Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is it spring yet? or summer?

Comfrey flowers. "Spectrum: Dye Plants of Ontario" edited by Nancy J. McGuffin, and compiled by the Burt House Spinners and Weaver's Guild, suggests that comfrey leaves simmered for a half hour at a 3:1 ratio of plant material to wool will give a bright yellow. Miscellaneous internet research suggests that this plant can be cut down over and over again throughout the growing season and just keep ticking away. Excellent!

This is the first iris of the season. A blue so pale that it almost looks white.

And with it's neighbour, a yellow iris that bloomed the next day.

Love that fuzzy strip in a closeup of the iris.

Oriental poppy! Wow, for such a vivid flower colour, the book says it's dye bath colours are boring beige.

Pink tulips. If you've been reading the blog since last year, you know I'm a big fan of pink tulips.

And tulips in general. In abundance. :)

This year, the tulips have been short-lived, as a result of the slow, cool spring.

We've also been doing some landscaping, creating gravel paths and new garden space.

And just because Anti-V asked, and Neil worked so hard to make them (there's 3 of these now) obelisk. Inaccurately referred to in the plural as obeliski, but I like the sound of the word. I had meant to give one to my parents, but it wouldn't fit in their car when they were last up visiting.

I had meant to grow peas, or cucumbers up them, but the peas proved themselves better on the tents, and the cucumbers somehow just never made it into the ground. Garden art, anyone?

Actually, now I'm thinking morning glories, but I haven't planted them yet.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

7 Random Things

Cyndy, over at Riverrim, tagged me with this meme. And eeps! I'm a bit behind, again, in posting.

1. Sometimes, I just can't make decisions.

2. I'm a closet clean freak. Not in a disabling mental health disturbing way, but more so then many, I'm coming to suspect.

3. Really, it's just a matter of logic. How else can I find things?

4. I'm more into the philosophy behind some religions then the religion itself. Like Buddhism - have done a lot of reading, dig the philosophy, think the gold statues of buddha are sillier then all get out.

5. Don't even get me started on Christianity.

6. I miss my kitty. Ginger just passed away this week.

7. I have high blood pressure and it worries me. But Lifestyle Change is ....tough, to say the least.

There, 7 relatively random thoughts. Funny, not a one of them about the garden or the fibre (which y'all have got to be believing is just me talking out my hat by now anyway).


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

garden, thinking locally

We have a robin nesting on top of our front door light. I've named her Martha.

Martha got very upset at us when we attached the monster trellis to the front porch. We're planning on growing hops all over the trellis and porch.

Later in the weekend, we went here....

....and managed to escape with only a few dozen more plants. :)

The front garden is alive with light and colour these days.

An anemone, close up.

The first tulip of the spring.

And yes, I do some fiber things.... here's the madder plants I hope to dye with this fall. Finally, I think, they'll be old enough. Madder roots need to be at least 3 years old to dye with.

Leif the Licky wasn't terribly happy at being on the other side of the gate for most of our working out in the front of the yard.

I've just finished reading a new book - The 100 Mile Diet: a year of eating locally, by Alisha Smith and James McKinnon.

It's quite thought-provoking. Did you know the average foodstuff travels 1,500 miles before reaching our local grocery store?

Did you know that it bugs me that the authors are Canadian and defined their local food circle in miles, and not kilometres? But I suppose that's just a petty digression...

Anyway, I've been thinking about this Eat Local thing ever since Liz ran the One Local Summer challenge at Pocket Farm last summer. Last year was a non-starter for me, but I might join in this year. It takes me awhile to get from growing awareness to doing. There's just so many questions to ask yet, and answer.

Let me give an example: there's a local butcher in town. But where does he get his meat? Where do the cows come from? What about the food that the cows ate while growing up?

Just how local is local?

The authors of "The 100 Mile Diet" took their definition right down to the ingredients. They didn't have any wheat products in their diet for eight months until they found a farmer growing wheat in their 100 mile circle.

I might be happy with locally made bread, even if the baker got his ingredients outside of the zone.

Food for thought indeed....


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Still here, really

My motivation for posting has been a little slack of late, but I'm getting tired of seeing the great potato death as my leading post every time I want to use my blog for the links to the rest of you.

Basically, the last few weeks have been making me somewhat more grumpy then usual. And grumpy doesn't make for good postings.

Forward Into the Past - a yearly day-long conference on all things medieval. I finally learned how to tablet-weave! I've only been trying to get to that class for the past 5 years!

And the party afterwards at our house was pretty decent too. Lots of good friends. :)

New blogs - Links from your links, and the people who comment on other blogs. Friends of friends, so to speak. Community, isn't it cool?

Accepting the Now
Slowly She Turned
The Worsted Witch
Edge Effect
Small Meadow Farm
Maggie's Farm

Coronation - Yep, that's right. The crowning of a King and Queen. It's an SCA thing. We don't care much about the Royalty these days (they come and go every six months), but we went to see a friend receive an award that he definitely deserves. Sort of a lifetime achievement thing, it's hard to explain without all the SCA jargon.

"But Karen, what's with your garden?" - I still have one. And things are slowly starting to grow in it. But this year, the weather sucks, to put it mildly.
Even though it seems like we've finally taken a turn for spring and it is warming up a bit, the overnight temperatures are still dropping below frost levels. It's May already, and I can't even put the darned tomato seedlings out in the greenhouse because they are so fragile in temperatures below 5 degrees (celsius, of course).

So the mud room is quite full of plants that need to be planted. Soon. Before they root rot in their pots.

I'm hoping this weekend sees some .... something getting done.

Fiber? - you must remember that theoretically I dabble in the fiber arts as well? Well, I learned to tablet weave at FITP, and promptly went out and bought some yarn to do that there craft with, and.... I have to sand the damned cards. Which is not so much fun. So, I've been drop-spinning instead. So much so that my shoulder is starting to act up again. Does anyone know how not to aggravate one's shoulder?

Pictures? - well, ya know, you've seen one crocus and daffodil, you've seen 'em all. Gods, I'm depressing myself. I promise I'll get some pretties up here soon. Within days, really. Not weeks apart, I promise.