Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Junk Mail

Having four people living in one house we seem to have a constant stack of mail on the kitchen table that needs sorting. Well, we used to have a stack ...

... now we have this!

Last week was pretty laid back at our house, with few responsibilities taking me away from home, so I decided to build a mail sorting station. After a half hour of sketching and determining cut sizes I was ready for a trip to the hardware store to pick up a few pieces of hardware and some plywood. I got home from the store at noon; by 3pm the unit was assembled. Once assembled the entire surface was coated with stain (stain color name: driftwood) and two hooks were attached after the stain dried. 

The next morning I brought it inside, hung it and was able to clear the table instantly. Everyone gets their own cubbie, a spot to hang their keys, and theirs even a little shelf to display some of my favorite bud vases. It's so nice to be able to grab the mail, walk in the door, toss it in a basket, and have a clear table ready for dinner.

Next project ... transplanting my 4" cucumber plant seedlings.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Seeds I Sew ...

Well, I am proud to announce it's officially in the works! After months of reading, planning and reading some more our vegetable garden has been started. The garden plot was sectioned out in the back yard, seeds were purchased from Johannsen's Greenhouse and a few lucky seeds made their way into the soil of a starter tray.

I have to admit, throughout the years I've become a bit of a produce snob. No, better yet, I've begun to realize and appreciate the advantages of locally grown, organic produce. There is something so special about biting into a sun-warmed tomato plucked from the vine in your garden or mincing a clove of garlic you harvested at the CSA farm. In the past few years, tomatoes are just about the only vegetable I've been able to grow for myself in my yard-less city apartments. Well, as it turns out, my housing has changed to my advantage and I now have a rather nice sized back yard in which to start a garden. (At this point I would be remiss if I didn't throw in a HUGE thank you to my boyfriend and his brother. They have graciously allowed me to take almost-complete control of our yard.)

I tend to be a bit of an over-achiever, commonly biting off more then I can chew. Our garden will be no different and will be filled with a large asortment of different vegetables and flowers (not to mention I plan to make a paver circle for our fire-pit/garden dining area). Mostly all of the seeds I purchased were from Botanical Interest and consisted of mostly heirloom seeds and even a few varieties of heirloom organic seeds. Some of them had such interesting names I couldn't resist sharing them ...

  • Scarlet Nantes Carrot (Heirloom Organic)
  • Musquee de Povence (Heirloom French Pumpkin)
  • Sugar Baby Watermelon (Heirloom Organic)
  • Parris Island Romaine (Heirloom Organic)
  • Zea Mays
  • Moonflower
  • Mammoth Russian Sunflower (Heirloom Organic ... however, these are just for the birds to munch on)
  • Flash Blend Sunflowers (Heirloom Organic)
  • Split Personality Morning Glory (My favorite variety)
  • San Marzano Tomato (Organic)
  • Sugar Sweetie Cherry Tomato (Organic)
  • Spacemaster Cucumbers
  • Crackerjack Marigold
  • We'll also be growing butternut squash, basil, sweet corn and a few others
It's still to early to sew most of the seeds in the garden (or even till the soil for that matter). The tomatoes, peppers, basil and marigolds were all started in seed-starting trays last week, the rest of the vegetables not seeing soil for at least another 3 or 4 weeks. For after all, I live in Wisconsin and you never know when it will snow or frost. (It snowed today; big, slushy, sideways flying flakes of snow.)  Better to be safe then sorry!