Monday, March 30, 2009

Garden plans

T = tomatoes
P = peppers
M = marigolds
LBs = Lime Basils
ThBs = Thai Basils
ItBs = Italian Basils
O = oregano
ooo = parsley
C = cucumbers
. = 2nd planting of cucumbers
BS = Brussel sprouts
B1 = bush beans
B2 + B3 = 2nd and 3rd plantings of bush beans
Squiggly blue line = lettuce and dill

And here is our container garden so far (minus the tray of microgreens Rb planted last night):

We also will have containers for tomatoes (there are twenty-two unaccounted for in the above plan), stevia, catnip, and more microgreens.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A productive Sunday!

Today, Rb and I (Js) turned a trip to the Farmer's Market into more plants!

We bought seeds for lettuce, microgreens, cilantro, parsley, and beans. In addition, we bought mint and catnip seedlings/plants.

And when we proudly returned to the commune with our purchases, we found the communites hard at work! (Yup, clearing more stumps.)

After a few hours work today, the stumps are gone! Yay!

Before: :After

Also, the mint seedlings, lettuce seedlings, lettuce seeds (with dill seeds), cilantro seeds, and chard seeds have all been planted into their containers.

The cilantro and lettuce trays are divided into three sections so that we can succession plant them. I'll start new seeds of each every week or two, enabling us to have a continuous supply of lettuce and cilantro. Yum!

Before the end of the night, we'll probably even have some microgreen trays started. Our commune will be swimming in greens if Rb and I have anything to do with it!

The trays for the parsley are ready too, but the seeds need to soak overnight before planting.

Oh... and tiny monster helped too:

Another day of stump clearing

Saturday was a rollicking day of fun!

We cleared out 2 more stumps. But, boy, did those trees put up a fight!

Here are some lovely shots of the workers.

Go, hippies, go!

Stump 0, Guys 1. Cider 0, Girl 1 (at least).

Don't hurt yourself... use science! FTW!

Next stump...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Seedlings in the oven... so to speak

Last Monday, seeds were sown. Seeds of wonder and terror... or vegetables; I don't really know which because I mixed up the bags. Either way, something is growing in Rb and I's kitchen.

We have seeds aplenty and dozens of starter pellets, but only two 'greenhouse dome' trays. So we'll get these started and go (grow?) from there.

Our seeds are mostly Seeds of Change brand, although we have a few Botanical Interests, as well.

In the small black tray, we have 4 Long Island Brussel Sprouts, 3 Mammoth Dill, 3 Arkansas Traveler Tomato, and 2 Brandywine Tomato pellets cooking.

In the larger tray, we have 6 Mideast Prolific Cucumber, 6 Provider Snap Bush Bean, 4 Chadwick Cherry Tomato, 4 Cal Wonder Orange Bell Pepper, and 4 Nardello Sweet Peppers.

Our hippie communites all want to eat many, many cucumbers, so I'm hoping that this variety is as prolific in the Southwest as the name suggests it is in the Mideast.

But either way, these plants-to-be and our current seedlings should provide nicely for us on this first round of our garden.

Gardening: Step 2: Seedlings!

Last Saturday, a handful of us hippies found ourselves wandering around the Texas countryside looking for something to plant.

Here's what we found:

At the Jones' out in Poetry:

(above, from left to right: thai basil, italian basil)

(lime basil, purple beauty bell pepper)

(Serrano pepper, jalapeno heaven, golden summer bell pepper)

(cherokee purple tomato, b-w tomato)

(persimmon tomato, green zebra tomato)

At Classic Gardens in Murphy:

(above, from left to right: Italian oregano, spearmint, stevia)

(hillbilly tomato, red cherry tomato)

(leaf lettuce, bistro salad mix lettuce)

(blushing beauty bell pepper, strawberries)


Gardening: Step 1: Prepare a bed (or two)

Though some of our gardening will be in containers, we were able to find (and get approval for) two good-sized beds that get (we hope) plenty of sun.

One is on the east side of the house and only gets partial sun, due to the shadow of the houses nearby.

This bed, once full of small brush and weeds, was cleared out in a matter of minutes. (See, not all hippies are lazy.)

We also put up a long 2x4 to act as an edge to the bed. Today, Mt even aerated it so that it is ready for planting!

The soil here is lush and just begging for our seedlings!

Our other bed needs quite a bit more work before it will be ready. In the front yard, there lies a beautiful (and well-positioned) bed, but alas, it is (was) full of trees. Not even trees, really, but the dreaded holly bush!

Amazingly, we managed to get approval from our landlord to remove these trees/bushes and plant here. Now all we have to do is remove a bunch of trees.

... ... ...

Yeah. I'll leave that to the guys...

Here are the "in progress" pictures:

After the first session:

Here, they've just cut down the bulk of the trees, but the stumps, oh the stumps, remain. (This was done on Saturday.)

Now/After the second session:

In a surprising Friday afternoon twist, Kv, Jn, and Mt pulled out one stump and dug a second one almost out!

Woo! Here's our new brush pile:

Go, hippies, go!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Since this is merely our first go-'round of a commune (and because we don't own the property), we're trying to take the projects slow. That's much harder than it sounds because we are full of ideas, but we know that it's a learning process and we only have so much work and money we are willing to put in (especially given that the property could be sold out from under us at any moment. :eek:)

Though each member of the commune has a different idea of what the finished product should be like, there are some general concepts that get thrown around:

We'd like to:
  • provide most of our own food from our garden (and eventually animals)
  • use solar (and other efficient) power sources
  • live frugally, but also sustainably
  • make room for our multiple projects (everything from making and using hula hoops to building large shade structures and art works for Burn events to refurbishing old furniture to its original (or some other equally awesome) condition
  • and love where we live (not just another rental, but a space that is ours).

Our first step is to start our garden.

Welcome to the Commune (V.01)!

Eight people, three apartments, one property: Welcome to the Commune!

Two of us (Jn and Mx) lived in the upstairs apartment of a great duplex. They had parties, they let various friends stay there for various times when needed, and they generally made us all fall in love with the property.

They'd been there for nearly a year when the garage was turned into an apartment and put up for rent. Quick as a bunny (well, two bunnies, one with a bad ankle), Mt and Nk scooped that tiny apartment right up, making the property two-thirds 'ours'. Weekends became party explosions, with our crazy hippie friends hula-hooping, giggling, and camping out at the property.

Fortuitously, and probably due to the vast amount of noise this group makes, the downstairs neighbors abandoned ship. I (Js) wanted in. Rb, ma trustcentric-polyamorous quasi-boyfriend, was also looking for a new place. We made the necessary arrangements and were here in a heartbeat.

This was followed by Al, ma psuedo-roomate before the move, and Kv, a sometimes squatter at the duplex already, moving in to the upstairs and garage, respectively.

This leaves us where we started... eight goofballs, three apartments, one property... and a sitcom waiting to happen.