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

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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!

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The Garden is a go!

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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!

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

 

 

Farm House Update: Week 4

Well it was a week of highs and lows all around. We lost Vladimir to a stroke on Wednesday, which just put a heavy cloud over the week.  There was a lot of grief and sad painting – I’m happy I kept working though, because now I feel like a lot was accomplished.

The Low:

I need a new main panel. F*&k! The connection tabs on the bus had been roughed up by the former owners and it’s such a severe issue the electrician (now that he’s involved) is going to replace the whole thing.  This will require a permit so because the garage wiring is so bad/not to code we actually have to disconnect the garage and cap it so the inspector does not fail the work. I just keep having flash backs to the listing ‘AS-IS’ – and indeed it is….. The photo below shows MY inspector complaining about a breaker that does not match…. no mention of circled broken tab on bus. I am learning a LOT about electrical work though – pretty fun. Except for the whole spending money part.

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The Highs:

Painting like a mofo –

Got the living/dining room in progress with 1 1/2 coats – still need to do the ceiling and the interesting trim on those cove ceilings.

Finished the bedroom!

Before – rusted windows, major plaster damage on windows, WHITE, wonky window treatments…

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AFTER!

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grey walls and new white trim.

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I again had to refinish another window since it was rusted severely.

Plus the bathroom is 99% done! In the next week or so I’ll post a total before and after on the bathroom. I have done so much work in here – it’s so nice looking now! 🙂

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The water works! You can read that post here.

 

I’ll post a home tour video here tomorrow of the top floor – while it’s in reno status. So stay tuned. We are getting so close!

 

Farm House Update: Week 3

Well, we are 3 weeks underway of getting the farmhouse – livable.

Here are the things we have done:

  1. removed all bathrooms that were not supposed to be there
  2. re-did the main bathroom on the first floor
  3. removed all debris from the yard/house
  4. starting painting
  5. hung window treatments
  6. got all new appliances
  7. installed new well system
  8. installed washer & dryer
  9. repaired all rusted windows
  10. removed paint from all window sills
  11. installed new furnace and water heater

It’s been A LOT of work.  Thankfully, Lois has been a huge help with most of these items – the yard looks 1000% better due to her. On the days we were able to tackle things together it felt like we got a lot more done than I would have ever imagined.  My Pops has been a major help in figuring out what we can/can’t do electrical wise and prepping for Connelly Power Co to jump in on some things.  We still can’t live there until we resolve the electrical issue for the water pump/well system. That is the most frustrating part, since we really can’t live there without water, but everything will be easier to work on, continue to deal with once we live there.  Right now, every moment over there has to be utilized 100% so I think I speak for everyone, but I’m tired.  I love working on the house and it is really rewarding and exciting, but it’s just hard to not have a bathroom to use there, or water to use – and it’s hard to drive back and forth to our apartment in Broomfield (30 minutes away). Eh, but why am I bitching? I fought super hard to do all this – just at a different pace I think, but oh well in a months time or less it won’t feel ‘so close, yet so far’.  Plus, a lot of the things I had planned on spacing out over 2 years will now just be done. So when we do move in we can literally just start enjoying it instead of prolonging some of this fun.

Moving forward I’ll being doing more ‘before and after’ shots on our progress – now that there are some really impressive ‘afters’!

Thanks again, Lois, Pops, Uncle Mark (MD Services – my HVAC/plumbing hero), Aunt Lori, and everyone else in their virtual support so far in helping us get this fixer upper livable!

Here are some photos of the recent happenings:

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Lois cleaned up the front yard and what a difference! So clean and pretty!
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just some of the yard debris we cleaned up – broken glass/car parts?
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it’s the simple things although it is still un-used due to no water at the house. 

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Leopold was in love with the house – and so cute on his house tour.
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A sight for sore eyes – new well jet pump and tank (note no longer in the crawl space under the stairs).
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‘oily beau hunk’ installs my cellular ikea blinds also Sixteen Candles joke. 
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new washer and dryer – thanks pops and cym! 
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window sill- i’m blue da bo dee ba de dow….. 
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look at the sexy new copper plumbing for my washroom…. rawwwr!
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before: yard cage for former tenants that didn’t pay rent…..
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after: bunny coop/chicken larvae den removed. just a nice space for appropriate plants.

 

 

METAL PUMPKIN SEARCH WITH THE WITCHZARD PUG.

‘Tis the time of year for ALL things pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin food, pumpkins to carve, and pumpkins to smell like. It also marks the annual METAL PUMPKIN legacy that I have tried to uphold for the past few years. Basically METAL PUMPKIN is the anti-stereotypical jack-o-lantern. *There’s also a small ceremony Leopold holds to summon the evil powers that create a METAL PUMPKIN. It’s no big deal and only involves a little blood and Satan.

Evidence 1: Grim Reaper Pumpkin is METAL PUMPKIN
Evidence 1: Grim Reaper Pumpkin is METAL PUMPKIN
Leopold has to become WITCHZARD PUG to summon the METAL PUMPKIN spirits.
Leopold has to become WITCHZARD PUG to summon the METAL PUMPKIN spirits.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I as the WITCHZARD PUG keeper had to go scope out potential METAL PUMPKINS. So I brought along my DH4L comrade – Sara and we went to the Goebbert’s Family Pumpkin Patch and Festival.

The Lovely Goebbert's Farm outside Woodstock, IL.
The Lovely Goebbert’s Farm outside Woodstock, IL.

In search of METAL PUMPKIN....
In search of METAL PUMPKIN….

I was marked by the Patch, but my METAL SPIDER was still keeping me focused on my job for the WITCHZARD PUG.
I was marked by the Patch, but my METAL SPIDER was still keeping me focused on my job for the WITCHZARD PUG.
I asked this Alpaca if he knew of the METAL PUMPKIN. Since he knows about some amazing yarn GFK uses on the regular.
I asked this Alpaca if he knew of the METAL PUMPKIN. Since he knows about some amazing yarn GFK uses on the regular.
I knew the power of the METAL PUMPKIN was strong when I stumbled upon bunnytown and they had such sadistic symbols.
I knew the power of the METAL PUMPKIN was strong when I stumbled upon bunnytown and they had such sadistic symbols.
Furs... so sadistic.
Furs… so sadistic.
The outing at first was peaceful, but then....
The outing at first was peaceful, but then….
...the clouds began to roll in knowing I was doing work for the WITCHZARD PUG.
The clouds began to roll in knowing I was doing work for the WITCHZARD PUG.
I was skeptical this place held METAL PUMPKIN powers.
I was skeptical this place held METAL PUMPKIN powers.
This one unleashed a small amount of evil METAL.
This one unleashed a small amount of evil METAL.
...but, alas - there were no METAL pumpkins here. At 39 cents a pound it was hard to summon METAL at this pumpkin patch.
…but, alas – there were no METAL pumpkins here. At 39 cents a pound it was hard to summon METAL at this pumpkin patch.

So METAL PUMPKIN was not at this patch – I have a feeling M.P. will show up at my local Dominick’s or Whole Foods – the SATANIC POWERS OF METAL DOOM are the strongest at Whole Foods on North Ave especially.

I bought apples and sauerkraut. Kind of METAL, but more just healthy.
I bought apples and sauerkraut. Kind of METAL, but more just healthy.