Sweet potato tepee

Sweet potato tepee

It was a lovely cool, sunny day today perfect for spending time in the garden so Bookman and I did. Earlier in the week Bookman finally conquered the forsythia stump and got it out. Arriving in the mail on Thursday were three sweet potato plants we forgot all about ordering. Oops! What to do? Why, there is a freshly empty sunny spot in the front yard with loose, deep soil. Convenient! Sweet potatoes vine so Bookman made a tepee from a couple pruned apple tree branches. In went the sweet potatoes. We should plant something in the middle. Why, we have this anise hyssop we were going plant out here somewhere, let’s put it there! Wow, are we good.

Back in the veggie garden, I put the frog solar fountain out and it began burbling right away. The tomato, peppers, onions and cabbages we sprouted in March are safe to put out now. It is hard when you sprout your own because they are never as huge and lush as the ones you buy at the nursery that were started in January in a heated greenhouse and are already getting flower buds on them. Mine are all still little things with lots of growing to do. We put them all out and watered them in and fingers crossed they will settle in and grow like crazy.

The polyculture bed which seemed to be off to a good start actually never really started at all. Only a few

Future raspberries

Future raspberries

parsnips sprouted, a couple carrots and two radishes. What the heck? The rabbits are back in the garden and we are wondering if maybe… So we replanted beets, radishes, and spinach. We have no more lettuce or carrots to sow because we used all the seed on the first go around. So in the suddenly empty bed, we added a whole lot of green beans. Or rather yellow wax beans. Yum. Hopefully this time they will all be successful.

Elsewhere in the garden, the mustard and kale, chard, arugula, a few more radishes, and corn are coming up pretty well. The zucchini we planted last weekend is starting to sprout too. Also starting to sprout is flax, dill and cilantro/coriander. Oh, and the basil we started indoors is doing well too. One sunflower we planted last week has been eaten, we suspect by a rabbit.

We have a few more seeds left to plant in the week ahead: amaranth, black beans, cattle beans, cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas but they are really beans), pole beans and pumpkin. Lots of beans! Speaking of beans, do you know someone did the math on Thoreau’s beans and calculated that during his first year at Walden (1845) he planted seven miles of bean rows which, based on the description of how he planted them, comes out to 24,750 bean plants. That’s a lot of beans!

What was the meaning of this so steady and self-respecting, this small Herculean labor, I knew not. I came to love my rows, my beans, though so many more than I wanted. They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antæus. But why should I raise them? Only Heaven knows. This was my curious labor all summer — to make this portion of the earth’s surface, which had yielded only cinquefoil, blackberries, johnswort, and the like, before, sweet wild fruits and pleasant flowers, produce instead this pulse. What shall I learn of beans or beans of me? I cherish them, I hoe them, early and late I have an eye to them; and this is my day’s work.

“What shall I learn of beans or beans of me?” I love that!

There is some sort of tiny red and black beetle infesting several plants in the front yard. The new currant, catmint, wild geranium, mum, and flowering sage all have them. I have no idea what they are or how to get rid of them. I sprayed soapy water all over the currant but I don’t think it had any effect since beetles have hard bodies. There are too many and they are too small and fast for me to pick them off and drown them in a cup of water. So I just have to hope something that eats them finds them or they finish their sap sucking soon and don’t kill the plants.

Monster sorrel

Monster sorrel

One of the blueberries we dug up and tossed on the compost bin has all kinds of new growth on it and is looking really happy. Oh the irony, it would hurt quite a lot if the honeyberries we planted in the place of the blueberries didn’t look as happy as they do.

This has been such a long spring that I keep thinking there should be stuff ready to eat from the garden already. But it is only the last day of May and while there hasn’t been snow on the ground since the end of March there has been sleet and frost. I just get so impatient!

Good news! We finally found a contractor to take down our garage. Happy dance! Now we are trying to set the demolition date. Hopefully it will be sometime in mid June.

Biking

Gleason Lake

Gleason Lake

Since Bookman and I spent the day in the garden we did not go out for a bike ride. Astrid and I went out yesterday though and we did 49 miles/78.8km! I was hoping for 50 miles/80.4km and if I had known I was so close I would have taken the long way around my neighborhood lake. But since I use an app on my phone to track everything and I can’t see it while I am riding, and I thought I had 50 in the bag, I took the short side of the lake home. Oh well. Next weekend. Still, I am pretty proud of myself, that is the longest distance I have gone yet.

Here are some things I am learning about cycling:

  • My nose is going to run and my eyes are going to water. There is nothing to be done about it. Sniffle a lot and let the tears fall as they may.
  • At some point in my ride, usually within the first thirty minutes, I will either begin to sweat and the sunscreen that I have been so good to liberally apply all over myself and my face will somehow make it into one of my eyes. It will sting a whole lot and make the tears that were already in my eye well up so fast that I won’t be able to see for about ten minutes if I am lucky, twenty if I am not. I am pretty good at riding with only one working eye it turns out.
  • Snacks taste so much better when I am biking. Almonds are the best thing I have ever had and my granola bar bites, omg, you’d think I hadn’t eaten in days.
  • Guys do not like being passed by a girl on a bike. If the guy is out with a buddy they hate it so
    Crane looking for a snack

    Crane looking for a snack

    much they do stupid things. Like yesterday, these two guys zoomed by me at one of my rest breaks. I was just getting back on my bike. I shortly caught up to them. We went up a hill. The larger of the two slowed down and I zipped past and almost caught up to the other guy. We had to stop at a traffic light. The guy I passed on the hill came up and both he and his friend pulled in front of me and went through the light. I caught back up to them and passed the one guy on another hill and would have passed the other guy but we got stuck at a light again. They did the same as before. Then I passed them both. They caught up to me at a traffic light just as it turned green and rudely cut out in front of me. I passed them one more time and as there were no further stops for a while I did not see them again. This is not the first time I have encountered such behavior. And, it only happens when I am alone.
  • When my ride is over, a hot shower, and I mean hot, is the most amazing thing ever.

Have I mentioned lately how so very much I love my bike, Astrid? She is the best bike ever.

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