Dieffenbachia, also known as Dumb Cane, also known as Mother In Law Plant (not sure if there is a joke or insinuation in there somewhere) have needle like calcium oxolate crystals called Raphides. I don’t really know that licking it would be that bad but […]
Meanwhile, back at the lab...
I read somewhere today that we should name a 5th season in Calgary, because it’s so unbelievably nice out. I won’t go into details because I forget most of them already but I do remember that I was all “nuh-uh” to their claim that this is anything other than normal for February. I remember clearly the year we moved here, 1984; first week of February I was outside, in my shorts washing the car with my Dad. Maybe it isn’t totally normal but it has happened. It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I want to plant something right f-ing now.
I had the brilliant idea the other day to defy Mother Nature and build a cold frame on the deck. This has quickly moved on to a small greenhouse. I keep thinking of reasons why in order to justify it and then I remember we’re grown ups and we can grow tomatoes on our deck if we want to. At least in theory. It may not get enough light to support tomatoes but we’ll see. There are a few steps to work out… Like where to get the material for as little Cha-ching as possible.
We’ve mostly convinced ourselves that we can move at the end of May. Yikes. So, not only are we moving, we’re moving whatever we have growing straight into our new garden wherever that may be. That means a few things. First, I have to plan for an unseen site for our garden. This isn’t a HUGE deal because yard/garden space is one of the main things we’re looking for in a new place. Garage, and garden space. I’m open to gardening ON the garage if need be. That probably won’t happen.
Second, greenhouse needs to be easily dismantled and re… mantled. I know, reassembled, it’s funny. Whatever.
It will probably be made out of pipe and poly. If I can find recycled materials I will. But if not this will be used in the same capacity for years to come and if not it will be used for something else like irrigating beds etc. Hmm. We also need a giant tarp that we can cover it with when it does get cold overnight. Maybe old quilts or afgans covered with more clear poly? It’s only a thing because it isn’t in the backyard, it’s off the front side of the house and the main road goes right by, the landlords see the house all the time. I have a hard enough time covering things with tarps in the back yard. I just don’t like it. I’m a tarp snob. Shame on me. So yeah. Quilts. Sally Anne will have some. I’ll need a bunch…
I’ve completely lost track. I’m off to doodle our greenhouse. If I draw it chances are WAY better it might happen. I’m sure of it.
There is nothing of value in this post. Just thoughts. Sorry…
It’s a Thrip!
I was watering the jungle today and noticed the big slip we cut off of Sweet Potato Experiment #1 had more action than usual happening on it’s leaves. Tiny roundish black spots which I’m sure are eggs and 1mm (if that) squirmers, some leaves with one and others covered.
I’m sure I remember seeing these when I was younger but I didn’t have my super cool olloclip zoom lens or an iPhone then… Probably a good thing. I barely held it together trying to take the picture. Squirmy. YUCK.
I’m going to go searching for an id and figure out if soapy water is enough because there are A LOT. If you know what it is please let me know in the comments! Thanks!
Composting. Hmpf. I’m all over teaching people to do it. However, I regularly practice, “do as I say not as I do”. One of those self improvement things I need to work on maybe.
I spent a week in Kaslo, BC about 5 years ago. I loved it. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the fact that the people who owned the cabins were recyclers & composters. They’d been doing it for years already. It seemed like such a simple process I had no idea why it wasn’t common practice everywhere I went. From that moment forward I was going to be the best recycler and composter ever. Pfft.
Living in a condo at the time the idea of composting seemed pointless, we didn’t have a garden planted for years. I know better now. I get it now – well, parts of it.
Skip forward; now living in a bungalow with a garden space, and obsessed with Permaculture and being a “Steward of the Earth”. I better get that bin going. I use a huge amount of veggies when I cook so I could get that thing going in a matter of days! Right?
We agreed that we’d make a bin out of the materials we’re getting from the broken down stage at the community hall (also practicing the art of asking – or asking Jacob to ask when I’m being a chicken). So we have that worked out. I found a container that was big enough to hold a couple of days veg waste in the meantime. Since it was an experiment I figured I would leave it out and see what happened. After a couple of days there was no smell, no critters, just some veg ready to get tossed. Cool. We agreed that we needed a bigger “meantime” container, and why should we buy a fancy bin for garbage?! So it seemed to make sense that we used the air-tight-ish cat litter containers that we’d kept because they are solid with a lid and handle and perfect just for such an occasion.
It’s funny to me that with all of these courses I’m taking online and the reading I’m doing I never thought to actually READ about composting before I got started. It seemed like such an easy process. You keep all of the organic waste that hasn’t been cooked (or meat – no meat in home sized composting – it attracts critters) in a bucket, then when it’s full you mix it in the big bin with some newspaper or leaves and let it rot away and turn into amazing soil. (insert car crash sound here!)
STOP. The bucket did a great job of hiding any potential smell. Until Jacob opened it to throw in the coffee grounds after a day. It reminded me of the time I accidentally used the bottle of ammonia on the tub instead of the regular cleaner. Like burning nostril hairs smell. This is where I decided some reading might be useful. Off to the forums I go!
Turns out we have created an anaerobic state. That is, one without air. If it smells, that means its decomposing at least… That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Point is, it’s all moldy and smells of ammonia and I’m learning about composting today! Progress at it’s best.
In case there was ever a question as to where my love for Mother Earth came from, we can look at these examples. Kids, in the late 70’s I lived in a lovely little Southern Manitoba prairie town called Melita. My mom grew up there. It’s one of those places full of beautiful old houses and trees that make giant arches for you to walk under, down the middle of the road because if there is any traffic they’re driving a respectable speed. I don’t know if that’s still the case… I hope so.
I went looking for a picture of my Grandma’s garden today (she lived in a different lovely little town in South Saskatchewan) and found a few extras that I’d completely forgotten about. I think the tree pictures offer a fairly decent explanation of why I get so wound up when I see giant healthy trees fall to the ground. These ones were in my Grandma Madeline’s yard. At least I think that’s them.
I don’t remember leaping from 8 feet up in our yard into the leaves.
Our yard had all the grass on the front and the same size of garden in the back. That’s how I remember it anyway. I need to find more pictures. I can’t fault my Dad too much for fertilizing like a mad man. He’s in his happy boots! There were trees all around. What a great place to grow up.
Getting back to Grandma Vylet’s garden, let me tell you – I can only hope to achieve the awesomeness of this garden. I remember a rock garden in Melita and lots of trees and grass, but the one in Rockglen, SK is the one that I think of when the word garden enters my head. Amazing. There was corn, potatoes, peas, carrots, beans, flowers, everything. Spectacular.
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