Monday, May 24, 2010

Hard Freeze

So, the big news around here for the last few days, has been the huge north pacific storm beating us up (we got some wind gusts as high as 70mph), followed by four nights of hard freezes below 30 degrees.

Yeah, we're a few days from June, and it hit 26 in my yard last night. I got up and looked out at my yard, and it was entirely frost. Looked like I'd sprinkled the thing with white pepper.

Of course it's still mid-high 70s during the day, and it should be in the 80s in a week or two; it's not unpleasant at all during the day... but that doesnt stop people from complaining.

Oh and YAY it's not 105 here today... I DON'T miss Arizona whatsoever. 

The farmers and gardners, I'll grant, have a valid complaint. This is going to be a bad year for crops in north Idaho. But everybody else...

You know what a good hard freeze a few nights in a row means? All those bugs that lay eggs in standing water will be DRAMATICALLY reduced this summer.

I can live with a few cold nights, if it means way less skeeters in July and August.

Cross posted to AnarchAngel

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adventures in Transplanting

I've never had what you could call a "green thumb".

Granted, I've never really tried either.

Desert Arizona is not the most amenable growing climate after all. My brother Tim was/is able to coax anything out of the soil, but I never really tried. Well, other than that one time after I moved back in with my parents when, fresh with knowledge from my job at the arboretum, I planted quite a few transplants in the back yard.

Tim took it over shortly after and my desert penstemons and Tombstone roses were replaced with melons and grape vines. I'd only been gone three days, on a custody change trip to Vancouver.

Yes I'm still pissed, why do you ask?

Anyway, just because opportunity never really knocked doesn't mean I don't drool over seed catalogs and seedlings. If anything really stopped me before, it was the fact that most of what I wanted to grow doesn't really do well in Zone 9.

When we originally started our search for a new place to live (long story, we'll eventually get around to it) one of my primary criteria involved being able to grow what I wanted to grow. Apples. Berries. Nuts. Grains. Peaches. Cherries.

Every time I pass the nursery on Hwy 95 that sells huckleberry plants I want to pull in and buy a dozen. Even though we're renting and I can't really plant ANYTHING that involves marring the gorgeous lawn.

However, the property has a greenhouse and the greenhouse is all mine.

After 2 1/2 weeks of farmer's markets, I've finally gotten all the seedlings I want for the greenhouse. All started locally, all cheap as hell, all free from sales tax. All easily transplantable when we move, and all more than happy to be in the greenhouse.

The girls and I spent part of this afternoon weeding and planting and we're all excited to see what comes of our plants.

We ended up with 2 each of:

Brandywine Tomato

Tommy Toe Tomato

Glacier Tomato

Giant Thai Pepper

Cyklon Pepper

Fish Pepper

Habanero Pepper

Hopefully this summer we'll end up with plenty of ripe tomatoes and hot peppers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Notes From the Weekend

The girls and I visited the Farmer's Market for opening day on Saturday. The weather's been a little wonky, so no produce quite yet. However, we discovered "free-range, all-natural eggs". I couldn't care less about the free-range part, but I'm all over grain and insect fed eggs, especially for only slightly more than grocery store prices. They're wonderful! The kids have already run us out of our first batch of hard boiled eggs.

We received our first cord of firewood Saturday as well. Bargained for and delivered by a 17 year old with an old Chevy truck (that he bought himself no less) who'd spent the night before splitting the seasoned wood. Tamarack, white pine, white birch. Chris spent quite a bit of time talking with the kid, as he is considering entering the Air Force. Good-hearted, well-spoken, intelligent kid. Oh, and evidently splitting wood is REALLY good for forming muscle. That kid will have no problem passing PT.

This weekend we also discovered that Tamarack does indeed burn very hot, hot enough to raise the temperature of the house 40 degrees above outside temp without really trying. Oh, and loft master bedrooms are really efficient at trapping that heat, for good or ill.