Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Greens

The lettuce I planted in the cold frame last fall is doing well..now. This was the first winter we had the cold frame. It didn't do much over the winter, but the mache, kale, spinach and lettuce are finally ready to eat.

The Hubs snagged this beauty (Mantis Dual-Chamber compost spinner) for me off Craig's list last summer. It works like a dream! Loving the dual-chamber system that allows finishing off a batch of compost while starting another. It's been a bit of trial and error ~ including one batch of slime (too much grass not enough browns). A mixture of maple leaves, grass clippings, sawdust, chicken plops, kitchen scraps (including lots of coffee grounds, mashed egg shells, greens, banana peels, etc.) DOES make beautiful compost!!

Emptied out one barrel of the spinner and started another batch of lettuce with it in the cold frame.

The re-purposed windows for the cold frame are going to need a little bit of TLC this spring. The heat ( it hit 100 degrees in there last week when it was 16 degrees outside ) and humidity have caused the interior paint to peel off.

We've planted some lettuce, chard, spinach, and radishes under a hoop in the raised bed by the garden after adding the compost. Really want to look into producing a larger volume of greens throughout the winter. Just starting to read Eliot Coleman's winter harvest book and my wheels are spinning!

Is anyone out there having luck with cold weather crops under hoop beds?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pimp-my-Basket: Part One

Most of my knitting supplies have been picked up at thrift stores. It is a great (low cost) way to build a collection.

After about a year of picking up bits here and there..
My knitting basket is starting to look like ..ok... is an avalanche.

Last weekend I did some surfing and came across a tutorial for a Knitting Roll pattern to help contain some of my needles.

Perfect for a collection of wooden needles I've been picking up with coupons at the craft store..

Woodland fabric (~ I love mushrooms ~) for wooden needles.

: )

This great roll up took me about 2 hours to make (maybe less time for those who know how to sew..) If you would like to check it out the tutorial, pop on over to Loulabelle!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hanging around..

We've been hanging around..

enjoying the last snows of winter (maybe).

Knitting by the fire. This is a new fave hat.. Elizabeth Zimmerman: Ganomy Hat.
Warm over the ears, but with a slight split in the back perfect for a pony tail.

Hanging out with Dad in the "sugar shack" as he boiled down some maple syrup.

The buckets just kept coming...

He rigged up his own version of a maple sugar cooker:

~One old used stainless Maytag
washing machine barrel
~One burn barrel
~Smoke stack
~Damper
~Wood

Put a wood fire in the bottom to heat the sap.. Let the steam begin!

Used the camp stove to finish it off.

We've been dreaming of seeds..
Dreaming of the muck drying out enough to actually get outside!


This guy was dreaming of lunch and was hanging around at the chicken coop today.

The ladies raised such a fuss we headed back to see what was going on and foiled his plans of attack, although... it was close. The ladies dashed under a pine and I was able to get them back in the coop as the hawk sat about 10 feet off the ground watching us!

This will be hanging around the kitchen for the next "farm fresh breakfast". The early syrup is light and sweet.
(Thanks Dad!!)

Worth hanging around for.. that's for sure !!