Sunday, January 11, 2009

My own personal shop

My husband has taken up woodworking, with an emphasis on the skills that replace the need for power tools. This is great for me. I say, "sweetie? I'd like __________" and he retires to the back room every evening for a few days and comes out with a custom piece built to my specifications. Awesome!!! And it turns out frugality is contagious because he has totally come around to my penny-pinching ways. I may be a fabric hoarder, but he, my friends, is definitely a scrap wood hoarder. He's started his own blog to catalog his projects over at The shoe rack turned out beautifully and I'm very excited to see the kid's bookcase.

I'm getting antsy for spring planting. We went to producer's again yesterday because they have the first of their seed potatoes in now. We got several pounds of those and some garlic as well. Apparently, going in as a family makes us memorable--the head gardening guy and the owner both seem to recognize us now. We had a good talk about what's required to be successful with blueberries in our area and I used some Christmas money to buy a Tifblue and a Premier. I learned that you need two different kinda of blueberries (kinda like with apples) and in our area, you want one of those to be a tifblue, because they're the good pollinator. I've seen some sources say you can have only tifblues, but I'm all for variety. I've read before that if you have lots of pine trees around, that's a sign your soil is acidic enough to grow blueberries. The guys at producer's said our local soil is too alkaline, so you can either grow them in a big whiskey barrel type container, or acidify the soil around the plant. The "natural" way to do that is with plenty of spagnum moss in the hole where you plant (actually, apparently there has been some success with growing in pure spagnum moss). The cheaper, but more chemical way is to add some ammonium sulfate at planting and then twice a year throughout the plant's life.

Our other task yesterday was to start filling the new garden beds with soil. We are going to dismantle our current beds over time and go with more traditional, rectangle beds. They will take more work to water, but be more space efficient. As we took apart part of the back bed and shoveled its dirt onto a tarp to drag to the new beds, I decided maybe I should've named this blog "The Fickle Farmers" because we're always changing something. Josh insists we're just adapting based on whatever our current needs are.

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