Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Straw Bale Goodness & Monster High Doll

Now onto good things, and let us leave the bad things behind us. I’ve been throwing myself into new things. The doll project (I’ve paused in painting because my anxiety has made my hands shaky and the quality of work is suffering). This is what I have so far painting wise. It will require refining

I have to refine the smoothness of the irises, and add detail, lines etc. She also lacks
eyelashes and whatnot. But this is layer 2. There are a few more layers to go.
When my hands steady themselves.

. Now onto the great garden experiment.

We live at about 1200 feet in a rain foresty part of the Mount Hood Wilderness. We are only a few steps away from the Sandy river, which is a lovely background rush that we enjoy.  There are lots of trees. It's dark.  However a few years ago, our neighbour hacked down the trees in his back lot, and made a garden, opening up the area in our back yard.  Then our septic died and we had to have it redone, leaving our back yard a moonscape. It's been kind of messy back there for a while.

Well, I've always wanted a garden. The soil here is mostly volcanic sand from the last lahar from Mt. Hood's eruption 200 or so years ago. The soil has difficulty holding organics. Planting things just for an ornamental garden is a challenge. My dream of a lush English garden will not come to be here. Ony natives really thrive. And some really scraggly grasses. We get trillium, and oregon grape and ferns, and in summer, foxglove pops up everywhere. The neighbour brought in tons of manure and compost and tilled up his garden into a lovely fertile patch. But he still has issues with the shorter growing season because of the elevation and location.

I read an article on straw-bale gardening, and for a few years now, I've talked about it.  My hubby decided it was time I got my garden (he still says no to chickens though). So we went out and bought six bales to start with. We also put some tires my sister left here to use for garlic and potatoes.

Here's the garden as it stands: 

I will be adding herbs in pots as the growing season progresses. I have rosemary
as of now. I'm hoping this one will live. Hubby got me some hazelnut/filbert shell
much to make the ground around it nice and dry and mud free. I love it.
We need to clean up the moonscape still, throw away the old grill and trim
the wild grass. But the garden is a start. 
I've dedicated one tire bed to garlic. I loves my garlic.  The other tire bed is only
half constructed, and I will be breaking it down to start the potatoes.

I wil add a tire and soil every few weeks to keep the plant growing upwards, adding
depth to the space where the potatoes grow. In late summer, I shoudl be able to
remove the tires and harvest the potatoes all the way down to the ground.
The seeds I planted are quicky coming up.
I think I overdid it in the radish department. 
So excited to see these little guys grow.

My green onions are coming up too! So cute.

Peas are coming up. The strings are at the ready for them to climb on.

Pretty little baby radish. :D
This year is the great experiment. If this works, we'll add to the bales next year, and add more crops. I've already planted the carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, onions of a few varieties, garlic, leek, asparagus (that won't likely yield until next year). There are other seeds waiting their turn. I'm hoping this won't be destroyed by opportunistic raccons or deer. So far, they seem to be doing well. :)

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Throwing yourself into new things is always a good thing. Sounds like a fun project! And I love the area where you live - looks like heaven!


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