Monday, May 27, 2013

Spring 2013!

It's been a long time since I posted an update - sorry.  What have we been doing?  Nothing too exciting, which is why there haven't been many updates.

We gave Chica a hair cut - that's always amusing.  Poor thing.  Doesn't even look like the same dog.

We made some changes to the garden this year.  The first major change being the re-working of the potato boxes.  We simply haven't had much success with them, so we deconstructed the boxes and used the materials to make two more raised beds with built in centered trellises.  We will be using them this year for peas, and will be able to rotate different crops into them in future years.  Each box gives us roughly another 7 square feet of garden.

Secondly, this year, for the first time, we are doing planned staggered plantings.  What does that mean?  That means we are putting in a row of beans every two weeks, staggering the peas every two weeks, and likewise, lettuce and cucumbers.  The idea being that we will spread the yield out over a longer harvest period rather than having 9000 cucumbers all in one week.  All of our past staggered plantings were entirely unplanned panicked re-seedings based on plant loss because a certain dog would break into the garden and either eat everything or have a grand time digging.  We won't name names.

Finally, we've made changes to the watering system - mainly out of necessity as there were many parts that needed replacing due to a certain dog eating the sprayers. Yes, the same one that ate the plants and dug in the beds.  This year John devised a system with a central distribution hub with controlled flow and no sprayers.  The idea is to reduce Haley's attraction to the garden and to reduce overspray and keep the water bill down as we expect to have to water longer to combat the drought conditions.  

With the severe drought continuing, we are losing trees and bushes, so we're having to remove things.  We lost our Pear and Cherry trees.  We've determined that we are not fruit tree people and we need to stick to what we are successful with - tomatoes and carrots.  Neither of us is upset about losing our junipers, however it is a lot of work, and we end up with large brush piles that we are banned from burning.  Generally, we let them dry and then use the materials as kindling in the woodstove all winter.  The dogs also gain hours of entertainment deconstructing our piles and scattering branches back all over the yard.  Stupid wood chucks.

With the gardening season comes motorcycle season.  John has already been on several long rides.  Yesterday we went on our first ride of the year together.  John took me East of Albuquerque to the town of Madrid, about 100 miles round trip.  The weather was perfect.  It was great to get out again.

I've been maintaining an active teaching schedule at the yarn store through the Spring, however I'll be taking a break from it over the Summer.  I want to regroup and develop some new class offerings for Fall and Winter.  I'm actively designing and will be releasing a collection of sock patterns next month.  This has been a fun project for me.  John has been wonderfully helpful, not only as my photographer, but as my design editor as well.  He has a great eye for elements and layout and lets me bounce ideas off him.  He couldn't be more supportive, and I couldn't be more thankful.  I'm seriously considering branching into producing a line of project bags as well as a line of hand-painted yarns.  My downtime from teaching over the Summer will give me more time to weight these options.  I also have plans to produce another pattern collection in time for a Fall release, but we will see how much canning season impacts that as we generally start making salsa in August, about the time I'll have to knit samples for photography.

Anyhoo... that's the news from Green Bin Farm.  What's new with you?