Thursday, April 21, 2011
speeding up now
I was ticking through the to do list today and realized that despite 3 feet of lingering snow, it is garden season for sure. The house is full of starts and experimental bottles of chicken poop tea, which has been quite successful so far - the first guinea pig tomato plant is much, much greener than the others. Two days ago, I planted (with the help of Liam and Théa, of course) the first starts in the garden. Bok Choy and spinach went in the ground in the greenhouse, which got a fresh coat of plastic last weekend. I've got them covered with row cover and plastic at night, as the temps are still well below freezing, but they made it through a couple clear nights so I think we may be OK.
And the hoop house is uncovered from its snowy tomb, so I think on Saturday I will try to dig it out and get that started. Maybe this evening even. It's time to get the ball rolling.
The kids are even more into the gardening this year. Liam especially knows a thing or two about putting things in the ground and what results, and he's very intense about it all. I realized the other day as he gazed at a seed rack in the store in much the same way he gazes at a shelf of toys that I was raising a gardener. Liam was frustrated last week by Théa's flippant attitude about the earth they were preparing - he was making rows, she was filling them in, helpful as always. She later moved on to burying her doll in the garden. Liam had to leave the greenhouse, he was so frustrated. At bedtime he requested a Mommy and Liam day where he and I just gardened. You betcha, kid. You betcha.
The weather outside has been awesome this week. Sunny and mid-40s. Snow is melting like crazy up on the ridge, and in town, it is full-blown spring. I helped my friend Mike work on a studio he is building next to his house this week, which was wonderful because it put me firmly outside for much of each morning. I could no easier have sat inside at a computer than pulled my toenails off one by one. It's been a longish winter, even with the break in Hawaii in February. I'm ready.
Last week, I attended a forum on high tunnels. This is essentially what I did myself last year - planting in the ground under a plastic canopy - only the government is giving out huge grants to buy these things for us. $4.1 million has already been spent in the Homer area, they reported, on more than 100 tunnels. Nuts. The town is going to be floating in greenery come this fall if even half of them get up and running. So I applied for my own - won't know until next January if I get it, but I'm hoping. And in the meantime, I'm going to do another pvc number this year to keep costs low. I'll take the plastic off early this fall and then put the new tunnel up over the same beds if I can next year.
So beyond gardening, there is one other notable development in the wonderful world of Rancho Restino. Liam has found the piano in a huge way. He's been taking lessons with Lindiann - who lives at Mike's house - since January, but recently, he has really picked up speed. He practices without being asked to - and is reading music fluently. One night this week I actually had to threaten not to read him stories if he didn't stop playing at bedtime. What???? The last lesson is starting to get him to do multiple keys at the same time, a big leap and one you can see him grappling with, but he's intensely into it, like solving a puzzle. I'm inspired by him, practicing my fiddle more. I'm so excited. And at the same time, my father spontaneously provided help for the lessons last week at a point when I was wondering how exactly I was going to keep up with the cost. Things just seem to come together when you need them to. And the things you need, they find their way into your life. I'm so happy for Liam.