Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We were on the roof

I spent most of the day on the roof. Sometimes you just gotta say, "Screw politics!"

It was overcast skies all day. A cool breeze blowing from the north. Heaven! Hasn't been this cool since ... April? Finally, I can get up on the roof and work on the garden and not instantly break out in a sweat that just won't quit.

Hey, wow, our ginger is flowering. A very mild, pleasant fragrance. We didn't know if it was a flowering variety. Duh!

...and more on the way ...

I've come a long way from the savannahs of the neanderthal age, I guess. I don't like to sweat, and I can choose to control my environment so that I don't have to. I'm lucky that way. Sweat gets on my glasses or in my eyes, blurring my vision, and it just pisses me off! Yeah, yeah, it's a good thing to sweat and it's good for you. It's a healthy thing to do. I must be reeeealy healthy, 'cause I can sweat just bending over. If it's hot, that is.

Avocado Junior is doing almost as well as ...

Senor Avocado

Lord, my face looks like it got some sun today. Even though it was non-stop clouds all day - no direct sun at all - my face looks like I've been at the freakin' beach. Amazing. I get a sunburn even when it's cloudy! My glasses were trying to tell me, but I didn't listen. I have those "transition" lenses that get dark in the sun and lighten up automatically inside. They got dark on the deck. Really dark. I noticed it and shrugged it off. Obviously, I was getting a lot of UV today.

Something (good) has gotten into our blueberry bush. We had the first fruit ever from the bush this spring (ok, only about 25 sweet blueberries), but since then, the bush has gone mad with growth. If this keeps up, we'll have a huge crop of berries next year.

Pulled up a couple of plants that were on their last limbs, washed out the pots with soap and gave them a scrubbing. One of our two deck boxes had 2" of water in it! It's rained a LOT over the last two weeks. Fortunately. Somehow a lot of water got inside one of the deck boxes. The other was dry. Not only was one wet inside, it had a lot of dirt in it too. Dirt which had turned to ... mud ... with water. So taking everything out of the box and cleaning out the box was an ordeal, and yet ... it was ... NO SWEAT! Yea!!!

Almost everything from the September plantings is doing well ... the Mesclun mix, from which we have already been snipping for salads ...

the dark lollo rosa is still small, but there...

...the endive ...

And we have a first fruit on the Bradley Pink tomato plant, which we transplanted from seedling only four weeks ago!

We even got a tomato on the May planting of the Green Sausage tomato plant. Finally! I think it was lucky to survive that monster heat wave this past summer, and now, in appreciation of the cooler temps, it's coming to life.

Oh, shit, time to set up the automatic watering system seein' as how we're about to be gone for several days. The timer seems to be working fine. The manifold that attaches to my spigot works, to a degree ... one of the four nozzles is leaking a bit and it'll take some more experimentation to get the right combination of hoses. Freakin' bag uh rubbish ... but ... NO SWEAT!!

Once the wife got home - had to work a few hours today ... at work - we put seeds and transplants into eleven different containers. Eleven more! As if what we already have isn't frustrating enough! It must not be, because today we planted:

1) spinach, a savoy type from Burpee, in a large pot which can hopefully have three plants;

2) fennel - florence, one of the German (bulbing) varieties. These Burpee seeds produced a really delicious bulb last time that went right into the wife's special pasta sauce.

3) chamomile - manzanilla. We tried this Ferry-Morse product once before and it produced a microscopic plant. Smallest plant I'd ever seen. We've giving it a second chance, but only a second chance.

4) lettuce - Lau's Pointed Leaf, a looseleaf heirloom variety from Baker Creek. We have three other lettuces about four weeks old doing well, so we're staggering the crop, but this is a first try for this particular variety.

5) kale - Red Winter. We've grown this Botanical Interests from seed quite well before. It's fall. Time for some more kale.

6) carrot - Little Finger. So far, poor luck with three different varieties of carrots by three different vendors. First try for this little heirloom guy from Baker Creek. This time, a pretty big pot, and I think our timing is better too. I mean, sometimes we DO learn. Sometimes. But if we strike out this time too, that may be all she wrote for us trying to grow carrots.

7) broccoli - Green Goliath, another Burpee seed. The four-week old Waltham broccoli from Baker Creek is doing ok. Staggering.

8) swiss chard - our pot full of swiss chard shoots recently totally disappeared. Not the pots. The healthy-looking shoots. We're not sure if the recent high winds just ripped them away, or maybe the legions of lizards we have unleashed on our roof ate them. The lizards are supposed to just eat the bugs, but I dunno ... so we re-planted three colors of swiss chard: yellow, pink and orange. The seven-month old swiss chard from Park Seed Co. has been producing well, but these three are all from Baker Creek, and

9) pak choi - Toy Choi. We've had good luck with these Burpee seeds in the past, so we're trying some more. They produce tasty tight buds of cabbage-like heads.

And so here's a glimpse of the final result, placed somewhat haphazardly against the wall.

Nine more edibles! And then we "potted up" a fern and a colancha for inside the house. Meaning, they moved from smaller pots to bigger pots.

Lots of time on the roof today, and dammit, I'm sorry we missed some friends who dropped by on one of their rare weekend afternoons off. We simply cannot hear the doorbell when we are outside on the roof: strike one.

We were playing music on the deck, and loud enough such that we couldn't hear the landline telephone ringing: strike two.

My mobile phone stays tucked firmly in my briefcase, which was on the 3rd floor, one level below the deck. Ain't no way I'm hearing that if it rings: strike three.

I really should pull my mobile out on the weekends, at least. And I guess I need to wire the landline phone into my stereo so I can hear it when it rings. And wire my front door bell so that it rings over the stereo too. It can be done. It was a very pleasant afternoon, and it would have been even moreso if I had heard that company was at the front door! HELLO!! Thanks for the bread. It's delicious!

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