Gardening Ain’t Over Yet

This past weekend was beautiful!  Pleasant temperatures and sunshine made for one excellent weekend of working in the yard, and I took full advantage, know good and well that there won’t be many more days (especially on the weekend) like this left this year.  The first thing I did Saturday morning was harvest my bell peppers.  We had a harder-than-expected freeze last Thursday, and even though I covered my garden boxes with plastic, it got down to 26 degrees F and a single layer of protection wasn’t enough to save them.  And so the harvest began.

I bought 16 plants this year, and 15 of them survived.  I hadn’t really been keeping close tabs on the peppers much lately because very few of them had been turning from green to yellow, orange, or red…and I favor those colors over green.  I was holding out as long as I could.  I knew I was going to need a fairly large container to hold my haul, but I underestimated how many peppers were on those plants!

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The harvest from the first plant alone covered the bottom of this bag, and some of the peppers were larger than my hand!  While I was picking peppers, The Stinker was also picking peppers–I turned around to see her inhaling a green pepper, stem, seeds, and all.  When she finished that one, I had a couple that weren’t in the best shape, so I offered her both.  She took the larger of the two.  Figures.  But the happy look on her face was priceless.  Then later I caught her with her teeth on her 3rd pepper of the morning, but once she saw that I had busted her, she backed away.  I told her it was okay, that I didn’t really want that pepper anymore anyway.  If only I’d had my camera I would have taken video of her tenderly plucking this bell pepper from the plant.  It was pretty adorable.  I had no idea that she even liked green peppers.

My next task was to tackle the rock wall in the backyard where the orchard is going to be.  This is where the chickens live.  The rock was there when we bought the house, but it was crumbling in places and needed some serious work before getting too heavily invested in planting trees.  I finally finished the western half of the terraces, and they are ready for a few fruit trees this fall!

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I have spent a lot of time weeding this area over the past 2 years and building up the soil.  The chickens have helped out as well, and the soil is looking really good in here now.  I just have to work my way across the eastern half now.  It’s a work in progress.  We’re planning to get a couple of apple trees this fall, and I’m very much looking forward to harvesting my own apples in the years to come.

My saffron crocus bulbs also arrived this weekend.  I’m excited about this…I’ve never bought saffron in the grocery store because it is so expensive.  But when I saw that I could, in fact, grow my own saffron…well, why not?!

This week is going to be a busy one, full of travel and presentations.  I have to drive to one side of the state tomorrow to give a talk, then drive home the same night.  Then the next morning I turn around and go to the far side of the state in the opposite direction for a conference, where I present the same talk on Friday.  And to make things even more interesting, I’ve come down with a sore throat.  It feels like I am swallowing nails.  I gave in and went to the doctor today, where they swabbed me for a strep test.  Apparently strep throat has been going around.  The quickie test came back negative, but they will send it off for a lab culture anyway.  The doc thinks I have something viral, and of course there’s nothing I can do but wait it out.  Yaaaaaaaaaaay.  What timing.

To make things even more interesting, I realized after I got home from work tonight, that I never got final confirmation on where my meeting is tomorrow.  This was my bad, I know, but given my state of mind at work today…I’m not completely surprised I did this.  So I called the place where I was told the meeting might be, and they said that the meeting was originally scheduled to be there, but that the agency had cancelled and they thought the meeting was across town at another convention center.  What?!  Shit.  My night was about to get bad.  I had visions of driving 3 hours to the largest city in our state, only to find that the place I thought the meeting was going to be wasn’t actually the place the meeting was going to be.  Then what?  Drive around looking for the agency vehicle decals?  I was about to hit panic mode.  But the meeting gods were looking down on me favorably tonight and the girl on the phone told me the name of the conference center where she thought the meeting had been moved to.  “Bless you, my child,” was all I could think when I hung up the phone.  So I looked up the number to this place, gave them a call, and indeed, this is where the meeting is supposed to be tomorrow.  Ok, I will be able to sleep tonight.  Argh,  wish me luck tomorrow, I’m probably going to need it.

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