Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rubber Bands.

"A rubber band is powerful, powerful. . .."
- "Rubber Band" Shonen Knife

Anyone that knows me, knows that I can't live without safety pins. I've probably had a few posts on here that are somewhat related to the glorious safety pin. And at any given time, if you check my desk drawer or my purse, you are certain to find at least one of these life necessities floating around somewhere. My mother has often said that I hold my life together with safety pins (thanks, Mom!). And as sad as this all may sound, it's pretty much the truth. 

As wonderful as safety pins are, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a new love of mine: the rubber band!

I have been using these stretchy little gems in some very handy ways as of late. Check it out. . .

Who needs to buy fancy hangers to help
keep the clothes from slipping off?
Rubber bands will do the trick
on any ol' hanger! Personally,
I think they look kinda neat. 

I love how a simple rubber band
will keep all the pens organized in our
kitchen counter "bill box".
Oooh, and look! What's that
holding together packets of
vegetable seeds? :)

And rubber bands are so cheap! In fact, I don't even buy them. I just save the ones that bind together my produce (all the bunches of carrots, heads of lettuce and florets of broccoli in the market are held together with rubber bands). 

And so it seems I am now holding my life together with safety pins AND rubber bands! Whether or not this is progress, remains to be seen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Kitchen Garden 2013: New & Improved

Cherry Belle Radish
just starting to sprout!
Two weeks ago, we did our first spring planting of the kitchen garden. Since we weren't out of danger of frost at the time (nor are we as I write this), we put in only those things that could withstand a light frost. Tiny, yet hearty plants such as Winterbor Kale, Diplomat Broccoli, Champion Collards and Summer Cabbage found their way into The Maplewood's good earth. In addition to these plants, we also sowed several types of lettuce and greens seeds (including Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach, Shanghai Green Bok Choy, Astro Arugula, Belle Isle Cress & Aerostar Crisphead Lettuce) along with a few choice roots (Cherry Belle Radish, Purple Top Globe Beets & Napoli Carrots), Cascadia Snap Peas and a favourite in our house . .. Korridor Kholrabi.

Quite the garden is already underway. In fact, we already have many sprouts coming up! Of note is the Cherry Belle Radish, which has fulfilled it's promise to be a quick germinator. If we play our cards right, we could be harvesting these sweet lil' babies all throughout spring, summer and even into fall.

As I was reviewing the crops from previous years and reminiscing of harvests past, I came across some old photos of our very first kitchen garden at The Maplewood. In just a few short years, it really has come a long way, evolving into quite the urban agricultural undertaking. Just look at how it's grown (errr. . literally!). Almost triple in size from the original strip that was planted a few years back. 

It's hard to tell from the photo (above, right), but the garden has been organized into sections to allow for constant planting throughout the season. I'm using an online Garden Planner tool to help with the coordination effort. Below is a snapshot of how the garden has been laid out, for the full season, using the Garden Planner program. I'd say about 60% of these plants/seeds are in! And as plants are picked or exhausted, we'll be re-sowing and rotating crops, to ensure a continual harvest throughout the season. 

In a few weeks tomato, pepper and tomatillo plants will be going in, so stay tuned! I'll be updating as the garden grows. . ..