While there is still snow on the ground I saw proof today that it really is spring. Bookman and I met a friend for breakfast this morning. Our table was next to a window that looked out on the patio dining area. Empty and sad looking with a ridge of snow along its length, I looked out when a movement caught my eye. What did I see? A robin! It is the first robin I have seen this year. Mr. Robin looked a bit cold, but there he was which means spring for real.
Even though it is spring and the snow is slowly melting I am still about a month away from being able to actually plant anything in the garden. And the only reason I will be able to plant anything in a month is because it will be in a raised bed. A raised bed that hasn’t been built yet. As soon as the snow is out of the garden, Bookman and I will be venturing forth for the supplies to build the bed. We decided to use cinder block instead of wood. The bed will be our first ever polyculture bed. Which reminds me, I have to figure out exactly what we will be growing in it so I can make succession planting plans and all that. The bed will be about 4 x 8 feet. And you know, cinder blocks have openings in them. We will be filling all those up with soil too and planting sweet alyssum and nasturtium in the blocks. So excited!
I mentioned a couple weeks ago Bookman and I were going to try our hand at making sauerkraut. We haven’t gotten around to it until today. Chopped and salted cabbage packed down as best we could get it in a very large jar with a weight pressing down the cabbage. The book says it will take about 24-hours for the salt to pull all the water out of the cabbage. Then we give it several days to start fermenting. The longer it ferments, the more sour it gets. We’ll let ours sit until the end of the week before giving it a taste. If this goes well and we manage to not poison ourselves, one of the things that we will end up growing in our polyculture bed will be cabbage. And, if the kraut goes well, we will also try out using fermentation to make pickles this summer. It is an exciting new adventure in garden food preservation.
This weekend I also put my worm wrangler hat on. It is time to put new bedding in my red wiggler bin. Since I don’t want to dump the bin out on a tarp on my kitchen floor and sort the worms out of the compost, I am trying another method that supposedly works. I moved the current bin contents to one end of the bin. In doing so I disturbed many worms and even found a few small young ones (my worms had sex!). I put fresh bedding in one side of the bin and some fresh food and made it all as inviting as I could. I will let the old bedding on the one side of the bin dry out. The idea is the worms will migrate under their own power to the new bedding because that is where the damp and the food is. I hope it works so I don’t have to resort to a tarp on my kitchen floor. Bookman would not be pleased to have the worms cavorting free outside the prison walls of their bin. Fingers crossed!