Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Greening up

I need to wash Dogger more frequently. She went into the tub a retriever mix, post bath blow out, she had morphed into a chow mix.

This weekend was very successful. Three days make such a difference! If I had three days to get everything done, I wouldn't have everything sitting around to be done. I got all my laundry done, I put all the laundry including the laundry that had been sitting around on the bench waiting to be put away, put away, I made dog cookies, did many loads of dishes and slept late every day. And I started my gardening, a few months late. I finally re-potted my poor, pot-bound raspberries! I'm sure they'll punish me this season for my lack of attention, but next year they will be so happy they have such nice, big pots to live in and hopefully they will reward me with berries. Or I'll just toddle back to the nursery and buy new ones.

I also discovered that whole wheat pasta is okay, it tastes like non-whole wheat pasta and after its cooked, it loses its too brownness that had been a real turn off until I read an article in my Real Simple and it said that wheat pastas are very healthy. I like healthy and I like pasta, perhaps too much, so eating pasta that is at least not bad for me is a win. In addition to everything else I did, I also made some killer baked spaghetti.

Oh, the Potato Gawds smiled on me! I had been putting serious thought to growing potatoes in a barrel this year and had been looking through seed catalogues at the 10,000 different potato varieties available and doing research into what grows here the best and then all the 10,001 things that can go wrong with potatoes once planted - but before I can move forward I needed a barrel first.

Online it suggested 30 gallon garbage bins, which is a good idea and possibility and there is certainly no lack of choices available but they are kind of expensive choices. A nice one can run more than I want to spend on this experiment - perhaps next year, if it works this year but I don't want to pour a lot of money and time into it so I can end up in the fall with 30 gallons of dirt. I have failed before.

A few years ago I read somewhere that it was possible to grow potatoes in garbage bags. You put your seed potatoes into the bag, (not all potatoes are good for this - El shock-o) filled it with dirt and waited. Wow I thought, I can do that! I could do that. I plopped some potatoes into a bag and covered them with dirt and waited for the pay off.

I don't remember if they even sprouted, or if I even waited long enough for them to do anything. I got no potatoes. The not-really-seed potatoes had even disappeared. It was not a heartening experience. I stopped growing potatoes.

But then. I saw an article on growing potatoes in barrels and decided to try again. I needed a barrel. Did you know that barrels are expensive and if they are not expensive, they probably are not "food quality" barrels. its important that they be food quality if you want to eat whatever comes out of them - and those run you. I did a search and got a little bit unexcited about the potato idea and then I remembered; Craigslist!

Among the ads for barrel racing saddles and barrel racing horses, and barrels that were filled with things you can't eat - I found actual barrels - food quality, 60 gallon barrels - $5! Outrageous! The next issue was contacting Mr. Barrel seller. I emailed and waited. I wanted to pick up my barrel over the long weekend. I heard nothing. I emailed again.


I finally called the barrel tease. Nothing.

I called him from work on Monday and actually reached the tease. I said I've been trying to reach you about getting a barrel from you He said - "You have?"

Deep breaths.

And then he gave me directions. I wouldn't say he lives in BFE because BFE is closer to town. The sticks, beyond the beyond? out in the middle of nowhere? hell? He claims he lives in Garner! Does anyone know where Four Oaks is? The directions include "turn left at the mail boxes and look for the paved driveway" I could almost hear the banjos in the background. But a barrel will be coming home with me.

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