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Contemplating Spring

March 20, 2012

Tree Face and Chickadee House

Right now I’m thinking this must be one of the best days of the entire year. I’m sitting in my office by an open window typing this, and the birds are serenading me. I should be outside digging in the dirt, but I’ll probably end up as I do most days — spending too much time inside, and then before you know it, it’s dinner time. But I did manage to get a tiny bit of weeding done and planted two raised beds with beets and added some eggplant seeds to the pea beds.

The temperatures are unseasonably warm, but not too hot yet. We’re supposed to get rain and then cooler weather toward the weekend. But the weather guys are saying there is no future frost in sight. Therefore, the rest of the planting must happen this week!

Eggplant, Ping Tung

This is a picture of my eggplants from last year. They are ridiculously easy to grow, seem to love hot weather, and two plants are enough to have plenty of eggplant to go around. This variety is Ping Tung, and the seeds were a complementary gift for an order I had placed with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. If you don’t order anything else from them, at least get their gorgeous catalog filled with veggie beauty.

Update on the birds’ nest building: I have assembled a pile of assorted yarns, string, and thin strips of fabric, placed it in a mesh potato bag and hung it on a tree. To make sure they notice it, I pulled a few strands through the mesh and let them hang down. I’ll check it once in a while to see if there’s been any activity. I left the blue and green yarn on the concrete paver where I placed it last week, because I know it had already been picked through and that they might be back looking for more.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra Kennedy permalink
    March 20, 2012 3:31 pm

    I love reading about the things you do outside of your art. The eggplants look superb, one of my favourite vegetables but not long enough growing season here to grow them reliably in the home garden. However I buy them from the farmers market. We’re going into autumn and notice the chill in the air early morning and evenings. I love gardening and grow lots of veggies, am eating a lot of my produce at present. With enough to give to neighbours. Love your bird nest materials, I wouldn’t dare bring birds down to tree or ground level, too many cats – they are never kept inside here.

    • March 20, 2012 8:28 pm

      Sandra, I don’t see that many cats running loose here, but some do. Because people in our neighborhood often let their dogs run loose, the cats need to be very street smart to survive. My dogs and cat are inside pets, and that’s the way I’ve always done it. Of course the dogs can come outside with me in the fenced in yard, but I don’t leave them out there for long.

      I’m happy you are growing food. Isn’t it a gratifying experience?

  2. March 20, 2012 3:44 pm

    I love the stuff you’ve put out for the birds, I should try that.

    • March 20, 2012 8:29 pm

      Kathryn, I stole the idea from a local church where I saw one in their tree outside the Sunday School. I’m sure it must have been a project for the kids.

  3. patq permalink
    March 20, 2012 5:05 pm

    Martha, what beautiful eggplants. I haven’t had a garden in a long time except for pots of herbs and tomatoes. May branch out again this year. The weather here is also glorious.
    I loved your idea of yarn and strings in the hung burlap bags. Let us know how the birds like it.

    • March 20, 2012 8:30 pm

      Pat, I’m constantly amazed at how little space one needs to grow things. Pots are great, but self-watering containers are even better. There are many ideas for making your own on YouTube. I’ll be sure to post an update on the bird nest project!

  4. March 20, 2012 8:35 pm

    Martha – When I open my email and scan what has come in and I see yours – it is always the first I open. Must look at the seed site. I am remodeling in my studio – so things are a mess and very disorganized – but, I too put yarn from my basket out for the birds…and love the smell of the earth as I worked outside today.
    Thank you for your inspriation.

    • March 27, 2012 10:13 pm

      That’s so nice to hear, Shirley. You’ve inspired me to blog more often than I have been lately!

  5. March 21, 2012 8:05 am

    ha! fun! hope the birdies enjoy!

  6. March 21, 2012 9:39 am

    I can’t believe you reuse onion/orange bags,too! This year, we’ve sorted, collected “treasures” in them. We’ve started seeds in egg shells (in the cartons) and yogurt cups (line with coffee filters) Plant the filter and egg shell and the roots don’t get disturbed. I think I need a whole shed for “stuff.”

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