The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Apologies and Rotten Weather

 

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

The storm obviously discombobulated this young moose that showed up in our backyard on April 29. He's munching on my lilacs.

I guess apologies are in order. In my column a few weeks back, I talked about the possibility of late snow and frost up here. Did I bring on this snowstorm/blizzard watch that was issued a couple of weeks ago? I don't think I have that kind of power, but just in case, I'm so sorry. I know no one wanted this white mess and the power outages that occurred on Sunday, even if we are happy to have the moisture. It wasn't technically a blizzard since we didn't have sustained winds of 35 mph, but it sure acted like a blizzard. Our trip home from church and the BPA spaghetti dinner at the school didn't exceed 20 mph.

Last week, I did get my garden tilled. It worked up beautifully. The freshly turned earth smelled wonderful. I don't think the worms appreciated being turned up, but the robins took advantage and had a feast. That same day I laid out my drip system and staked it into place. The pea fences are both up, without mishap. Perhaps I've learned to be more careful after my trip/toss-the-fence-post-pounder act from a couple years ago.

I don't as yet have any seed in the ground. I had to make a grocery run, so I bought red and white onion sets at Markles, as well as a package of garlic to plant. They were out of seed potatoes, so I visited the extension office at the courthouse and bought some there. I'll have russets, blue fingerlings, and purple spuds this year. I do like trying new things.

While watching it snow, I made potting containers with old newspaper. A friend had shared on Facebook how she'd made small square containers by following a video online. It's more of an origami art than I wanted to deal with. The Courier sheets aren't the correct size and caused me to struggle. There are other videos, though, so I followed a Canadian man who wrapped triple layers of newsprint around a tomato paste can. The paper should extend beyond the can so it can be crimped down to form a base. They become seeding tubes, and you can plant the whole shebang once it's nice enough to put your seedlings outside since the newsprint will break down. That will lessen the transplanting shock.

I didn't feel like braving the storm to get my potting soil (it's in a tub beside the garage). This morning, while watering my houseplants, I thought why not use the potting soil from the herb I let die while vacationing this winter? So now I have three types of squash seed planted as well as sweet basil. I'd saved seed from my delicata squash (so delicious), and seed from a recently consumed butternut. I had a flat, turban-shaped summer squash dry up over the winter, and saved seed from that also. If they don't grow I'm not out any money, just some time and effort. I did purchase the basil seed and the rest of that packet will get seeded directly in the ground in June. Basil hates cold weather.

I'm starting several ivies. I cut off several inches from the ends of the vines and trimmed off the leaves that would have been in the water. I stuck the trimmed ends in old, taller spice containers (you could use juice glasses or jars). I'll keep them wet, and eventually roots will form where the leaves were. They make great fillers in your flowerpots, and even in flowerbeds. I have Swedish Ivy started, and another couple vines I'm not sure of the names.

I've been severely trimming back my lilac hedges. Lilacs will just keep on sending up shoots as well as branching out sideways. Last summer several of those shoots and branches would reach out to snag me or knock my sunhat off as I rode by on the mower. I'm taking care of that danger early this year. That task isn't yet finished.

Then there are dead raspberry canes to be clipped out from the rows. That job always gives me sore fingers and hands. The tiny thorns work their way through whatever gardening gloves I wear to embed themselves in the most tender areas. They're almost invisible and nearly impossible to remove. Between that chore and working in the dirt, my hands take a beating every spring.

I'll end this with one more Whole Life Challenge compliant salad dressing. When I went to make the avocado dressing last week I found my avocado had gone bad. This one is nice and tangy. (I used liquid stevia, skipped the honey, and added fresh chives.)

Sugar-free Balsamic Salad Dressing

1/3 C balsamic vinegar

2/3 C olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Sweetener of choice to equal 3 Tbl

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 tsp honey

Optional: 1 tsp fresh chives or other herb

Blend all together. Refrigerate

 

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