Saturday, January 3, 2009

Best laid plans...

My blog has a follower! How validated I feel. Giddy actually is a better way of describing it. Hi, I'm a dork.

I meant to start my seedlings today, never got around to it. Which saddens me, it was the fun thing on my to-do list. I did manage to buy everything though (the easy part). As much as I love doing every little thing from scratch (to the point of ridiculousness at times, yeah, the homemade dishwasher detergent did not go so well) I'm addicted to those darn rehydrating peat pots. Perhaps it's because they remind me of those grow in water toys I loved so dearly as a child, or maybe it's that they have proven effective time and time again. I was going to sift through the compost and make my own seedling mix this year but what with Greg snapping the pitchfork like a twig and then the rain this morning, I caved and bought 2 25 packs of peat pots. I was going to list all of the seedlings I will be starting, but I'll save that for when I actually do it. (always keep 'em wanting more.)

I planted some spinach starts in the garden today. There are several gaping empty rows in the garden now that I've torn out the last of the tomatoes. I was going to plant all of it with spinach seeds but the time is flying so fast. So I planted half with starts and I'll plant the remaining with seeds. Counting the 4 week old seedlings I already had, it should make for a nice rotation.

The love affair with greens continues. Today at the nursery I came across Borage seeds. From what the packet describes it is the picture of usefullness. Technically it's considered an herb. You can eat the leaves raw or steam them like spinach (that quality in a plant thrills me to no end, again, dorky.) The stems can be peeled and used like celery, which is awesome since I don't think celery will do well here at all. And lastly the tiny, blue, star shaped flowers are edible and can be candied for winter use. In our So Cal climate borage is supposed to do well year round, in my experience that translates to: often burns to a crisp in the heat of summer. But you never know. Borage is supposed to be excellent for the beginning gardener, and should be directly sown, not transplanted. I'm going to plant it along the brick pathway on the right side of our yard, right between the compost plot and the herb/berry plot. I promised myself I would plant more flowers this year, I have a hard time understanding strictly ornamental plants and therefore rarely pay them any attention. I can appreciate beauty, but beauty with function is ideal, especially when you use precious resources (see: water) to keep it alive. So I'm placating my weary conscience by planting edible flowers. Borage is perfect! As are nasturtiums. And I'm planting sunflowers, in hopes that they'll lure the birds away from the berries. Fat chance.

Wow, I'm prolific today. Juicing. I'm obsessed. Poor little Jonas's chin is almost perpetually stained orange from the carrot juice he has every morning. When I dropped him off at Grandma Candi's yesterday to be babysat I found myself saying, "I promise I wiped his face off, the orange just won't go away." Candi understands, her skin turned orange when she was six because her mom made her eat too many carrots. But I digress. I went to Sprouts this afternoon after the nursery and bought a weeks worth of juiceable goodness. Cucumbers, oranges, apples, celery, spinach, chard, cantaloupes. So much for eating seasonally. I still refuse to buy bananas after reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." I've been looking into buying my own tree, they were half price today at the nursery but they only had the ornamental type left. Surprise. Who buy's ornamental bananas? The label touted that it would provide the owner's yard with a tropical feel. Yeah, REAL bananas do that too. But I digress again. I'm very excited for a new week of juicing possibilites. I'd better end this before you all succumb to eye strain. Ta Ta!

P.S. Sorry about the lack of pictures. I meant to take some of the yard today but burned daylight doing other things. Tomorrow, I promise.


Johnice said...

Borage sounds so interesting. Celery doesn't grow here either, I've tried! Love the picture at the top of your blog by the way!

Clong said...

Thanks! I stole it from another gardening blog.

If you're interested in celery alternatives Lovage is another option. Though it has a bit of an anise flavor. I'm planning to write more about lovage later on the blog. stay tuned.

siobhan said...

i'm so behind...

did i ever tell you my banana palm story? about how a neighbor randomly planted a full-grown palm in our front yard, about a foot away from our front window? SO bizarre.

but we had bananas! they grew fine in los angeles, but i have NO idea what type of palm it was. another neighbor a few doors down grew them in their backyard and i've toyed with the idea of getting in touch with them so we can get a few palms. i'm not sure how they'd do here, though. it was a lot more temperate in la. none of this snowing (two exits up the freeway) on valentine's day, but 100 degrees on easter junk.