Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Long Overdue Garden Update

I have finally completed the new planting area in our old sand box. It took me way longer than I expected but it is now finished, and planted with cucumbers, zucchini's, and sunflowers.

It sits just in front of my regular garden, and for now has a wire fence keeping the dogs out. I need to work on something more permanent over the next few months.

My usual garden doesn't look very impressive right now although I am harvesting lots of swiss chard and spinach, and also beets and carrots which are almost finished. There are leeks and lettuces that are not quite ready yet, and I also planted out the tomato and pepper seedlings although they are still too small to see here.

Here is the garlic I planted, along with the onions. It seems to be doing well for now, but of course it hasn't been hot yet.

My grape vine has suddenly sprouted leaves the past few days. I was getting worried that it had died over the winter because it looked like a dried up old twig and wasn't doing anything until this week. Plants never cease to amaze me!

This Jasmine in a pot on the patio has really taken off this year and smells absolutely glorious.

I also have many desert wildflowers all around the yard. This is the first spring that many of them have bloomed, and I am beginning to get the wild, overgrown look I want in the yard although I still have a long way to go to get it exactly the way I like.

I have a half dug hole for the lovely Desert Willow tree which will replace the tree we lost in the storm. Unfortunately I hurt my back half way through digging it and so Robert will kindly be finishing that today. Pics to follow!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring is Here!

I can't believe how few posts I have written this month. It is mainly because I have been so busy in the yard and garden which is good. Better to be working out there than writing about how I plan to I suppose.

Every year by the time summer hits, I have forgotten how beautiful the spring is here in the low desert. The nightmare of the summer heat leaves me with nothing good to say about living here, and so each spring I am amazed all over again by how gorgeous everything looks, smells, and feels. This spring is turning out to be better that ever after the wet winter we have had. The wildflowers are predicted to be very showy.

I have lots of things to write about and will do so the next few days. For now this warm, scented, spring day is calling me out to play. I hope spring has sprung wherever you all are! I will be back soon.

P.S Don't forget Earth Hour this evening wherever you are!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Anyone want some tomato plants?

As usual I have ended up with way more tomato seedlings than I could ever possibly have room for. I always imagine that the germination rate will be low, and it never is. There are also a lot of pepper seedlings which somehow lost their labels so I have no idea what kinds of peppers they will eventually become.

It is a good thing I have the extra space this spring in the excavated sand box, this will help, and I have managed to offload some seedlings to friends as well.

It is already planting time for early summer crops here. I plan on continuing to plant only what we eat a lot of again this spring to maximize my space.

This weekend I will be sowing summer squash and cucumbers, and some sunflowers for shade. My garlic and onions are doing great, as are the leeks. I will try to post an up to date garden picture soon because it has been a while, but I will need to do some weeding first.

Kendra's teacher at school has asked me to come and speak to the children about plants. She heard that I was into growing things, and wants to show some of the things I am growing during their science week at school. I am really looking forward to it a lot.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Until recently I had been reusing the plastic produce bags that one gets at grocery stores. I always had a stash of them inside my reusable grocery bags in the trunk of the car ready for use.

I had been toying with getting some of the cloth produce bags that one can get now but hadn't quite taken the plunge when I stumbled across these great products while staying with my cousin in Vancouver last month.

These are "Meshy Produce Bags" and are made by a small business called hotSACKS which was started up in BC by a friend of my cousins. The company makes reusable grocery bags as well as these produce sacks, and sandwich wraps.

I absolutely love these produce bags. They are fully recylable, and are made from 100% Polyethylene Resin in Canada. They can hold produce, and bulk goods, and are grocery checkout friendly because the mesh allows scanners to read the labels on the goods inside.

hotSACKS takes pride in the fact that it works with manufacturers that promote "no child labour, fair health conditions/working standards and a working wage in compliance with local laws." All products are Ecologo certified.

In Canada hotSACKS uses "Starworks Packaging and Assembly to pack & tag Meshy hotSACKS. Starworks is a social enterprise created to hire people with a developmental disability to perform light labour and assembly work."

hotSACKS' cute sandwich wraps, which are described as a "reusable alternative to plastic baggies, plastic wrap and foil." are made from "recycled, FDA approved, non-toxic, non-leaching, recyclable PE plastic." They do not contain BPA, and are Phthalate free.

I love these too. Unlike many of the sandwich wraps you will find they are easy to wash thoroughly as there is no fabric involved.

Check out all their great products here.