Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring Fever!

The east bed revamp, which will likely include a hugelkultur zone at the south end to help process trash tree saplings I am cutting down in the back yard, is largely done, getting mulched with oak leaves, with crops actively growing in restricted drainage container gardens now that the chickens can no longer get in. Today I take the new pound of curds from dairy kefir grains that hung and dripped overnight and place a 5 lb. gym weight for a 24 hour pressing before aging a few months in the fridge. Past cheeses were dry due to a 2-3 press with more weight.....I want this cheese to have a texture more like Brie. Today I plant a few dozen more seedlings of Allium fistulosum in the 6 foot diameter kiddy pool that Tim gave me in my quest for onion self sufficiency since it is a perennial that divides and self sows...in essence a giant perennial scallion. Chickens are now daily getting into the SOUTH bed and have ruined papaya seedlings and the general tidiness I had finally established, so today I will consider two methods for keeping them out so they will forage in the west bed I WANT them to frequent!

The folks at Black Kow a few years back paid me to write them an article for a pamphlet they distribute across the southeast U.S. and might be commissioning two more! Their sales rep Steve sent me a box with two new all organic fertilizers whose ingredients impress me for me to test......two 5 lb. bags of 'Dynamite Plant Food' and 'Dynamite Mater Magic'....I am impressed by the ingredients of both and will be sharing them with a couple gardening friends to evaluate in their gardens. They might be commissioning two more articles from me, one about roses and one about tomatoes since I wrote often about both in my St. Pete Times column for eight years.

Sure sign of spring yesterday.....I saw my first azalea blooms of the year while riding my bike to the gym. Any time now my Meyer's Lemons should begin flowering and an early species amaryllis emerging would not surprise me. Thank heavens I escaped Denver in November 2002 as spring there is still a VERY long way away. So much to do this time of year....good thing I like to be busy. I've begun a weight loss and fitness regimen which will surely boost my energy levels as I get back into shape and get the gardens into shape.

Oh how I love spring fever!

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