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 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

Chicago – Chicagoan

I think moving to Chicago was the best adult decision I have ever made.  Considering that wearing gauchos, dating a few sociopaths, and letting someone shave a blob-star into the back of my hair with a straight blade were also adult choices – I guess I should just be proud I’m getting better at making choices.  It’s not that I don’t like or appreciate Denver, but no amount of Wash Park, alcohol, mountains, or pho was gonna keep me satisfied there.

So why did I choose Chicago?  Well, for starters it’s a giant city.  The thought of disappearing into a city as well as having unlimited options for activities was my dream!  No one even cares here what my routine, schedule, eating habits etc are – in Denver everyone has to participate in the conversation and situation.  Here, unless someone throws up on you or waves feces in your face, you pretty much mind your own damned business.  The people who do gossip are the little cute Polish ladies at the market and even then I can’t understand them, but I’m sure they only speak of how European I look in my running pants, and that I have the grace of a swan reaching for items on high-up shelfs.  But seriously, this town doesn’t put up with BS.  No way, no how.  I actually think there’s a sign at Midway that says “Chicago – no bullshit, no drama, no bad food” – okay maybe there isn’t but there should be.  Further, I had a pre-programmed group of family and friends that I selfishly absorbed like the Blob from The Dude.  That felt like somewhat of a security blanket for moving to somewhere I’d only been on vacation to twice.  I honestly think Chicago was the challenge I needed to really move forward as a human being.

Denver, although alluring and attractive had lots of scabs and unhealed wounds for me.  I know it’s surprising, but I do hold grudges… okay, okay, so it’s not so surprising, but I’m a loyal person and being deceived means being on my sneer and glare list for the foreseeable future.  It’s nice to be in a place where there is no past for me holding me back and paralyzing me, only a future with no limits.  If the future Brianna was some how able to go back in time and tell me how great my life in Chicago would be, I don’t think I’d believe her.  Chicago has made me so happy and much to the chagrin of The Dude I am already comfortable enough to declare myself a Chicagoan.  I know, I know, six months isn’t really a long enough time frame to force Chicago to adopt me, but it feels like home here and I’m glad to have made the very grown up choice to move here and start fresh.

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