Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Porch Storage Bench -- Finished

Several months ago we started a project. We wanted a bench on the front porch, one we could use for seating, but also something that provide lots of storage for the girls' skates, helmets, pads, and whatever else will fit.

That weekend we built the bench and did everything except for paint it and attach the lid. Then it got rainy and we got busy and a lot of weekends slipped past.

But we finally buttoned up the last little bit and now it's finished. Even right this moment it's doing it's girls' stuff storage task with efficiency!

We started with a very sturdy redwood base from 2x4s.

We got some pine siding that matches our house. Here we're just starting to cut/fit/attach it. Got very lucky in that we didn't need to rip any of the siding (no table saw, and so long cuts tend to be a bit iffy...).

Got some help along the way. *(this was a pose! The kids do wear eye protection and they know to keep their fingers out of the way/etc. Well, mostly...)

The awkward "you mean it's not a boat?" moment:

Here it is, primed and sitting on our porch.

Working on the lid. The siding made the box a little to wide for the plain piece of wood we were going to use for the lid, so we wrapped the board on three sides with quarter round...


Now, several months later, paint!

And the finished product, complete with lid:

We like that we made this ourselves, and that we made it very sturdy. The materials didn't cost that much, compared to buying one already built. Of course, we could have done some things better, and the finished product is _heavy_, but really, it suits our purposes just fine.

Ugh, now to refinish the porch!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Micro Harvest

Here's what we harvested one day this weekend. Well, there were a few more snowpeas, but the kids got to them before I could take this picture.

Still, those radishes sprinted to maturity! We have a dozen or so more radishes in the garden and some of them are close to ready. The kids don't like radishes, so two at a time is plenty. The carrots, though, seem to be getting shaded by the pomegranate shrub/bush/tree/thing. not sure they'll ever finish.

The potatoes are growing like mad. A couple of the tomato plants are starting to do their thing and a purple bean of some sort started to get these little blooms. Yay!

Should have more lettuce and spinach this weekend, too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mohawk, the Broody Hen

Good ol' Mohawk (photo on the right side of the blog...). We can count on her to go broody about every 3 or 4 months. We have three hens but she's the only one who's ever been broody. This is her third time in the year or so that she's been laying eggs.

The first time it happened, we tried all of the remedies we could find that didn't involve confinement. We tried luring her with treats. We tried dunking her undercarriage in water. We tried all sorts of things. Finally, we gave up and put her in the upside down cat carrier. Three nights in there and she was back to her usual self.

The second time it happened, we skipped the other stuff and went straight to the cat carrier. Three days later, bam! Back to normal.

This time, we had our fancy "new" broody box that we got for free from someone on the block. We figured this would be perfect because it's much larger than the cat carrier. It still had a vented floor, so we figured it was an improvement. Here she is in the new, blue broody box, inside their run.


Well, 4 days later and Mohawk's still broody. Looks like it's a little _too_ comfy in there. I wonder if the floor is not "airy" enough or whatnot...

We'll give her until tomorrow and if she's not done, we'll break out the upside down cat carrier again...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pomegranates and Potatoes

The potatoes are growing like crazy. They're by far the fastest growing thing we've planted.

Also, the pomegranate has a few more blooms. Fingers crossed there.

We planted some basil and other herbs in the tiered planter; however, we haven't found any strawberries to fill out the rest of the boxes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Construction Project

This weekend we built this tiered set of planter boxes. Now, this is something we did with our very meager carpentry skills. Between that, and the Home Depot-grade materials, it's a wonder it hasn't burst into flame yet!

All kidding aside, this was a fairly fun project, and we both got a good feeling of accomplishment out if it. I think we're going to plant strawberries in at least one of the tiers...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Corn Again

Ok, here we are on May 15th, and the corn is growing steadily, if not as quickly as I'd like. I suppose at some point I'll have to find a different planter for them...

Everything else in the garden is making the same kind of slow, measured progress. We neglected to plant the blueberry... Is it too late now?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Progress

Wow, the corn we planted sure did take off! Here's the container with the really tiny "strawberry" corn:

And here's our lime tree, showing off its many limes in progress. We've not had much luck with the lime tree, but I'm hopeful now, this latest batch of blooms looks promising!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I love my pomegranate shrub/tree thing, but I swear, if it doesn't at least _try_ to make fruit this year, I'm ripping it out!

Here's what's happening, bloom-wise.

This is really different from most other years. Usually we get a ton of blooms, and they all fall off a few days later and nothing develops further. This year, though, we have just a few buds/blooms, but they're longer than usual and they're darker, and that has my hopes up!

Fingers crossed!