Archive for April, 2010

Happy Earth Day!


So, I anticipated posting “later today” this weekend, but then with Greg’s injury and other things, well… it didn’t happen. Update on Greg’s finger: no surgery needed! Yay! What an ordeal. I think it’s appropriate that today is Earth Day and we can remember how Greg nearly sliced his finger off in the name of sustainability! 🙂 (And yes… it is that finger…)
Other news on the “rain barrel” front. I recently learned that the Town of Blacksburg is trying to limit “sewer waste” from your house and will actually DEDUCT water used to water plants/gardens/cars since it does not go into the sewer system! HECK YEAH!

The garden is growing splendidly! Lettuce is blooming, onions are doing whatever they do and the carrots are starting to peek through the ground. Since Bonnie plants were buy one get one free in the completely biodegradable peat pots, I went on a pepper shopping spree! Those are doing great! BUT, I found a HUGE ant pile in the garden. What to do? I didn’t want to use pesticides (kills the “organic” nature of my garden)… so I googled.
Got ants? This did the trick:
1) Boil water
2) Drown the suckers in hot boiling water
3) Immediate follow with a bath of apple cider vinegar
4) Rinse and Repeat

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Well, we had our first casualty of war: Greg cut his finger badly working on the rain barrel. At first, I thought he was being over dramatic, but 2 hours in the ER later, we discovered that he lacerated his tendon and may need surgery! OY

Bright side? He gets to see Dr. Grey on Monday… yep, you heard me right, Dr. Grey. Let’s hope it’s Meredith because Little Grey has been a little annoying lately 😉
A lot has happened since the last post… lettuce, onions, garlic, and carrots have been planted and the cucumbers are going into ground later today! The compost pile has been started and the rain barrel (albeit a little bloodied in battle) has been cleaned and is almost put together!
Stay tuned for an update later today! I will have pictures and share the lessons learned on composting and barrel battle!

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I thought I would share some “before pictures” so you can follow along as I try to grow this garden!

Here he is… I have decided to name him “Dred Pirate Roberts” because I’ll likely “kill it in the morning!” Teehee… Last August we tilled a section of our lawn (and by we — I mean Greg — the machine we rented was fierce and way beyond my control) and thus Dred Pirate Roberts was born. After the grass was removed, I filled the area with a mix of Miracle Gro Organic Soil and a cow manure/hummus mixture (see below). Luckily, this premade mixture does not smell like cow poop!

This weekend, I’m heading out to a local nursery called The Crow’s Nest to get some seedlings! I’ve also planted my herbs in pots (they will take over a garden like weeds if you’re not careful). The chives which spent the winter frozen started thriving without any care!!! The mint seems to be sprouting from last year’s stock as well!

I’ve used Bonnie Plants (http://www.bonnieplants.com/) for my herbs and they grow amazingly! I swear by those seedlings and love their herb/vegetable food. Also, their website is full of great tidbits, recipes, and guides for growing delcious, hearty plants!
That’s it for now!

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Whoops… apparently I was supposed to start my veggies in pots about 2 months ago. Ok, that just means I have to go with Plan B: get seedlings from a local nursery! Luckily, my boyfriend’s dad will be here this weekend and he has the greenest thumb in the history of green thumbs (ok, this may be a slight overstatment, but whatever!) and he will help me get started.

In other news, it’s 80 degrees and sunny here in Bleaksburg which is an amazing shift from the dreary, cold weather we’ve been having! I think it snowed nearly every day this winter!

Great tip of the day: plant early indoors… Lesson learned.

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OK, so my favorite Charlotte BFF inspired me to write down my thoughts and keep the cyber world tuned in to the goings-on of a twenty something South Floridian living in the mountains of SW Virignia. I know what you are thinking — what am I doing here? Well, I decided to go back to school and found myself at Virginia Tech right smack in the heart of the Appalachian mountains.

What is a suburban princess to do?!? Well, I decided that since I’m in graduate school for envirnomental engineering that I should try and live more sustainably (I know, I know, I’m rolling my eyes at the use of the “it” word of 2010 too). Anyway, for starters, I’ve decided to grow my own vegetable garden and install a rain barrel to boot! Stay tuned for the trials and tribulations of a suburban princess raised on restaurant food, suntan lotion, and cheerleading as I attempt to go green and become Farmer Ran! This should be interesting.

🙂 Randi

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Tales of an Urban Gardener

Learning As I Grow

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