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The Toy Box (the return)

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Southern Oregon Coast

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/25/2011, 8:57 pm

Currently 56*, partly sunny, but we had several small hail events and a good bit of rain this morning and early afternoon.
Next ten days low to mid 50's as highs, 40 to 48 nightime lows.
Lots of most of the coming week. high winds on Wednesday.

At least there is no snow forecasted for us. Shocked

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  shannon1 on 4/25/2011, 11:45 pm

@ Debs what a great idea think I will make a trip to the feed store. They are pretty shy and whily but who can resist cracked corn and chix feed? Well who among the feathered crowd that is?

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/26/2011, 7:02 am

@Shannon, as I recall it took great patience. She set out a container of corn and hand tossed some when they were around. The fence finally went up because where chickens congregate, raccoons hunt.

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Mmmm, mm, Purple Asparagus

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/27/2011, 10:06 pm

I had a nasty little head cold over the Easter weekend. I was just starting to feel better on Monday. The point being, the new Asparagus that I was saving for Easter dinner was waiting for me on Tuesday. OH MY GOODNESS! They were like eating vegetable candy!

I forgot to take pictures of the purple asparagus before I harvested the spears. Then I did not take a picture of the cooked spears. This is all I have. Purple and green stubs.


These are Satina Potatoes. Of the 4 kinds of potatoes I planted in mega pots, these are the farthest along. If I am able to save some of these I might give a whole 4x8 to them next year.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. That is all that we do this time of year. I was able to use some garden rosemary and oregano in a herbed parmesan bread I made for dinner tonight. It will be served with lentil soup that has nothing in it from the garden but will have some snipped chives sprinkled on top of it. This afternoon when it was up to 59* F soup and bread didn't sound so great. But I forgot to get something out of the freezer, so the Polish sausage in the back of the fridge would have to become soup. Nice now that the weather has rolled in.

While waiting for something more to happen in the garden, Ray, Jason and I have been looking for a way to house the nuggets. We are fairly sure we will go with the garden girl tractor but with a sloped top because of our rain. But for a house, we found a kewl one on a blog appropriately named The Tangled Nest, a Seattle born blog I came across while looking for chicken housing.
Our Urban Chicken Coop Plan

Ray was crawling around the boxes instaling a watering system. Good to his word, he did not wait until August when everything was overgrown.

Debs....eating soup and bread
Beautiful day. Deep blue sky and fluffy clouds, shirt-sleeve weather, working outside. But there was that steady wind that told us to enjoy it while it lasted, cause it wasn't gonna last. The rain sent out feelers about 5 PM. By 6:15 the temperature had gone from 59 to 44 with only a small drop on the barometer. Wind driven rain is acting like a hooligan, pulling the snow level back down to 1,000 feet. There might be hail and lightening. Soup sure is good.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/28/2011, 8:30 am

Lovely looking potatoes and the asparagus, I see another sprout there too I think!!
Ha-v-v

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Rain Rain....

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2011, 1:46 pm


This is Bertha, the largest of the nuggets. She stood in the crowded kitchen window with the summer plant-folk hoping I would read The Cat-In-The-Hat to them.... on this cold, cold, wet day.

Usually I close my posts with my own version of the weather for the day but I just cannot outdo weather underground for today, April 28....
Showers likely, morning showers may come in the form of wet snow. A chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce small hail. Highs near 50. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph.
CNN is rambling quietly in the background as I try to get my schoolwork done. The disaster in the South, particularly in Alabama, makes my weather meaningless.

Deborah... Praying

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 RSV

"Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. Isaiah 40:1 NASU

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NASU

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April 28 follow-up

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2011, 9:11 pm


I did all the school work that I could stand today, before I felt the need for dirty fingernails. My tomatoes are all fairly happy but some of them are starting to need to duck before going into the closet. A few of their stems are starting to look like swans necks. I hate when they start leaning over and touch the edge of the closet. It doesn't look healthy. So I up-potted the tallest, waviest toddler tomatoes and potted my peppers in the 4" pots they came out of.


Both of the Momotaro (F-1, I, 70 days) were all wavy and got up potted. One of them had budds. I hate when that happens too soon. I should probably pinch them off. One of the Legends (parthenocarpic, D, 68 days) also has an abundance of blossoms that needs to go. A Beaver Lodge Plum (D, 55 days) was also hanging over, which is exactly what they were supposed to do, was up-potted because there was more over hang then a 4" pot could stand up under. The last tomato I up potted was too tall, it's nice and straight, a good strong little Black Plum Paste (I, 65 days.)

I don't think pepper seeds are as hearty as tomatoes. Of 10 soil blocks I have 5 peppers. Not bad if we have a cold summer again. There are two sweet and 3 hot. They looked so much bigger in their soil block than they do in the 4" pots.

See all itty bitty budds? I'm sure they have to go.

Deborah.....looking out the window at sunshine, and as Dianne S said when she closed her show, Hoping for a better tomorrow for the country.
God Bless, Jesus comfort, the Spirit strengthen.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  nancy on 4/28/2011, 9:17 pm

I up potted tomatoes tonite, too! Felt good to play in the soil. I can't wait to take them outside!

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2011, 9:24 pm

@Nancy; did you have a lot of budds too?

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  nancy on 4/28/2011, 9:27 pm

Not yet. They aren't very big yet. I'll keep you posted. Maybe they'll have their portraits taken over the weekend & I can share those. We might even see the sun!

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Bright May Day

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/2/2011, 11:21 pm

When you have the first nice weekend of the summer you cannot run in and post. No one missed me I'm sure, I just like to write about the garden even when it is so far behind.

Meanwhile out in the garden.
Most of my posts have been about the gardening I could do in the house. Even I am sick of reading about Tomatoes that probably are not going to get ripe in Everett. I'm tired of writing about the slug battle and of drowning plants. I know I did not get flooded out, we have not had late snow, hail has been brief and small, wind was normal. God bless all of you who have faced true tragedy rather than just normal bad PNW weather.


Purple Peacock Broccoli-Kale. Shivering along. I just put out more into box 3. The 2nd batch were started in soil cubes. The package does not give a days to harvest and the catalog page has been used as an envelope of a sample of seeds that I sent to someone. Lucky me, there is an online catalog that tells me 70 days. So maybe on the 10th of July those will be mature. There is this fun fact on the packet.
Stress at any time prior to transplanting may cause premature bolting.
Great! small Broccolini like buds are supposed to be part of the charm.

Cabbage is starting to act like cabbage. Why does that delight me?


I read that a milk jug is just as good as a cloche. This is too small of a sample to know for sure but I am very happy with the cloche results. The broccoli on the left has been grown under a milk jug (and oddly enough, the lid is sitting in the square). The broccoli on the right grew under the cloche Chris made. Not nearly as impressive as boffers heated and covered garden. No head like FBmoms. But it is from my garden which has been a disaster this year. So......WooT! What does bug me is that the stem on the larger plant does not seem sufficient to hold up the plant.

Meanwhile, outside of the box:

It was nice enough on Saturday and Sunday to take the nuggets out for some sun. From front to back (front being the direction they are facing) is Pecker Head (we started calling her that because of her habit of banging on the side of the box she is in....we know it is not a very nice name but it stuck) Next is Little Bit (we have no creativity, she is the smallest and the only one who hasn't sprouted tail feathers yet). Next is Miss Purddy. In the back of the pack (flock I think is the correct word) is Bertha who is the largest (so far).

The bones of the Easter Basket.....aka the chicken house.

My job was to dig out the foundation. There is a reason I got started doing SFG that is different than the reason I keep building more of them. Three to four inches below the surface is hardpan. I had to dig down 10 inches. I spent the day perfecting my skill with a breaker bar. This is Jason leveling out the bottom of the hole. The Easter Basket has a lower level (Called Guantanamo) that is enclosed in hardware cloth to keep both rats and raccoons from digging their way in. The lower level is open air and can be closed off. Most of the soil has been put back into the lower level but there was a lot left over.

I just happen to have a ditch that the dogs have warn in behind the boxes. I spent the day pulling out buttercups, laying plastic bags left from MM ingredients and covering it with the extra soil. Now it just needs a layer of mulch. There is a lot more to do behind boxes 2 and 3. Wish my weed whacker worked as well as the hand clippers.

By the end of the day the the Easter Basket was starting to look like something. It is coming along.

Debs ....feeling like I got something done.
The sound of the rain was sweet this morning. It was warm enough this morning that I could have left the tomatoes out all night. But the best guess was that the night temp would fall into the upper thirties. The good news is that the rain water bucket is full again. Fresh rain coming tomorrow. Highs in the mid 50's dropping down to the low 40's when the sun goes down.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  shannon1 on 5/2/2011, 11:49 pm

Debs,
It is all comimg together nicely. The nuggets are just as cute as can be. I aboslutly love your pink girly gloves and might even wear gloves if I had some like those. If I disapear from the forum it will because I have a new boss and have lost my computer privalages. I have not met him yet so here is hoping. He will be the 4th manager I have worked under here so here's hopeing he will continue letting me use it as I have none at home.

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Cold Rainy Mother's Day

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/8/2011, 11:07 am

Burr! My guys took me to Cabela’s yesterday hoping to entice me with lust for items that have nothing to do with the garden. I can't pull a bow anymore, they were out of pink pistols, all those water filters and none of them was a Big Berkey (we are into emergency preparedness these days). What they did have was a nice vacuum sealer for half price and a cast-iron griddle for the BBQ. They are thinking bacon, eggs and pancakes on the griddle (ha! they bought me a new stove for that), I'm thinking I can cook onions and asparagus outside without needing to convert my veggie wok away from micro greens container. There was also a cute little chair for the trailer. Not sure how that got home.

On the way home I remember seeing the word "Yelm". It was hailing.

This is one of my harvest baskets. There is not enough in the garden to fill it yet. Instead it holds a selection of seeds that I can still do in this cool, wet weather we have been blessed with. I've already planted squares of the freakishly long Cincinnati Market Radish, the purple and white Kohlrabi and more of the baby Bok Choi. If the weather holds and I need something to do on a cold, rainy day I'll make more soil blocks for the cauliflower blend (I wish there had been some yellow in the mix), the Shiso which was a total impulse buy, and the celeriac. I will probably fill a few soil blocks with the new lettuce, Rossa di Trento. It is late enough to go into the ground but I think it has been raining slugs. Probably just a new hungry batch has hatched and are not old enough yet to drink beer.

It may be too early to start nasturtiums, but I'll start a few anyway.

Now, off to church for the annual Proverbs 31 Mother's Day agony (I am never going to live up to her as she is preached by men, but I have come to love her woman to woman) and a few hours with my own beloved mother. Than maybe we will come home and try out that griddle. (though I am saving the few asparagus for a quiche)

Debs....eating radishes and sweet garden greens with crackers and sliced boiled eggs.
Cold showers, thick clouds. Everything is bright green 54/45. Praising God for my Mother's warm heart

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  stripesmom on 5/8/2011, 8:19 pm

Debs, I'm in agreement of your current quote of the moment. I just wish I had the words in my head to say some thing like that.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/9/2011, 8:44 am

Debs, I agree with the interpretation of the PR 31 woman we get these days. I take great comfort in knowing it is actually a letter from a mother to her son on what kind of wife to look for, not an actual woman, someone to aspire to be. OH, and she was self-employed too!

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Too Many Tomatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/14/2011, 1:37 pm


It was fun while they were still small. Every day I would wait for the temperature to reach the magical 48 degrees fahrenheit. I would dash outside with a tray of tomato seedlings. Every evening I would try and have them in before the temperature dropped back down to 48. Some days they were only out for a couple of hours. At some point I had a stupid thought.....they need bigger pots. It isn't as much fun after the first couple of nights, running larger pots in and out of the house.

I've been watching the night time temps. Most of the time they are staying above the magical 48 degree mark. I tried putting some of the pots of gangly tomatoes into the little PVC cold frame Ray made. Even when I dug soil out from under them, they were too tall for the little A-frame house. So I draped plastic over the tomato trellis I have. I stepped back to admire my work and realized......I-R-redneck.



My son Jason came to my rescue. He at least made it look a little less sloppy. If it stays overcast for a couple more nights I am going to put in a row of indeterminate plants right into the mix. I think I'll just leave the cover on until the end of May, maybe early June. The tape on top is to reinforce a double door that allows me to work inside without having to crawl in.


Way too many happy plants. The good news is that I can get to my kitchen sink again.

Deborah.... @Val....not too sure I want her for my mother-in-law.
It is nearly lunch time and the sky is variegated with ripples of soft grays and periwinkle. It is just a touch cooler today, the nuggets will not like that. It means they do not get as much time outside as they want. The barometer took another dive so the 50/50 chance of rain will probably be rain. Somehow it is sleepy weather. If I was a cat I would nap. 58/50 with a kiss of a northwest sea breeze.

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Where else but the PNW?

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2011, 12:56 am

Night time is the best time.....for many things but for me it is the best time to go on a slug hunt. The Barometer took a 2nd big drop today and the rain let loose when the sun went down. I am a Western Washington Girl, born and raised. I like the sound of the rain on my hood, I like walking in wet weather, especially when I have a nice dry quilt to snuggle into afterwards. However, even I thought it was just west of bizarre to stand in a down poor, by the beam of a flashlight, watering my young tomatoes, peppers and basil with a pitcher of rain water.

Maybe even stranger, on a warm wet night there was just one slug and one big snail.

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Silent Sunday and a Rainsong

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2011, 11:41 am


No kidding there I was watching the red spinach grow, wondering how I will communicate the gentle sound of the rain when I write about it.

This was my solution:
[youtube][youtube][/youtube][/youtube]

Debs ....listening to the rhythm
One hundred percent chance of rain, nearly 2 inches of it is coming this weekend. The wizards of weather will not commit to the mid 50's as a high temp but it is not supposed to fall below the magic 48 tonight. The barometer took another fall last night. Buckets out gathering rain water. The dogs hold out as long as they can stand it.


Last edited by Lavender Debs on 5/15/2011, 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : The editing options are crazy makers!!!)

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/17/2011, 11:48 am

Love the listening to the rain video. So familiar here on the Oregon Coast too!

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I hear lettuce goes good with tomatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/18/2011, 6:12 pm


I stuck a very early green bean into a square (Provider) and put in a square of lettuce. Seemed like a good day to plant.


I actually took this shot for myself. When all the tags fall down, and they always do, I want to have some kind of record that maybe I can figure out. Maybe I will know what is what.

  1. 4 Lettuce, Rossa DI Trento
  2. 4 Melons, Lambkin (green flesh)
  3. 4 Melons, Alvaro (Charental-cantaloupe flavor)
  4. Zucchini, Romanesco
  5. Cucumber, Marketmore 76
  6. 2 Squash, Buttercup
  7. Squash, Delicata
  8. Celeriac
  9. Shiso, Red
  10. 10 Cauliflower, mixed purple, green and white
  11. 2 Melons, Water

Gave the new weed whacker a go and it did what it was supposed to do.


What a tease! That is my early broccoli. Must be too high in nitrogen for such a big plant with a tiny head. It isn't as big as a penny.


Outside the box, the guys had time to work on the Easter Basket last night.

@FBmom, thanks!! That was kind.

Debs.....wondering where the cauli will all go.
Got COLD last night. I was not too worried about the tomatoes but I forgot about my eggplant. There it was sitting on a shelf of the open closet. Looked dry so I gave it a little water and they all fell over like they had Damping Off disease. I felt sick. Looks like they have all come back. Maybe I'll remember to bring them inside tonight. Weather.com was saying 58/43 but it is already 65 and sunny. A bold 0% chance of Rain.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  FamilyGardening on 5/19/2011, 12:39 pm

I just wanted to say.....i have really enjoyed your posts and youtube video's!.....i have been watching them for awhile now Very Happy

hugs
rose

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What did you say?

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/19/2011, 12:56 pm

So the carrots that were planted on April 15 are up and growing. They look nice and I have no cause for whining about them. But still, I found myself whining when I stopped to have a look see this morning. I put in four varieties of carrots on April 15 and I am sure that I labeled all four squares. Today, all four tags look just like this one....

The Mystery Carrot squares. One each of Nantes, Carnival Blend, Little Finger and Yaya. I just do not know which is which.

Outside the box:

The nuggets took some time to inspect the new construction before the finish work is started. I need to go clean up their comments before the guys get out to finish the job.


They remember that the dining hall is down stairs but they are not sure how down stairs is accomplished.

Deborah....wondering what my arms will look like tonight if I don't wear a sweater today. (Thanks Rose! I just saw your comment)

Oh my goodness it might be room temperature outside! Sunny skies pushing 70 degrees with no chance of rain. Where am I? 67/47 (but it is already 68 at 10 AM) The tomatoes will be happy (when did they take over my life?)

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  quiltbea on 5/19/2011, 1:05 pm

I love following this thread. And I love all the pictures.

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/19/2011, 1:22 pm

That means a lot from you Bea! Thanks

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

Post  FamilyGardening on 5/19/2011, 11:13 pm

Those nuggets are sooo cute!....we have been tossing the idea around since last summer......we are going to make the decision one of these days after all of our other projects are done Very Happy

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rose

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Re: The Toy Box (the return)

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