A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

garden update - and a story about a tree

So, my garden is expanding, little by little.  On Monday, I bought 20 pounds of yukon gold seed potatoes, and they are currently sitting spread out on my kitchen table absorbing sunlight to encourage them to sprout.  They will have to do this for a week or so.
I planted 20 more strawberry plants that I purchased from a gardener that lives a few miles down the road from me.  That brings the total to 45 strawberry plants.  :)
I planted 3 20' double rows of peas, and a 4' x 16' bed of snow peas.  Snow peas can be grown in intensive beds instead of rows because they don't require the support that regular peas do.
In the starter containers my first set of strawberries came in, I started leeks and ailsa craig onions (a storage variety).  I am going to do the same in the containers from my second set of strawberries in the next day or two.
I still have a large pile of seed packets that need to be started soon... lettuce, broccoli, parsnips, and carrots among them, as well as some that need to wait til after the last frost date (June 1), like beans.
James started work on a tool shed/firewood shelter a couple days ago.  The first step, obviously, is to cut down the trees where it will go.  This is all done, but there was a heart-pounding moment.  All but one of the trees came down where they were supposed to go with no problems.  Ironically, the very last tree was not cooperative.  This particular tree was a largish birch that stood approximately 20 feet away from the north side of our cabin, and as it got taller, it leaned ever so slightly towards the cabin, which made it tricky.  We wanted it to fall north-west, away from the cabin.  James cut a notch out of the trunk on the northwest side, then started to cut into the southeast side of the tree.  What was supposed to happen was that because the notch had been cut out, the tree would lean that way. It didn't want to. So, I stood by James and pushed on the tree, as high up as I could reach.  I about had a heart attack when I felt the tree start to push back.  Luckily, (or maybe because of the way James cut it, at an angle) it only shifted a quarter inch or so, and stopped, leaving the chain saw stuck between the two pieces of tree.  With stern instructions to the children who were watching to stay on the far side of the house and run towards the road (to the south) if I hollered at them, we wrapped a tow strap around the trunk of the tree and lifted it with branches as high on the trunk as we could, and pulled it towards the northwest.  Nothing happened.  We then attached a come-along to a tree that was in the general direction we wanted it to go, and slowly ratcheted it tighter.  Slowly, slowly the tree started moving.  When it got so it was straight up and down, it paused, and we all held our breath to see what it would do.  Finally, slowly at first, then all of a sudden, it was down, with a big thump, right where we needed it to go. I could breathe again, but I could hear my heart pounding.

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