Saturday, May 12, 2012

How did it get so far?

It's been over a year since we moved into our no-longer-so-new house and half our garage is still full of boxes we never unpacked and storage stuff that is just stuffed on top of piles of other storage stuff.  There are a lot of things we'd like to do with our garage (other than store cars and kayak and lots of junk).  One of them is to set up the grow light and try to grow ghost peppers so my neighbor, S.F. and I can try to make ghost pepper jelly (since the jelly we got from Eastern WA was so good until we realized that the "hot" in it was also radioactive "hot" ... sigh ...).  We'd also like to set up space for art and painting and we'd like to make space to hang the heavy bag so that we can both get back into kickboxing.  Most of the afternoon I've been out there cleaning up and I did actually get enough junk out to get find the heavy bag.  It's an arduous process though and I crashed and needed a coffee break before I go back and continue.

It looks like I put my bok choi starts out way too early last weekend.  It was really nice out (just like this weekend) but then the temperatures dropped into the low 30's for a few nights last week and the frost killed off those starts.  The bean starts aren't looking too good but I haven't given up on them yet.  My peas are doing fine.  And my spinach hasn't sprouted.  The strawberry plants in the community garden behind our house have come back really well and I need to get up the bunny fencing before the strawberries come out and they eat all of them.

Last year we got some of the vacant area behind our house cleared out for the raised beds and this year we're going to try and clean up more of the lot to make it more hospitable and user friendly.  I think it's going to be a few year process.  Eventually, I'd like to have an actual walking path through there and have it be surrounded by flowers and plants instead of overgrown weeds.  Last year there was a big to-do and someone at the city freaked out and said, "I know this land belongs to your HOA and I know we originally said you can do whatever you want on it - but now we're freaking out and we think you shouldn't do anything because what if there is an emergency or something and huge trucks have to come through and get to the protected wetlands behind this property?"  This was in an email, so I emailed back saying that there is a driveway easement that goes straight past our house to the protected wetlands and that was the agreed upon route for city workers to take their trucks down if they need to.  But no! What if they can't get down that gravel road easement? What then? They'll have to drive through the vacant land and if we actually use it for something they can't.  That makes about as much sense as telling all the neighbors they have to leave their backyards open for city trucks to drive through in case the road is not accessible for some reason.  Anyway, in the end I decided email wasn't working so I called and left a message for the public works manager saying I wanted to meet with him in person and go over what I was allowed to do (on our land) that would be acceptable to them without them freaking out and emailing me in a panic and he never called me back.  So, we take that as a "we have free rein to plant gardens on our HOA land!"  Still haven't gotten any neighbors to come out and plant stuff (not many gardeners in the neighborhood) but when stuff starts coming up and getting ready to be picked I think I'll send out a flyer telling people to come help themselves.   That might get up some more interest.  Plus, my husband is talking about putting down pavers around the raised beds to make it more easily walked along for those who do not do as well with the current vacant lot feel.

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