Monday, January 24, 2011

A few scraps for the leaves. Part 2

In what could be my most satisfying recycling that doesn't involve vegetable scraps, I was able to reuse the mailing box from the composter to mail Anna our fabulous paint-by-numbers "Last Supper". (For some reason, our friend Susan gave up this gem in a joint yard sale.)

Anna's been wanting the painting for her apartment in Brooklyn, but because it is a large, rectangular shape, finding a box has been difficult. I even went to a UPS store to buy a box, but they wanted $10.95. Can you believe that?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A few scraps for the leaves.

Okay, so it took a few weeks, but I finally put
together my
composting bin, with a little help from Tony. It was a snap: Four panels held together by these very cool swirl hinges. Check out

the photo of how they work!

I set up the bin in the back yard, next to the leaves that I saved from earlier in the winter. I saved way too many leaves, as one bag fills up a quarter of the bin. Guess I need more bins or less leaves. Yikes.

It was great fun dumping my bucket full of veggie scraps and my dead Christmas poinsettias on the pile and turning it into the leaves. (I know. Don't you wish you had my life?), but I felt like a farmer.

A full moon in January's snow.

Two snowfalls (better description: snow showers) in two weeks! A wonderful thing, indeed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Drum roll, please.

After much hullabaloo, I've started composting. Tony snapped this picture of my first collard stems going in the bucket. Well, it was the second or third photo. I made him reshoot several times, because my hands kept looking awful. The sign of a true gardener, I know, but a girl has to draw a line somewhere, you know what I mean?

Even more impressive than the composting was the meal I made with those greens. My dinner was completely locally sourced, except for the mashed potatoes. Here's the menu. Yum!

Sweet Potato Soup Garnished with Roasted Red Peppers
Osso Bucco with Newman Farms Berkshire Pork
Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Blue Cheese
Fresh Picked Collards and Kale with Rosemary and Lemon Zest

Can it get any better?

Last night, we had a beautiful downpour of snow, and today it was a snow day on a Monday. This never

happens in Memphis, and I thought the day couldn't get any better until our mail carrier, Derek, delivered my 2011 catalog from Seed Savers Exchange.

If you don't know about Seed Savers, check it out here. The company, started in 1975, sells 600 varieties of heirloom seeds, and every packet sold helps support its commitment to preserve genetic diversity. Is anything more right on than that?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

How I love a resolution.

Most of the people I know don't make new year's resolutions. Who needs them, why bother, too much pressure is the general drift. I tend to swing completely the other way, making lots of resolutions so a few might stick around until spring.

I'll spare you the other lists, but here is my gardening resolve for 2011:

1) Do a little something in the yard every day. (It makes me happy and moves along the work.)

2) Compost. Compost. Compost.

3) Increase the size of my vegetable garden. (This isn't so difficult as I only planted 50 sq. ft. last year.)

4) Plant an early spring crop of greens and lettuces.

5) Landscape the beds around my new front sidewalk.

6) Collect rainwater.

7) Volunteer at Urban Farms, a sustainable community garden in Memphis, and finally,

8) Never dress up a squirrel in a New Year's Eve hat.