Casa Beebe

Weekend Review 3.10.13

What a weekend!

Did you remember to turn your clocks forward this morning? I did! Roxie was so sweet to wake me up at 4 AM (which suddenly became 5 AM) to remind me. What a sweetheart. < —- this is sarcasm.
We had another busy and exhausting weekend here at Casa Beebe. It is that time of year!

First of all, Chris is on call this weekend and he got a call at almost 9 o’clock Friday night. Ugh!! His face says it all:

I rode along with him to keep him company. We didn’t get back home until around midnight. Yawn.

Saturday we enjoyed a morning hot tub in the sun with our coffee and then I was JONESING big time to get my garden cleaned up, so that was the primary order of business for me yesterday. It was sunny and gorgeous and I headed out with Chris in the morning to start getting things in order.

What does one have to do to get a garden “in order” you ask? Well. I will tell you.

First of all, last fall we decided to put a layer of straw mulch down over the tops of all the beds. This started as the idea of just putting it down over the garlic (which we plant in the fall and harvest in the spring/summer so it needs to be kept from freezing over the winter) but the bale of straw we got was HUGE, so we had MORE than enough to cover all the boxes. Some of the straw had sprouted, which we were pretty worried about, but it was very superficial and the green grasses pulled out very easily.

When we started yesterday all the boxes looked like the one in the far background of this picture:

This is the garlic box with the straw still covering it, along with the green garlic and a little bit of the green straw grass.

Here is a bit better close up image of what my tomato box looks like still (we haven’t got that far yet):

There was also a TON of leaves left over from the fall that needed to be cleaned up from all around the boxes, along the edge of the fence and from my beach.

While Chris was turning all the straw up into the boxes and just generally digging around in the boxes to break up the soil and get things ready for planting (which is still a couple months off for big planting) we also dumped out our homemade “black gold” compost dirt.

Lookie there! a big pile o homemade dirt! You know, we just take our kitchen scraps and some of our yard debris and put it in a big garbage can and let it do its thing. We don’t turn it or add water to it, although the garbage cans have a couple holes in them to let moisture in, but it just does its own thing. I add stuff to it every week and then after a while we quit adding to one can and start adding to another. The first can just goes to work and makes dirt. It is pretty awesome. Lots of great nutrients and less waste for the landfill.

I was raking leaves and pulling weeds and raking leaves and pulling weeds. Repeat ad naseum for about 5 hours. Seriously. Oh my aching….everything!

Totally worth it though.

Ahh…so much nicer!!

The only real break I took yesterday was to go inside and get some turkey stock started. We had deep fried a turkey last weekend so I had all the bones in the fridge. I just took my HUGE stock pot, added all the bones and a whole bunch of water and turned on the burner.

The only tricky thing about making stock with that much water is that you have to put it on high to get it boiling, but then you have to turn it down so that it is just a simmer, but if you turn it down too much it doesn’t simmer and if it is too high it is closer to a boil. Since there is so much volume and it takes so long for the temperature change to be reflected, it takes a bit of monitoring and up and down adjustment on the stove to get it right. Once I got it to a simmer that I liked I just left it alone for about 4 hours or so. Then I just turned the burner off and let it cool. I ended up with A LOT of stock.

Those are yogurt containers that I reuse, and two cottage cheese containers. There are 10 large and 2 medium containers. That ought to last a while, eh?

Chris helped me in the garden in the morning, but he had boat plans for the afternoon. He got the motor officially mounted in the boat yesterday!! If you recall, we had a bit of trouble with a wrong size oil pan, got that fixed and last weekend “set” the motor down to make sure it would fit with the new oil pan and get everything lined up. It looked good! So yesterday he pulled it back out, and fastened the oil pan down completely, among a few other things and then bolted it to the boat! WhooohoO! MOTOR!

While he was doing that and the turkey stock was doing its thing I went back out to the garden for more fun times, weeding and cleaning up.

In one of the boxes I had planted several lettuces last fall. They overwintered well but were all pretty small and really close together. (I never got around to thinning them out last fall.) Since the weather has warmed a bit they have started to grow. I decided I needed to thin and space them out a bit.

There are three kinds of lettuce in the box and this picture is a good representation of how close everything was together, although this is only part of the spinach patch.

Nothing has room to grow, so I carefully dug up the larger clusters and split them apart, composting the smaller/weaker ones and replanting the heartier, larger plants. I did this with the spinach and the two other types of green leaf lettuce.

Much better! I worried a bit if I was messing too much with the roots and if they would survive, but most everything looks okay out there today! On a total side note, when those all take off, if even half of them take off, I am going to have an A$$load of lettuce and spinach.

Oh and hey…look what I found when I was digging around in the boxes earlier in the day:

I guess I didn’t get all the little red potatoes last year when I dug them up. Cool! Gardens are cool.

The last bit of work for me yesterday was to put the weed barrier (cat barrier) and bamboo cover back on my sandy beach. I cleaned all the leaves and debris off of them, and then off the sand and raked it up. It is nice and pretty and clean now and will be ready for sunny summer days with my toes in the sand.

Someone decided I needed “help” with this part of my project.

She was playing with the weed barrier. It made a cool sound and ruffled in the wind or when I moved it. Oh kitty joy! She was rolling around and it was so silly.

Later she found a hidey-spot in the laurel.

Holy Moly! That was just Saturday! I also did dishes and cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, picked up the house, took care of the everyday cat chores, ran to the grocery store for a few things, put that stuff away and then because we were so damn worn out we went and had thai food for dinner. Then we came home and went to BED.

Today has been much less exhausting. We enjoyed a soak in the hot tub with our coffee again this morning, which felt amazing after all the hard work yesterday and then got busy with regular weekend stuff…more laundry, and dishes and getting ready for the week.

Chris is still working on his boat, but now he is getting the floor prepared.

I took a bunch of pictures of random stuff he wants to sell and listed it all on craigslist for him. I also played with the cats for a while. They are SO funny.

This is what happens with you take kitties + catnip + string = funny! (sorry if it is choppy, I think my phone has trouble if I move too much)

And I suppose it is fitting to end this post with what we have growing inside that will eventually be moved outside to the newly cleaned up garden.

Peas and basil.

 Tomatoes!!

Have a great Sunday evening everyone! Enjoy the extra hour of daylight!

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2013 by in composting, cooking, garden, pets, projects.
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