Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sukey at my new Place in Ashland

My five-year old cat Sukey, surveying the scene. She doesn't stray very far from here, and I usually know where to look for her when I get home. I live in the railroad district, the downtown area of Ashland, but it's very quiet here because I'm off an alley between streets. I'm two blocks from the main strip with the cinema and the Shakespeare Fest, etc.,and two blocks from the Ashland Food Co-op, a fantastic grocery store that's also a place to see friends. Everything else in Ashland is reachable for me by bike, unless I'm gardening for someone in the hills, in which case I use my truck.
These were taken awhile ago, probably April, when precipitation was still happening; here she's licking up rain off my worm compost bin, right next to my front door.

Above: I put a cardboard box on the deck table, and she started nesting in it.

Putting in new raised beds and plants in the spring at my new house in Ashland

Above and below: See bottom paragraph for full description; this is the largest of the two wooden framed beds my landlady had installed for me. I later removed this alfalfa, added compost and other soil, and then put the alfalfa on top again. Below, you can see the trellised entrance to my little house.
Above: I moved here in December 2010; in April or so (can't remember exactly), Some cool things happened. Above; this is a view of the wooden trellis enclosing my front yard/deck area. You can see straw there on either side of the rosemary, which I planted into with various perennial flowers from my old flower field at Full Bloom, which was eventually tilled under to make room for another farming project. You can see the black pots on the right, full of various perennials -- liatris, eryngium, veronica, monarda, echinops (globe thistle), etc.
Above: Just inside the trellised area, there's a sunny little corner. I had sheet-mulched it here with cardboard and weeds, and on this day my landlady, Rabbitt (below) hired a man (also below, can't remember his name) to build the two frames, one of which went in this spot, and the other went in front of my house (top photo). Behind the two of them, under the tarps, is some amazing compost from a compost specialist in Gold Hill named Denny Morelli, full of microbes, forest duff, and various nutrients. Behind them is the truck with the two bed frames. Sorry, I thought I was downloading these in sequence, but they didn't turn out that way.

The established garden bed at my house in Ashland, in spring

Above and below: grape hyacinths.
Below: crocuses.

Above: This bed was already packed with bulbs and beautiful perennials (a peony in that white-wired area), but I wanted to save some of perennial flowering plants I'd cultivated in my flower field at Full Bloom for three years, so I went out there, dug a bunch up, and planted them here and at other places around my new house. I've been here since December, and these got planted, probably in April.

Worm bin at my current house in Ashland

I must admit that these pictures are from this spring, when my worm bin was happy and healthy. I have since let up on the maintenance and lost my worms. But this is a pretty good picture of a happy, healthy worm bin.
The worms are feasting on all kinds of things -- tea leaves & coffee grounds, fruits & veggies. I don't feed them any meat or processed foods like bread, although some people do and it works fine. I also generally don't put in corn cobs, avocado skins, or any pits from avocados/other fruits, since the worms don't eat them and they take forever to decompose. And I limit the amount of citrus, which worms don't like much.

I got this plastic bin from goodwill for a dollar. It already had holes in the side, which you need so that the worms have air flow. I punched a hole in the bottom right corner, so that the "worm juice" (liquid worm castings) could seep out -- I put a yogurt container below it, which you can see on the right there. It's very user-friendly, and right outside my front door. I've since moved it a short distance away, in a shadier spot.