Monday, February 18, 2013

custom egg carton, first tomato blossom, and seed swap goodies

 i spent a good portion of my president's day holiday making this custom egg carton label. i'm not selling the eggs, i just want special egg cartons for giving them away.

the ladies are each laying one almost every day now, so they're stacking up fast.

 i made a second label that isn't personalized, just in case anyone else raising chickens wants one for their eggs. most dozen-egg cartons are approx. 10" long, so if you set the print size to 8x10 it should fit.

 first tomato blossom of 2013 opened today! i have 5 little baby hahms gelbe plants growing...was planning on just 2, but thinning the seedlings turned into carefully dividing and repotting them.

 i also bought another aloe and divided it. i'm really into succulents right now! maybe just because it's winter and i'm starved for green growing things. i like that they don't grow very fast, so you can keep them in small containers.

 beautiful springlike weather this weekend. damn near 60 degrees on saturday. i went on a couple walks with the dogs and saw lots of bulbs popping up, and i found this little grub friend.

 my haul from the seedy saturday seed swap. it wasn't the best swap, not a lot of people brought seed and the venue was small and cramped. worth going though. i'm excited to try calypso beans (the yin yang looking ones) and jerusalem artichoke.

 my contribution to the swap was a ziplock bag full of forellenschluss ("freckles") lettuce that i saved last year. it's a romaine heirloom, green with brown speckles.

 last year i also saved a ton of golden sweet peas. it's the best variety of sugar snaps i've grown (see my post from last june for more info). unfortunately, a major garden fail happened, in the form of a bunch of little beetles that ate the heart out of nearly every pea i saved. luckily this seed was in its own sealed glass container so nothing else was infected. i found about two dozen peas that look like they might be ok, but i'm going to germinate them indoors just in case there's beetle larva inside. bummer. :(

 mardi gras cauliflower! i wish i didn't have such bad luck growing cauliflower, i'd try some of the purple.

 i spent mardi gras at a reading with my mom, one of my favorite authors (who happens to be local) read a couple of his essays at the egyptian. it was outrageously good, and it put me in a deeply happy, appreciative mood.

 potato wanted to add something: thanks for the new flappy, circus!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

an early spring

 i hope phil is right. this winter's been kicking my ass. worst january weather i can remember--nearly three weeks of temperatures in the single digits OR BELOW. only a handful of above-freezing temperatures. one day we had an ice storm, something that hasn't happened here since before i was born. i woke up to a quarter inch of slippery ice covering everything, encasing my car, it took 45 minutes of running the heat before i could scrape my windshield.

it's too early to start seeds, but i started a few anyway. i thrifted an aerogarden, and instead of using it for hydroponics i'm using it as a grow light. meyer lemon seeds sprouting in a coffee mug:

 they won't live very long in this container and i won't be able to transplant them, but for now they're wonderful. i also started a few micro tomatoes, hahms gelbe variety:

 there's nothing like the smell of tomato leaves in late january when it's 2 degrees and snowing out.

 the lemon leaves smell wonderful too. very sweet and fruity.

 my fire ranch aloe plant had five pups, so i separated them out into different containers and gave them to friends.

 minnie is the energizer bunny of egg laying. she's the only one who barely slowed down all winter. prinnie molted last fall and didn't lay at all until about a week ago--also her comb shrank down to almost nothing, then popped back up almost overnight.

the last few days have been relatively warm and most of the snow melted, so the ladies are happy to get outside. they wouldn't leave their coop at all when the snow was deep.