Seed starting in egg cartons for these Cardinal Climbers has begun as we want to put them out in the backyard to climb up a fence and get a fair shot at the trellis before certain webbed feet start free-ranging out there!
March is well under way and the temps are definitely peakig in the low to mid 50’s so I planted 2 kinds of onions, shallots (first time with these – crossing fingers!), 3 kinds of carrots, and splurged on another clematis and coral-colored rose at the nursery as well. Because the water needs are different for carrots and onions versus the water-heavy tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, we’ve decided we’ll be hand-watering this particular bed instead of using the drip irrigation we installed last year. We have two rain barrels in the back yard which will help save $ as well. With my back still in mega recovery mode, it was a curious task doing the planting (I couldn’t bear to let my husband do this as I love this too much!) – basically I got on my knees with my hori-hori knife to make quick shallow trenches (avoiding any crazy bending/twisting), then, standing up, used the metal rake to gently cover the soil. Bam!
Husband, in the meantime, has decided he’s going all out in growing more hops this year, and got on the ladder and attached twine from the eaves of the house down to the ground, divided our one existing plant in the front that crawls up the power line, and planted three more to start climbing! It’s the south side of our house so they’ll get amazing sun, and if this works it should definitely give him a good sized amount of hops to start experimenting with (my honey loves his Stout).
Daffodils are JUST finally starting to bloom! Everything is a couple weeks late due to our cold winter so it’s very nice to see!
We finally got the roof on our coop and while it definitely looks like it got the help of MacGyver, it does the trick and that’s all that matters. Putting those PVC pipes in was a real bitch and then getting the hardware cloth pieces over it evenly was an exercise in futility, so we grabbed some pipecleaners left over from last year’s tomato trellising and used those to connect the pieces. It ain’t perfect but it’s done, and we can walk into the run without crouching over (and most importantly keep the gals safe from evil animals who want to eat them!). And yes we are SO impatient for the ducklings to grow up so they can go outside! The dining room brooder is cute and all but while they don’t hesitate to fuck around with their water bowl, when we tried to give them their first chance at swimming they thought we were natural born killers, hah. Will try again next week!
With the preparation for round six, I’ve decided to give the house a good smudging and bought some sage sticks at Whole Foods to do a bit of a cleansing of any negative energy in the house. Hippie dippie? Yes. Does the act of it make me feel better and more committed to a positive final round of booty jabbing, hormone hell and HPTs?? Hell yes.
Ham ham ham! Husband cured his first ham with a cure he made in his Butchery & Charcuterie class last year (and the 3.5 lb boneless ham that came with it) and then I boiled it in a few quarts of ginger ale (thanks Nigella Lawson for her recipe I modified based on ingredients I had on hand!) before glazing it with our homemade pear ginger preserves and brown sugar and baking it for a wee bit. Oh My Gawd it was good! We dined on it with a yam/rutabega mash (we wanted to try rutabegas as we were both novices and, well, not ever going to do that again) and a spinach salad. DAMN GOOD!
Next baking challenge? BAGELS! After making my first ever baguettes a couple weeks ago from my very favorite baking cookbooks (shouldn’t they be called bakebooks then? hmm.), I’ve decided to try my hand at homemade bagels this weekend. Wish me luck!