Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, 2008

Final day of my carryover vacation, and since my wife's out doing her paper route, so I'm watching the boys and checking the boards.  But not before I made smoothies for breakfast.

Quick aside here, the smoothies I make are great!  I get frozen strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries and mixed fruit from Costco and blend 1 serving of each with 2 cups of milk, 1 banana and 1 non-fat yogurt.  To balance the liquids I use Crystallite lemonade.  That blends up into 2-16oz. glasses for my wife and I and 2-12oz. cups for my kids.  I'm growing blueberries  and have blackberries in the wetland behind my home and found out from AB on Good Eats how to freeze them, but I'm not growing strawberries, raspberries, bananas, peaches or any other of the fruits in the mixes so I won't be talking about this much in my SFG blog, but boy are they tasty, and good for you too.

Back to my garden. So, thanks to the good people at GardenWeb, I found out all about my diametrically opposed blueberry bushes.  Apparently, Legacy is a southern high-bush variety that is listed as semi-evergreen.  Since I'm in zone 8b where the temperature doesn't get below 15 degrees (I don't think it's been below 20 this year), it's normal for the leaves to drop.  Blueray on the other hand, is a pure northern high-bush and normally drops its leaves in the fall.  It just looks funny with one bush lush and green and the other is brown twigs. 

Here's my Legacy evergeen...

And here's my twigy Blueray...

Seeing that as new gardener a month after you planted them the same way, wouldn't you worry?  Anyway, it's normal. Go figure.

I was thinking that my blueberries aren't SFG, but technically they are.  They're in a raised bed (concrete blocks cemented together).  It's just that they take up 16 SF (a 4x4 bed) for each plant.  I would have had them in my SFG enclosure, but they were removed in one of my later redesigns for lack of space and proper lighting and natural watering.  But that's a different story.  Maybe I'll put together a whole page on my raised bed design process.  That would be fun.  Anyway, the rest of the blueberry bed is taken up by a mature rosemary plant which is good with potatoes, carrots and chicken.  The other few SF is currently devoted to lavender.  The purplish blue flowers are pretty and will compliment the blueberries, plus the bees love them. I'm trying to attract bees to pollinate my blueberries.  I had a wasp problem not 15 feet away from the blueberries last year. They kept killing the bees. Add that to the national bee extinction issue and I was worried. My plum and pear harvest was horrible last year as well, though I'm thinking it was also a result of over-pruning the year before.  Anyway, the wasps are gone after a 5 minute visit from an exterminator, and the lavender's juicy, so I hope to have lots of bees this year.

Well, my 4 year old who's sick right now, just made me look at the trays on the fridge. I had looked when I got up and saw nothing.  But his eagle eyes found two little green sprouts pushing up from the vermiculite, one broccoli and one cauliflower.  I'm always amazed how that works! 

My wife had a suggestion for a small cabinet with an open back that would fit on the kids dresser under the window of choice for seedlings.  That way the kids couldn't get at them but the sun would.  I may have to rig something up.  I hate to spend money on something like that, but I don't want it to look ugly either.  I'll think about it.

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