Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Library

I am re-addicted to the public library. I've gone twice this week, and I keep returning to my computer to place holds on books as I hear about that. I continue to remind myself that I can buy any book that I read and fall in love with; mostly I don't want to own them, I want to savor them and then give them back. (Or, I skim them, don't like them, and return them. Okay either way.)

I did make that giant spinach salad yesterday, and I brought some to my parents as well to share it for lunch. I had it for lunch AND dinner yesterday, with leftovers for lunch today. I never do that, usually choosing diversity over common sense, but I'm glad I did it. We had Jenny & Zoe over for lunch, so I supplemented with grilled cheese sandwiches made on home-made bread. I have learned that Tillamook cheese is milked and processed in Tillamook, OR, which is local enough for me (the 100 mile rule is too restrictive, in my opinion, and Tillamook is maybe 200 miles from here), and their cows aren't treated with growth hormones, which is REALLY important to me. It's not organice, but it's closer to what I want....and cheap. At Costco, for the big size, it's $2.60/pound, which is a great deal.

See, I CAN be taught. And this doesn't need to be restrictive...I'm eating better than ever.

I'm struggling with the vegetable garden, though. I am not a natural gardener; as a matter of fact, if anything, I have a red thumb, not a green one. This is going to be a stretch. How do I do tomato starts, for example? Can I do them in egg cartons or do they need something bigger? Should I be saving yogurt containers etc to grow them? I am reading books that are aimed at someone who has a higher base-level knowledge than I do; I need to find more beginner stuff. I know that crops are seasonal, and I can plan lettuce for spring harvest, tomatoes for summer harvest, and kale for winter harvest (I've learned that much), but I don't know when each has to be planted, and what can share a garden bed. Can I plant kale when the tomatoes die, in the same spot? How do I get the maximum crop from the smallest amount of space? And how do I figure out issues of sun/shade for each? Not questions of great intellect, but I'm realizing that i lack this simple knowledge. I'm also trying to learn about how much compost/worm bin material to use. Can I use only compost and not purchased fertilizer? We might need another worm bin, as our two bins won't nearly cover what I'd like to do (they're not that big).

I'd like to grow:
strawberries
blueberries
lettuce
tomatoes
zuchinni
pumpkins (probably the baking variety, something like a sugar pumpkin)
broccoli
carrots
onions
potatoes
garlic
kale
rhubarb
....and maybe corn.

We have two beds: the back raised bed, which is a bit shady but has grown tomatoes before so it's not too bad on one half; and the to-be-created bed in the front yard, which gets better sun. In the back, I envision the potatoes, pumpkins, rhubarb, and zuchinni; in the front I imagine all of the other stuff.

Now, off for errands; Tessa is at preschool.

1 comment:

Debra said...

Great work, you, on all the changes. I found Kingsolver's book to be pretty inspiritional, too. I did square foot gardening last year for great success in my 3beds, there is info here: http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
and here: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/04/21/an-introduction-to-square-foot-gardening/
Good luck, I will check it out when I am in your hood again!