Monday, March 10, 2008

Planning for Spring & Keeping Warm in the Interim

After the rain of Friday and Saturday, it was great to finally spend some time outdoors yesterday, even if it was spent splitting and stacking firewood. Spring seems to be in the air here in NY. It's that time of year when you look in the garage and wonder what demon was unleashed inside it when you weren't looking. When perusing the yard, you wonder how all those things the melting snow keeps revealing were left there before the snow came. How did I miss those, you ask yourself. No matter, the newfound warmth of the midday sun gives us new energy to pick all this garbage up and resolve to never let it get like this again. This could be the year.

In a homage to the impending spring, I checked my worm bins. The one in my laundry room has chubby worms while the one in my garage has skinny ones. I suspect the temperature difference plays a role in this. We'll start adding to them soon to build up the worm population a bit.

In the wake of our gigantic beehive in the compost bin disaster of last season, we've taken to just tossing what would normally go in a compost heap into the bushes behind our house. That sounds so trashy but there's only woods and a creek behind my house. We've never had a raccoon problem and it doesn't bother the neighbors. Really, I swear!

Speaking of yards and gardening, we checked out the Seed Savers table at the farmer's market this weekend and got some heirloom tomato seeds. Rob is really into the idea of planting, growing and especially harvesting tomatoes. It's interesting to see him make the connection between garden and food. I'm hoping he will be my gardening buddy this summer.

Over the years we've been planting an edible landscape but because of limited yard space fruit trees haven't been part of the plan. Just this weekend I learned of a local orchard that is offering a CSA type arrangement with its apple trees. For $50 you get to lease an organically grown apple tree and harvest fruit off of it. The website states the average yield of an apple tree is 80-120 pounds which works out to about 50 cents per pound for organic apples. I think this sounds like a great way to support the local small farms and while providing ourselves with reasonably priced organic produce. I'm signing up!

As much as the cold weather is waning midday, we're still freezing our buns off at night (although not officially since we never actually signed up for Crunchy Chicken's Challenge). Actually, the thermostat is set at 55 degrees but the heat never comes on because we've been using the woodstove to heat the house. (The exception to this is our daughters' downstairs bedroom which is on a seperate branch of the heating system and totally out of the reach of our woodstove.) It's usually about 59 degrees when I get up in the morning, although, the temperature in the bedrooms is noticeably colder. We use extra blankets and warm jammies to make sleeping toasty.

When I lamented the skinny quilts last year I assumed I needed to make new quilts for the boys. When I didn't get around to doing that, the boys came up with their own solution. They use the denim quilts (these are summer weight) with the skinny quilts on top like a throw blanket.

See the denim quilt poking out from underneath? Are my boys brilliant or what?


Anonymous said...

That is so cool about the apple tree! I wish there were something like that around here...I love apples! It sounds like a great deal. How did you find out about it?


Katie said...

I found out about it at our winter farmers market.