March 27, 2013

Let the Garden Begin . . .

On Sunday, March 24, in the year 2013, Annie and I bought some seeds. 

Here they are . . .
(Some seeds from Menards)
We also bought that tray thing and some dirt, but the seeds are more interesting. We're planning on turning the southernmost section of our backyard into a garden, and we thought we'd give our plants a little head start. Apparently the last frost date for St. Paul is around May 15th, and these transplant plants are supposed to be started 7-8 weeks before that date. Still, I'm a little wary of planting the seeds considering our colder than average spring.

But we still did it anyway.
(The micro greenhouse doing it's thang.)
I think this would be a good picture for one of those motivational posters. Underneath it would be the line, "Confidence: starting a garden when it's still below freezing outside." Another option would be, "Water Bottles: they keep cats away from plants."

Here's a map of what we planted in our tiny greenhouse . . .

(Plant layout)
There are only so many plants you can start in containers. We want to try several other varieties in the backyard, but most simply get sown directly into the earth, so we'll have to wait for spring. It's supposed to be 50 and rainy on Saturday, so hopefully that helps get rid of some of the snow. We'll probably end up doing a lot of the herbs in containers on the patio and possibly in the flower box that's on our porch, so that should leave a good amount of space in the backyard for peppers and tomatoes and kohlrabi and kale and whatever else. Plus, we got the hops. Now all we need is a chicken coop and we'd be self sustained. 

Anyway, it's just a start. Only time will tell how green our thumbs truly are. 

Here are a few random photos just for the heck of it. 
(I made a cake the other day. When I added the eggs to some oil and h20, I thought it looked cool, so I took a picture.)

(Here's the cake with a layer of caramel on top.)

(Here's the cake again, after the party . . .)

(Leo staying clear of the unfamiliar gardening equipment)

(This is the background on the mac right now)

March 15, 2013

Time To Build An Ark . . .

There was a puddle forming on our patio—I blinked and then it was a lake. Soon I fear it will be a sea and after that it's only a few gallons away from ocean status. Below is a photo of our water troubles.
(Here's a sea even Moses wouldn't be able to part)

This is the first spring in our new home, so we're still discovering how the backyard handles the melting snow. So far, it hasn't done that well. Since the temperature keeps going up and dropping, the snow keeps melting into water and then freezing into a skating rink. On the plus side, I just got my ice skates back from my parents (ba-da-bump!). 

(You need a canoe to get to the garage)
This has been an above average year for winter precipitation, so hopefully it's not as bad next winter. Also, after the first big snowfall, we didn't fully shovel the patio, so maybe it would help if the snowbank we have is a little further back in the yard. Although I'm thinking the patio is the low point, so either way if we get a lot of snow, we're probably screwed.

(You can see Lake Itasca up near the garage. It feed's the Mississippi and our patio)
 I added the picture above to highlight our flow problem. All the snow and water and ice in the backyard meander down our walking path toward our patio. The one positive thing is the water seems to be pooling on the corner of the patio away from the house, so thus far we haven't noticed any water in the basement. My brother in law looked at the photo's and had some suggestions that might help reduce the H20 problem, but those will have to wait until spring. 

(Just threw this photo in to be artsy)
I added the above photo for two reasons. One, it shows how I used the recycling bins to jump to the ice and walk to the garage, but mainly I added this photo because I was messing around with photoshop and wanted to add it to the blog. The way I made it was by pasting the same image over a photoshop document twice. I turned the top layer to black and white, then simply erased the puddle, revealing the color copy below. It adds a cool look. 

Anyway, I don't hate the snow as much as most people, but I am excited for it to melt. When the snow leaves it means garden season is almost upon us. Can you say Bok Choy!?