Garden Checkin 2017

Well all be. It’s summer this week. I haven’t said anything about my garden yet. We’ll I have reason for that, let’s start at the beginning.

It’s January and I cannot wait for planting season, last year I had a HUGE amount of help from Colorado Urban Farm.  They not only set up my beds, filled, them, planted, but with their laminated checklist/references I was able to keep things alive/weed and ultimately enjoy eating from my garden! It was a major success, but I felt like this year I could own the whole thing.  So I came up with a new design – add 2 4ftx8ft beds, and some containers for container corn.

I still planned on practicing square foot gardening. So I had 128 squares to fill and three large felt pots. I got on burpees.com and went ape shit. $100 worth of seeds later I had:

  1. Pickling Cucumbers
  2. Tomatoes (Beefsteak + Big Boy)
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Celery
  5. Spinach
  6. Container Corn
  7. Shasta Daisies
  8. Sunflowers
  9. Green Bell Peppers
  10. Jalapeños
  11. Banana Peppers
  12. Beans
  13. Summer Squash
  14. Zucchini
  15. Radish


Then I started the celery, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes inside around March 15th. I bought this light from amazon, set up a room where they would be undisturbed and warm and spent a lot of time planting, making sure everything had good light etc. I used this kind of seedling tray from Black Magic – was really unhappy with it.  It said it was peat, but the peat never broke down even after it was soaked. It was more hydroponic style, which in hindsight is Black Magic’s whole ‘thing’.


I lost 50% of my seedlings when I transferred them to soil three weeks later. What remained were some hardy pepper plants, some spunky tomato plants and some super hair-fine celery plants plus one random cauliflower plant. That core group of plants was doing great – I had about 12 total and was feeling great about next steps with them. Then it came time to plant them outdoors. Four days later – IT FUCKING SNOWED IN MAY IN COLORADO.


But everything survived. It was a miracle! But a short lived one, three weeks after the snow another 50% of the plants were gone. Just POOF gone on 70-80 degree days under their shade/hail tent. I was/am/will always be disappointed.

I ended up just buying new plants at $2 a pop from Home Depot, O’Tooles, Walmart.


All in all, my seedling experiment was a bust. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t be doing it again.

Cost of indoor seedlings: $50 for seeds, $80 for electricity, 8 hours total working time

Cost of new plants: $32

Also my home made compost that I used to plant my tall pompous grasses totally has veggies growing around it lol

Advertisements

oooo that smell….

It’s been SO long since I’ve posted about the house.  Things have been moving forward, with the help of friends and family we have been able to get the yard cleaned finally!  One major tree has come down that was super out of control.  3 more will be going soon in the front. Saving majorly for the Bathroom downstairs – that’s what Ghostfaceknitter is for ;).

Oh and in the next few days – BRAND NEW WINDOWS. 🙂

But probably the most time/attention has gone towards a smell.  It started in September, it wasn’t chronic.  But it reeked of rotten something. In October, I realized that it was the ejector pump (sniff sniff sniff -COMING FROM HERE).  The wonderful little gadget that literally purees then shoots any waste from the basement up and out into the sewer.  So so amazing – technology is wonderful.

Let’s revisit what this room looks like:

25597647134_95eaab2996_b
notice the white marks on the black pipe to the right of the white shut off valve.

The first plumbing company to come was Lakewood Plumbing.  They came in spent about 5 mins in the room and told me it was due to all the cracks and openings in the ejector pump.  If I caulked those all, the smell would go away.  It seemed to right off, so I was super happy. And best part, they didn’t charge me….

Then, the bathroom sink clogged due to calcium/mineral build up. So I called Lakewood again due to their amazing diagnostic skills, the smell was coming back a little this time they told me to put a sealant over it. ‘That wouldn’t hurt anything’ So I got the sealant, similar to roofing sealant and covered the top like a crazy person.

While I’m on the topic of crazy, this smell literally drove me insane. I could walk in and smell it, I could smell it in my craft room – making it impossible to work/sew and do the things I love to do, that bring me comfort and joy.  So imagine me, crazed painting sealant on an ejector pump sniffing everything inch of the basement to make sure the smell was gone.

22774178328_3cc2124f69_m
okay i get it this was overboard but they told me this would be totally fine!

It ‘worked’ for about a week.  You see the sealant smell cancelled out the poop smell a bit and things seemed okay.  Then the smell came back. I was hysterical. It smelled like sulfur at this point (again I was driven mad). So having the well that sulfates in it – ‘welp that’s sulfur!’ So I cleaned out my entire water softener.  If you have ever done that.  1) you have to use cups, shovels, cat litter scoops (it was clean 😉 ) to pretty much get all the salt out.  So I did that, cleaned it with bleach (we don’t drink unfiltered water from the sink we have a reverse osmosis system that is 1 million times cleaner than other water sources).  Anyways, the smell went away for a few hours then came back.  I lost my mind and covered the entire softener in garbage bags.

So at this point it was a water issue. The well company wouldn’t help me…. So I called a water softener company, because it was totally my sulfur water. They were awesome. They came out immediately looked at the way the water softener was drained into the ejector pump and said – the smell is coming from there and into the softener it’s not your water.

But alas, he tested my water and guess what?  Extremely hard water is a 10 my water was a 35. That’s right, the water softener I have was only cutting it to the high teens.  That still meant that all of my new appliances and pipes were getting corroded. So I went ahead and bought the water softener that could handle the job. $3k later that was solved.

30653632770_9a13025bc0_b
our hard waster on the right, the newly treated filtered on the left. JESUS. 

BUT STILL THE SMELL WAS THERE.

I was a broken person when I googled ‘ejector pump specialist’.   Nate from Time plumbing came out and in a matter of minutes (he also popped the ejector pump top no one else did) and saw the smell was not coming from ejector, but noticed some drip build up on a pipe nearby.  He also could not believe that someone would tell me to put that on an ejector pump. He then realized that our main sewer did not have a vent and thus the smell was all coming from that tiny crack!

My tangent about Home Inspectors – they suck.  Hire a trusted, bonded professional in the area you want inspected. If I had had a real plumber out (not just general inspector and sewer dude), they might have caught it and I wouldn’t have been plagued with 3 months of this smell. Same goes for electrical. I think I could have a career in Home Inspection based on my experiences here.

Anyways Nate came and fixed it today.  We have a vent on our main sewer and now the smell is gone. SNIFFS IN WITH MY BRAND NEW NOSE HOLES.

Anyways Denver Metro plumbing recommendation Time Plumbing – ask for Nate. He is great.

And thus the smell saga is over.

 

 

 

Bathroom Before & After

So this is A LONG TIME COMING I’m pretty sure I’ve been promising the before and after here for months…. well it’s FINALLY HERE!

Boy oh Boy was this bathroom a project. When I first started this ‘mini-refresh’ I thought it would be new paint and a shower curtain………

Here’s what I really ended up doing:

  1. Removed shower stall
  2. Re-did all caulking
  3. Restored Window
  4. Restored Medicine Cabinet
  5. Painted walls
  6. Painted vanity
  7. painted heating vent
  8. Replaced toilet
  9. Deep Cleaned
  10. Changed cabinet hardware
  11. Replaced broken soap dish tile
  12. Repaired vanity drawers
  13. Lined vanity drawers

It took ~30 full hours to restore all these items over the course of 4 weeks.  I had to sand and strip almost every surface to remove rust, paint, caulking, and calcium build up from the untreated well. Well enough chit chat – PICTURES!

BEFORE:

25848671566_f49876bb2d_c
just grimy – shower stall covered in calcium – toilet filled with rust and calcium

25245861813_779f71b2ea_c25245829913_89d99fac48_c

25241865514_247f6170fd_c
mmm moldy calcuim

25573976960_ba7dbca916_c

 

26034230246_805e2f10ff_c

26011362786_dea681c986_c
rusted out window in the shower

Please feel free to go shower now after you’ve looked at all of those grimy/nasty pictures.

and now…. drum roll please!

AFTER

27526319493_094d630fbd_c
I made the shower curtain from IKEA fabric.

27526132494_ccaebfcd81_c

27525808233_a1ca344129_c
I chose a light mint green and I love it. 
26293058961_b9039d646c_b
this cabinet is one of my favorite things. 
26570339975_48eb9afedb_c
I worked so hard on this damn rusted window – just need to fix the cracked sill. 

Garden Update!

Well, I’m officially keeping the garden alive and things are starting to sprout and grow!  I can’t tell you how much pride I have in this garden.  My neighbor is a garden-pro and encourages me/offers advice not to mention helps me fix my irrigation system 😉

Seeds that have sprouted/are above soil:

  • Micro Greens
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Pole beans
  • Beets

Still waiting on:

  • Carrots
  • Nasturtium (edible flowers!)

Plants progress:

  • Tomatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Sarano peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • French Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill

Now just to start thinking of all the amazing recipes/meals that I can use these in!

26661424773_2a84ce2009_b26991687740_dd397842c8_b27170225652_5b15cfb7aa_b26661410103_d5fa432a76_b26993494510_8c74bbed69_b

 

Weekend Wrap Up

It was a productive weekend here at the Farm House. Last Thursday, I had sinus surgery and well… it knocked me on my ass. Between the anesthesia and the trauma – I was not myself for a better part of a week.  In fact, I think I slept all last weekend 😉

However, this weekend – I got shit done. Here’s some photos of some things that happened.

26945472822_62eda95ae6_c
the $7 table i got at habitat – painted coral and added some fun fabric i’ve had in my stash for a few years under the glass.
26945474332_c46cc94058_c1
the garden was planted! read more about it here!
26745910830_c449bc579e_c
the soffits and the gutters are done!
26416362343_aeda10cfca_c
peaches sunbathes
26861402085_acce6ae96e_z
last weekend with my ‘nurse’ and bandage – NOT productive lol

 

 

The Garden is a go!

26436035683_8baafd758e_c

I’m gardening! I’m gardening!  Well sort of… now I’m watering and waiting, but that’s probably 80% of what gardening is.

I’m sure I have a few gardener friends that I could have heavily relied on to help put this garden together, but I chose to circumvent the years of trial and error that plague some novices and just hire a great company to help me get started.  Obviously, it’s in my hands now, but the folks at Urban Farm Colorado really gave me a huge head start and lots of advice.  They came out with the materials and set up the beds with their nutrient rich soil and provided me with either starter plants or seeds. All in all, the cost was great!  I actually price compared several times to see if I could do it cheaper and I couldn’t. Plus, they are available to help me if something is weird or if I have questions. Which is a great comfort since I have a nice little investment out there and have already planned on not shopping for produce this summer 😉

I decided to go with 2 4×8 beds.  It wasn’t until I was planning the layout that I realized that 2 beds is going to yield A LOT of produce.

Here is what is in my garden:

  • Micro Greens
  • Kale
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • chives
  • Basil
  • Jalapenos
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Squashes
  • Beets
  • Plus some more things I can’t remember 😉

Here’s all the pics!

26416141283_231166855c_c
urban farm builds the beds, while I mowed my lawn.
27019783205_7a0fc663db_c
We set a grid on the bed first to figure out where everything would go.
26951518861_7e208c8a22_c
the irrigation system is on! drink plants drink!!
26436035683_8baafd758e_c
the ‘herbe’ section
26945474332_c46cc94058_c
2 beds, irrigation systems, sun/hail protection netting on both
26765356920_38f1bb4f28_c
i put vladimir’s ‘memory totem’ here also.