All posts by BobStanza

Expanding The Garden

I’m putting a little faith in the weather man who says the lowest temperature through April 19 is 37 degrees and added the warm weather vegetables to the garden today. Now, one of the good things about container gardening is if he’s wrong, I’ll just need to move some pots into the garage for a night.

So I spent about 6 hours prepping, planting and cleaning things up and now have added potatoes (russets, red and white), tomatoes (7 varieties), tomatillos, peppers (green, red, yellow and orange bells) and some hot banana. I haven’t seen any jalapeno or red cayenne yet but will keep my eyes open. Also have a couple types of cucumbers. I also started sugar pumpkins, zucchini squash and a couple other types of cucumber from seed so things are flushing out pretty well.

Next week will be focused on wine! Time to rack and start the whites.

Adding To the garden

Some more spinach, leeks and the hazelnuts that wintered over have been added to the entry garden. A lot of this is in response to the whole COVID-19 thing but since we’re here most of the time now why not learn and maybe get some food that’s better for us and should be tastier. So here’s the updated photos since last weekend.

I bought some leeks from the garden store. Not sure what they think people are supposed to do the way they have 150 plants in a 3 inch pot other than to break them up and replant them. So that’s what I did. About 8 plants per pot. I’ll see how they grow and the ones that take the best I’ll cut out and plant into 3 10″ pots I have waiting for them. Saw a great video on Home Grown Veg that makes me hopeful that if I can get these to grow along with the potatoes going in next week I’ll be able to make a potato leek soup later this year. They just look like little wisps now but we’ll see how they turn out.

And I took a couple pictures of our daffodils. I do love the Barrett Browning because they reming me of my grandfather Dr. Barrett Brown.

Surgical Masks

It’s a rather sad situation when hospitals are asking the public to make masks for their use but such are the times. This serves as a good reference even if not used now.

Please only use new fabric for masks. Do not use used t-shirts or bedding.

Supplies and cutting instructions

  • Exterior fabric
    • • Cotton fabric: tightly-woven fabric such as quilting cotton
    • • Cut one piece 9” wide by 6” tall
  • Interior fabric
    • • Knit fabric or flannel
    • • Cut one piece 9” wide by 6” tall
  • Ties
    • Cotton fabric: tightly-woven fabric such as quilting cotton
    • Cut two pieces 2”wide by 44” long -OR- use pre-packaged bias tape, extra-wide double fold (.5” wide)

Step 1: Make ties

To create your own ties, use a 25mm bias tape maker -OR- the fabric can be ironed by folding the width fabric (2”) in half and press. It will now measure 1” by about 44”. Then, unfold the fabric and fold each raw edge into the center crease and press. Fold in half once more. The tie will now measure 1/2” by about 44”. Set ties aside.

If using pre-packaged bias tape, cut two pieces that are about 40” long. (It’s OK to cut at 36” long so you can get three ties out of a package!)

Step 2: Sew mask

Place the exterior and interior fabrics right sides together. Sew the top and bottom (9” side) using a 1/4” seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. Next, create the pleats. Fold the fabric so there are three even pleats on each side, and top stitch using 1/4” seam allowance.

Step 3: Attach ties

Match the center of one tie and the center of one pleated side. Slide the raw edge of fabric into the fold of the bias tape tie. Pin or clip in place. Start at one end of the tie and sew along the edge from one end to the other. When you reach the mask part, go slowly and make sure NOT to sew over any pins! Repeat to attach the second tie.

Reference site (could be different instructions) https://sarahmaker.com/how-to-sew-a-surgical-face-mask-for-hospitals-free-pattern/

Yeah, I’m going drink merlot!

Started the first two fermentations for the spring. A Chilean pinot noir and a French merlot. Will follow-up with a California sauvignon blanc and an Italian pinot grigio. Compressing wine making a bit this year by starting primary fermentation of the second two a week after moving the first ones into carboys.

Spring Vegetables – Episode 1

First round of spring planting is in the books. Radishes, lettuce, celery, carrots, onions, green onions and spinach. It snowed on the plantings first thing this morning but by evening when I was done all looked good and there are no more freezing temperatures forecast in the next couple of weeks.

Grow bags get here on Friday and I’ll use them for potatoes and some more carrots. Also get the lights mounted to start the mid-season crops from seed next week as well.