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it’s hard for me to blog wen i’m home from the hospital, have chemo brain and family staying with us to help.  so, this morning i snapped a bunch of garden pics for my twitter feed.  check those out here and follow me on twitter, subscribe to or watch my twitter feed, “tweet, tweet” on the sidebar when you’re waiting for me to blog.

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dear readers, i know you are just bubbling with excitement at the prospect of a new mysetery melon.  behold!123788

what will she be?  a watermelon, perhaps?

 

it's a pumpkin!mystery solved.  those are pumpkins growing from the compost pile!  more specifically, those are last thanksgiving’s floral arrangements.  i’m hoping they are at least the white pumpkins we used.  so, there’s still a little mystery left.

it’s a good thing that these are doing well, because all of the organic, heirloom varieties i planted in the garden-with-crappy-soil are floundering and being attacked by squash bugs.  i think i might try more hot pepper wax spray on those pests.

the neighbors are of course full of helpful chemical poison suggestions, but as you know, that’s not how we roll.  any non-toxic ideas?  and nothing involving soapy water buckets and early morning bug drowning, please.  that is definitely not how we roll.

mystery melonlet’s just take a break from all of this woe-is-me chemo business for a second.  remember that garden i planted? i snuck out to have a look at it today.  the “garden soil” we had delivered is pretty useless, so things have been off to a slow start in there.  over by, and from, the compost pile, however, things are much happier!  and by “things,” i mean plants.

i have a mystery melon growing from the geobin.  i’m guessing watermelon, but what do i know? it’s something we ate, that’s all i can be sure of. maybe a cantaloupe?  i’ve done zero research, but perhaps a kind reader will point me in the right direction. (i should post more photos of the developing fruit and flowers, huh?)

trash tomatoesthe trellis that is intended to hide our trash bin is home to a few heirloom tomatoes.  i’m really excited about the tomatoes. free tomatoes are a good thing.

with geobins and crocuses and gardensoxx all in a row.

today i set up our geobin compost system.  it does not look like this:
geobin
i suppose it could, with some serious wrangling, but for now it’s more of a lopsided oval shape.  and you know what, it works just fine that way because it gets the job done.  plus, it holds compost better than a cardboard box.

before the builder laid down the sod for our front lawn, nugget daddy spread out 450 crocus bulbs.  they’re a naturalizing variety, so they should become more dense over the years.  it sort of looks like we’ve stuck a bunch of artificial flowers in our lawn.  still, they’re fun to see poking up, and a nice way to welcome spring.
spring is here!

nugget loves flowers!

i also started my first tray of seedlings today.  it includes:

big rainbow tomatoes
big rainbow tomatoes

radish d'avignon
radish d’avignon

chioggia beets
chioggia beets

bloody butcher tomatoes
bloody butcher tomatoes

marglobe tomatoes
marglobe tomatoes

roma tomatoes
super italian paste tomatoes

vesuvius nasturtium
vesuvius nasturtium

rainbow heirloom tomato mix
rainbow heirloom tomato mix
mix consists of equal parts omars lebanese (red), dutchman(pink), golden sunburst (yellow), black russian (purple), aunt ruby’s german green (green) and djena lee’s golden girl (orange)

yikes! i almost completely forgot to write about the gardensoxx! (i actually had to drag myself out of bed and go back to my desk after catching my mistake on my crackberry.) anyhow, once the seedlings are ready for transplant, they’ll pop right into these cute little tubes of landscape fabric that come prefilled with organic growing medium. we have really heavy clay soil here and tilling a temporary garden is such a pain. i hope these work out well. they look so promising!

here’s a look at a really cool stream bank restoration project using filtrexx products. it shows the gardensoxx being made on-site.

williams-sonoma 6-hour chili 
crock pot chili
serves 6-8

ingredients

2 lb. organic ground beef
3 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 organic yellow onion, diced
1 can (28 oz.) organic crushed tomatoes with juices
2 cans (15 oz.) organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2T organic tomato paste
4 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano or 2 large sprigs fresh
1 t ground cumin
3 t cornmeal
1 cup organic beef or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
organic sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

directions

in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the beef, about 10 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a slow cooker.

in a small bowl, combine spices, salt, pepper and cornmeal.  add the garlic, onion, tomatoes with juices, beans, tomato paste, cornmeal-spice blend and stock to the slow cooker and stir to blend.

cover and cook for 6 hours.  ladle the chili into warmed bowls and garnish with sour cream, cheese and/or cilantro.

adapted from williams-sonoma’s 6-hour chili

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