Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: A Good Week


Just saying "Hi" and wishing you a lovely spring week. I certainly have been celebrating one here (with the exception of today's wind and thunderstorm, but I won't go into that).

View driving into Clarkston, WA. Hell's Gate Marina on the Snake River where Vince and I sometimes sail on our sailboat, "Duet." Explorers Lewis Meriwether and William Clark explored this region and river in the early 1800s, and thus the names of our two towns, Lewiston and Clarkston came to be. A great place to visit for all you Pacific Northwest history buffs out there.
  The weather has been lovely in Eastern Washington, and the Palouse hills are already greening up from the winter wheat. Temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. Spring is definitely on the way. The Master Gardening class I have been attending once a week has been wonderful. Gardeners in the Lewiston-Clarkson valley (where classes are held 45 minutes away) are already gardening! Their season (zone 6) is about four to six weeks ahead of the rest of us (in zone 5) living on the plateau above. Boo! I'm 'green' with envy :).
Close up of Hell's Gate Marina (there is also a nice RV park here and Hell's Gate State Park farther down the road). The hills surrounding will turn green soon, but then quickly turn brown over the summer when temperatures reach the 90s and higher.


Winter sowing in mini greenhouses actually worked.
Planted Feb 16 when temperatures were still in the 30s at night.

Here on the Palouse on the plateau, I'm excited to begin gardening again and already have a garden shed planned (thanks to Vince's willingness to set up one). I'm a bit behind starting my seedlings indoors but the grow lights are set up and ready. My experiment sowing romaine lettuce and mesclun outdoors in mini-greenhouses actually worked (see photo). I have plenty of starts for transplanting. A Master Gardener suggested I try this method. You can't see the green shoots in the photo, but believe me they are there. I'll transplant later in April.

Also drove to Spokane this week, which is about 90 miles north of us. Vince had an early morning eye appointment, and I needed to picked up my red worms for my new vermi-composter.
View from road driving to Spokane at sunrise. The fields are already turning green.
What a beautiful day to drive!


I was pretty nervous about the worm composting process, but I'm happy to report the worms are thriving, and now eating a potpourri of chopped pineapple leaves, lettuce, bread and other fruit and vegetable scraps. At the end of the month, I should have a bucket's worth of fresh compost for the garden and a new batch of worms. The process is ingenious. I water and feed the worms with kitchen scraps, and brown material like leaves and old newspaper and they produce this marvelous soil for the garden. What a great way to recycle!
Vermi-Composter. Three more bins go on
top as the worms build up the soil.

My new worms. Most are hidden underneath.

Happy Weekend everyone!! 





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26 comments:

  1. Very cool and interesting!! I love to garden. Over here in Western NY we're told it's 5 days till spring, but you wouldn't know it by all the snow on the ground. Your pictures of Washington are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks. Spring will be so wonderful when it finally comes. The Northeast sure has had it hard this winter!

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  2. I can finally visit all the Celebration bloggers with my NEW computer....old one wouldn't let me into many complicated sites...Soooo, hello there. Your great hopes for spring echo through this winter-weary land, I am sure. But warmth, sunshine and calm waters beckon; or maybe it's the worms!
    Good luck with the seedlings.

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    1. Hi..Welcome! Glad the new computer has made a difference and you can finally visit. Yes, it has been quite winter-weary for a lot of folks this year. We will all welcome spring with open arms!

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  3. Now the weather is better here really must get out and do some gardening! Sounds like a good week with some lovely photos to accompany it.

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    1. I hope you made it to the garden this week. The season comes and goes so quickly it seems, or is it that winter always feels so long?

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  4. Sounds like fun. I don't garden, as I really don't know what I'm doing (and don't have any land to garden on, besides).

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    1. I hope you can someday. It's fun to learn, and it doesn't have to be big :-).

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  5. Hope you have fun gardening! I don't think I'd ever have the patience for something like that, heh.

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  6. Oh, I'm certain to make a mess of it (when I lose patience :-). Really just a gardener in progress, but it can be fun.

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  7. I'm been into vermiculture for about six years now. So easy. So wonderful for my plants. And I use my garbage disposal almost not at all. Your worm bin looks a lot better than mine! I think I'll have to go out to the green house and do some cleaning. :-)

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  8. Oh, another worm composter! Yay!! I'm thrilled you are still happy with the process. I'm still nervous with it being the house. And you have a green house....oh wow, I think I'm jealous :) I was told to bury the food and that would control the odor. I also have an apple vinegar trap to handle any fruit flies, and I freeze the food before using to kill any eggs. So far, so good!

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    1. Hi, Sarah. I wish I had time to take more pictures. Hope you are having a marvelous spring week, too -:).

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  10. I talked to MaryAnn about her worm disaster, and she said that from the sound of yours, you'll do just fine. She ran into trouble when she was using horse manure to fertilize the compost. It was full of fly eggs, later maggots ... ugh.

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    1. Oh good grief. No wonder she didn't like it. If anything like that happens to me, out the door they go!! So far nothing bad to report, other than they sure are hungry little critters!

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  11. Fabulous pictures, thank you for sharing. :-)

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    1. Thanks. Spring does seem to guarantee a few! I look forward to warmer weather.

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  12. Love the name of your blog! Jan @MermaidsandCashmere

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  13. Thank you, and nice to meet you, Janice! Time to check out your blog :-)

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  14. You've been busy doing all the things I think I'll do during the long winter, but never seem to get around to once it's over. Do you keep the worm bins outside? Do the birds bother them? I'd think the birds would be thinking "Ooooh! A buffet!" LOL

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    1. Hi Vicki. Nice to meet you :-). No, the worm bin is in the house (for now). The merchant I bought them from convinced me if I controlled the brown material and buried the food, there would be no odor. So far so good and I have no fruit flies. The problem with maintaining outdoors is the temperature (below 38 degrees will kill them) and then there is the insect problem. The bin will attract a ton of them, including slugs and snails. As for the birds, the bin cover would keep them out, but yeah....what a feast if they could!!

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  15. Looks and sounds like you're having so much fun. Composting is definitely a great way to recycle, and the soil you get is phenomenal.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches


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    1. Oh, no kidding this is fun. I do not have 'real' pets but you would think I do, for all the attention I give these worms. It keeps me out of trouble :-)

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  16. Lovely photos! I'm sighing with only a wee bit of envy as I look at them. You know, I looked into worm composting at one point. If you're not familiar with it, it indeed can have a bit of the "ew" factor. But it's such a great way to make very healthy compost.

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    1. It has been a lot of fun....I had no idea worms could be pets :-) No 'ew' factor yet, but believe me, I keep checking! See you in the A-Z, Julie.

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