Monday, August 22, 2005

P³ Progress

Between the weather, travel, and doing other things, it's been a while since anything has been done on the Pond–Patio Project (a.k.a. P³). Well, this morning, a giant leap forward was made — we finally got someone out to clean away two truckloads of rocks, railroad ties, rebar, assorted pond and yard waste, etc. The cost was more than I might have liked, but it was about the same as if we'd had a tip dropped off in front of the house and we did the loading, and I doubt I/we could have moved everything out in the 45 minutes it took the guys we hired.

The mesa to the left of the photo is what remains of the old patio [here's an old picture from an early stage of the P³ showing some of the trash and patio frame] and there are six or seven intractable pipes and two buried railroad ties still in place, but I'm willing to work around those for the moment and if I do eventually get them out, it will be a small enough amount of trash to get the city to take it (albeit maybe over the course of a month).

The next step is to see what we can do about knocking the mesa down a little more and using that dirt to fill in/grade some of the lower areas in the upper portion of the backyard. A lot of that has already been done, but the loss of the trash pile makes evident a few areas that need attention (and makes it easier to maneuver a wheelbarrow).

We also are near the point where we can break out some graph paper and lay a hose or two on the ground to try to figure out how/where we'd like the planned deck/patio replacement to end up going. Considering we didn't really have a schedule, I'd still say we are behind schedule, but we are probably moving more quickly than I would have though we might. Will there be something built by winter? I don't know, but it feels more likely than it was a week ago.

Garden Update

While cutting the ogräs on Saturday, I noticed a few specs of red on the raspberry bushes. Another crop is setting and ripening. I managed to find three good ones (one for each of us — Celeste ended up spitting hers out) and a handful of potential berries that will hopefully be ready to eat in a week or so.

Not that we've been paying the best of attention to it, but the garden is looking pretty rough. The cucumbers (along with the hanging flower baskets on the front porch) died while we were in Montana. The only tomatoes that are growing are self-seeders that sprouted from last year's fallen fruit, and none of them are to the fruiting stage yet. The carrots look like they're doing well, although they seem to have choked out the leeks. The parsley and chives are doing well, and the mint patch is struggling with the raspberry patch for supremacy of the hillock.

The garlic we harvested back in June and July, but the toes are a lot smaller than the previous generation. I think part of that is because when we though to save some of the old ones for planting it was only the smaller cloves that were left — I don't know if it was a matter of the variety or the specific genes of that bulb, but it seems we planted small ones and got smaller ones. We've already picked up a few bulbs at the farmers market that we are planning to save to plant come October.

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