Sunday, March 29, 2009

Geek of all types

I'm a geek. It's taken a while and much debate to admit this but now I don't try to deny it. First and foremost I'm a SciFi geek, thanks dad, and can easily fall into discussion on numerous alien/fantasy/dragon/space/robotic/futuristic topics. Next I'm a science geek. Of the handful of podcast I listen to 1/3rd are science related like the ones from US Geological Survey, National Science Federation and the Science Channel. I also grew up loving to read things like popular mechanic, popular science, and anything that described how things worked. I've also been accused of being a computer geek because I can do a little of my own programing, I know Microsoft office inside and out and I like to do most things in my life with at least a little tech assist if not online entirely.

This week I found out I'm another type of geeks--a garden geek. That's right, there is such a person; just ask the folks at . This is a wonderful site for those of us who spend too much time at the computer anyway. Instead of trying to remember many of the details and trying to calculate things like time to germination from poorly written pencil notes stained with soil and coffee, I use folia's easy interface to journal about my activities when I do them and it instantly tracks things like which seeds my plants came from, how many days since planting, I can upload pictures to associate with each plant and seed and of my garden in general. These I can share with others on the site and comment or ask questions about other peoples gardens. There is also a feature to facilitate seed and plant swaps. Its so tech-fun. Here is my garden: Now I can track the success or failure of my seeds, my plants, my techniques and also at the end of the year track seeds I have saved and tie them to next years plantings.
Now instead of blogging about my garden record I think I will just post to folia and let it do all the hard work for me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I have been following the campain at Eat the View and strongly support the call to plant food at the White House. I have done my part to talk to just about eveyone I meet about my plans to plant a small porch garden and about the importance of my weekly trips with K to the farm to pick and pick up our fresh fruits and vegies from our CSA. Now that spring is here and I am running into a lot of old friends the most common question I get asked after "How are you?" is "When do you start going back to the farm?" That makes me happy.

And you know what I learned last night? They did it! Our leading family took another step that I hope will be just the begining of a continuing trend to lead by example. They started a "kitchen garden" on the White House lawn. There is a form to submit a thank you note to the Obama's on Eat the View and here is a video of Michelle addressing the school children about her reasons for starting the garden and some footage of the initial ground breaking (thankfully not in the traditional style of golden shovel and then teams of professionals) with the kids "pitching" in.

CNN Video

Friday, March 6, 2009

From Snow to Spring (almost)

From this:
To this:
In less than a week we went from 60's to 10's and then back up over 70 degrees this afternoon. I took this time to play in the snow, feed the birds and then come back inside to warm up, plant more seeds and dream of spring. Those are my thyme seedlings just beginning to poke though. Today I go the first tease of Spring when an early departure from work for a doctors appointment granted me the chance to enjoy a few minutes of basking in the sun and driving with the windows down (I normally start my commute with the sunrise and drive home as the sun is setting). It felt wonderful. I'm happy to say that I opened up the porch door for a few hours and got my peas, onions (bunching and yellow), leeks, and a bed of spinach in the containers that were freshly moistened from the snow melt.
I'm really looking forward tomorrow when I plan on opening the door in the early morning, leaving it open most of the day and appreciate the early touch of Spring.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smile and go plant something

While browsing through some of my long list of unread DC area foodie blogs drooling over restaurant dishes I can't afford, gourmet recipes that I couldn't hope to recreate and opinions of the finest this that and the other I ran across something that made me laugh, smile, think, dream and cry just a little. I wouldn't say that I'm much of a crier but the I have been known to weep at the occasional sappy romance movie, sob through the whole last 30 minutes of Marley and Me and I'm a sucker for sentient computer yarns like Wall-E and Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. That said it takes a rare moment for something like a gardening history lesson to move me. But a clip featured on metrocurean's blog got me thinking that it really is time to look back to our roots, as imperfect as they are, and make a change for the future. And who better to lead that change than our nations figurehead. Anyway, I'll get away from that soap box before I really go on a rant and just leave you this clip. I hope it makes you smile and then go plant something.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!

Yesterday began with a little snow and with the very light breeze only one corner of my patio had a light dusting. Nothing like what the rest of the north east states are getting. This was a very moist and sticky snow, not the dry, fluffy stuff that I could blow and sweep off my car with very little effort but it was only a little and not really coming down with any force. After breakfast we bundled up and ventured outside. K took great pride in climbing the play structure in her snow boots and taking the snow with her as she flew down the twisty slide and shoot off the end in a spectacular puff. The only thing that could top that was a snowman so we got to work. I started the 1st ball and showed K how to roll it; the sticky snow making easy work of the task. Soon enough we had 3 balls stacked up to Ks height. I'm glad we got out in the morning because by the afternoon the snow was melted.

The rest of my seeds arrived from Baker Creek and I contemplated going out and planting the cold loving seeds but I decided that I had better go finish my planning and make sure that I have room for everything I plan on starting indoors before I go crazy and end up with nothing but peas and spinach. Glad I did. I spend a wonderful evening dreaming of spring greens, summer flowers, and fall harvest. This should hold me through the not so light snow that piled on last night and this morning. Schools are closed and the streets look nasty, not to mention the long stretch of icy, snow piled stairs between my door and my car. So I made pancakes for breakfast instead of cold cereal on the run, enjoyed my coffee sitting down instead of while driving, baked banana bread muffins that just came out of the oven and thanked the season for giving me a few more days of real winter so that I have plenty of time to finish my planning for spring.