Wednesday, March 23, 2011

go vernal

Vernal pools are cool, we have serveral on the property here and I am looking forward to putting on the rubber boots and grabbing my net this weekend for some exploration.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mary, Mary, quite contrary...

How will my garden grow?
I can't wait to see!
The last of the seeds arrived yesterday, in record time, too! I placed both orders on Thursday and they both arrived yesterday, one coming from CT and one from MI... quite different distances! I don't know how, but I am grateful!
I have them all sorted out, of course. I am ready for planting today! I may have to bring the seed trays in later this week, when it might SNOW. Dammit, snow, can't you see we are done with you?!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thank you, Mother

I am THRILLED!!!! I saved seeds from my Tigger melons last season and they are viable! Sprouted and growing as I type! Considering that a packet of 25 seeds costs $3.50... well, it's incredbly exciting to me that I can buy one packet of seeds and then be able to produce melons and then viable seeds year after year. $3.50 can provide gorgeous, fragrant melons for years... YEARS!
Think of the possibilties... I spent $120 on seed this year. That $120 could potentially feed my family fresh, organic veg (and make me some serious $$$$) for years to come. I am in awe of what mother nature has provided me. I am in awe and oh so grateful.

Here are some facts about Tigger Melons:
The Tigger Melon is an open-pollinated melon that is among a full spectrum of heirloom varieties that have not seen any hybridization or commercialization as netted melons and watermelons have. It has little exposure to the commercial market and is considered a farmers market melon. Its heirloom status makes it vulnerable to pests and disease, allowing for typically minimal yields.

A petite heirloom melon, the tigger's smooth rind has vertical variegations of rust orange and yellow. The melon's creamy, off-white flesh is very aromatic, juicy and subtly sweet. Average tigger melons weigh a modest one pound.

Slice tigger melons in half, remove seeds and fill with cut, fresh fruit, then serve as an edible bowl. Puree tigger and strain to remove the juice from the pulp; add sugar and agar agar, pour into a container, chill until set, then slice and serve as gelatin. Chop melon and combine with sugar and pectin in a saucepan, then cook until thickened pour jam into jars. Tigger melons will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

The tigger melon was originally discovered in Armenia. Like most melon varieties it prefers warm to hot growing days of summer in temperate and Mediterranean regions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish-American and proud of it!

(We don't talk much about the French-Canadian side, shhhhh)
Dinner tonite... Corned Beef and Cabbage, of course! And, a nice Guiness to wash it all down.... YUM!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Veg list 2011

This is the list of veg that I will be growing for the 2011 season. Seeds have been started and the smell of soil is in the air again! The big office and greenhouse cleaning is complete and there is a faint soil stain on my fingertips today. Does it get better than this? Yep, every day it does.
Dragon Tongue

Golden Wax
Kentucky Wonder
Lazy Wife
Romanesco Italia
Early Wonder
Couer De Boeuf Des Vertus
Mammoth Red Rock
Snowball Self Blanching
Shin Kuroda
Cosmic Purple
Early Russian
Marketmore 76
Mexican Sour Gherkin
Telegraph Improved
Thai White Ribbed
Little Fingers
Thai Round Green Petch Parisa
Bleu De Solaise
Classic Mesclun Mix
Salad Bowl
Black Seeded Simpson
Flat of Italy
White Lisbon Bunching
Burgundy Red
Sugar Ann
Sugar Snap
Golden Sweet
Blue Podded
Mini Red Bell

Thai Red Chili
California Wonder
Golden Marconi
French Breakfast
Saxa 2
Purple Plum
Bloomsdale Long Standing
Merlo Nero
Crookneck Early Golden Summer
White Scallop
Zuchini Black Beauty
Black Futsu
Waltham Butternut
Marina Di Chioggia
Yellow Pear
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge

Sungold Select II
Black Cherry
Violet Jasper
Chadwick Cherry

Alot, huh? That list doesn't include herbs and flowers because I am not done picking out seeds for them yet. The veg that I chose this year is all heirloom, mostly purchased from Baker Creek Seed Co. The very best of the best. I may still add to the list if I come across some cool plants somewhere. The only place I can really imagine that happening is at Fiske Gardens... the ONLY place I have found any plants worth buying within 50 miles. Good stuff, and if you're lucky, you might get some gardening advice from a Mass Hort hero.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.
[Ivy Baker Priest]

Fine design

Hudson Furniture has absolutely the most wonderful sconces I have found! (and, I've been looking for a year or more). These will be perfect here! Put me down for 8!
Make sure you check out the furniture, too. Breathtaking!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

crunchy guitars

I heard Pantera as bumper music on NPR this weekend! Three cheers for diversity!
I do not believe our government needs to continue to fund NPR in any capacity. PBS, now that's a different story all together. There are children who get the ONLY bit of good in their lives from Sesame Street and it's colleagues. NPR is radio, listened to by mostly white, mostly affluent, college educated adults. Two very different entities and I wish folks would separate the two.
NPR already manages to raise 90% of it's funding, so I think it won't be too difficult to raise that other 10%. I'll start giving myself to protect my daily background noise! NPR is a huge part of my life, but I don't believe it's the US government's responsibility to pay for it, especially when programs that feed the hungry and keep the elderly warm are at stake.
Why is it so hard to see that we need to cut the salaries of EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN to fit more averagely into the realm of their constituents' salaries so that they can make better choices when passing laws that affect us all!
Come one people, I'm not that smart... and even I know better.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We used magic markers... kids these days have other options. Such a fun idea! So many other cool things on this site, too, that I overheated my computer browsing through.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

They want it!

Last Nick, around Midnight, we got a panicked call from Nick. Apparently, instead of hanging out at his buddy's house like he had told us, he had gone to a party in Holden where the parents were away and the kids had alcohol. His panic was justified, as he was standing in between to police officers at the time.
I pull up to the house where there are 4 local and two state police cars and not one, but TWO ambulances. My heart sank. Poor stupid kids. Once I approach the driveway, I am told that the kids who didn't get arrested are inside waiting to be released. Oh, good, glad I'm wearing my good pajamas. Closer to the door, I can hear teenage girls wailing and sobbing.
"What is your child's name, Ma'am?"
"Nicholas the fool"
He walks slowly toward the door, his neck a good half foot below his shoulders at this point. I ask the officer what exactly happened. It's simple: parent's in Chicago, underage drinking party.
"Thank you, have a good night." (that was Nick, I was speechless.)
I'm calm in these kind of situations. Spill something and not clean it up and I am likely to yell and stomp. Big stuff, for some reason, does not rile me.
We talk. His breath is booze. I ask what he drank. A Mike's hard and some UV blue vodka, "which was nasty by the way". I give him a mint, he thanks me for not killing him yet. We talked calmly about the party, how his good friends has told him not to go, how he just wanted to go to one of the parties he hears about on Monday mornings. He tells me who was there, who got arrested, and who was in what kind of trouble. I let him know he will be enjoying hard labor without parole for a time frame undetermined. Could be forever. We'll see how the hard labor goes.
The one thing that bothers me about this whole thing is not that my kid drank and got in trouble. It's his first offense and it's expected. The thing that really gets me is one girl sobbing on the couch when I arrived at the party house. Nick's friend, we'll call her Bulia. She was just sitting there, with her hands in her lap, quietly sobbing. When Nick and I talked about it, he told me that she was upset because her mother wasn't. Her mother wasn't mad, or disappointed or bothered at all. Every kid's dream, right? "Cool" parents who don't mind when you screw up.
I know so much about this girl and it kills me that her parents don't seem to find any of it alarming. She's cutting herself, sending nude pics by text to her "friends", and now has been told that it is ok to drink.
I feel proud of my choices as a parent. I'm not cool, and I'm good with that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

More seeds are on the way

From the first time I laid my eyes on the Baker Creek Seed Catalog, I have been in love. The brilliant photos and old time world varieties of veg seeds. Good god, a garden goddesses dream come true!
Last year, I grew their seed for the first time... and now, I am not only in love, but a loyal and willing follower of the BC Seed Co.
Second order of the season placed today, featuring the marvel of Romanesca Brocoli.
Pretty sexy for a vegetable, don't you think? I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
The greenhouse is warming up and calling my name...