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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eggplant update and other produce from the garden

So while there are tons more pics from various stages of this summers construction of both animal habitats and the garden, I won't be getting into sitting down and going through them all in an organized fashion for a few more weeks yet. Once the weather deserts us for the year and I am trapped inside I think that task will appeal a lot more. For now however, I wanted to post a few more pics of the produce from the garden. The Bun-galow is interfering with afternoon sunlight on the tomato plants, slowing down the ripening of the front and rearmost plants in particular. Somehow despite this we continue to get lots of great tomatoes off all three plants, particularly the middle one! I harvested 5 beautiful palm sized fruits today, and if the warm weather predicted for the next ten days holds to it's promise, we will certainly get a few more of the dozens of of fat but green fruits still on the vine.

One of our two pumpkins vines died, though the pumpkin itself looks great, albeit smaller than i had hoped we could grow it before harvesting. Nevertheless I am proud of my very first pumpkin and look forward to carving it soon and making pumpkin seeds with its guts.

Also sad, our green peppers seem to have had a hard time taking off and also have some kind of blight/vitamin deficiency that is inhibiting healthy growth. These were a very late starter for us having picked them up on sale at the local nursery for a late summer planting. I also don't weed AT ALL, and did a shoddy job mulching and I'm sure that the interlopers are taking some of the resources out of the soil. This is the biggest reason that next year the entire garden will be converted to raised bed planting boxes with weed cloth floors. I'm looking forward to building the boxes slowly over the winter after I harvest the entire garden and compost the skeletons of the plants.

Now the peppers of all other kinds seem to have had no problems at all producing prolific fruit and I am starting to wonder what we will do with them all since most of them are insanely volcanically (is that even a word?) HOT! We have Super Chilis, Red Dragons, and Hot Lemon Peppers.The eggplants continue to grow and are starting to look like they will be pretty decent sized if they have the time to get there before the growing season ends..

I am having trouble figuring out how exactly to format my posts here so that the photos show up where I want them in my posts. Bear with me while I learn how to work this blog, please!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More photos from this summer

Building the chicken coop was one of the most fun projects we have ever undertaken. The bunny hutch was even more fun, and with the practice we had from building the coop, it went up in half the time..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who we are, and how we came to Bluebird

Nicole and I bought our home here in Lakeridge in the South Seattle area in October of 2008. We had been searching for a home that fit our needs for months, with little luck. Nicole wanted to live close to her lifelong home in Ballard, in the heart of Seattle. Her best friend, Ingrid, her Father, and Mother all lived within a range of a few blocks to a few miles away, and we both loved the neighborhood culture in the Ballard area. Sadly, I felt that the homes (at least any we could hope to afford) in that neighborhood, while charming- were generally going to be a tight fit for us- what with our two cars, two motorcycles, two dogs, and many bicycles and other belongings. We visited beautiful historic broom closets all over Greenwood, Fremont, Central District, Georgetown, West Seattle and Ballard. Either too small, too old and beat down, or almost suitable but far out of our price range, these neighborhoods were essentially closed to us unless we were willing to seriously compromise our vision of what our first home should be. Nothing was even close to fitting what we needed. Finally Nicole consented to looking a little further afield for a suitable home. Our Realtor, Jen found us a few homes in the south end. One of the first we visited was the house we would come to know as Bluebird. The little blue house with the generous back yard instantly took our hearts and imaginations a running. It's a modest 1940's era home with a single bathroom, a glorified carport for a garage, and the upstairs floor is an attic style finished half story, instead of a full upper story with it's own bathroom, but the home was attractive, with a well groomed front lawn and hedge, and a fully fenced backyard with a concrete patio and plenty of grass for the dogs to play on. In fact, the backyard was maybe the thing that struck us both most strongly about this little house on the South end. Nicole had been gardening in the small back yard of her Ballard duplex for years, growing her favorite flowers, Dahlias, as well as herbs, tomatoes, squash, and some grapes, and I had come to really enjoy helping her care for the plants in our modest space. We knew that we would plant a garden in our new home wherever we found ourselves. The back yard of the little blue house was huge by our standards, totally flat, and without a single tree obstructing the sunlight from shining down on our as yet unplanted crops. We both began fantasizing about the wonderful variety of plants, flowers, and in my case- vegetables we could grow in such a place. For Nicole, Ballard may not have been forgotten, but it was no longer a factor in deciding where we were to live. We were sold after five minutes touring the home. We made an offer the following day, and thankfully it was accepted, and we moved in a few short weeks later. Ingrid was the first to visit the house, before we even closed and moved in, and standing on the sidewalk out front with Nicole, quickly dubbed the home "Bluebird". Although initially I was reluctant to bestow such a cute name to my new abode, the name stuck, so there you have it.