Saturday, March 21, 2009

All This Sunshine and Warmth is Making Me Giddy!

There were half a dozen wee plants poking their necks through this morning. It was 30 degrees C ( 86 F ) in the little greenhouse by 11:00 when we were ready to go to town so I unzipped the door quite a bit. By the time we returned the greenhouse was in shade and the temperature inside had dropped to the ambient 10 C ( 50 F ). Then the sun got round and the temperature came back up, and at 5:00 was sitting at a comfy 18 C (64 F). By 5:00 there were half a dozen broccoli raab, two or three bok choi and as many Chinese kale popping up.

It was a lovely day, with bright sunshine and no wind. Where yesterday the lake was full of whitecaps, today it was placid and purple-blue. I opened the front door about 9:00 am and let the sunshine and fresh morning air flood in. What a good mood everyone in town was in! Almost everyone I met was beaming with happiness, enjoying the sunshine.

An important stop was the hardware store where I got two big bags of potting mix, another 72-cell flat, organic fertilizer, agricultural lime and another bag of starter mix.

Then down the street to a funny little shop that carries all kinds of pet and poultry supplies, plus, in the spring, a good line of seeds the other local stores don't have. Here I found curly Scotch kale, Roma, Starfire and Brandywine tomatoes, and (little happy dance here) okra. Alas as of yet, no crook neck yellow squash, but I will keep looking.

A few other errands, a trip to the grocers and then a dash into the thrift shop. When I was there last they had a reflective windshield shade poked into a corner. I saw it but didn't think of how I might use it at the time. But since then I ran onto a site which showed how to make a quick and easy solar cooker with an aluminum roasting pan and a reflective windshield shade. I thought I might pick that one up but it had already gone out the door with someone else. (Drat!)

For my solar cooker project I also need a black cooking pot, so I looked over their selection of pots. No black ones, but to my delight I saw an old 50's-style six quart Presto pressure cooker, exactly like my Mom had when I was a kid. I've been wanting to buy one but couldn't bring myself to part with the considerable cash outlay for a good one, and the cheap ones are - well - cheap. Baaaad reviews.

This one has certainly been well used, not that it's dirty or bashed up, but the wooden handles are worn smooth and it has that "scrubbed a zillion times" look. The rocker weight was inside, the "blow-hole" gasket is intact and the price was an astonishing $1.00. The very cheapest one I had priced had plastic handles and bad reviews and was $49.95. The "nice" one was $129.95. So I saved a chunk of change and the old girl will continue to serve with honor.

Back home again I decided to begin the large task of raking back and bagging the thick leaf mulch I laid on the garden in the fall. There's quite a bit of active growth under there that really needs sun and air. The thyme is growing vigorously and smells wonderful!

Tomorrow, if I can stand and walk after today's madness, I will start more tomato seeds. If I can manage to get a couple of Earthtainers set up I will plant some mesclun mix, Scotch kale and regular spinach in them, as they can stand a frost.

The robins just arrived a couple of days ago and they are already making whoopee. Shameless! Spring has arrived and life is good. :)

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