Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rain, Rain, and SNOW

Well this week has been rain and more rain. We have had some thunderstorms and now I hear that tonight and possibly tomorrow we might see some snow. Well after our 80 degree days I thought for sure that our chances of snow were gone, but I guess I was wrong.

Well we will see if we actually get to burn the prairie this Friday. With all of this rain it may be just a little too wet.

Here is wishing for slightly warmer weather.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I came to school yesterday and found my Passiflora caerulea or Passion flower in full bloom. I rceived this plant as a gift from Five Crows last fall. This plant has really taken a shine to my classroom and has begun to climb up the wall and across my upper windowsill. This was a beautiful welcome back.

The Passiflora genus is found throughout the world and on almost every continent. In fact there is even a native species, Passiflora incarnata. It was known to the Chorokee as the ocee. And can be found growing along the Ocee River bank. This particular species is very important to a few different larval species of butterflies such as the Zebra longwing and the gulf fritilari.

The range of the Passiflora incarnata or the Purple Passion Flower.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Whoops! But alls well that eats well

Well I was on Spring Break all last week and I enjoyed the free time to work in my yard and on gardening. However in my rush to leave on Friday I guess I forgot to put the timer on my grow cart. So in other words my radishes that are in a SIP received 24 hours of light from Friday to well today. When I came in the radishes seemed to be much larger than what they were. I am not sure if this is due to just not seeing them for the course of one week or the additional fact that they had 24 hour daylight.

Nonetheless we actually have some radishes that were just large enough to eat. Three students volunteered to harvest one of them and then slice it and eat it. All three agreed that the radish was very good. One student even said that she normally doesn't like radishes, but she enjoyed that one.

Hallelujah to the power of growing it yourself.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What's Happening

Well yesterday morning we had a long slow drizzle that I am sure was just what the plants needed. I can't wait to see some green life sprouting in my freshly turned soil. Down in the basement broccoli has started to sprout (4 in all). Still no peppers though.

Naomi is going to reseed those pots since the seeds we used are several years old. Also we are still waiting on the corn and the cucumbers, but we planted those just last week.

Happy Easter and I hope everyone had a good Passover and Seder

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Grayslake Farmers Market Begins Again

This morning in the drizzling rain Naomi and I ventured to downtown Grayslake to once again stroll through the booths. I felt a giddy sense of spring as I went from one vendor to another. It felt good to say hi and see people again.

Of course tomorrow is Easter and I saw many people purchasing eggs. One couple purchased ten dozen farm fresh eggs from one vendor. Naomi and I bought cheese, bread, juice, and got my CSA share.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Beautiful Days

The past two days have been simply gorgeous here in the Chicago area. So wonderful that today Naomi and I took our little seedling out for an hour so they could get a little fresh air and some overcast sunlight. Also we planted the carrots (multi colored variety) and the snap peas. It has been in the low 80's the past two days, but tomorrow its supposed to drop by 20 degrees. However it will still be a respectable 60 something.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Burn Baby Burn

Yesterday, Naomi and I burnt our small little patch of prairie next to our deck. Now for any of you who do not know, prairie burns are a necessary part of the prairie life cycle. It helps to keep out woody plants and non natives. However do to the smallness and location of this patch of prairie we had to do things a bit different. First we cut down all of the plants and laid them onto the ground. Then we thoroughly wetted down the deck and the side of the house. Then we started the fire with only a match, not drip torches. Then we stood by hose in hand and let the patch burn. We doused with the hose every once in awhile just to stop the fire from burning too hot and scorching the prairie plant roots. Who are normally under the earth and far enough away from the quick moving fire of a normal prairie burn.

No pictures unfortunately but next week I will burning a large patch of prairie next to the school I work at with my students. I will be sure to take pictures of this one.