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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Friday 
13th-Apr-2012 10:50 am
Hearth
Chatelaine
Right, so, we talked about my house-stuff frustration yesterday, and I've been informed that no one gives a single solitary fuck what I do re: the house, so I shouldn't even discuss decisions with anyone. I should just go ahead and do whatever I want. I'll be over here with an eyebrow raised in case anyone wants to take bets on how soon various family members will reverse their position on that. I mean, we do have room out back for a goat.

Related: the things people did have opinions on! Judah thinks this green would be good for the living room/foyer/stairwell/upstairs hallway; I preferred the lighter greens at first glance, but Judah thinks a lighter green will make the purple couch look too dark, and that a darker green will bring out the purple more. So we'll get a sample can of that on Saturday and paint a posterboard so we can see what it looks like a bit bigger, without fully committing. Painting is scheduled for April 21. Do you like painting? Come paint with us!

Surprisingly, the only fuck given regarding the garden was given by Elayna, who I didn't think would have an opinion. She has requested raspberries and, if there's room, strawberries. I'd like blackberries, m'self. I believe those can all be container-gardened in the courtyard. I'll be going through the catalogs today picking out veg to grow - I am a big fan of beets, winter squash, garlic, carrots, onions.... there'll be a corkboard all set up. And hopefully tomorrow there'll be some time to stop by a local nursery to at least do recon, get tips, and maybe pick up herbs (expect rosemary in everything). We need to build raised beds. I don't know when that's going to happen. If you are local and know your way around this stuff, please do let me know!

Stuff To Do Today
* Garden research
* Measure art-to-be-framed
* Measure areas what need storage pieces
* Make IKEA shopping list
* Clear off current desk

* Pack away sweaters and unpack warm-weather clothing
* Bake bread and muffins/treats for house concert
* Mail checks
* Library and bank, if time
* Hopefully a row or two of knitting
* Hey, house concert.

Tomorrow
* Touring Lasell College with Elayna
* Picking up paint & posterboard on the way home; applying item A to item B.
* Nursery visit
* Socialization options include a barbecue, a party, and dancing.

Sunday
* IKEA trip
* Building stuff I bought at IKEA
* Elayna needs to take a practice SAT
* Meal planning & grocery shopping
* Making Judah and Elayna watch Evil Dead so e can see Cabin in the Woods sometime soon?

Next Week
Monday: Visiting Hampshire College and maybe Mount Holyoke, getting interviewed by Outer Alliance
Tuesday: Visiting Lesley, going to Neal Stephenson event, maybe going to Neuroscience of Sex talk during dinner
Wednesday: Visiting Brandeis
Thursday and Friday: I might get to rest?
Saturday: Painting my damn house, and a friend's birthday dinner
Sunday: BARCC Walk for Change.

*breathes*

Right, then. I'm going to go get started on today's list.
Comments 
13th-Apr-2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
What IKEA? (B/c if it's New Haven, we should meet up or something.)

That green is pretty neat. I kind of like darker with a little teal, but I know nothing of the space, so treat this as the madness and lies it is.
13th-Apr-2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Sadly, it is Stoughton. But, jam-packed schedule notwithstanding, I would like to meet up with you pretty much any time!
13th-Apr-2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
I really wish my landlord hadn't put the kibosh on pretty much everything I hoped to do this spring, but sometime I will figure something out. Or Readercon. There's always Readercon.
13th-Apr-2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
House concert tonight.... :)
13th-Apr-2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
I know! And I wish I could, but I need to be up at the asscrack tomorrow to get in all the stuff I am supposed to do, and I need to do all my Saturday chores tonight...
13th-Apr-2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
*sympathetic hug*
13th-Apr-2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
I have not had luck with strawberries. They don't bear well, and the few paltry berries I did get one year were watery and flavorless compared to Florida strawberries. Just thought I'd warn you, as a fellow ex-southerner likely used to delicious Plant City strawberries.

Raspberries, on the other hand, are doing brilliantly. As soon as I get over this damn cold I need to go have words with the raspberry patch about how it is not permitted to take over the entire driveway, but rather needs to content itself with the nice big trellis on the property line. I planted them in 2010 and got a small but delightful quantity of delicious berries the first two years; I expect a magnificent crop this year.

Also DUDE YOU CAN GROW KIWI UP HERE. There is a hardy northern variety from Russia that produces tiny but supposedly delicious kiwis and can take temperatures as low as -30! I am going to be getting a pair of plants this year, oh yes.
13th-Apr-2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Aw. So we'll try strawberries, but not get too excited in anticipation. Glad to hear about the raspberries! Those are her favorites. :)
13th-Apr-2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
We found that getting strawberries that are known to tolerate the weather produces much nicer and more abundant fruit, if you can save them from the squirrels. We've finally expanded our strawberry patch aggressively and it was bearing beautifully last year... except the squirrels got it all. *wah*

There are wild blackberries that bear like CRAZY all over here, beautiful little sweet fruit. We've let a patch grow in the corner of our yard, and we have to cut it back pretty aggressively to keep it from taking over, but it goes just fine. Raspberries are the ones we've consistently had problems with growing, both here and in Somerville.
13th-Apr-2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oooooooh yay blackberries. :) (Data: Kyth's in New Hampshire.)

I have not seen many squirrels, but I know that doesn't mean they're not Lurking.
13th-Apr-2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
My idea of "bearing beautifully" may be colored by the fact that I am not Floridian, but a Delawarean who is accustomed to, perhaps, more modest production. :)

Squirrels always Lurk. They're just waiting. Waaaaaiting.
13th-Apr-2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
We *do* have squirrels, but it was the danged slugs that ate all of our already-paltry strawberry crop!
16th-Apr-2012 09:39 am (UTC)
I put a circle of salt around my strawberry pot one year to prevent just that. My partner of the time asked if I wasn't taking this pagan religion thing a bit too far, warding the plants with arcane might and all. After I stopped laughing I told him that he was never living that one down. [grin]
16th-Apr-2012 11:51 am (UTC)
Hm, that's a thought if we decide to put our strawberries in a pot next time!

13th-Apr-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Also Amy generally gives not a single fuck about household things either, which is rather liberating once I got used to it. I have done as I want with the place, and it pleases me.

She occasionally raises an eyebrow at my taste in art, but hey, I'm the one looking at it all day.
16th-Apr-2012 09:33 am (UTC)
Have you tried alpine strawberries? They're smaller but sweeter, and grow better up north.
13th-Apr-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
I vote for a goat.
14th-Apr-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
I second the goat.

Because GOAT.
(Deleted comment)
13th-Apr-2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Yep, you beat me to it; that's a great way to grow strawberries. Makes it a bit easier to deal with the slugs that way. What? Oh, yeah, strawberry plants are a prime target for slugs. I use salt on 'em and watch 'em squirm. Yeah, I'm a slug sadist.

Blueberries are always good. And you might want to check out companion planting; lanting sweet corn, pole beans and squash, called "the three sisters." http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/ecogardening/complant.html
13th-Apr-2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'm in northern CA which has a pretty different climate, but I've had experience with growing both blackberries and raspberries in containers. The blackberry plants themselves grew decently, but the berries produced were few, small, and not very tasty. I don't think blackberry does well confined to a container because non-containered blackberries around here are delicious. The raspberry plants didn't grow quite as much, but they produced a pretty decent crop of sweet, juicy berries.
13th-Apr-2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
Blackberries and Raspberries are brambles, and they can get weedy (easily) if you don't cut them back every year. Also, most varieties have thorns. They will not bear fruit the first year, because flowers come on second-year growth.

Not trying to dissuade you, just offering info!

We grow a Triple Crown Blackberry -- it propogates itself like whoah (anywhere a tip lands on the ground, it WILL root itself) and we always have extra. I could probably mail you a few plants if you want to give them a go. They are hardy and thornless, and offer delicious, large, fabulous berries. It's the only thing we grow that isn't an heirloom variety.

As for strawberries, you *can* find ones that are hardy in your zone and you don't have to bring them inside for the winter. But they may not necessarily taste as good as others, and strawberry plants in general are only "good" for a few years before they stop producing altogether. Strawberry planters are great if you have a sunny spot that you can water regularly. Strawberries ripen better and taste sweeter in the warmth and sun, but they need water to keep them juicy.

Oh, and the garlic we got was from the Seed Savers Exchange (www.seedsavers.org). You don't have to be a member to buy from them, and they're awesome about giving growing info as well. The only thing is that with garlic (and potatoes) you have to buy them in *pounds* and then you plant the individual cloves. Unlike seeds, which would last 'til the next year in the fridge, garlic is a "plant it, eat it, dehydrate it (don't freeze it), or you'll have to compost it" kinda plant. However, you can put 9 cloves in a square foot, IIRC; I know that about 24 square feet keeps us in fresh and dehydrated garlic until the next harvest, plus enough to plant for the fall. So if you sequester the best of the best cloves, you only have to buy the "seed stock" once!

Anytime you have any questions, I'm happy to help. :)
13th-Apr-2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
I would love blackberry plants! Triple Crown's one of the ones I was looking at. :) We have a sunny courtyard that'd be perfect for strawberry pots.
16th-Apr-2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Now's the time of year when we start digging up the wee little ones that encroach upon other areas of the garden, so let me see what I can do for you.
14th-Apr-2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
You can freeze garlic for eating if you puree it! (If you then microwave it to thaw it, it can be thrown straight into things without worrying about cooking it enough that it doesn't burn your mouth off *nods*. I bought a three poud bag of peeled cloves from costco, pureed, and froze in a saran wrap lined mini muffin tin :P)
16th-Apr-2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Personally, I think garlic loses too much flavor from freezing; and for me and my husband, we use a lot of garlic powder so the dehydrating thing works out much better. Plus, our freezer space gets to be at a premium by the end of summer.

Some varieties of garlic are milder (when raw) than others - I don't eat it raw, but my husband does. :)
13th-Apr-2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
I so want you to have a tangle of berries growing.
13th-Apr-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Good luck
13th-Apr-2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
I should be around in the afternoon on Monday, as will Kate--let me know if you're coming past MHC!
14th-Apr-2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome! Hampshire is annoyingly non-specific about their schedule, other than "most people leave around 4."
15th-Apr-2012 03:21 am (UTC)
Kate's got choir rehearsal at 4:15; I've got class 7-9. Other than that I think we should both be around for answering questions/showing-around.
13th-Apr-2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
I would also get the fact they do not care what you do about the house in writing, because boy do I see that not just changing but being I DID NOT SAY THAT.
16th-Apr-2012 09:35 am (UTC)
I am not local long-term, but I am here for the next week and change, and I'll be back again a few weeks after that. I love gardening and I will do volunteer labor in that department for hours cheerfully -- let me know if you want a pack mule who gets permaculture, and I'll do what I can (given client schedule, etc.) to help!
16th-Apr-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
That would be completely awesome! When are you available?
17th-Apr-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
I wish I was local, I would love to come help you paint!

I'm not sure when I'll be back in Boston again, but I should be around at least one weekend in May. Jake and I have started plotting to combine travel plans at some point. :)
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