Monday, March 26, 2012

More Foundational Garden Work

As the warm weather stayed, we were able to work more outside on the foundational and structural part of the gardens...The actual planting, for the most part won't happen until May, but so much can be done to prepare.

A neighbor offered to drop off mulch...a pickup truck full, so we were able to decide where beds would go and develop more of the form of the paths and design of the garden.  Basically, we put 6+ inches of mulch on the previously laid cardboard, newspaper and mulch and then also laid out cardboard and newspaper to form new beds. 

We also bought chain to put across the old clothesline, so when the concord grapes and kiwi vines arrive, they will have a place to grow.
Where our fruit vines will grow

Four of the beds have since been planted with four different variety of peas to restore the nitrogen to the soil before we plant more veggies in May.

With each step, and each project, we make observations and make adjustments to the plan. The fruit and nut trees are ordered, the mints have arrived and are waiting inside and the culinary and medicinal herb seeds have arrived. 

Next, the herb garden! 

One of the things I enjoy most is telling people what we will be growing this year, or trying to, as everything is an experiment. The usual question is "How much land do you own?" and I answer 100x50 - but we are only using about 40x40 right now - and there are still huge open spaces! It doesn't take much to grow some food, everyone can do it. 

One last thing I would like to share is that the flower bulbs I planted just before the October snowstorm are starting to come up! It's pretty much a miracle to me. Plants want to grow! =)

Solar Lantern

When Christmas was over and we took down the tree, I didn't want to put away the solar lights, so I came up with this idea to use a lantern we had to make a solar night light.  That's what I said, anyway, but the truth is that I love the lights of the holidays and this is a manageable and no expense way to keep the lights all year!

They are just one 100 bulb set of led lights that recharge with the sunlight (the solar charger sits on the window sill just behind the lantern) or if it's a darker day, I put a rechargeable battery in that will last for 2-3 days. It makes a great night light and I plan to make a few more for the rest of the house. 

This is such a fun way to save money...unplug all the night lights and shut off the lights at night, it will make a difference with your electric bill, but I think it will make a bigger difference with your attitude. To me, it is like being in a fort with a flashlight when I was young.

When we wake up at night to take the dog out, it makes me smile to see these lights. Really, that is what matters more than saving money, more than anything...finding and surrounding ourselves with the little things that make us smile, and keep our hearts young. 

What does that for you?