I don’t often grow head lettuce, but this is so beautiful.
Spring has fully arrived here, and everything is growing like wild.
The weather is harsh here, and it really tears apart things that are outside for extended periods. This results in lots of maintenance work, such as thing week’s project of reconstructing the platform that our water tower sits on.
Brad noticed a couple weeks ago that the wood planks that sit on the metal frame and hold up the tank were looking pretty bad.
So we started by investigating possible materials to use. I at first thought plastic beams like the ones used for decking, but apparently they aren’t structurally suitable. We then thought about steel plating, but it is very expensive and there were concerns about rust. In the end, we just decided to stay with wood, but to use treated lumber and to coat it first with roofing sealer. (The 2×6’s that were used previously were raw, untreated wood.)
After we got the boards and got them painted, Brad figured out a process to replace the boards without removing the tank. Basically, it involved first emptying the tank as much as possible. Then he tilted the tank a bit, slid out each old board, and slid in new ones. It was lots of trips up and down two levels of ladders.
At first, I wasn’t sure this really needed to be done, but once we started on it, I could see how bad the old wood really was. It was probably just a matter of time before the whole thing collapsed, and what a mess that would have been.
And here’s the final result:
PS If you’re wondering if all this moving of the tank affected any of the plumbing, it did. Small crack in a pipe meant we had to turn off all the water, drain the tank and fix it. It’s always something!
The linen closet is finished and I took some pictures as it progressed.
It’s finally starting to warm up here, which has prompted me to get serious about planning this year’s garden. Here’s the preliminary plan:
Not dramatically different from what we’ve grown in the past with a few exceptions. Peppers are new. (I’ve tried them in the past with no luck.) Same with eggplant. The leeks are new, but are already in the ground. (I got some from a neighbor.) Ground cherries are also a new addition. If you’re not familiar with them, they are are nightshades, and the fruit resembles cherry tomatoes but they grow in a husk like tomatillos. The ones I got are the poba, and they taste like pineapple.
I’m mostly planning to grow lettuce and greens in our cold frames, but I may sneak some into some other beds as well. Same with radishes.
We’re looking forward to spring asparagus soon!
I’m attempting to grow microgreens. (This idea came after a very lovely bed of lettuce outside got munched down. I’ve replanted, but can’t do without greens for 6 weeks. The weather here is well below freezing at night, and things outside grow slowly in the cold.) Microgreens are supposed to grow as fast as two weeks.) We visited a farm that grew large amounts of this, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind ever since.
We adapted an old piece of roofing to make a tray to grow these in. I’m starting with varieties that are supposed to be easy and fast-growing like arugula, cress, and broccoli. The seeds sprouted within two days.
Stay tuned for more on how this goes.
This week I finally finished shelling all the dry beans from the garden this year.
The two bags on the right are white cannelini beans, my favorites. The others are Bisbee black cow peas. As you can see, a few beds of these seem to be going back to regular light brown cow peas. (All of these beans were seed saved and are on their 2nd or 3rd year.)
These are big gallon ziploc bags. I’m not sure we can eat this much beans in one year, but one of their attributes is that they last.
Two days ago a big storm system swept through the southwest. We were supposed to get a couple inches of snow. We got a little rain and barely a dusting of snow. Not very exciting.
Yesterday, there was no precipitation forecast. Then I woke up to this.
Currently, we have about 4 inches of snow. This is the most we’ve had in the 6 years we’ve lived here. And it’s still snowing! (The weather forecasters seem to have no clue. The forecast is getting updated every hour or so for the snow we’ve received so far. This doesn’t exactly seem like a “forecast.”)
One of the interesting things is all the wildlife I saw while I was walking around in the snow this morning. In particular, there were tons of rabbits. We often see a couple, but nothing like this. I’m not sure if they were drawn closer to shelter or if it was just easier to see them against the snow. All the tracks were pretty fascinating too.
It has been very cold this week so I don’t expect this to melt soon. It would be nice to see the sun again though.