Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 garden plants

i don't think i've ever posted a comprehensive list of all the plants i'm growing in a season. i'm a total plant nerd, so this might only be interesting to me. the varieties in italics are starts or seeds that i haven't planted out yet, and the varieties with astrisks are ones i haven't grown before:

black and red boar
black zebra cherry
brown berry*
chocolate cherry
chocolate stripe x2

cream sausage
fuzzy wuzzy

green zebra
hahms gelbe
japanese black trifele*
lemon drop*

lime green salad*
monkey ass*
orange flesh purple smudge*

OSU blue x2
roughwood golden tiger x2
snow white cherry*

tiny tim
vintage wine
white currant x3
zapotec pleated*

+ numerous volunteer mystery tomatoes

non-tomato nightshades:
eggplant, listada di gandia

eggplant, casper*
eggplant, shoya long*
eggplant, udmalbet*
ground cherries
naranjilla* x2
pepper, big bertha*
pepper, black hungarian

pepper, cherry bomb*
pepper, choricero
pepper, corno di toro giallo

pepper, fish
pepper, joe's long cayenne
pepper, nepalese bell*
pepper, sarga cseresznye*
pepper, whitney*
potato, all blue*
potato, russian banana fingerling*

tomatillos, volunteer/mystery variety x3

beans & peas:
dragon tongue bush
golden sweet pea*
purple queen bush
rattlesnake pole
royal burgundy bush

cukes & melons:
cucumber, jelly melon*
cucumber, sweet marketmore
watermelon, blacktail mountain*
watermelon, moon and stars*
watermelon, orangelo*

squash, pumpkins & gourds:
gourd, bule*
gourd, dinosaur*

pumpkin, rouge vif d'etamps*
pumpkin, triamble/shamrock
squash, black magic zucchini

squash, peter pan* x3
squash, ronde de nice
squash, straightneck yellow

non-potato root veggies:
beet, chioggia
beet, detroit dark red
carrot, cosmic purple
carrot, solar yellow
carrot, lunar white
garlic, purple glazer
onion, sweet yellow*
radish, french breakfast
radish, sparkler white tip
radish, purple plum

greens, brassicas and herbs:
basil, dwarf greek
basil, holy/tulsi (red & green)*

basil, opal
basil, sweet

basil, thai
broccoli, purple sprouting
kale, dinosaur*
kale, red russian
kohlrabi, purple vienna
lettuce, flame
lettuce, freckles
lettuce, red oak leaf
parsley, italian flat leaf

sage, bicolor


aloe, fire ranch*
corn, blue jade dwarf
strawberries, eversweet
strawberries, quinault
strawberries, white alpine* x3

Saturday, May 26, 2012


 three days off in a row feels like such luxury! i just completed a solid four-month stretch of working 40 hours a week with no days off except for weekends. it has to be some kind of world record.

 there was a 90-day period after starting at this company when i had no personal or vacation time, and there hasn't been a holiday since late january when i started (with the exception of "floaters" which i was also ineligible to take). luckily i'm allowed to work from home whenever, so i've taken advantage of that a little bit.

 it's hard to get everything done when so much time is eaten up. i didn't even finish unpacking the house until last weekend. i'm weeks behind in the garden. i had three huge and two small photo jobs in the last few weeks that i still haven't finished editing all the photos from, and another wedding coming up in a few weeks--i definitely don't have time for freelance anymore but i do it anyway.

 i got a promotion at work. not a very meaningful one because i'm doing the exact same work and making the same amount of money--it's just a different title. but it's good to know that they think i'm doing a good job, and it does eventually come with a raise, i just have to wait 8 months (year review time) to get it.

the fire pit in my backyard inspired me to try learning guitar. nearly all of my friends are musical, and i have this romantic vision of us sitting around in a circle playing in front of the fire on a cool summer i started taking guitar lessons through community education, and i scored this crazy hand-painted guitar on ebay! i figure even if i don't stick with playing it, it makes a good wall hanging.

someone put a whole lot of love and work into it. i wish i knew the story.

i also started taking tai chi at the idaho botanical gardens with my friend cam. it's a one-hour class every saturday morning all summer long, in a big open field surrounded by beautiful flowers, and it's free for ibg members! we skipped today because it's pouring rain, and because i somehow slept through my alarm and slept in past 9 for the first time in months.

this evening we're having a battlestar galactica finale party. that show is amazing. i got kinda interested in it after that episode of portlandia where "doug" and "claire" get so obsessed that they quit sleeping/working/bathing so they can watch it marathon-style without interruption. cam and her boyfriend each have a copy of the whole dvd set, so they loaned me one. usually i'm not the least bit interested in sci-fi, but this show is fascinating and character-driven and seriously addictive. there were a couple mornings when i got up at 3am and watched as much bsg as i could fit in before work. insanity!

tonight we're getting together to watch the 3-part finale now that i've reached the end. we brainstormed a bunch of theme food to make:

rectangular cake with the corners cut off
ambrosia (green margaritas)
hot dogs (vegan)
algae (kale) with noodles (because adama likes noodles)
starbucks coffee

and i'm bringing over this funky 70s-style astrology symbol tablecloth i thrifted. it's going to be the cutest theme party ever. and FRAK i can't wait to see the finale.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

teensie tiny harvest monday

 today i picked a small handful of white alpine strawberries from a plant my friend jeanne grew from seed and gave me as a housewarming gift. they're delicious! there were a couple dried up berries from last year so i picked off the seeds and started a few seedlings, too.

 my apple tree is full of tiny apples! and i found a tree in the back yard that i thought was pear but is actually cherry. it has some fruit, and so does one of the quince bushes in front. this is extra cool because i don't think i'll have as much time to go out foraging this year.

 bonsai tomato the second!

 the ladies look almost like grown chickens now, just about half size (maybe one third size? i'm not sure). one of these days i'll post more in depth about their personalities.

they're out in their coop full-time now, and i let them out to explore whenever i'm home. lately when they catch a glimpse of me inside they hop up on the windowsill and peck at the glass. beggars! they demand grape treats. (of all the tasty things they've tried, grapes are by far the favorite. they also love watermelon, squash, lettuce and broccoli.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

meet pinto the puggle!

 pinto is my new little brother, a 15-pound, 2.5-year-old "puggle" (pug/beagle mix) from mcpaws shelter in mccall, idaho. i gave him to my mom for mother's day.

it was a total surprise, neither of my parents had any idea! risky, but it had to be done. i won't go into detail about the circumstances but suffice to say they seriously needed another dog, and they wouldn't have gotten one for themselves. so i've been emotionally torturing myself looking at shelter dogs online for a few weeks now. last weekend i was going up to warm lake to photograph a wedding, then to mccall, so i checked the shelter there and found little "bruce." he was just so perfect.

i'm not sure if pinto is the final name. they've gone through so many. "bruce" was tossed out immediately. first he was bruiser. then my mom wanted to give him a godfather name, so he was luca brasi, then he was enzo (the baker), then he was fredo (corleone). fredo stuck for a while, i thought that was the one, but eventually my mom decided it was "too dark." so next he was frito, then frodo, then bandit, then buddha, then piranha (my suggestion, due to his adorable underbite that sometimes catches on his upper lip and makes his bottom teeth stick out like a piranha's), then peanut...this is all in one evening, mind you. today my mom solicited a bunch of name suggestions on facebook, and i came up with a list, but nothing stuck. somehow this evening we both independently came up with the name "pinto," and everyone agreed it was awesome.

i'm calling him professor pinto pugglesworth, esquire.

i can't imagine anyone not wanting little pinto. he's truly the sweetest dog. he throws himself at you for cuddles. if you sit down he is immediately in your lap. he passes out in the funniest positions, draping himself over any part of a person he can access (he slept on my dad's head for part of the first night, and yesterday evening he fell fast asleep on his back wedged between my hip and the couch cushions). he has tons of energy for nice long walks and playtime, but he's also very skilled at relaxing and dozing on the couch. he's so good natured, even when my dog andy is a jerk to him he doesn't stick up for himself, but he doesn't cower either, he takes everything in stride. he LOVES every other animal he comes into contact with. he's not shaky or neurotic, just slightly wary of male strangers but he warms up quickly.

originally he was at a shelter in emmett that was going to euthanize him, but mcpaws saved him (they're a no-kill shelter). another family adopted him but their young children terrorized him, so they gave him back. he waited at mcpaws for a whole month. third time is a charm for little pinto! lucky guy, my parents are going to spoil him rotten. and lucky mcpaws--i can almost guarantee they just made it to the top of my parents' charity giving list.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

new project: harvesting rainwater

 late last month, just in time, i cleaned the gutters. i'm amazed by this house sometimes, by the people who've lived here. some parts of it are so well taken care of or improved--the hard parts, the things that cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. other, smaller, easier parts have been allowed to go to shit--letting the details slip. and details accumulate. the gutters were one of those gone to shit. so thick with muck that plants were growing out of them.

 i cleaned them, then set out numerous trash cans to collect rainwater, and two days later we received 1.09" of rainfall in one day. it rained a lot yesterday, too, over a quarter inch. so far i've collected over 100 gallons of rain, to use for plant-watering purposes ONLY. a new acquaintance came over the other night, looked at the brownish beflotsamed water and asked me how i was going to filter it. filter it, why? for drinking. *hurl*

 every large watertight container i could scrounge is involved in the project right now. later today i'll go get more large garbage cans so i can relieve the ragtag army of buckets, small trash cans, plastic storage boxes, laundry hampers, wheelbarrow...even the lid to my old record player. i only have one 33 gallon garbage can, and that filled up plenty fast.

my mom came back from another long vacation in australia last week, and she was telling me about my uncle's garden--he's big into organic gardening, he composts with worms, grows avocado trees, and also collects rainwater. i told her about the record rainfall, and she was not that impressed. she said it rained one day while she was there--six inches. !!!

 i love how passive this project is. you just set out containers and they're filled automatically, so fast, like a plant that grows and bears fruit in one day. maybe i won't save enough water to take care of all my watering needs (no, i definitely won't)...but it is a step towards making up for no longer living in a place where a creek runs through the backyard that i pump water from. using normal tap water in the garden makes me feel really weird somehow.