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Veganism, Food, and Niko’s Choice.

15 months later ….

August 30th, 2010

I actually get a fair amount of traffic on this website, mostly because of a fewselectposts.

And, I know, the worst type of blog is a neglected blog.

We moved into our house in January of 2009, and I could probably write an essay on the last two years. Not to bore you with details, here it is in a nutshell: bought a house, planted a garden, made some food, grew my business, incorporated a new business, got a new nephew, lost my dog, joined a BNI group, realized that my business was quickly becoming more than a full time job, quit making soap and candles, painted two bedrooms and our family room, had two truckloads of compost delivered to our garden, replaced a section of floor, made quite a few things including a compost bin, threw a couple of parties, made myself a new website, and now I am in the process of having my kitchen remodeled.

I’ll post pictures of the kitchen later. For those who really like pictures, here are a couple pictures of eggplant that I grew this year:

Eggplant

Pink, Black, and White Eggplant

Yard and Garden Photos

May 14th, 2009

It’s been a while since I posted an update. We’ve been in our house for 3 months now – and everything is going pretty nicely! We finally had the fence put in at the beginning of May. We fenced in nearly an acre – so it was a pretty big project (luckily we hired someone else to do it for us!). The dogs LOVE their new big back yard. I’ve ordered a bunch of vines (ivy, wisteria, miscellaneous berries, clematis) to plant along the fence, and we’re going to try some grapes too. Fun, fun!

We still haven’t hit the last frost date, so the garden is a bit bare. I’m hoping to seed the rest of the vegetables (corn, squash, beans…) this weekend, and hopefully the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can be planted in two weeks.

Side view of the garden, the onions are doing well! We didn’t have luck with onions in our (clay) soil before, so hopefully they will do better in our new yard.

Radishes, beets, turnips, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli.

Strawberry!

Not too exciting, but here is where the raspberries start. They are planted in a 75′ line – 1/2 standard, the other 1/2 everbearing. Two red varieties (Kilarney and Heritage), one black (Jewel), and one yellow (Fallgold). 6 plants / 18 feet of each variety. These won’t fruit until next year, and we won’t have a “real crop” for three or four.

Blueberries! Four varieties – I hope they get enough sun here. We have to work with the soil to keep it acidic, so I didn’t want them planted by the rest of the garden. These won’t produce a crop for 4 years; we may get a few fruits the third year, but you are supposed to cull most of the flowers until the plants are well-established.

Here’s the view of my house from the north, in the street. (You can’t see the house? Good – we like it that way!)

Side view of the crab apples. Oh yeah, and our new fence. We fenced in just about an entire acre. I have a bunch of vines on order (ivy, wisteria, honeysuckle, bittersweet, and clematis) to plant on the fence. We’re going to try some grapes too (that’s what the holes/mess of dirt in the front is for).

Bluebird house! I hung this the other month. The instructions said, “For bluebirds, hang 4-5 feet high.” And what do you know? Two moths later, we have bluebirds living in it!

Side yard and the shed. No, we don’t have a riding lawn mower.

Patio in the back.

View of the back from the patio, and our willow tree.

View of the pond from the patio. The pond is starting to dry out, and the cattails are coming in.

DIY Vegetables

April 7th, 2009

It is Spring, right? You could have fooled me. Weather Underground tells me that it is a 51.8º right now – but I’m not sure if I believe that.

No, really. It IS Spring. The solstice was more than two weeks ago. And this is what we do in the spring:

sodrolls

… only to wake up the next morning to this:

snowy-garden

::Sigh:: My tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are nearly a month old now – I was worried about germination, because the seeds were all from 2007. But they are doing quite well, and can’t wait for 70º days.

The new garden is just under 50′ x 25′ – we rented a sod cutter to strip out the grass – it’s going to save us a lot of work this summer, but it’s also going to be a lot of work this week rolling the sod and moving it to our compost pile.

Our county has a free-for-all compost site, and we have picked up three truck loads so far.

compost-pile

We plan on at least three more loads, more if we can handle it. The plan is to till this weekend, and plant part of the garden if there’s time. The soil here is really sandy, so the more compost we can work in, the better. Here is progress so far:

garden

And, coming at the end of April/Early May… 24 raspberry plants (red, black, and yellow!) and 4 blueberry bushes! We won’t have a berry crop this year – and you are supposed to wait until the FOURTH year for blueberries (cutting off the flowers so the plant gets established). Gopher1 was out today marking buried lines, so now we can decide where to plant the berries.

Oh – and T-minus-three-weeks (or so) until the fence is up :)

Crab Apples

March 30th, 2009

Here’s a side view of my house, from the northwest corner. I hung a bluebird house on one of the crabapple trees; I was going to hang the house in the back by the pond, but we have about 10 birdhouses back there already – maybe a new family of birds would like a bit of privacy (as we did!).

I can’t wait for them to start budding this spring, though my allergies won’t be too happy about it. The trees are about 15 years old, and flower both red and white. We have 25 crabapple trees on the property – 19 (I think?) along the street, and the rest are planted in the back.

In other house news, we are installing a fence as soon as the ground lets us – which should be in about 3 weeks. We got a couple of quotes and … well, it’s going to be expensive, to say the least. But we’re fencing in the entire acre – and the company that is installing the fence can run the fence behind the trees that border the pond – so we’re really maximizing the space.

We thought about only fencing part in this year, but figured that materials and labor aren’t going to get any cheaper, and now we’ll be able to enjoy the entire yard with the dogs, niece, nephew, and soon-to-be new nephew this summer. Plus, the garden will be fenced in … this won’t keep the deer and gophers out, but hopefully it will keep the rabbits away.

The Pond

March 20th, 2009

Cat tail in the pond

pond

cat tails

These photos were also taken in February. I’ll post new ones once things start turning green this spring.

The shed, the creek, and the trees

March 19th, 2009

More photos in our back yard. Our shed, with a little creek that drains into the pond. Beautiful pines, gorgeous view.

creek

Pines on the property line

Another view of the  Back