I've been busy with gardening and getting the grounds ready for a summer that may or may not arrive. The weather here in the Nothern Midwest has been, uh, iffy, as of late. The winter wouldn't leave and the spring wouldn't show up but in fits and spurts. The fact that my radishes haven't shown up by now is proof enough to me that the weather is off. If you can't grow radishes, then you are not either able to grow anything or that the Fates are against you.
The radishes are starting to grow great greens, but no roots. I'm not sure if I've depleted the nutrients in the raised bed, but the broccoli rabe are doing okay now (the sun is a bit more reliable) and the spinach is starting to show also, I'm wondering about the quality of the radish seeds. I am going on about radishes simply because they are the simplest things in the world to grow: when the snow is away from your box, drop seeds in. They'll take frost, freezes, low quality soil, just about anything. That's why I'm curious why they haven't taken off.
I may need to look into the quality of the soil, but, again, radishes are ridiculously hearty and I've never had problems in the past. They look good, but there is no root. Radish greens are acutally pretty tasty, but they have a mouth feel that is fairly off-putting; there is a lot of small hooks on the back of the leaves that make them feel weird when you're chewing. Chop them up and mix them with milder greens (they have a the peppery taste of the radish) and they can add a bit of punch to a salad or fried greens.
Regardless, the sunflowers are up, tomatoes have been planted and are doing well and the peas and lettuce are starting to show up also, so the garden is doing well. There are berries on the blueberry bushes and the new apple trees seem to have buds. I'll take what I can get with the crazy weather we've been having...
Mrs. Yam has a new job Downtown that a perk of subsidised bus fare, so the transportation costs have improved: instead of driving 25 miles one way to work the $50 a month bus tab is quite a bit cheaper the $40 week in gas to Woodbury. Mrs is a city girl and the avoidence of deepest, darkest suburban life is a great plus in her world.
I'm still riding to work, but I'm not riding as much otherwise becuase of getting the gardens ready (I've acutally increased my cylinder index by purchasing a tiller) and adding rain barrels to the downspouts of the house to catch run-off. I am planning to build a couple of raised bed gardens in the driveway to catch rain and the all day sun, but the Mrs wants me push that off to next year. Instead, I've added a couple of oak half barrels and we've moved some sun-loving plants into them. We'll see how this goes.
I've sold the Rivendell Bleriot and Fafnir is loving it, so I'm happy. I'm looking to get a Pugsly from Surly as the next two-wheeled vehicle. If I get it this summer, there are a couple of ATV trails in Northern Minnesota that I'll attempt to ride. This seems that this would be a good test of my endurance (of which I have none) and the weirdness of surface that fat tired bikes are good for.
VelociPete has put up a vote for when to meet for beers (my vote:Now!) and the winning votes as of now are for June 9. I'll assume that is the date and we'll see you then. If you're not from here, lemme know and I'll hoist a pint for you in your absence, just as long as there are not enough of you to make me re-enact the fateful loss and recovery of the DumVee last summer...
Joboo, I may have some spare time and if I score a fatbike, I'm coming up yer way -- we may need to talk about a ride around yer part of the world.
Ride yer bike and dig up yer grass. We'll talk later.