Friday, May 30, 2008

Growing Challenge Update Oca & Yacon

I am so sad to report that my Oca has completely disappeared. Apparently something living in my yard found it to be quite delicious, because it has vanished. After over a month of waiting for Oca sprouts to come up, I dug down to see what was happening. Not one single tuber was still in the ground. I was at first completely disappointed, but then decided that I would just order some more seed starts and give it another try. I called up the folks at Nichols nursery to order some more and also to quiz them on the likely cause of the disappearance. I gave them the lowdown on what had happened. The woman I spoke with was so sweet. She cheerfully announced that they would be sending me a replacement at no charge. I was shocked. How cool is that? I am now excitedly awaiting the replacements so I can give it another try. This time I think I am going to make some chicken wire cages around the plants to thwart any would be gourmet gophers or moles. On a happy note, the Yacon I am growing seems to be taking off. It has been really easy to grow so far and I am hoping for a nice harvest (and that it tastes good, since I’ve never tried it before).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Garden is Coming Right Along

I finally got going on the garden after I got back from Bakersfield. All of the beds have been formed and I've now got most of them planted (photos coming soon).

Skating in Bakersfield

We had a great trip to Bakersfield over the weekend. The Sonoma County Roller Derby team played against the Bakersfield Roller Girls. It was a really tough game. They have some hard hitting blockers and really fast jammers. We managed to win with a final score of 66 Bakersfield, 95 Sonoma County. Here's a photo of both teams together after the bout. The Sonoma County Roller Derby Team is in the teal dresses. I've noticed that no matter what roller rink I'm in, all of the pictures I take look terrible. There seems to be a universal conspiracy of bad lighting in Roller Rinks. The wood floor however was amazing to skate on. Getting knocked to the ground was much less painful on the wood surface than on concrete.

Rose Parade

This was the Sonoma County Roller Derby's first year to participate in the Rose Parade.
Verbal made a skate on using our Garden Wagon out of wire and paper mache.
Some of the girls came over to make paper flowers for the float.

Injury Anna Jones is ready for a ride.
Here's the team ready to walk the parade route.

We had such a great time. It was so much fun. Hopefully we will do it again next year.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Our Iris In Bloom

The Garden Next Door

My next door neighbor (mom) has been busy building cinder block garden boxes. These are cemented into place. Pretty impressive! They do look a little like burial plots, but she is going to stucco the outsides and make them much prettier.

The 15 yards of compost we ordered has been delivered. It is a mixture of rice hulls and duck manure. I spent hours moving it on Sunday. Mark was hard at work installing 4 new water faucets in the back yard.

This is the back garden plot. I moved 20 wheel barrels full of compost back here. Next step is to finish tilling it in and then form out the beds. It's taking much longer than I anticipated to get the garden in this year. It seems like there is always something other than the garden on the schedule.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


As part of the Growing Challenge I am trying to grow Yacon for the first time. I ordered the Yacon from Seeds of Change. It was supposed to be shipped to my work, but was shipped to my house and sat in the sun on my porch all afternoon. When I opened the box it didn't look so hot. I've been babying it in my kitchen window for a week and it is starting to get some new growth. Next step is to put it outside in a 1 gallon pot for a few weeks until I am 100% positive that there is no more frosty nights ahead. Then it will go into the ground.

Yard Pics

Cactus paddles drying in the sun (almost ready to plant)-We are going to grow an edible cactus fence

Strawberry Plant that the chickens haven't attacked yet

Spanish Lavender

The "Hoopty Tiller"

Seedling News

I am excited to report that the birds that broke into my greenhouse and plundered my freshly planted seeds did not get them all. I have tons of peppers, squash and other goodies ready to plant this weekend. I also have 15 yards of duck compost sitting in my driveway. This weekend I'm working at the K.J. Heirloom Tomato sale. There will be lots of planting going on here at home. I'm hoping I can talk Mark into putting up our clothesline too....

Gourds A Plenty

Last summer we grew Apple and Birdhouse Gourds in the garden for the first time. Their powerful twisty vines quickly covered the fence line and climbed up the nearby trees and shrubs as well. At the end of the season, I harvested piles of gourds to dry for craft projects. It's funny that the ones I carefully stacked on racks in my greenhouse are still not dry while the ones I left out in the weather are. I moved a few of the ones from the greenhouse to my garden table to speed the process. I can't wait to turn these into birdhouses for the yard.

Roller Derby Update

I played in my first Roller Derby Bout on Saturday night. It went really well! I fell quite a bit, but it doesn't really slow me down. I had quite a few good hits and held my own. Unfortunately, our team lost by a few points. It was a really close game and I'm looking forward to playing again soon.

This photo was taken right after our bout.... I'm the sweaty one in the middle