Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wine, onions and a bird's nest

Well, between cycling and shovelling, March got away on us! We start a Merlot-Cab-Shiraz wine a few weeks back and it is now racked off for the secondary ferment. Jess was quite excited to stir in the oak chips.  

After a bike ride this morning, I was out raking the leaves up off the lawn and I noticed some onions starting on the south side of the house. These came from seeds I nicked in the river valley a few years back.

I had initially thought they were a nodding onion but the seed head (which comes in full and purple) is wrong. Maybe they are a Geyer's onion?

The snow is almost gone everywhere but in the back yard. It will be another week before I can get a spade in deep enough to turn over this fall rye. We did put some kale seeds in the cold frame and we have some tomatoes under grow lights in the basement.

The hedge yielded some interesting items this weekend, including a tiny bird's next (tea-cup sized) and a cantaloup-sized wasp's nest!

If I get ambitious tomorrow, I will wander over to Apache seeds and pick up some onion bulbs at lunch. I also see a tiny bit of outside maintenance to do before gardening season is upon us.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

And the garden starts to melt out...

While there is still 18 inches of snow in many places, a few days of warm temperatures have meant the garden is starting emerge from winter. The buds on some of the bushes (like the Saskatoon below) are looking more prominent.

The backyard planter is also melting free, revealing last year's basil plants. I spent some time two weeks ago sorting out what gets planted where this year and also looking through the seeds we have on hand.

This week we'll likely set up the grow lights in the basement and look to plant some tomatoes. I think we are about 8 weeks from weather good enough to risk some early tomatoes transplants. I finished tuning up the bicycles yesterday and hope to hit the road this afternoon for few terrifying kilometres of exercise (north-south roads look good--not so much east-west roads).

Along the side of the house, the raised beds are thawed down about 2cm and the soil smells fantastic. I think I will throw a plane of glass on the right-hand bed to see if I can get the soil thawed a bit more this week and then plunk in some spinach or kale seed (is chard cold hearty?).

I also need to rack off a carboy of wine for some bulk storage and get a second kit started. Trying to get far enough ahead that I never have to drink the wine young.