Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Planting at a Run

Well, Memorial Day approaches, and we've finally given winter the boot.  My garlic plot is the only block of plantings that doesn't look behind. Although, some of the early radishes are coming along, and one of my pea plantings is looking vigorous, even if its neighbor planting is a little behind where I'd like.

Snowstorms well into May meant that my usually busy spring of planting cold hardy crops was delayed for the most part. Thank goodness for my cold frames! The lettuce that was under those has had a great spring, the ice and snow slowed them down, but the frames did their job, and hubby and the boys helped with some of the on-and-off as our weather did its crazy dance. (On and off refers to the taking frame tops off when we hit 70+, and putting them back on when we dip below 35 or so.)

So this past weekend saw me planting at a run, trying to get greens, peas, onions, potatoes, corn and kale into the ground, before the rain that was expected Sunday. Oh, and getting the lawn mowed, because by the time the snow melted, the grass was 5-6 inches tall. And installing the new rain barrel, and fixing the old barrel. :-D And of course, all of that was on top of the normal weekend work of the dishes and laundry that we do every weekend.

I don't mean this to sound like I do EVERYTHING and hubby does nothing. :-D Quite the contrary, I am able to do all I do, because he does so much. He was watching which-ever kid wasn't with me in the garden, and cooking us some meals and doing his share of the dishes and laundry. He did at least half the lawn, and got the new rain barrel installed (AND LEVELED!)

I did manage to get a LOT planted before the rain started Sunday. Enough that I feel almost back on track.  Memorial Weekend usually sees me planting out some of the heat loving plants. I'll probably check soil temps before doing that this year. It may just be too cold still for me to put out my little tomatoes.  I started them a little late indoors, so it's all strangely working out.

I'm already running out of space in my gardens. :-D
I've left some room for the beans and peppers and tomatoes, but probably not enough.  I may have to get creative.
I'll be back with a full rundown after this weekend. I imagine I'll have every last inch planted by Monday. :-D


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exercise is a Pain in My...

Well I did my first run post-babies this week.  Not that I was a huge runner pre-babies. I wasn't. Asthma and an injury to my right knee curtailed what little jogging I did, and I never made it further than a mile at any one time.  I'm starting with a couch to 5k training regimen, even though "couch" perhaps isn't the best description of my level of fitness. (But, maybe that's just ego talking.) It's mostly interval training, with the first couple of weeks being just 20 minutes at a time, consisting of an alternating run/walk. The easy lead in will hopefully allow me to get my lungs and knees worked up to the unfamiliar tasks of running. My legs are telling me quite clearly today that running uses different muscles than walking and gardening and biking. But, the pain is low level muscle ache stuff, and not sharp-hurt knee pain.

Why run now?  It's a combination of things. 1. I found a blog written by an asthmatic runner, and it has given me some techniques to try to mitigate that drag on my running enjoyment.  2. There's a wellness challenge at work to run a 5k this summer. 3. I need something intense I can do for 20 minutes in the morning, because that's the best time I have for non-garden related exercise.

So, I'm registered for my very first 5k, in August. It's going to be my 30th birthday present to myself.   Of course, I picked a glow run. :-D For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a glow run happens at night, on a course with both regular and black lights.
Registration is now open on for August 24th, 2013.
Register Now

What is Sioux Glow?
Sioux Glow promises to be one of the most talked about 5K Run/Walk experiences in South Dakota. On August 24th, participants will wind through downtown Sioux Falls starting and ending at Falls Park. We light up the dark with glowing runners making their way through this scenic 3.1 mile course. The 5K is followed by a post-race after party featuring live music and a beer garden (for those participants who are 21 and over). This after party is open to runners and for a small cost to non-runners. This evening promises to be a BLAST so grab your friends and come GLOW with us!
What about the route?
This course consists of 3.1 miles of glow in the dark fun where you will find multiple black light zones, glow stations and thousands of runners decked out in their best glow gear. The Glow Run will also feature DJs cranking out “fist pumping” music to keep you motivated along the way. The course ends at the Falls Park where the band will be playing and spectators will be cheering, welcoming you to the after party.
This will all take place outdoors in Falls Park.

 Doesn't that sound like fun!
 Hopefully the next couple of months of training will go well.
I have some cute new running clothes headed my way to help motivate. The old maternity lounge pants and 5 year old sports bra are barely cutting it right now.  I want to go get a medical alert bracelet that has my asthma listed on it, just in case. Even on the first run, the new strategies really seemed to help, I didn't wheeze at all, and I got pretty huffy-puffy. Still, the medical alert bracelet will give me and hubby ease of mind.

I'll keep y'all updated as the summer progresses. Come and join me if you feel inclined! The more the merrier.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Farmers Market Dreams

Yea, I had my first Farmer's Market dream last night.

Things are moving along on that front. I'm still waiting to get the market seller form/signup thing from the city chamber of commerce.
I'm still trying to figure out what's legal for me to do, and what's illegal for me to do. And by that I mean I'm trying to navigate the murky legalese surrounding "food processing." Iowa's Food Code if you're interested, is here.

I've found out that I could add some baking to my offerings quite easily under Iowa law. And it's looking like if my sales are under 20K, I don't have to have much in the way of licensing. I think I'm not allowed to cut my fruits/veggies though.  I can't seem to find that exact wording anywhere in the Iowa Code, but other states are very clear that while selling cabbages or carrots is fine, grating them to make a cole slaw base, is not allowed without a commercial kitchen.

Will I cut my veggies anyway? Take a copy of the code with me to the market to argue that I don't see that wording anywhere in it? What are the chances I will even see a food safety person up here in NW Iowa at the tiny little market I'll be at? Slim I think.  I know there are market vendors here that sell things that are outside of whole fruits/veg or baked goods. And I doubt that they have licenses for anything.  My brain is still working through all the variables, check back with me next month for my decision.

In spite of the chilly weather, I have a lot growing already, and I'm busy putting as much into the ground as I can, as quickly as I can. I've noticed that I'm a bit quicker than I used to be with some of the basic tasks involved with planting. Familiarity and what not. Hopefully that will help me manage the work load associated with my 1000+ square feet of garden space.  Again, check back with me in a month for an update. :-D

Baby number 2 is already finding his groove in the garden. Yesterday he was eating dirt and sticks and rolling around in the freshly tilled earth. He was so cute he stopped traffic when we were at our new corner garden. I literally had conversations with passing drivers about how I got my kids to like gardening. Hint: Start them young, preferably at birth. 

I have records about what is going where, and as soon as I get everything in, I'll do a bit of a roundup about what all I have planted and how I'm dividing things up. It's a lot! At least for me. :-D

Time to get back to it! Posting will likely be scarce until everything is planted. Just the way of things.