The first wee salad of the year! Arugula, wee beet leaves, and some lettuces.
Moseyed over to the community garden, to see what had to be poked at/weeded before planting. Found two kinds of kale growing happily in the communal beds, so I took some home to make boerenkool. It’s more of a cold weather dish, but hey–it’s been chilly lately, and it’s my favourite way to eat the stuff.
There were also strawberry plants, raspberry canes, and rhubarb. Exciting.
 In pot, fry up some onions. Add chopped potatoes and kale; cover with water and boil. While that’s cooking, heat up the fattest sausage you can find; sometimes I use a frying pan, and pour the drippings over the veggies, and sometimes I just cook the sausage in with everything else. (Depends how crunchy I want my sausage.) Mash together kale and potatoes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Eat it all with mustard.
Went for a walk yesterday. From home, along the top of the ridge that rings in downtown, then up Signal Hill and down the trail through the Battery. Home again. I brought along my iPod, and listened to Mediaeval Baebes and Mother Falcon. It was a cool, threatening-to-drizzle-but-mostly-just-foggy sort of day, so there weren’t many people on the trail. Just me, the music, and the wind. And the ocean.
Most of my gardening aspirations have been food-related, but I’ve been feeling an itch lately for some frivolity, too. There’s a small patch of lawn at the front of the house, and I’ve been picturing it covered in flowers. I’ve got some seeds for lupins, foxgloves, and nicotiana that could be started soon. And the Vesey’s bulb catalogue just came in the mail, so now of course I’m obsessing over tulips and daffodils and crocuses and lily of the valley andandand…
Parsnip seedlings were planted out. Also, parsnip and zucchini seeds put into blanker areas of existing bed.
Spent today sawing boards and drilling holes and driving screws… Now have most of the second backyard bed built. Ran out of screws before the last board could be attached; will finish it tomorrow or the day after. This one’s going to be for tomatoes, ground cherries, melons, and strawberries.
Managed to completely miss the work day for the community garden. It was supposed to be Saturday, but nobody was there when I swung by after work. Turns out the work day was rescheduled to today. Oh well. Next one, maybe.
The transplants are doing well so far. The rowcover has indeed kept everything alive through the colder nights, and has even, on cooler days, kept neighbourhood cats from digging up my plants.
There is enough lumber kicking around the house for a second raised bed, and on Sunday I borrowed a friend’s car to fetch such useful things as dirt and a drill. The second bed is earmarked for tomatoes, ground cherries, strawberries, and melons. And I guess whatever else I can cram into it. I’m researching mulches now, on the theory that these plants might prefer warmer roots.
I also got rope, and hung my hammock. I got that hammock for Christmas back in high school, and have kept it for yeeeeeears, waiting for the perfect tree in the perfect backyard to hang it in. The tree I have now works great, and even has a cut-off stump a few feet off the ground that could turn into the support for a small book-and-teacup-holding table.
When the kiln had cooled enough to take out the first RAWR cups, I noticed something alarming: the insides were very matte. Like, not the smooth matte I’d planned. Almost… bare clay matte.
And a horrible suspicion formed in my brain. A horrible, horrifying suspicion.
I have two yoghurt tubs of white goop sitting amongst my glazes. One is white slip, labelled “white”. One is white glaze, labelled “New Blue Base” on the side and–because it’s not the first time I’ve used that lid for yoghurt tubs full of glaze–”Dark Stormy Night” on the lid. In my glazing frenzy, I had not picked up the uncoloured base glaze I’d planned on using. I picked up the sensibly-but-unsufficiently-specifically labelled tub of white slip. And poured the wrong stuff inside every one of my new cups. It’s not even particularly well-vitrified slip, so they certainly weren’t food-safe.
Argh, argh, argh.
Luckily, there’s a studio glaze firing scheduled for tomorrow. I don’t know if it was my habit of stuffing studio pieces in between any and all cracks in my own firings or the sheer terror and desperation on my face, but I was allowed to sneak half a shelf of mugs in. They will be re-fired. The correct stuff has been poured into the insides, the buckets are now better labelled, and barring weird clay-slip-glaze interactions, the cups will be both okay AND out of the kiln the morning of the Sin City Crafters Handmade Market. And the day may yet be saved.
I helped dig a potato bed today! Went out to Seal Cove to spend the afternoon with some friends… we dug up and sifted a respectable amount of soil, moved the rocks to the rock pile, tipped the soil back into the hole, and planted last year’s happily sprouted spuds. And a few onions, because why not.
There were more seed potatoes than could fit in the patch, so I took some home with me. I’ve got purple and white varieties. Last year’s potato bed is now the lettuce-peas-beets-chard-rhubarb-garlic-nasturtium-broccoli-etc bed, but I’m building another raised bed and have a gaggle of containers and bags kicking around. They’ll get shoved in some dirt somewhere.