Monday, April 27, 2009

We have worms

In addition to our compost bins in the backyard we also have this bin full of red wigglers.We started with about a half pound of worms, about a month later we added another half pound. They seem to be reproducing pretty fast, there are lots of little babies squirming around in the box. We just have to add some shredded newspaper and some chopped up kitchen waste every once in a while, they seem to take care of themselves. Soon we will have a bin full of worm poop that we can add to our garden beds or make worm tea to fertilize our plants.
I've always thought of worm ranchers as a little strange but now I'm designing a large scale worm bin in my head, could worm castings or worm tea be my next career? Hmmm

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New compost area and sheet mulching

Our compost pile has been just that "a pile". it sat in the corner, with a very sad look. It was hard to see because in front of it was a dilapidated raised bed from years past, the raised bed was overgrown with weeds and had tomato cages and cardboard stacked on top of it. I've been wanting to do something with this area for a while, but have not had the chance. This morning I was up early with plans to do something else and this mess caught my eye, and now it is history.

I don't have any before photos, it was just too ugly to take its picture. First I built this compost area from two pallets, some used 2 x 4's, a gate leftover from when we rebuilt our fence and some used corrugated roofing tin.

Then I dug up the old bed and spread the dirt, and weeds around. I covered the whole mess with cardboard and watered it really well. I then spread straw over the cardboard and watered it again. My plan is to continue layering compost and mulch onto the straw. Hopefully by next year this will be usable soil. It took all day but it was worth it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I feel so Liberated!

written by Monica

I just canceled our satellite TV service. Brian and I have been wanting to do this for months but keep making excuses. But today is the day. I already feel so FREE! Next, it's getting rid of the TV. Who knows? Maybe we'll start a band with all our extra time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green string farm band

get out of your chair and shake your butt!


We recently dug up some borage from my gramma's house. It grows pretty wild in her yard, almost like a weed. We liked it because it has pretty flowers and attracted lots of bees. Once we brought it home we learned of its many uses, mainly its mood lifting abilities. Apparently drying the flowers and making tea with them makes you happy. We could all use a little happy in our lives so plant some borage and make tea.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mountain biking

We did a little mountain biking yesterday with Frank, Mike and Carly. Jenkinson lake trail at sly park.

Hmmm! can we jump off this cliff on the bikes?

This is sly park creek, which is really full right now.

Just upstream from a bridge we have crossed many times we found this, apparently the feeder creek for the lake is diverted threw the mountainside via a 1/2 mile long tunnel. We had to take a closer look.

Nice view of the Sierras on the final stretch

We had a pretty good ride and beautiful weather! Now get home and start planting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Soil Blocks

We recently bought a soil blocker from peaceful valley farm supply. Its a pretty cool way to start seeds, no pots are required, just some soil less potting mix, a little water and something to set the blocks on. I started these squash plants in them, Monica just transplanted them in to pots. They worked great.

Here are some bean and cucumbers that have not come up yet, I set the blocks on scraps of fence boards so we can move them in the house at night.
I wish we had bought this before wasting money on peat pots and trays from Talinis.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bike ride!!!!

We have not been riding our bikes at all this year, busy with the garden and helping my mom get back on her feet. We've done one mountain bike ride since Jan 5 and thats it. Yesterday we rode from our house to Davis. We stopped at a little drainage ditch that the skaters hang out at.

We went to the farmers Market and bought a few things. Then we headed to the Davis Natural foods co-op for some lunch. We ate and hung out with some birds on the patio at the co-op.

Then we headed back home. We always encounter some strange wilderness on this ride, (thousands of bats, geese, cranes, swarms of bugs, cow birds, hawks, etc.) This time we saw a coyote while crossing the yolo causeway. It stopped and stared up at us for a minute, it looked like it was trying to figure out how to get to us and eat us. It got bored with us and ran off. The causeway is always stressful with traffic coming at you at 75 mph!
The last 10 miles or so were rough especially for me who was pedaling as hard as I could to keep up with Monica ( which always seems to be the case). We saw another xtracycle going the opposite direction in West Sacramento which was cool. Our last stop on the way home was the capitol bridge. About 42 miles, not bad for our first ride in a while!

Monday, April 6, 2009

self watering containers

I built a self watering container tonight for a zucchini seedling. I made it from two 5 gallon buckets from a donut shop, a cottage cheese container and a piece of plastic pipe to fill the reservoir.We have six zucchini seedlings total so I have to build 5 more. This should be a very simple way for us to grow these. Its a closed system so we should only have to fill the bottom reservoir with water every few days and sit back and watch it grow. Thanks to the homegrown evolution for the self watering container idea.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

raised bed for cucumbers and chives

We built this raised bed out of old redwood fences boards. Triangle shape because it fit in the space we had available. Monica planted chives around the outside. We will plant cucumbers in the middle, with a bamboo teepee for them to climb.