Monday, March 04, 2013


We've recently taken some classes in reduction printmaking. It's been loads of fun and the results are pleasing too, even if they are a bit rough due to our inexperience.
Three attempts to colorize my sockeye salmon print. This one was only 2"x 3". 

After printing on pure white paper for a while, our instructor allowed us to print on photos. This bison comes out looking fairly natural against a blue sky with white clouds.

Heidi's gorgeous stylized chicken using blended red and white ink.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Garlic...In the Ground...Finally

Last year I grew 5 types of garlic, then promptly lost my markers showing which type was which.

Anyway the season was rough; it stayed wet so long into June that much of the garlic molded.

I think I was a bit disheartened and failed to find the energy to plant in October, per plan. But finally, in January I managed (with Heidi's help) to get the Garlic planted.

This year will see an expanded crop of Elephant, since we had such a great experience using it in soup instead of shallots. And in the "true-garlic" category, I bought only Chesnok Red from the local organic farm, since those seemed to have a strong flavor and held up well to last years soggy conditions. (Unlike the Kettle River, which molded like strawberries)

The varieties that resisted the mold from last year went back into the ground in a grab-bag that will contain Italian Red, Purple Stripe, Mt. St. Helens, Spanish Roja and Kazakhstan.

The First(s) of March

Two days ago I took a stroll around the grounds and noted quite a few firsts of the season.

  1. First Rhubarb bud pokes through the soil
  2. First Oregon Wood Sorrel does the same
  3. First garden greens sprouting
  4. First willow-buds emerging
  5. First horseradish leaves emerge
And there are some things that have been happening for a few weeks, such as the emergence of snow-drops and other bulb-plants, like garlic, iris and chives.

In other fun garden-news, we're attempting to make new plants from cuttings of our friend's fruit trees. Among them are numerous apple varieties and a 100-year-old Royal Anne cherry, which produces the most unbelievably delicious sour fruit.

I really hope the propagation succeeds!

I also think this year will see some grapes on the vines Heidi bought me 3+ years ago. I finally provided them something to climb on (a climbing arch toy upcycled from my brother's neighborhood park)

We have big plans to expand the garden this year. Cascara trees have been invading and swallowing up our usable land, so I plan to mount an offensive to take back a bunch of prime territory. We also should have a nice, large plot for greens once we provide a new yard for the chickens.

Spring is coming. It's feeling good. We've only heated our house for a couple hours in the past 72. Our wood-pile is low, but traditionally we stop needing it around the first of April. It's looking clear that we'll finish the heating season having consumed less than 1.5 cords of wood.