Monday, March 17, 2014

Obviously I'm drunk on Spring

As you probably know and are super annoyed by, it's Spring here in NorCal and has been since like, November.

Cherry tree's blooming.

We just barely had a winter, if you can even call that five day period where it rained a normal rain, winter, and, well, the First Day of Spring is now suddenly Thursday, so OK then.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and be all WOE IS ME HOW COME THE WEATHER IS ALL SUNSHINEY AND BEAUTIFUL WHY WON'T IT RAIN AND BE COLD because I know you'll all hate me and leave stupid comments about how it was, like 74 below at your house yesterday (Hi, Sara. Yes. You've had the world's shittiest winter and I 100% feel for you. I also know that you wouldn't leave me a stupid comment, so that's why I'm writing the world's longest side note in parenthesis for you. Hi again.) or some shit and that's just not why I'm here.

I'm here to tell you about the other liquor cabinet I call The Garden.

The other beverage I consume in the garden. AKA - the only one without gin in it. (It's tea.)

Remember Gardenblahblahblah? Yeah, that's this.

Gardenblahblahblah with a side of I'M SO DRUNK ON SPRING RIGHT NOW.

Honestly, there's so much of it that I really don't know where to start, so we'll just start with what I did today.

I feel a bulleted list coming on.

Oop - here is:

  • Seeded 80 or so cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins and zucchini into pots for the Indie Farms Spring Plant Sale
  • Seeded 100 or so companion plants, culinary herbs and flowers into flats for the Indie Farms Spring Plant Sale
  • Finally got rid of the fucking kale plants that were bolting in the garden while also serving as the condo high rise for every cabbage moth larvae and aphid in the Western Hemisphere
  • Harvested worm castings which really means I stole a bucket's worth of worms' poo. Nice, me.
  • Watered 100+ tomato and pepper seedlings for the five hundredth time
We're needy. WE NEED THINGS. Like, straightening of our tags which I just noticed is crooked in this photo. Yay.

Yesterday was a similar frazzled litany of gardeny things like:

  • Turning the compost in my new compost set up, which is harder than my old just spin the tub method in the Compostumbler, but way faster at making compost and that's what we're after 
  • Sorting seed and materials for today's seeding extravaganza
  • Ignoring the kale because I was doing it today
  • Planning my garden seeding for Wednesday because I apparently can't accomplish shit unless I plan it out way in advance and book time on my own calendar like a fucking lunatic
I've become a total calendar scheduling psychopath, y'all. I now book everything on one of my many Google calendars so that the thing looks like a fucking patchwork quilt of weird activities spread across my days. I think I need a scheduling intervention.

Or an assistant. 


Gardenblahblahblah rules dictate that I focus on the garden, so back to that...

The peas have germinated and tagged their lines just in time for it to be 80 FUCKING DEGREES AROUND HERE. Damnitall.


Did I tell you that the lilacs are blooming? They are. It's my favorite.
I've kind of gotten into growing herbs because of my extreme nerdiness and this was really exciting for me to see.

Also, I'm growing some peppers.
The kumquats are happening.
The grapes are ON THE JOB.
I grew a boatload of parsnips this winter and we've already eaten them all. Yay.
The winter garden harvest was a goodie.
I harvest a bunch of onions like this about every other day and now I can't imagine not growing onions because of their extreme awesomeness.

Also, as an extension of Gardenblahblahblah, I give you the goings on at work, which I think also counts as gardening. Just bigger. And with fish.

I had to move fish at work to their new big tanks (this is about 10% of the fish, mid-move). Best job.

I grow microgreens now. A lot of them. 

And basil. I grow a lot of basil. It's really happy now that there's more light during the day. It, too, is drunk on Spring.

We just planted hydroponic blueberries under the new high tunnels. Which is something I never thought I'd say.  And is great.

I made painted stakes to mark my different hop varieties because I don't know when to leave well enough alone.

My hydro crops are really happy now that the days are getting longer.

We dug a hole in our new field during class. Then my instructor stood in it. That's all.

We went to a farm on a field trip and they had GOATS. 

Goats that knocked each other down racing to greet us. It was the best day.

Frog butt

I have to pinch the basil tops at least once a week and this is about 1/3 of what comes off. So I eat it.

Also, there's stuff going on in the front yard meadow, but I haven't been out there during good light with my good camera to take any pictures that don't look like total bat shit, so we'll wait on that for another day. I'll, like, add it to my calendar or something.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A lot of walking around

So, we're planning to do a lot of walking around in August.

Like 135 miles +/- a few off-trail hikes and such.

Plus some more walking around between now and August to prepare ourselves for all of that walking around.

You have to practice walking around when you're going to be doing so much of it, you know.

And what the fuck, exactly, am I talking about?

We're hiking the John Muir Trail this summer (well, half of it) and we've started training. By walking around on the trails closer to home.

You know, to get ready.

But who will prepare the wilderness for us? This is a real issue.

See how all of our shit feels after hiking 10 or so miles now so that we can make tweaks to our gear, figure out how many pairs of socks we need, decide we don't need to bring a tent because that means we'd rather allot that weight for booze - you know, serious preparation - so that we can hike 10 +/- miles per day for two weeks in August.

And I see you right now raising those eyebrows and you can just stoppit.

Sure - we have a lot of shit going on and maybe this isn't the best time to be planning a two week long backpacking trip into the middle of wilderness when we should probably be doing things like finding meaningful employment with our newly minted horticulture degree or something, but to that I say...pffffffft.

Plus - this is sort of horticultural-ish, right? There are a lot of plants along the John Muir Trail and on these training hikes we're taking and in the books and websites we're working through in our quest to find out what we should pack into our resupply and who will pick us up and drop us off at the trailheads and how much is *too* much Nutella (answer: there is no such thing) and whatever, there are plants there.

And ladybeetles.

Rule 1: Kiss all ladybeetles

Whatever. We're going. And we're training. By walking around a lot.

Including this lovely hike we went on a few weeks ago, during which time I discovered that my hiking boots DO have removable insoles (duh) that will accommodate my custom orthotics (because I'm 100, remember) so that perhaps on our next hike I can experience something other than searing, stabbing, soul-crushing foot pain after just 10 miles of hiking over marginally strenuous terrain.

That'd be nice. To have my feet get in line with the rest of my body that, after a 10 mile hike with a pack filled with water jugs, was all YAY! Let's keep going! while my feet were all, FUCK YOU ALL. We're going to sit down forever.

I didn't want to get up. Even though that rock was sort of raping me.
Not good, is what I'm saying.

But I realized after the hike that the insoles come out of my boots (again, so duh) and in slip my orthotics like they were meant for it and WOO if I wear WrightSocks instead of the Smartwool hiking socks I stupidly wore, I probably won't even know what the word, "Blister" means by the end of our 135 +/- hike in August.

Lessons learned from training hike #1:

  1. Take out hiking boot insoles and place them forever in the garbage. Replace with orthotics. Live happy life.
  2. Wear WrightSocks because you get blisters otherwise.
  3. Soaking thy feet in a cool stream at midday is about the best thing a person can do.
  4. I can lose myself for a long time in a ladybug swarm which other hikers in my group might not appreciate.

    Such an educational day.