Weekend Accomplishments: April 10th and 11th, 2010

As usual I had a very busy weekend the past two days but I felt like I got some good stuff done with.  Probably a lot of people don’t give much of a fuck about what I ahve succeeded in doing over the course of 48 hours, but that is fine and good, I am going to write about it anyway.  So where to start?

Gardening

This past Saturday a lot of work got done on our garden.  Eliza, Ryan and I all got going early and went to the secret compost spot to secure more compost (actually rotting leaves that we ended up using more as a mulch rather than a true compost).  We must have gotten six or seven full truck loads of the stuff throughout the day.  By night fall we were all beat.  The comost now lies about eight inches high over the entirety of our garden.  Considering that the garden has an area of a bit over 40′ by 40′ that equates to a whole lot of rotting leaves.

Fact: As organic matter decays it puts off some serious BTUs.  I was alreayd aware of this fact, but as we got into some of the heavy decaying matter I was still impressed by just how hot it could be. In truth is was almost too hot to handle and so it was a good thing to have gloves and good boots on.  Also the rotting leaves put off some wonderful fragrance. Some was just wet and earthy and rich and other bits was strait up rotting and foul.  An intersting mix all around.

Eliza and I also got some of our squashes planted after finishing up the heavy leaf mulching.  I cannot wait for them to sprout up.  The downside to growing cucurbits organically in this part of the country is that they tend to be pretty suseptable to disease and pests.  Especially things like  Powdery mildew and Squash Vine Borers (I have to admit that while I strongly dislike the squash vine borers I do think that the moths are pretty bad ass looking).  Knowing these ailments to cucurbits means that there is a requisit of getting them planted, growing, and producing ASAP before they succumb to those things that torment them.  Fortunately Eliza is savvy to the growing of C. moschata varieties of squash which are resistant to the squash vine borer and thus can provide for a longer producing season.

All and all some good work done.  We are getting closer and closer to the plnating date for our seedlings, which are looking great.  I am so excited about this garden.

Oil Change

On Saturday I took a bit of a break from gardening and finally went and got my oil changed on my car.  It was not quite severly overdue, but it was certainly good time to get it done.  I know that oil changes are needed regularly but I often find it hard to arrange the hour or so neede to go get it done.  Furtunately they do not cost a whole lot and really don’t take absurdly long.  And really it is just responsible vehicle ownership.  Also got more air put into my tires which were definitely in need.

More Morels!

Spent almost the entirety of Sunday hunting form more morels.  Evan, Victor, Eliza and I bounced around a bit south of Greenville looking for the fun fungi.  The first couple spots we checked did not prove terribly fruitful but at the end of the day we returned to a location we were at last weekend and managed to find tons again.  All and all we found about 182 more morels (just short of the 200 we found last weekend) and so it felt like a pretty fruitful day.  What’s more, most of the morels were much larger than last weekend’s find and so the actual weight was probably increased.

Morel season has proven to be difficult for many people this year.  Our friend Tradd suspects that this is due to the very cold spring we have had, making everything a bit late.  His hope is that over the course of this coming week more will be showing up in the spots that meet ideal conditions.  I think it is safe to say that we are all right there with Tradd hoping for a good big morel bloom.  We have found a good number of spots that seem to just beg to provide a huge morels harvest and yet have little to none present.  I guess we’ll just keep checking and seeing if we turn anything up.

However, I will say with all optimism, that even if we do not find much more this season I am really impressed with the harvest we’ve achieved so far.  It is many times more than Evan and I gathered last year and so it feels like we are really beginning to figure out this morel forging thing.  What’s more, I feel like all the exploring we’ve done over the past few weeks has provided us with some really prime areas to go forging for other mushrooms later in the year. I will keep you posted on any future finds.

Watching “The West Wing”

Asked a year ago if I would ever watch “The West Wing” I probably would have laughed and said “no way.”  A part of this would likely have been because I already had a fair number of television shows I was working my way through (“X-Files,” “Fringe,” etc.).  Another part of it was that the genre of “political drama” did not sound all that appealing to me.  Some time back Eliza told me that she thought I’d really like “The West Wing” and se I decided to watch some of the first season with her.  Boy was she right.  It really is a wonderfully well written and acted show.  The characters are all fascinating and the premise offers some very interesting consideration into American politics.  Sure, I assume some of it is exaggerated or intentially further dramatized, but all and all it has provided for some seriously enjoyable entertainment.  This past weekend I finsihed up watching the DVDs of season one and jumped right into season two.  It was hard not to just want to keep watching episode after episode.  I’ve decided that watching TV episodes on DVD or something like Netflix Watch Instantly or Hulu is unquestionably the way to go when watching shows, because then, in general, you don’t have to be left with as many uncomfortable and frustrating cliffhangers.  Also commercials are abscent or greatly diminished.

In Closing . . .

A great weekend.  The weather was beautiful.  I got some good work done.  I bought a pitchfork (that’s right, everybody should own a pitchfork).  And here on Monday I am feeling pretty good about another productive work week.  I like that.  Only thing is that I feel like I could use a good nap, but hey, you keep busy and you are bound to be really tired.  That is a reasonable payoff for fun times with fun folks as far as I am concerned.

Peace y’all

Update:  Some pictures (taken by Eliza)

Cooler of Morels

Our collection of morels from Saturday

Morels on a jacket

The morels found on Saturday laid out upon Eliza's jacket

tree frog

A tree frog seen in the woods while hunting for morels

morel

A morel in the leaf litter.

Big morels

Two big morels Eliza found on Monday

Stuffed Morels

A dinner of stuffed morels.

Me and morels

Yours truly posing with two of the larger morels that Eliza found on Monday.

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~ by Nathaniel on April 13, 2010.

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