Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden progress 2011

Garden progress 2011

Anchorage is in zone 2 and has a very short but productive growing season.  We start planting the garden every year on Memorial Day. Even though our season is short with the long days and the midnight sun things grow fast. Since there are so many zones in Anchorage you can usually tell it is time to plant when the leaves are in full bloom. We usually start the seeds that need to be started and transplanted in mid-April around 4/20. If you want to plant greenhouse or warmer crops you need to start earlier. We did not plant tomatoes in time so we picked some tomato four packs up at a greenhouse class and transplanted them on planting day.  We started zucchini, squash, beans, sweat peas, broccoli and cauliflower beforehand. We started fava beans later.

4/20 Starting seeds
Tomato plants ready for transplanting
Teddy looking over the brocoli, cauliflower, and zuchini
Sugar snap peas
Transplanted tomatoes. They are not falling over they grow better  towards the end and on their side
4/26 Plants have germinated
Cauliflower and brocoli
Sugar snap peas

5/5 more growth and more transplanting
Peas and beans
Beans on top tomatoes and broccoli on the bottom 
Peas and beans transplanted
Transplanted beans inside

5/12 More growth
Peas, beans and tomatoes
Tomatoes on top left beans on top and bottom

5/22 Adding perlite to make the soil more fluffy

This weekend we got more work done in the garden. Our zucchini, peas and beans have been hardened off and were ready to be planted. The broccoli and cauliflower we planted didn’t grow well so more has been started.  Mike built us more garden beds from pallets so we have 9 pallet boxes now.  We have three for beans and six for tomatoes. He made cold frames or hothouses out of them with pvc pipes. We covered the  pole beans with plastic but we are still hardening off the tomatoes. If you start seeds indoors you can’t put them directly out in the garden from inside because the sunlight is blocked from the windows. If you put them out in the sun right away they won’t make it so you need about a week to get them ready by putting them out more and more. Sometimes we leave them in the shade to get them ready.  

We got some free dirt/compost mix from craigslist that we put in the big garden bed and some of the pallet boxes.  We planted garlic, onions and shallots in the front yard. We buy those already started. In the big garden bed we transplanted the zucchini and peas and planted some seeds too in case the transplants don’t do well. We also sowed carrots, spinach, radishes and a lettuce mix directly in the garden.  The beans went in the cold frame. We are trying fava beans this year but they got a later start and will be in a pallet box cold frame by themselves.

Adding fertilizer
The big garden bed to the left the start of the cold frames to the right
Mike working on a coldframe

Garlic in front yrd to the right of the sticks shallots to the left
Shallots in front yard
Onions in front yard

Beans are in plastic and ready to go
All the cold frames
The big garden bed the peas are in the back and front towards the fence. Zuchini is to the right. The area in the center was planted with carrot seeds. The edges of the middle section is spinach seeds to the left and a lettuce mix to the right. Radish seeds were planted along the edge of the zuchini section and to the edge of the section the the left. Brocoli and cauliflower will be planted to the left when it germinates

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New milestones

I have been bad about updating this blog. I have been a little down about the condo and not having a place with a yard this summer. I was hoping to spend the summer building gardening boxes, a greenhouse, a coop and a goat pen for next summer and working on recipes with the local whole grains and local veggies while the kids run around the yard. We are working on improvements to hopefully help the place sell like refinishing cabinets and painting to a more neutral color. We have been doing gardening like planting seeds and transplanting at Sarah's house that I will do the next post about.

The weather has been really nice lately and we can spend the day outside. Teddy can finally fit on the balance bike and can glide briefly. Delia has been enjoying the trail a bike and has gotten really good on her balance bike and was gliding on it for a while. On a whim I picked her up a two wheel bike at the consignment shop and had her try it out on Sunday. We tried on Sunday but she was a little scared and only was biking briefly.

Today was a beautiful sunny day. I took her today to the local elementary school where they have a pavement hockey rink. She was hungry and cranky for the first attempt and didn't want to try so we went home and ate dinner and went back. I tried having her start pedaling by having one foot down and pushing on the higher pedal with the other foot while pushing the bike forward but she wasn't having it. I grabbed the seat for her and let go right away and she was riding the bike and so proud of herself! We bribed her with a bag for the bike to get her to start it by herself and she did it. She promptly forgot when we went to the park to ride with her friend who also just learned today but she was pretty tired so we will work on starting tomorrow. I'm so proud of her. She is a cautious kid who needs time to warm up to just about anything. Below is her first bike ride. Teddy is also in the video on his balance bike. He crashes in the video but was fine.

Cora is now signing milk and army crawling. She is still affected a little by her torticollis and is a little behind in her gross motor skills because of it but she was determined to move. She can get all over the bedroom and the bed but she stops at the living room and will not move on the wood floors. She also won't go on the grass but you put her on carpet and she is all over the place. She working on new sounds and is very fond of food.

Teddy is growing in leaps and bounds. He is talking up a storm and asking why questions. He wants to play with older kids and actually plays well with them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Teddy graduated speech therapy

Teddy had his evaluation for speech therapy today. It has been a year since he started getting services for Early Intervention. He has been doing great talking lately and speaks in 3-4 word sentences regularly and just recently acquired a lot of the sounds he was having difficulty with like l, d and t. There are still a few he doesn't say correctly but he can substitute since he has more sounds at his disposal. Since he learned those sounds he taken off even more and repeats everything and has new words every day. I can't even really count any more. I am amazed what he can say now when just a short while ago he wasn't saying nearly what he does now and he barely talked at all at 2.

He had his evaluation today. His speech therapist and the social worker who was there for his initial evaluation and his early appointments were really impressed at how well he was doing. He came back at around his age level at between 28-32 months in most areas including receptive, expressive language, self help and cognitive. He was around 24 months for social emotional and 36 months for fine motor skills. His gross motor scored at 25 months but they don't feel that was accurate for Teddy. He only scored a little lower in that area because he doesn't go up and down stairs one foot at a time. The steps for our condo are really tall  and he is short. They didn't ask a lot of questions in gross motor skills area.

Except for the gross motor I think his scores were pretty accurate. I think he has finally caught up in speech lately. He is more immature then Delia was at 2.5 so I can see how he scored lower there. He is actually a very social little guy but very immature and active and sensory seeking with a short attention span. All in all he is doing great and is right where he should be. They have no concerns about him and think he actually is doing better than he scored because of the way the questions are. They were very excited to see how far he has come since he started therapy a year ago. They said that it isn't very often a kid is speaking in 3 word sentences at their reevaluations when they are in for speech.
Teddy in an airplane. Look at that
Teddy showing off his motor skills

We went to a signing times concert recently