Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creosote and Pantyhose

After three years, I'm finally at a place where I feel like I have something to say again. It's been an eventful three years - three new roommates, a move (across the street but stressful nonetheless), left a job and started a business among other things.

So, I'm starting this blog anew. A blog about knitting, food, and family.

We had a couple days this week that were almost spring-like.  Weather above freezing, blue skies (pale, but blue all the same) and a lot less snow by the end of the day.  Still sub-freezing temperatures to come, but much better than it has been by far.

We are starting to plan our garden for the year. We have a 10x15 plot at a community garden. I'm trying to come up with a plan that will maximize our yield. I'm using a tool I found at GrowVeg. I'm impressed so far with the tool. You can search your location to see what others are doing. I just received my first email advice telling me it's time to seed my onions indoors. The timing is based on my local climate and according to the website, they will prompt us to set starts out, harvest and rotate crops.

My next step is to plan the container gardening for our porch and patio. I love having a home where I don't have to to mow, prune trees, or the best part, shovel snow (which we have had more than our share of this year), the drawback is that there is no where for me to have a garden at home.

My grandmother passed away last month. When I was a little girl and we would visit in the summer, my sister and I would help her in her garden. They lived at Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho near the town of Athol. The property was a lakefront home on a very steep slope so my grandfather had put in terraces using railroad ties. I still remember the smell of the creosote oozing out of the ties and to this day I associate that order with gardening. At the end of a hot afternoon working in the garden, we could go down to the lake and jump in.  The Pend Oreille is very cold - it's the 5th deepest freshwater lake in the lower 48. We would never last long in the water, my sister would be blue and shivering after a few minutes and I wouldn't last much longer.

I'm looking forward to a garden this year, I think mostly because it's the best way I can think of to pay homage to my grandma. She was very connected to the earth, as the daughter of farmers and she and my grandfather farmed for a time near Lapwai Idaho. Even in her later years when she still lived on her own in Vancouver, Washington, she always had a garden with flowers and tomatoes and herbs at the very least.

I hope that my granddaughters will become connected to her through me. She wasn't always an easy person to be with, but I value all that I learned from her. When she passed, my daughter and I realized that we are using all of the lessons we learned from her in frugality. We laugh over some of the sillier things, like the pantyhose with no legs and the peeled Asparagus, but we appreciate the lessons in making things last, fixing them, and making do with what you have.