Monday, January 2, 2012

New year, new tasks

I used to wonder why so many farming stories included work on irrigation systems. Apparently, they were all true to life, because they require upkeep -- even our tiny backyard system does. Fortunately, I have competent farm help. Eric fixed the two broken places AND extended the one that no longer reached the reduced bed. Taz helped. A lot.

(Apparently a plumber's job list is never done. I hear him plunging the bathroom sink right now. What a great guy.)

Some of the volunteers I don't even remember planting, like this mustardy thing. I don't like these; they're too spicy for me. Maybe the chickens will.

Nasturtiums are easily the most giving and re-giving plant. Although I asked Ellie not to plant them, because they're invasive, she did. . . and I'm pulling them from the pathway already. And yes, I know they're edible. . . just not high on my list of "yummies."

Red Russian kale volunteers big enough to make up a dinner this week. Terrific. They are so much bigger than the lettuce I actually seeded at about the same time. Just goes to show that when they get to do their own thing, in my yard at least, they're generally very happy.

Cilantro Pathway furnished enough for a pot of Red Lentil and Lime soup this afternoon. Again, when I keep my hands off, things seem to go really well.

Sarafina even put in some time giving the asparagus a haircut. There were already some spear-like shoots. Hopefully this will tell it that it's winter and it should think about a spring resurgence.

Another sign of the times is my children risking their life and limbs to get the Christmas tree in the green bin. I think this picture is after it served as a sled down the front steps a number of times.

All that's left for this week is to draw the garden plan, taking into account where the already-sprouting seedlings will go, and then plant the rest. Fun times.


Mr. H. said...

Not the irrigation, anything but the irrigation.:( Every spring my least favorite task is getting the water system up and running...always full of leaks in need of repair.

Nice kale, that's what I like about the Russian variety always more than willing to volunteer itself for a meal or two.:) Hope you have a wonderful 2012.

Erin said...

Your nasturtiums made me laugh because I can't get them to grow here to save my life LOL! Mine are just long, all stem and no leaves or lame flowers :)

kitsapFG said...

I used to have hollyhocks in a flower garden generally close to my vegetable garden when I lived and gardened in central Washington state (hot and dry) and they would seed and take over everything! They have a nasty deep tap root that is about impossible to actually pull up so they were monstrously invasive! What a pain they were!

Your garden projects look like they are coming along nicely. I hope to use more soaker hoses on the beds in 2012 to reduce my watering efforts as much as possible. That is assuming of course that we have any kind of summer in 2012 - I hardly irrigated at all in 2011 due to the abnormally cool summer we had.

Michelle said...

Irrigation, what a blessing that I curse all the time! My garden would be impossible without it, but it is a pain to maintain. I've got gopher damage on one line that I need to repair so that I can turn it back on. It's been so dry lately that I've got all the rest of the system running on the summer schedule. Summer, ha ha, we had more rain in June than in December last year. And it's supposed to hit 70 (again) today.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

All too true about irrigation! We've been working on running more across our orchard this weekend. It never ends...and when you think it does, it's time for repairs.

I love that you have so many volunteer kale plants! I have a sneaking suspicion we're about to be overrun with mizuna and tatsoi volunteers, as I let some inadvertently go to seed last fall. Happy New Year!

Zach said...

Well it looks like a fun list of things to I especially like that your kids used the tree as a sled, a rather uncomfortably sled I would imagine.

Stefaneener said...

Mr. H., glad to know you feel my pain! Happy New Year to you all!

Erin, I wish I could give you mine. Seriously. They're all yours.

kitsapFG, yes, you know what I'm dealing with. We have had no rain at all so far -- we're seriously hurting.

Michelle, your gophers would have me swearing mightily, I suspect. Hang in there.

CVS, you reminded me of the tatsoi volunteers. Yes, yes, and yes. At least they're yummy.

Zach, my children never cease to amaze me with their inventiveness.

Heiko said...

I couldn't borrow Eric for a while to do me an irrigation system? I'm the world's worst plumber! :)

Just Jenn said...

I feel ya on the Nasturtiums. Last year they took over everything! I'm just going to pull them all this year. I'd like something else in my bed besides those vigorous flowers.

I'm jealous of your irrigation system (but not the problems! lol) still, it's pretty awesome over all.