Wednesday, March 1, 2023

A (mostly) pleasant, sunny day


Not an exact before-and-after but this is where the 2023 onion patch will be. I cleared about 9' by 40'. That is very close to the typical suburban, community garden allocation.

I like perennials. I like trees. The issue I run into is that my tree nurseries don't get cleared out and they encroach. I have a pecan seedling to the left of the cleared lane and persimmons to the right. I will graft both and then they get moved if the grafts take or the pecan will get moved and the persimmons cut down if the grafts don't take.

Onions, Allium cepa, seem to benefit a great deal from hybrid vigor. Flipping the statement around, inbreeding onions to stabilize characteristics results in loss of vigor with each generation. Still, I don't think there is much risk if I take a few storage onions out of the pantry and pop them into the garden and let them set seeds. The onions are Michigan grown so I have that going for me. That, and they are still in good shape going into March so they are pretty good storage onions, whatever hybrid they are.


I scheduled a slot at one of the local butcher shops for "Teddy", one of our beef animals.

They had one slot in March, one in April and one in May currently available. I took the April slot and Timmy will be eating like a king for the next month and a half.

High Anxiety

I waltzed out to the freezer in the garage (which costs nearly nothing to run through the winter) to get some seeds to start. I opened it. I noticed that the Jiffy Corn Muffin mix boxes were in the place where I store my seeds.

Seeds are perishable. Some, like lettuce and carrots and onions are reputed to have short shelf-lives. Larger seeds tend to last longer. Storing them in the freezer turns that into a non-issue, and with seed packages running between $4 and $6 for some kinds of seeds, it is good to be economical.

The seeds were gone!

I looked high. I looked low. I moved frozen vegetables around. I checked the countertops and cabinets where I had last planted seeds (onions on Feb 19). 

No joy.

I was in a black mood.

Mrs ERJ came home from her errands and I asked her, with little hope, "Do you know where my garden seeds went?"

"Of course I do. You put them in the freezer in the kitchen fridge. Bottom drawer. Right side" she said.

I was sure I had looked there.

"They are no...." I said. "Oh...there they are."

"I don't know why you put them there" Mrs ERJ mused.

Salvaging what dignity I could, I muttered "I think it must have been Dobby the House-elf who put them there."

So, today I planted Joe's Long Cayenne and Thunder Mountain Cayenne peppers and a flight of Jericho Romaine Lettuce.

You would be proud of me. I used the shell the rotisserie chicken came in to plant the lettuce.


  1. Las spring I came across a Large bag of carrot seeds from 2011 out in the barn. I figured they would have a low germination rate so a planted them all in a wide row 100 feet long. I think they all came up so I left most of them in to set seed but the deer got in and dug them up and ate them. So it appears that they are probably viable for a long time. ---ken

  2. Excellent recovery to an awkward situation ERJ.

  3. I totally understand how things can hide in the freezer. Just this morning, dear Wife sent our daughters over to the freezer in the "old house" to get a package of bacon. They couldn't find it. I looked, I couldn't find it. So, we had sausage, instead. So this afternoon, while taking care of the baby chicks down in the old house, she just reaches right in the freezer and right there, a 2 pound pack of bacon.

  4. Carrots are hard to grow for me before I started putting them under a board. Don't laugh, a 1X4 board over the row. Check after 7 days to see germination then remove the board.

    Keeps the seeds moist (since you plant them shallow) they don't wash away in a rainstorm and critters like birds don't eat the seeds.

    1. Interesting idea Michael. it seems that it would also protect them from hard rain. I'll try that with mulch this spring. Thanks---ken

  5. Ha, wifeys got an old chixken in the fridge! Gotta go wash that container....
    I have some cuttings outside under a cake lid...

  6. Careful! If you name it, then it is a pet!

  7. So is it Timmy or Teddy who gets to eat like a king for the next month?

    Speaking of freezers, just cleaned out and defrosted the chest high and the freezer drawer on the fridge. Ended up throwing out about $200 bucks worth, (at today's prices), of freezer burned meat. Cheap steaks bought on sale, hamburger meat and a couple of pork roasts. We won't be buying meat for a while until we eat through what we already have.

  8. My house seems to include a portal to the parallel universe. I can search for a missing item on my hands and knees using a magnifying glass and not find it.

    So I prime the idea of finding the item and wait for an hour or a day. It almost always appears, and usually in an area I have scoured in the initial search.

    This happens so regularly that I is now my normal search and recover technique.

    Also happens for items at the job site that disappear.

    I think that we are characters in a computer simulation.

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