[identity profile] gryphynshadow.livejournal.com
I went out into the garden today, to see that over the past three days the broccoli bloomed. Yep, little yellow flowers. So I've harvested 6 out of 9 plants, leaving three on one end that have been lagging behind all season. Those three have got little bitty heads on them, so I think I'll leave them a couple days more, but the six that I've harvested are, I think, done.

The poor brussels sprouts didn't produce at all for me. I think I planted them way too late. February first is really a bit after their ideal plant by time. I'll start some for the next winter season at the end of October, and see if I can overwinter them and get them to produce. I think it's just too hot for them.

I also need to find out what eats the (expletive deleted) worms that have been chewing them to bits. I left the brussels sprouts in the ground, even after it became obvious they weren't doing well, because I wanted the worms to eat them, instead of my broccolis. Sadly, the worms have finally found the broccoli, and gone to town on them. :(

In other news, the tomato seedlings I planted out (was it two weeks ago?) are doing well. I've noticed that the ones in the ground are noticeably taller and healthier looking than the ones in the earth boxes. Phooey. I think it's the microorganisms in the soil, possibly earthworms, too. The earthboxes don't have worms, the soil is different in them... Sigh. I've got one Arkansas Traveler in a box, and one in the ground, and the ground one is a good two inches taller already.

I think I may start a couple more tomatoes, for an extended harvest (and cause I like tomatoes.) Besides, both my Rutger's tomatoes are in a box, and I soo want some to eat! I'm sure they'll produce, I just feel greedy.

Oh, I know, I'll make some compost tea! With molasses and apple cider vinegar. mmm. Plant yummies.

Waiting for me to make room for them are 6 okra plants, 6 (or 12, if I don't thin them) zucchinis, a basil, a marjoram, and an oregano. I need to pick up a pot for my lemon thyme (I already know better than to try to grow thyme outside). Also coming along, I started some zucchini seeds last week, and they're poking up too. Yay!

It occurs to me to wonder where I think I'm going to stick all these plants...
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
We have had a busy week, (there are two toddlers jumping on my bed as we speak, and [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow  is off to pick up the 5 year olds from school) but we haven't been entirely idle, just not out in the yard.

I found and purchased a cold water bath, tongs, and a ton of mason jars along with some rings and lids off of Craigslist. This involved listing what the lady had for Miss J, having her look them up on the internet, proclaim us interested and then contacting the woman to arrange to goink her canning stuff. Our dining room has a big pile of boxes in it now, and eventually we are going to have to figure out where to store them. We don't need them now of course, but I'm told that at the prices one can pay for canning supplies, keeping an eye out now is a good thing. :)

Miss J has been working her laptop into a lather, visiting a permaculture forum, finding sources of heirloom seeds, and I don't even know what else. She's been happy as a pig in manure, so one assumes she is learning nifty things and lusting seeds and will remain content until next weekend when we go to put in the chicken pen.

The plants she put in are doing well (I'll try to add a picture when I'm not supervising bouncy children). The red onions are happy, though the yellow seem to be less enthusiastic. The broccoli is getting taller, we have a....something...growing from a seed that J thinks may be a pumpkin and is therefore letting get large enough to be identified before removing or relocating. The brussels sprouts seem less excited, but haven't died either, so that's ok. And we've quite a bit of rain, so the compost is no longer pathetically dry.

I don't have an update on the strawberries, believe it or not I haven't been over there and I don't remember if J gave me an update on those.

It was suggested (via internet searches) that to jump start our compost pile (one just needed water and is heating up now, but the other is being stubborn) one should save human urine. This led to an interesting realization that I actually don't know if I can do that. I'm on blood-to-brain barrier crossing drugs. I know they pass into breast milk, but I don't know if they would pass into other bodily fluids, and until we do some research, we can't risk contaminating the areas ground water with my partially processed pharmaceuticals. Hey, it's possible I'm a bio-hazard! wee!

This conversation came on the heels of an online discussions with [livejournal.com profile] laughingturtle  about humanure and composting toilets. Now, I personally think it's despicable and gross that we use drinking water to remove waste from our homes. I fully intend to install a humanure toilet in my home at some point. I also am realistic enough to say that sometimes one has to compromise one's ideals to compensate for living in the suburbs and not the country. When I do convert one of our bathrooms, I intend to leave the original plumbing (minus the toilet) in place, use a composting bin that allows me to capture the compost 'tea' for disposal down the remaining black-water toilet, and NOT use the resulting compost on our edibles, only on the ornamental sections of our garden. After all, what is the point of organic gardening if I then put drugs on it? Plus, of course, there is the issue of "if we don't do everything safely, how do we expect the movement to get outdated laws about grey-water and humanure and other things overturned"? I firmly believe everything we do has to be to a level that I would be willing to have it put in the paper for local lawmakers to use in making their decisions. If my lot is an example of why permaculture and all it's attendant projects should be legal, I'm doing it right. :)

The modern day permaculturist has some interesting conundrums to deal with.
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Progress is slow so far, but we have accomplished a few things. Since they happened before we started the blog, let me catch you up. :)

We have put in a compost pile. When I say "we" in this instance, what I mean is that I helped weed to provide things for the compost pile and [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow  did all the rest of the work. There was some confusion for a while as to why it wasn't heating up (the germinating pumpkin seeds in the middle were sort of a clue we were doing something wrong). But G got on the internet and discovered that one of our problems is that (duh!) bone dry stuff does not rot. She has begun watering it, and we are getting some heat in one, though nothing in the other. Still not sure what the problem is there.

compost-stage one

We also (and again, I mostly mean her, I bought the plants though! lol) planted three strawberry plants,  a row of broccoli, and a row of brussels sprouts on the south side of the house. Then, with some help from the visiting [livejournal.com profile] errantember , we (and I actually do mean "we" this time) put in three Earth Boxes worth of onions. The Earth boxes are left over from my container gardening era before I had a capable human to live with and could contemplate other methods of growing food. I've had good luck with them in the past, but this will be the first time I've tried them without their plastic cover (which I don't have any more of now) so I'm curious to see if they perform as well as they did with all their intended pieces.

brussels sprouts & broccoli, stage oneonions-stage onestrawberries-stage one

Oh, the red thing in the photo? That's the painted stump from one of the four trees we had removed before we installed the privacy fence.

So that's where we stand right now; couple of rows of plants put in at the tail end of the recommended planting season, a stubbornly cool compost pile, and big ideas!

The next step will be putting in the chicken pen.....


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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011



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