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sarakingdom

Sara Kingdom Wears the Lilac

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I don't often feel this way, but some days, working for Vetinari has some real appeal. (Okay, let's be honest; would simply have problems that are not the ones I'm currently having. But it would solve the current problems, and that's what counts.)

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Garden update: I just went by to water and inspect, but I did end up taking one beet. They looked nice, and they need thinning.

 

I now have 120% germination on the purple beans. (No, not really, but I forgot I put all the leftovers in my hand around the new ground cherry. I think even the broken ones sprouted, which I didn't expect.) They seem vigorous.

 

I think I saw lemongrass seedlings. But no sign of basically all the flowers I planted at the same time. Well, maybe they take longer.

 

The transplanted yarrow will definitely make it. All the existing foliage died, but the new stuff is already coming up.

 

The ground cherry cutting might make it. Maybe. I didn't do a great job selecting and preparing it, but, while the leaves and flowers have died back, the branch still seems okay, so now it just has to root in time. It's tough, it could do it.

 

The thyme is starting to flower, and is also taking over everything again. I think I'm gonna have to start drinking thyme herbal tea just to control this stuff. But I will say this, it's a fabulous living mulch. It keeps the ground really moist. I might move some over the ginger, which needs that moisture.

 

The currant tomato had a growth spurt, and has now been ceremonially lashed to the cold frame to climb. It also has some vigorous side stems. I might do some interesting plant stuff to it, by burying part of the stem to give it more root mass, and braiding those side stems so they fuse together into a more sturdy stem. Maybe I can make it a tree.

 

The California poppies have gone wild, they look great, if a bit floppy. It's a stylish dishevelment, though. Mostly orange and pale blush pink today. I collected a gazillion seed pods. They also were attracting pretty butterflies. The marigolds have also really taken off. Tons of flowers. (The alyssum planted the same time is still MIA. I might have some coming in, but I'm really not sure. What I thought might be it seems to be something left by the last gardener that I now need to identify. It's weedy, but looks deliberately distributed.)

 

My replacement heat-loving squash has sprouted and looks healthy, though they both sprouted so close together that I'm worried about transplanting one. So I guess I kill one, or let them grow together. This is a really fast squash, I should have some in 40 days. (It's apparently also a good dual use summer and winter squash, so I may let some mature.)

 

Still no eggplant. Still little hot pepper growth. Down to a sane, originally planned two melon plants, one each of two varieties. Both strong.

 

I'm considering rhubarb and more root vegetables, and mizuna for the home hydroponic system. Because clearly what I need is more seeds. (No, for good reason! If I can do all my green leaves at home, I can get more variety in them, and also use my dirt for things that need dirt or more vertical space.) I also have butternut squash seeds, and it's a monster of a plant, but I have this space that still has no replacement plant, and squash can be ground cover... Well, maybe that's wishful thinking, but I could always just jam it in for now.

 

My garlic is getting rave reviews from a co-worker. It's on the small side, but really fresh and strong, without being biting. One little clove is worth two or three big grocery store ones, he says. I've also been using it in small, rationed amounts, and have no complaints. It's nice. Will grow more next year. Particularly since I seem to be intending to grow enough greens for an army.

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Week 4 Day 3

 

Is it week four? Geeze.

 

I had a lot of cleaning I wanted to do today. I didn't. I was really exhausted when I got home. Had to close my eyes briefly. Ugh.

 

But I did set up the watercress fountain, and planted it. It's sort of a planting experiment; if the seeds don't sprout this way, I'll start them hydroponically this weekend. Now I just have to wait forever. Oh, and I moved all the onions and garlic to a nice attractive basket with good airflow. And watered the garden. So sort of a garden day all day. But man, I needed to clean. I'm gonna have a late dinner and sleep instead.

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Also, my chocolate consumption has really gone up lately, from about zero to TONS. I know why, but it's still annoying. (Fortunately, chocolate is moderately good at curing annoyance. I just wish it were better chocolate.)

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Gah, sorry to hear that life is annoying enough to warrant breaking out chocolate. :( I hope you get your hands on some good stuff soon!

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Garden update: I went by to get some mint cuttings for the watercress fountain from the communal herbs, and ran into another gardener who was all, "Oh! You want some tomatoes, don't you?" The answer to that question is always yes, so I got a bag full of big tomatoes, and an offer of more tomatoes and a giant amount of mint on Saturday, and then we inspected each other's gardens and the plans for the herb bed. I offered seeds and stuff. I have lots.

 

This community garden thing really is some stone soup magic, y'all. No one's garden produces all that much, and yet there's still more than anyone can eat, and you're going home with some crazy variety of stuff. Like, food just appears in your hands, and it's not clear where it all comes from.

 

(The Japanese melon seedling I was worried wouldn't grow last month has doubled in size since the last garden update, which was, like, yesterday, and now has grabby little tendrils.)

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Week 4 Day 4

 

"Do the job that's in front of you."

  • Make a list of things to do before bedtime
  • Bonus: make a quick list of hydroponic garden plans for the office

"IT IS THE END OF CAKE. "

  • Pass. Just be glad dinner wasn't chocolate. (It had a sauce. That almost counts, right?)

Madame laughed. "Will you take some champagne?"

  • Somebody (me) put a bottle of rosé in the fridge to chill, so pull it out to have a glass with dinner like a civilised person - done

"You can call me Sweeper, since we're friends."

  •  Clean for twenty minutes

Vimes hadn't been sleeping in the past twelve hours, merely recovering.

  • Get to bed by midnight (but aim for 11:30)

"You need some time in t he garden of inner city tranquility."

  • Get some mint cuttings into the watercress fountain - done

He'd spent most of his days working nights.

  • Set out clothes for tomorrow (um, what's business casual for women these days?)
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Basically you should not believe me if I say I'm done buying seeds. I got some soapwort for groundcover, and some other things in preparation for the leafy green/everything else divide. I got mizuna, spinach, and a mild Japanese mustard with big leaves (I was totally sold on "we use it as sandwich wraps") for the hydroponic system. For the garden, I got rhubarb and a nice compact cucumber for pickles and sprouting broccoli for winter (it's cut and come again, rather than the type that produces one big head). I will share the rhubarb with the garden, so they have a couple, too. It's a nice unkillable perennial, and honestly, a rhubarb plant for one person is probably overkill. They need a small rhubarb patch for everyone.

 

I also got binder pages for photos to organize my seed packets in. Oh, and I stuck my strawberry seeds and cold-stratified wildflowers into the freezer, so I can plant them inside soon. I've decided what I'm going to put in the pots with the Alpine strawberries and poppies: one will have a dwarf pomegranate tree, another a ground cherry, which is like a small Chinese lantern tree. (The physalis variety, not the kitsch tourist item. Added bonus: it should go all damn year inside.) The third one, I dunno, Siberian wallflowers? Although, I dunno, that third one, I have a crazy amount of dragonfruit cactus that wants a bigger home... I guess I have other things I can put some wallflowers in, since all my current herb pots are about to become purely decorative pots.

 

Right. My actual challenge. Yesterday I left my apartment cleaner than when I found it. That is a win.

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On 6/19/2019 at 6:58 PM, sarakingdom said:

I'm considering rhubarb and more root vegetables, and mizuna for the home hydroponic system. 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Basically you should not believe me if I say I'm done buying seeds. I got some soapwort for groundcover, and some other things in preparation for the leafy green/everything else divide. I got mizuna, spinach, and a mild Japanese mustard with big leaves (I was totally sold on "we use it as sandwich wraps") for the hydroponic system. For the garden, I got rhubarb and a nice compact cucumber for pickles and sprouting broccoli for winter (it's cut and come again, rather than the type that produces one big head). I will share the rhubarb with the garden, so they have a couple, too. It's a nice unkillable perennial, and honestly, a rhubarb plant for one person is probably overkill. They need a small rhubarb patch for everyone.

 

Whew, for a moment there I thought you were going to try growing rhubarb in your hydroponic system. Just one leaf would spill out of one of your units.

 

I agree that your community garden should have a small rhubarb patch. One plant is not actually that much. They are deceiving because the leaves are so big. Each plant only has about six stalks at a time. That means you can only take a couple per plant at any one harvest session. You need about 6-10 stalks to make a pie, depending on the diameter of the stalks. I have three plants in a sunny spot on the west side of my house. They have huge stalks.

 

On 6/20/2019 at 12:41 PM, sarakingdom said:

Also, my chocolate consumption has really gone up lately, from about zero to TONS. I know why, but it's still annoying. (Fortunately, chocolate is moderately good at curing annoyance. I just wish it were better chocolate.)

 

Absolutely, you want high quality chocolate. My desk is stocked with Callebaut 100% chocolate liquor baking chocolate. I get it at the co-op in bulk. I think it is probably a bakery/confectionary supply item because I can't find it in the Callebaut product list. You can order all kinds of decent chocolate from www.chocolatesource.com

 

16 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

  • Set out clothes for tomorrow (um, what's business casual for women these days?)

 

My standard is nice slacks with classic wide, straight legs and a top that is clearly not a t-shirt or polo shirt. Add a decorative scarf if the top is plain. A top and light sweater duo is nice for overly air-conditioned offices. Shoes should usually be close-toed. Sandals are usually too dressy or too casual. You can wear a dress or skirt and top. A blazer or light cardigan over a sleeveless dress is a great summer combination. Go with the dressy sandals in this case.

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:

Whew, for a moment there I thought you were going to try growing rhubarb in your hydroponic system. Just one leaf would spill out of one of your units. 

 

It is indeed a critical comma. :)

 

It's not the leaves I'd worry about, so much as the root system. I've seen a rhubarb root system being dug out. I've seen smaller elephants. Ain't no way that's fitting in a hydroponic plant hole.

 

2 hours ago, Mistr said:

I agree that your community garden should have a small rhubarb patch.

 

It's not a super popular one, but it has fans. And I'm basically trying to share my perennials, because they can keep getting it every year, while I won't need more seed until I move. Why waste twenty seeds in an envelope, when three or four could be put to good use.

 

2 hours ago, Mistr said:

My standard is nice slacks with classic wide, straight legs and a top that is clearly not a t-shirt or polo shirt. Add a decorative scarf if the top is plain. A top and light sweater duo is nice for overly air-conditioned offices. Shoes should usually be close-toed. Sandals are usually too dressy or too casual. You can wear a dress or skirt and top. A blazer or light cardigan over a sleeveless dress is a great summer combination. Go with the dressy sandals in this case. 

 

I can't remember if I own nice slacks. I've been leggings for so long, and jeans before that. But I have a new calf-length summer skirt and linen tunic, though I did wear sandals. (Which was a bad idea, because I'd forgotten I was visiting a machine shop, and probably should have had closed-toed shoes. Well, they didn't kick me out and I didn't get hot metal filings on my foot, so it worked out.) Skirt is probably business casual enough.

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Today went a long way towards easing the need for chocolate, while also confirming that the need for chocolate was super legit. But there was no chocolate today. Instead, I will have tomatoes and basil from the garden.

 

I can't even, y'all. I really can't be having with this. (Fortunately, it looks like I have a plan to no longer entirely be having with this, and some allies who don't think I ought to be having with this, either.)

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The office spaceship food printer (or "planting machine" as they call it) is set up and running, and prepopulated with some stuff from the garden. I'm removing kale from my garden, so one is now in here, and a marigold seedling. Then there are cuttings of basil (2), Thai basil, mint (2), lavender, chamomile, and a rose cutting that will be a real stretch to get growing. But I have a planting machine, so I'm all set.

 

Things I learned belatedly today: apparently there's a back of my neck as well, and it would also like sunscreen before I go to community garden work days.

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Week 4 Day 6

 

"Do the job that's in front of you."

  • Make a list of things to do before bedtime

"IT IS THE END OF CAKE. "

  • Make first dinner (something with salsa)
  • Make second dinner (basil chicken)

Madame laughed. "Will you take some champagne?"

  • I am still a civilised person and have had a very summer day, so there will be wine with dinner

"You can call me Sweeper, since we're friends."

  • TBA

Vimes hadn't been sleeping in the past twelve hours, merely recovering.

  • Get to bed by... oh, hell, sometime that is still reasonably tonight

"You need some time in the garden of inner city tranquility."

  • Do the garden chores - done
  • Set up the office garden - done

He'd spent most of his days working nights.

  • Have a plan for tomorrow morning
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17 minutes ago, Teirin said:

any chance of pics of your new setup?  Deeply interested.

 

When I get the home one set up, absolutely! I didn't take any of the one at work.

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I'm making a bigger effort to go through my vegetables faster, as close to the time I get them as I can. So breakfast today was a baking dish super-full of yesterday's chard mixed with a couple of chopped cloves of garlic, all baked with cheddar cheese on top. Then I chopped a fresh tomato, also picked yesterday, and threw it over the chard when it came out. It was pretty amazing. Breakfast of champions.

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Week 4 Day 7

 

Okay, we're close to the next challenge, so let's try something out.

 

Next three jobs:

Shower - done

Pack bag with notebooks and computer - done

Go get coffee - done

Bonus: clean and wash bag

 

Next three:

Make a full job list for this week so far

Make a full job list for today

Tech maintenance - done

 

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

I'm making a bigger effort to go through my vegetables faster, as close to the time I get them as I can. So breakfast today was a baking dish super-full of yesterday's chard mixed with a couple of chopped cloves of garlic, all baked with cheddar cheese on top. Then I chopped a fresh tomato, also picked yesterday, and threw it over the chard when it came out. It was pretty amazing. Breakfast of champions.

 

Oooohhhhhh

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19 hours ago, Teirin said:

Oooohhhhhh

 

Super good. I recommend it. I also recommend pale green Italian chard varieties. Very productive, more delicate flavor, and I'm told they love summer heat despite nominally being a cool season crop. (If you get any summer heat in the Arctic wastelands.)

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

Super good. I recommend it. I also recommend pale green Italian chard varieties. Very productive, more delicate flavor, and I'm told they love summer heat despite nominally being a cool season crop. (If you get any summer heat in the Arctic wastelands.)

 

I need to see if any chard actually germinated in my garden. And pull the baby maples. We are getting actual summer weather this week. This is the first summer I can remember when we had spring weather all the way through summer solstice.

 

Yay for planting in your office! Do the flowers stay smaller in a hydroponic system? I know there are dwarf marigolds and roses. The full size ones get pretty big.

 

I hope your work goes better so that chocolate remains and optional treat.

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4 hours ago, Mistr said:

I need to see if any chard actually germinated in my garden. And pull the baby maples. 

 

Chard is much better eating than maple. That stuff is a trooper, too.

 

4 hours ago, Mistr said:

Yay for planting in your office! Do the flowers stay smaller in a hydroponic system? I know there are dwarf marigolds and roses. The full size ones get pretty big. 

 

I have no idea what hydroponics do yet, but they shouldn't change the plant size. If anything, they're better than soil at shoving nutrients into plants. But the marigolds I have are ultra-dwarf and will be fine. The rose looks pretty small in the garden, and I took a really dubiously small cutting from an unhappy plant, so I'll be lucky if it grows at all. Right now it's just filling space till seeds sprout.

 

(I got the sprouting tray set up in the farm today: four different lettuces from my lettuce blend, three cilantros, an arugula, a chard, two bok choys, and a new kale, because the one I transplanted has a long stem and hits the bottom of the water reservoir.)

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