Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011

It's been freezing rain here almost all day, so nothing much gardening is going on.  My soil blocks are soaking up as much water as I can give them.  That's probably because I used old compost to make them.  Ah well, water's cheap.  Of course nothing's germinated yet, but as soon as they do, I'll break out my trusty clip lamp with a CFL bulb in it.  Sure it's no where near the light spectrum of my 4' lights upstairs, which have a cool and warm bulb to give me the full spectrum, but it works nicely until all the seeds germinate.  Yep, I'm cheap and don't want to spring for a heat mat for my unheated storage room upstairs.  If you're new here, that's where my light system is set up.  Heaven knows where I'll put it when my kids move into the rooms over the garage.  Everywhere out of the way is too cold in the winter.  Ah well, we're a year or two off of that happening.

I'm chomping at the bit to put in my Territorial Seed order.  I've emailed my brother to give him an ultimatum of tomorrow to get his and his boss' order together.  Hehe, I can just see him pressuring his big boss for her order... not.  Oh well, maybe I'll put in a small order by myself.  All I'm ordering is Snow Crown cauliflower (I'm out), Green Wave mustard greens (a trial), then 4 tomatoes; Legend, Siletz, Stupice and Oregon Cherry,  All but the cauliflower is Open Pollinated.  I just really like that variety and since my wife likes it I'm not messing with it, unless I find out Monsanto owns it.

I was going to say that I always let my brasicas (broccoli and cauliflower) go to seed from laziness, or wanting side shoots from the broccoli, so I should get an OP cauliflower.  However, with the prospects of chickens this spring, I'll likely be yanking everything spent and feeding it to the girls.

Speaking of chickens, I'm into Raising Chickens for Dummies (Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow) and have actually learned some things from the much more technical book.  One is that hens make noise, possibly enough to make my neighbors complain, especially in the morning when one or all exclaim their egg has been laid.  Not sure my iffy neighbor would do well with that, even if the coop is as far from his place as possible.  He may just poison the chickens like he "may" have done with my 40 year old cedar trees that were blocking his sun.  We've had a strained neighborly friendship ever since that time.

The other thing I've learned is that Polish crested birds lay smallish eggs.  Not sure what I'd do with small eggs, hehe.  We'll see if my wife can be swayed.  Of course we may have to cut that breed if we can't get McMurray Hatchery to bend their 25 bird minimum order rules.  My brother called and got them to agree when he was checking into mail-order hatcheries, but who knows when we go to order.  We may just go to the Bothell Feed store for our birds, looks like they're the closest for supplies too, 15 minutes away.  I looked at their bird availability schedule and they have all but the rare bird I wanted, no surprise there.  However, the birds I want are hatching almost a month apart.  I am not sure I'd want to get them that far apart. 

Well, that's about it for me tonight.  Time to check out my pic storage site and see if I can still remember how to get in, if it's still there, hehe.

Enjoy your garden and thanks for stopping by.


  1. Glad you mentioned the Monsanto seeds at Territorial...I have their list from 2010 and Snow Crown isn't on it (which is great since it's on my list to order :)...but Candy onions are on the list and I was going to order those...scratch them....

    DH agrees that E Coli from chickens wouldn't be an issue given all the waterfowl on the lake...but he still doesn't want chickens...I'm going to let him win this to rack up some brownie points ( I want a new greenhouse :)


  2. Yeah, we regularly call Terriorial to the carpet for boasting the safe seed pledge but continuing to support the COMPANY that is the reason for the pledge. However, we do buy from Territorial. there just isn't a better PNW seed company. I'd REALLY LOVE them to put who they buy each seed from in their catalog so the customer could be king, as they should be.

    As for no chickens, I guessed that. My wife's in the same boat, well she was. I totally understand it. Good luck with your greenhouse!

  3. I can confirm that the hens do indeed make quite a ruckus to announce (proudly!) that they have accomplished the great feat of laying an egg. You know if I did that on a daily basis - I would probably make some noises about it too! :D

  4. Rich, you're back! Cool to hear about the chickens to come.