Bookman is proud of his pie

Bookman is proud of his pie

Did you all have a happy pie day yesterday? It was an extra special pi day because it had the most accurate decimals of pi in the entire twenty-first century. To celebrate, Bookman made us a delicious apple pie with apples that came from our own tree (preserved as pie filling). We also had pizza for dinner. A double pie whammy!

The weather this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. It feels more like the end of April than the middle of March. No jackets, open windows, sunshine. Bookman and I took our new bikes out for a spin today and I wore my bike shorts and t-shirt with a windbreaker on top and was almost too warm (except when the wind was blowing across the still frozen lakes, that was a bit chilly). It seems like the rest of Minneapolis was out today as well.

It was my first time out on my new bike and I love her silly. She is so light and zippy. I practiced clipping in and out of my pedals for about half an hour before venturing out. At first I was terrified to be so locked on to my bike but after making a few stops and not falling over, I started to relax and really have fun. I’m still hyper-alert about releasing my feet before getting close to a stop, but after a few more rides I expect it will become more natural and less thinky.

We did an easy 18 mile/28.9km ride. I’ve never had a road bike before so it was very much a get-to-know you ride. Did I say how much I love my new bike? My city bike (affectionately named Ninja) is going to be so jealous. I am searching for a name to call this bike but nothing has come up yet. I was going to take a photo but forgot. Giant has a fine photo though with the same exact colors including saddle and handlebars in case you care to go take a look. The only additions I have made are silver fenders over the front and back wheels, a cage for my water bottle, and a holder for my iPhone which I am using as a bike computer.

Happiness is also more seed starting. The onion seeds I planted last week have begun to sprout. I would have taken a photo but they are so tiny yet you wouldn’t be able to see them in a picture. Friday night Bookman and I spent about an hour making paper pots for the next round of seed starting and beyond. Today we filled another tray with pots, filled the pots with soil, and planted:

  • pepperoncini
  • golden cayenne
  • leutschauer paprika
  • etiuda bell (orange sweet)
  • red mini bell
  • purple jalepeño
  • tall Utah celery

The celery was a last minute addition to the lineup. Bookman decided he wanted to grow some so we picked up a packet at our food co-op when we did our grocery shopping recently.

The seed trays reside on top of the refrigerator for the time being for warmth and out-of-the-wayness from

The perfect seed starting locale

The perfect seed starting locale

curious cats. Since the weather has been so pleasant these last few days the onions got to sit out on the deck in the sun for several hours. The week ahead is going to be ten to fifteen degrees cooler so there will be no deck time. Next weekend we will be setting up our mini greenhouse on the south side of the house and move the onion sprouts into it to make room for another seed starting tray of tomatoes on top of the fridge. The last time I did seed starting, about ten years ago, it seemed like one big hassle. I’m not certain what has changed, but at the moment I am having a great time.

For all of you out there who are new to the whole thing and want to try your hand at gardening, whether it be outdoors or indoors, in containers or in the ground, lettuce, herbs, or something else, check out Start a Garden (via). The site will give you easy, step-by-step instructions on how (for example) to grow thyme in a cup on your bathroom windowsill, tomatoes in a pot on your deck, or corn in your yard. Unless you live in a dark, cold cave, this site will help you find something you can grow.

And of course I had more fun reading about chickens this week too. A Chicken in Every Yard turned out to be a practical and informative guide to urban chicken keeping. When it gets closer to the time of having my own chickens I will definitely be buying myself a copy of this book. One thing I learned about chickens is that they can see color and when let out to free range they tend to stick to other flock members of the same color. This piece of information has me rethinking what kind of hens I want. Do I go with two orpingtons (brown) and two australorps (black)? Or do I totally mix it up and go with one each of orpington (brown), ameraucana (brown), australorp (black) and barred rock also called Plymouth rock (black with white)? If I go with the one of each it will certainly be easier to tell them all apart. Thank goodness I have plenty of time to figure it out, and plenty of time to keep changing my mind! You’re going to get so tired of hearing about chickens before I even get the chicks next year!

Model for my future coop

Model for my future coop

As I mentioned before, we will be tearing down our old garage at the back of our lot. We will be installing a shed instead, this one to be exact This will happen in May or June. The tear down that is. The shed building will happen not long after that. We will have plenty of room for the chicken coop alongside it. I’ve been doing lots of coop plan browsing and have decided ours will look something like the red and white number in the photo. We’ll be making modifications, but this will be our foundation model. What do you think?

So much work ahead, but all of it good!