I have mixed emotions about my now very open, big window that has been hiding for the past 3 months! I’m sad, a bit, that the tomato plants are gone, but everything seems much brighter and open now! My room somehow feels cleaner….oh wait, that’s because I did clean my room…. anyway it feels more spacious in here and I’m not complaining. The sun and redwoods are a beautiful thing to wake up to.
We’ve had an exciting bout of harvesting in the garden this week….. I’m sorry, what’s that? What? You’re confused about where the tomatoes have gone? OH! I haven’t told you?? I transplanted them outside IN OUR GREENHOUSE!!!!!!!!!
Wooooo! I’m keeping my job, the tomatoes are in there safely, the lettuce and spinach and kale are going to thrive in the warmth, and I am pleased.
Here is the finished product from the inside, but I had a few re-dos in the process.
In my first attempt, I draped the end of the plastic over the first hoop and made my “base,” got the plastic up on the pipes. On each pipe is a clamp fastening the plastic to the pipe. You can kind of see the connections in the picture to the left.
I left all that hanging plastic because I thought it could make the door. I didn’t think that through, clearly.
Realizing this flaw, I knew I had to clean it up for the house to be at all functional. So I shifted all the plastic over, pipe by pipe, and pulled the hanging plastic up.
You can see here that this left me with one semi-circle covered, the other completely exposed. After all that work I thought to myself “eh, I’ll cut out some plastic and secure it on the open semi-circle later.” As I kept thinking, I realized I wanted both semi-circles to work just like the covered one. So I said to myself, “It feels like a lot of work now to go shift all the plastic, but I will not regret it later. I want to make as few cuts as possible.”
So, I sucked it up and unclamped the plastic from all the pipes, which looks like this, by the way:
My mom says it doesn’t look like it would hold, but trust me. It does. The clamp is cut to just a bit bigger than half a pipe, so it grips around the fattest part of the smaller pipe.
Alright, so I shift all the plastic, and I come out with this structure. “That’s a good looking half-a-hoop-house,” I said to myself.
At this point I cut straight along the plastic to copy what I’d just done, on the other side.
As I walked inside the finished hoop house for the first time, I cried out with joy “It’s a room! I’m in a hot room!”
A hot room, indeed. 80° of hot air surrounded me, even with the breezy day rustling my enclosure.
Once everything was intact and warm, Dorothy and I brought out the tomato plants. “They are ready” I declared.
Before we planted everything, she and I went on a trip to the ragged house onsite and found a gate that screamed “trellis” at Dorothy, so we commandeered it and secured it where it belongs – in the garden bed!
I trimmed many of the suckers from the tomato plants because Mel Bartholemew talks in his book Square Foot Gardening of the “single stem” method. You cut off all the suckers and then all the nutrients can stick to one stem and produce bigger, juicier fruit. In hindsight, I suppose I could have kept two plants with suckers and trimmed two plants, to see the difference in yield and quality. Shucks. Next time.
We made sure to water the tomatoes deeply to assist in their big move. They continue to do well.
Now, through reading all this, you might want to ask me “Karli, don’t you plan anything before you do it?”
By that, I mean, I do plan things, but they rarely come to fruition by my plan. It’s much easier for me to have a plan and go out and then do whatever feels right at the time than try to stick to a plan that for whatever reason, no longer jives with me.
Our SPMC Seniors got a nice surprise when they joined me in the garden one day! As I’m still learning, I appreciate when people come to the garden and share knowledge about what is happening there. This time I learned just the perfect time to harvest carrots and beets. I love when guests have the joy of harvesting, too!
I even learned that Dorothy has a sweet spot for radishes (grown in the tub in the background) and plots to steal all mine! Ah well, I suppose all her hard work has earned her a few tender radishes!
Meanwhile, Toni was in her comfort zone, barbecuing chicken and mixing some very cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese.
I’ll stick to the veggies.
When we get all these wonderful things coming into the kitchen, I like to experiment with some potential recipes to prepare them. I’ve been working on beets for a while, and this time I think I’m proud of what I’ve produced. I had my coworkers try it before I sought to share the recipe, so here are some instructional pictures. Try it where you are, let me know how it turns out for you or what kind of tweaks you make that are successful or a bust!
Seasoned Roasted Beet
1 medium sized Beet
2 tsp Basil Leaves
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Tarragon Leaves
1/2 tbs (or less) Olive Oil
1 minced Garlic Clove
Beans (A snack to munch on while you wait)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place an unpeeled beet in the center of a square of tin foil large enough to enclose the beet. You could also slice the beet in to quarters. Pour all ingredients over the beet.
Wrap the tin foil loosely around the beet, so that the ingredients have room to move around the beet.
Shake it all up! The ingredients should coat the beet. If you haven’t already, at this point you could unwrap and cut the beet into quarters and compile all the ingredients into the center of the beet, wrap it up just like that, and continue.
I absolutely love the flavor of these herbs together, but you can use whatever tickles your palate. I highly suggest adding the garlic no matter what, because it’s so flavorful!
It’s been such a wonderful week that marks the end of our down time at the Conference Center. Things are going to pick up again for the summer, the interns are going to come in and wreak their beautiful havoc, and days are going to continue to feel too short, and just long enough. Things will get rocky, people will get upset, and lots of smiles will be shared and sentiments of gratitude expressed. I am grateful for this place, for these people, and for every experience that has led me here. Enjoy your day. Namaste.