rush.

In other news, I have finally put up a hummingbird feeder.  We own at least four, but at the old address they languished in the garage.  I stopped for some nectar mix at my local Ace and they had pre-made nectar (plus another feeder!) for under $5 - so it's now hanging up fairly high in the trees near our deck.  My sister usually sees hummers starting around St. Patrick's Day - but given the mild winter they might arrive early.  At long last, we are ready for them!

17 February 2015

the Grapings commence

We have decided to grow some grapes.  Some to eat, some to drink, maybe a few to ferment as well!  I thought of this soon after our first visit here, as the property has a fine slope to it.  It actually slopes east which may not be ideal, but the morning sun hammers it in the summer and less directly later in the day as well - so hopefully this will do.

I consulted with a local nursery and got some good advice.  Concord grapes have not been happy around here but Canadice is similar, hardier & has a more reddish hue; two of those went in the ground today.  The white seedless is still not settled but a longtime favorite will do for wine - Gewürztraminer, as fun to say as it is to drink :-!

The white varieties have not reached the area yet, so those will wait until the weekend.  It will be fun to dine and sip our own fresh juice, and if a few gallons of the Homely White turn out that's icing on the cake.

Time to get busy!!

08 February 2015

don't do this

Two weeks ago I was working on a few things in the yard.  I did something that I had done several times before - but not since October.  Seasons change whether or not I do, and the clever maneuvers of summer just aren't the same when days are cold and outdoor wood is slick.

It was a choice of walking around the house to the door and going out the slider, or just scrambling onto the deck like before.  I was nearly up, my belly-button was level with the deck.. then something slipped.  I suspect it was me!  I landed on the edge-up plywood I believe, then rolled gently into the yard, giggling at my foolishness.  The bruise came quickly but didn't develop into much.

Turns out that bruise was a decoy, as six days later I noted a huge bruise had formed on the Inside of my leg.  That grew and spread along with the tenderness, and finally my back recovered from shock and insisted it be heard.  The second week was spent icing then heating the leg, icing then chiropracting the back.  It's nearly all healed but color and tenderness remain.  This was a world-record bruising for me, about 1/3 of my leg showed some incorrect color.

And yet again this deck proves that it needs to be rebuilt.
 A deck that cannot be accessed from the yard is not a friendly deck - more so since the actual Front Door of our home is up there, inaccessible from the outside world!!  That's just silly and must change.  I have begun to design plans whereby some portions of the deck will be lowered a foot or more, making for more seating at the boundary, a cool spot for rope lighting, and the ability to partition the deck into lounge, cooking area, fire pit -- and oh yes, a way to reach the front door without climbing on a slick piece of edge-on plywood.

As to note #3 - yes I nearly fell again as I walked out today to take this photograph.  Don't tell my back.

01 February 2015


Superbowl Sunday was not super around here: Lórien ani were both in plenty of pain.  My leg is now psychadelic from last week's fall, and new pains have sprung up around it.  The local chiropractor (and I mean Local, he grew up next door!) worked me over a second time and I ache from that as well.  L's pains are intense and neurological, meaning no clear reasons like I have.  We watched most of the game on the 7" tablet that I'm using to write this, and other than buffering delays at times it worked quite well!

Next year we shall look back on all this & laugh..well not quite, the Seahawks played all year just to end the game badly And diss M. Lynch in doing so.  Oops..