Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random Stuff

I last updated about the Tater Condos back on May 3rd, in which we had some growth.

By May 10th we had even more growth, and at this point really should have been adding slats and more dirt, but we had a pretty busy week: J has been pulling a lot of OT on the ambulance lately, and I had to go out of town to attend one of my cousin's funeral.

J was supposed to be off on Saturday the 11th, and was out starting to mow the yard when the ambulance service called him in, so we spent most of Sunday doing yard work, like mowing, trimming, and weed-eating.

It was Tuesday (May 14th) evening - J was working OT at the ambulance but his partner got ill and had to go home, leaving him partnerless and no one else would come in so they just shut the truck down - before we were able to start adding more slats and dirt.

He added 2 more slats, and we ended up using all the soil in the compost bin - a lawnmower trailer full - and it still wasn't enough.

We went to Home Depot and bought 10 bags (400 pounds) of top soil (99¢ a bag), and it still wasn't enough.

The directions for the potato condos were to let it grow 8 inches (ours grew about 2 feet) and add dirt, leaving 4 inches uncovered. Ours are still only half covered.

I had no idea it would take so much dirt. I guess now I know why they said make the box 24" x 24", not 5 feet like our other ones are.
I think I'm going to have to start digging holes in the yard. I don't want to buy dirt.

Anyway, we did score some Frees this past week.

My Mom and Dad own several properties/homes and are almost constantly doing something to one of them, so they're in one of the Home Improvement stores practically every other day.
One thing they always look for (that for some reason I'm never able to find) is "Oops paint". That is mis-tinted or customer changed mind paint that they mark down to like $1.00 a pint, $5.00 a gallon and $15.00 for the buckets.

So my parents buy all the "Oops paint" they come across. Interior, Exterior, Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Flat, any color.
While I was up at their house for my cousin's funeral I looked for a gallon of paint to paint the inside of our chicken coop.

I wasn't completely picky about the color, just nothing really dark, but mostly I was going for the durability of a high-gloss exterior for easier cleaning (I think?).

The little yellowish-brownish spot at the top is the color, it's actually not as dark, and a bit more yellow-y than it looks in this picture.

There was also some gorgeous flowering bushes all bloomed out , I don't know the names of but possibly one was a "Snowball" bush and the other maybe an Azalea. I'll have to try to remember to ask Mom.
(I wish I had thought to take pictures of the bushes, I don't know why I didn't.)

Anyway, I took some cuttings and brought them home to try to root and make my own plants. I'm trying to prove that people don't need to be at the store every Spring buying plants and flowers, when they could make their own, for free, and that keep coming back every year.

J made the best score, though. A friend of his had an old chicken house that had fell down, and he was more than happy for J to load up the parts and pieces and take them away.

More 2x4's we needed for the chicken coop we're in the process of building, wire, some other random things we don't need at the moment but will put away for later use, and I was thrilled to see a couple of 4x4 posts.

Because I have been wanting a clothesline. A real one. I've been hanging my clothes out to dry on hangers on a rope tied between the posts of the back porch, but I've been wanting a real clothesline that I can hang my laundry out in the sun, like Grannie used to.

I had been kindly keeping an eye out for a set of the vintage, old metal T posts, but no luck, so these will suffice.
We used scrap 2x4's for the cross part and have eye-hooks and wire, so the only cost was a $1.99 bag of Quickcrete.

In other gardening news, today I planted some peppers and onions in the garden.

The little green plants are called Bishop's Crown peppers.
I'm particularly proud of these little plants because it's like we created them, and/or they have a story behind them.

The story goes, last June my nephew was graduating high school so we'd planned a trip down to my sister's to attend his graduation. While we were there, I'd decided that we'd make a detour on the way back home and spend a couple of nights Somewhere.

I was trying to decide between St.Augustine and Jacksonville Beach. I hadn't been to St. Augustine since I was a teenager, and my kids have never been, but on the other hand there's a lot to do/see in St. A and we only had a couple of days so I wasn't sure if I wanted to wait on that particular trip and just go to the Beach.

Right about that time, a lady comes along and posts her family info on my Family Tree Facebook page looking for a connection. Turned out she's my Dad's 1st cousin. Turned out she lives in St. Augustine.

A week or so later we were meeting, and she and her husband gave us a nice tour of the area and sights like the Castillo de San Marcos, Old Town, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Fountain of Youth.
Very awesome.

My cousin's husband gave J a couple of peppers, one called Bishop's Crown. J dried the pepper over the past year, and back in March we cultivated the seeds and "planted" them in peat pods to sprout.

We also have some Datil pepper plants we sprouted from the seed of a pepper cousin L gave J, but I haven't gotten them planted yet.

Anyway, having taken the seeds from an actual pepper and making 14 more pepper plants just seems more awesome than seeds from a package I got at Walgreens or wherever. Plus the story of the original peppers having come from my newly discovered cousins I met on FB the same week we were planning to maybe visit where they lived.
I just love it.

The onions I don't have much to say about. They are tiny onion bulbs I bought in a bag at Walmart. I don't know a thing about growing onions or what they'll turn out like. If they turn out at all.


Trina said...

WOW! Your potatoes are insane, mine have just started to sprout, I will be so happy when I can start moving my plants outside. I am so envious of your weather...and green space!

Melissa said...

I heart my green space. I don't think I could ever live on less than a couple acres. Just wish I could make it more productive. We're still pitifully rookie-ish in this gardening thing, which is very sad, since we were both raised in the Country with home-farming grandparents.

Our weather has given us some difficulty this year. We should already be harvesting stuff, but with late frosts and severe storms, we're just now getting stuff put out.
I was going through some old photos earlier and 2 years ago this time we were up at my Mom and Dad's picking buckets and buckets full of cherries. There were just barely a few cherries starting to grow when I was up there a week ago.

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