April 23, 2014

It's Nature, Nurture, Grow's 6 Month Anniversary!

Wow! It has already been six months since we started the blog (it technically would have been on April 15th... but the garden has been distracting me lately). I thought that since I missed the "First Friday Update" this month (it was here and gone before I realized it... where does the time go?), I thought we should take a moment to look back at what has happened in the last six months:


On the blog

First of all, a big thanks to all of our readers. We have been growing slowly and steadily and it has been really great to connect with everyone. I can't wait to get to know you all better and all the virtual friends out there that I know we will meet soon.

We now have nearly 70 blog posts, over 300 subscribers or followers on our various platforms, and we are having a blast!

At the Ecovillage:


Things are getting busy here as the warm spring weather rolls in. The walls of our apartment are currently lined with grow lights. We are planting the first crops in our individual garden plots, and the communal group gardens are in full swing! It is getting harder to find time to fit everything in. If I am not working, I am trying to fit in as much garden time as possible (not to mention all the half-marathon training runs). That means that we are eating dinner after 8 pm these days and the blog is being written late at night (when we find time at all...).

 

With the dream:

We continue to work towards the dream. It is crazy to think that in the last 6 months we have almost saved as much as we originally put into that first emergency fund (which took so long to save for). It is satisfying to fill in the goal thermometer that I keep in the kitchen a little bit more each month. I am excited, and also a little nervous to think that we will be seriously looking for land to buy this time next year! It is going to go by fast.

April 21, 2014

A Spring Hike to Hamilton Mountain

This past weekend Kristy and I went on a hike to Hamilton Mountain on the Washington State side of the Columbia River Gorge. It was a beautiful day filled with waterfalls, wildflowers, and views of the mountains. It was a welcome respite from the rain which has been falling off and on all week and which according to the forecast will continue to do so all week. So in the spirit of getting to the good stuff, here are some pretty pictures from the hike. Enjoy!

First view of Hamilton Mountain

Hardy Falls or Rodney Falls, it was hard to tell from the map

"Pool of the Winds"

Upland Larkspur (Delphinum nuttalianum) just starting to open up

Vista from the false summit

An even better view from the false summit

Looking down over the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River

View of the Hamilton Mountain summit (with Mt. Hood peeking over its left shoulder)

My all-time favorite flower, Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.)

April 16, 2014

Forest Flowers



I was fortunate enough to go for another beautiful run on Monday morning. I ran 14 miles in Forest Park, here in Portland in preparation for my upcoming marathon. Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. This time of year is marked by many spring wildflowers that bloom under the forest canopy. If you haven't gathered from previous posts, I love looking at and identifying plants. Here are some of the native flowers that I found on my run today. As always, enjoy!

Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum)

Pacific waterleaf (Hydrophilum tenuipes)

Stream Violet (Viola glabella)

Miner's Lettuce/Candy Flower (Claytonia sibirica)

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

False Soloman's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

April 13, 2014

No Time to Be Inside: Garden While the Sun Shines

It has been beautiful and sunny all week, with highs in the high 60s to low 70s this weekend. I spend most of my workweek down in a windowless basement, so I was getting a bit of cabin fever. Which meant that I spent all weekend gardening before the Portland rain returns later this week. It was lovely to spend so much time out in the sun with my hands in the soil.


This year we inherited two new individual garden plots in addition to our plot from last year. That means that we now have 300 sq. ft. of personal gardening space in addition to the Group Gardens space that we garden communally with our neighbors.


We mostly focused on bed prep this weekend, although we did transplant some rhubarb and plant some orach, chard, and a few flowers. We already have some lettuce, radishes and beet greens growing and we will transplant in our scallions, lettuce, and celeriac soon. Then later in May we can start putting in the summer crops like tomatoes and zucchini. It is always amazing to look back on these early spring pictures in a few months and to see how much it has grown.


As hard as it is on nice weekends like this, I am trying to be patient. It is still early and there will likely still be weeks of cold rainy weather, so I need to be sure not to put too much into the garden yet. So I content myself with arranging and garden plans.


I have pretty ambitious plans this year including spring, summer, and fall/winter crops. I really enjoy deciding what I am going to grow and then plotting it out in an excel sheet. I find that having a general plan beforehand helps keep me on track and on schedule.


With all that outdoor work it definitely meant that I basically didn't spend any time blogging... I have a feeling that that will be an ongoing problem as the busy summer season starts. We might need to go down to 2 posts a week during this time of year. I am always in awe of all the homesteading bloggers, that get so much done on the homestead and still find time to get the blogging done.... something for me to strive for.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...