You see some of the small clay ollas on the shelf

Ollasburied into one of the grow bags, these are chard

ollas2fill with water and cover.  Also, old large canning lids work.  best to use a rock on top of that to keep in place

Ollas3These were the finials to go on the top of the arbor I erected this year, and I didn’t want to use them up there. another use for them.

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good news/bad news

just found out that I may not be able to get my bees this year as UPS has decided that sugar syrup is a dangerous substance and will not accept bee shipments when that is the method for feeding the bees!

watertank1 600 gallon liquid storage tank. this is a low profile tank originally intended for storing chemicals and such on farms and businesses. it does well for being a low profile water storage.  It is going to go uphill from the house, where a regular tank would be higher than the roof.

watertank2This is a 1000 gallon water storage tank, which will be right next to the house. it stands less than 6 feet tall!

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protecting the garden bed

I know its hard to tell in this photo how many layers there are of 1/4” screening on the bottom and along the sides of this garden bed.  Basically, we took three foot wide stuff, and folded it down on the bottom and partially up the sides.  Then we laid 2 foot wide across the bottom, overlapping with the folded sides.  Cut down fence posts went in, to which were added more of the three foot wide stuff, and it was wired into the first layer. and yes, there is a layer of 2×4″ in between.  Other pieces were cut to accommodate a bit of corner.  What makes this so much more difficult is the original concrete block foundation for the original 8’x8’ greenhouse.  Which melted.  and was replaced with a 10’x7’.  so for part of the length of this bed, we’re working around that.  We’ve started refilling this, will add some compost and the rest of the soil and then replant the perennials that were put in last year, along with some bulbs and flower seeds. If we have done this properly, we will NOT have gophers digging in from the bottom, nor will we have rabbits and ground squirrels getting in at the top.

behind me (and my shadow) is the western support for the shade cloth that will go over the greenhouse.  Not enough concrete was put in for the base and it had begun to shift. so that is also being remedied.


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garden01reworking this bed, better screening at the base to keep out the gophers. Then I fell into the new fencing and punctured my arm badly.  PAINFUL! plus lots of blood.  so now I’m blogging about it instead of finishing the job.

garden02did get my squash transplanted from the six packs to larger pots.  mixed eggshell with coffee grounds for each pot – extra calcium and the acidic environment to help extract that calcium. should help prevent blossom end rot

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last week


gardengot some of my spring seedlings in: peas (closest) got a little bit of fencing as the seedlings were getting chewed, further down the bed put in some lettuce, some broccoli rabe, and bok choy. The big plants you see are the last of the broccoli

garden2Since it is only mid-march, left the frost blanket pinned to the back fence, and using the screening material as a shade cloth cause the sun is pretty strong right now. It will help moderate the temps in the bed also, keep the soil from getting too dry and won’t let the birds or chipmunks in

garden3spent too many hours putting up this arbor with gate by my container garden.  Just had some loose fencing to close this off from the critters.  This allows me  better entry and opens up about 9 square feet of growing space for some more containers

garden4a long shot of the container growing area where I have moved my comfrey into a larger grow bag, put some chard seedlings in another, pulled the container of chard out of the greenhouse, also the containers of potatoes

garden5garlic and shallots.  Elephant garlic closest to the camera, shallots farthest away

garden6Also made about 4 lbs of sausage: hot and sweet Italian, breakfast, and bratwurst.  Since I’m making my own brats, I make them as patties so they fit better on bread.  Also canned 12 pints of tomato sauce with last year’s romas; 2 meat, 3 mushroom, and the rest plain marina.  Add to that the chicken and beef I canned and it was a busy weekend.

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canning has begun

This morning did 4 pints of chicken and 5 pints of beef for the pantry.  Last batch I did raw pack, this batch, I cooked the meat first.  As I’m using commercial, supermarket purchased, meat, it has water added.  I found raw pack shrank too much.  Cooking first gives me more meat per pint, and the opportunity to have appropriate broth with it.  other than a little salt, these were canned at 15 lbs for 90 minutes (I’m at 4500 feet).


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update greenhouse heater

After nearly a month of beautiful mild weather, with tender seedlings filling many shelves, we had a winter storm this past weekend, which left us with cold nights once again.  To protect the greenhouse, revised and improved my little candle heater. 

greenhouse1It starts with a cast iron cauldron, that is supposed to stand on that tripod.  Instead, I’ve got a multi day, $1.49 votive candle in the cauldron, three small pieces of marble and then the tripod. Then, the terra cotta flower pot arrangement.

greenhouseThis has kept the greenhouse comfortable.  When the real cold set in after the storm cleared out, I just put some towels between the shelves of seedlings and the outside window, with this in front.  not too much, but enough to keep the frost from nipping on those delicate first leaves.

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