All posts by BobStanza

An overdue update

So, as usual, I’ve not kept up with my posts. Maybe it will only be something that happens after retirement? Anyway, my COVID gardening adventure has worked out even better than I expected.

  • More lettuce than we could eat
  • About 8 spinach dinners
  • Radishes didn’t do as well as I expected but enough to make Kathy happy
  • Carrots – Didn’t weigh them but enough to munch on very tender half-longs for a couple weeks
  • All the green onions we need (and they’re still going strong)
  • Green beans for about 4 dinners. Again, not as impressive as I wanted but rabbits had their way with them before I got some chicken wire up. Lesson learned.
  • Broccoli was rather disappointing. Maybe these just need more space but we had a couple dinner’s worth.
  • Onions – 5.5 lbs in 2.2 square feet
  • Potatoes were around 21 lbs in about 1 square yard of containers. Better than I ever thought
    • White – 4.5 lbs (2.2 sq ft)
    • Russet – 9.5 lbs (4.2 sq ft)
    • Red – 7.5 lbs (2.2 sq ft)
  • Tomatillos about a pound so far and still going. Having a little trouble with bugs on these
  • Cucumber – More than we can eat. Have been donating most of them to a food pantry
  • Zucchini – Again, more then we can eat and I’ve cooked them a lot of ways. Excess to the food pantry
  • Tomatoes – Not weighing but we’re getting close to more then we can keep up with eating and building up speed
  • Peppers – As many as we’ve needed with lots still on the plants.
  • Pumpkins – Still underway. Have a few that are looking good

I’ve learned that I need to spray the cucumber and squash / pumpkins with a fungicide from the start. They’ve been hit hard by fungus even though I have them properly spaced and use drip irrigation. But in general, insects haven’t been a significant issue and I’ve used no pesticides. Fall planting isn’t too far off so I’ll make some adjustments and see how things go.

Here are some pictures of the harvest and plants. Oh, did a picture of Corona sneak in there? πŸ™‚

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
    • β€’ Cotton fabric: tightly-woven fabric such as quilting cotton
    • β€’ Cut one piece 9” wide by 6” tall
  • Interior fabric
    • β€’ Knit fabric or flannel
    • β€’ 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.