Thursday, June 05, 2008

Smoke, rain, and the garden

Rained again last night. It looks a bit drab outside, although there's a touch of blue fringe at the ridgeline, so perhaps we'll get some more sun again today. I woke up (POING!) at 3:30 this morning, and, not being able to go back to sleep, updated the website, fixing a bunch of bad links on my link pages and adding an article to the February contents page (I had inexplicably left out the "Fairbanks Spring Hysteria" article by my dad). It was a bit chilly, so I lit the fire and burned a bunch of junk mail and cardboard boxes to heat up the house a little bit. Big billows of white smoke are now drifting through the woods; I can see it through the bedroom windows.

Since we are using the outhouse (it being summer, and the septic line not yet being unfrozen), I had to make the morning trip outside, and checked out the sprout status of the garden. The lettuces I got from the EMCE planting day on Sunday have quintupled in size, except for one, which has only tripled (!). The dinosaur kale (apparently a variety rediscovered/redeveloped by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed) has straightened up and is thinking about getting bigger, possibly.

And then there's the seeds I planted in flats in the atrium: five zucchinis, with what looks like three more throwing the dirt around enough to show life underground, at least twenty sunflowers (Evening Suns and Jerusalem Lemon Yellows), and a whole lot of nasturtiums (Alaska variegated, although I can't see any variegation yet, and some sort of trailing mix nasturtium). No sign of the catnip or sweet marjoram or gem marigolds yet, though. Nor of my purple Columbian fava beans—but they like it really warm, so it's no wonder they're not up yet.

I'm pretty excited by the zucchinis: although the germination seems slow, they are from saved seed, and I haven't done that for a long, long time. I'm hoping to grow enough to can or freeze a bunch for winter--and to keep saving seed. These zucchinis are pretty tasty, and they stay solid and good even up to double-softball size. They aren't the giant zucchinis that you'll see attempting to squash the Tanana Valley every summer, but they get big enough!

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