Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 Garden Wrap-Up

Well, 2017 was not a good garden year in my area, even for those of us with greenhouses/high tunnels.  I'm sure I didn't help my chances at all; we had a month between returning home from the States and getting the roof on the high tunnel, and I didn't start any seeds or work the soil in that time period.

What I planted:
  • Carrots (4 varieties)
  • Peppers (2 plants that I purchased, and seeds that decided they didn't want to come up)
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli (only one seed sprouted...)
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Peas
  • Purple beans
  • Yardlong beans
What I harvested:

  • So farm most of the carrots I've pulled have been too small to amount to anything.  Most of the carrot bed is still left untouched.
  • 5 peppers, which means each pepper cost about $2.
  • Some lettuce for us (we weren't proactive in going out and grabbing it for us) and enough to sell a few bags of it at the farmers' market.
  • Just one bite of broccoli.
  • Quite a few zucchini for ourselves and to sell at the market.
  • A few peas - most that got sold at the market.
  • A handful of purple beans for us and a sandwich bag of them to sell at the market.
The pepper seeds never sprouted, the yellow squash plants were quite small and only produced male flowers, and the yardlong beans never made it to harvest.  As I was pulling out the yardlong bean plants, I could see that there were 3 total flowers that had started.

What I learned:
  • I didn't care for this variety of peas - seemed like the pods were never soft/sweet enough for me.
  • I should NOT have broadcast my carrot seeds, no matter what I read on the internet.
  • I should have started fertilizing way sooner.
  • I should have started seeds indoors.
  • Even if the pea envelope says that they will be bush plants, 24" - 36" tall, don't believe them.  Those plants got so tall!
  • Don't wait too long to address your grasshopper problem.  Sevn does work.
  • Our high tunnel is way too huge and needs a lot of maintenance.
  • I would be happy with a small greenhouse.

All pics are from 9-1-17:
pepper is hiding in there.

zucchini plants about to die...

so much growing time, so little broccoli...

pea plants, near the end...

carrot tops, the tops of very little carrots.

Friday, September 8, 2017

My new custom sewing table

When I first got my sewing machine, I was sewing at the coffee table or a folding table.  When we got our dining room table, I took it over as my sewing table.  But that table, and the chairs, were way too big, and we sold it over the summer.  In looking at Pinterest, I knew what I wanted for a sewing table, but I needed some help.

You see, there are a lot of products that don't get shipped to Alaska, not even to the stores.  And I couldn't find the table tops necessary for a sewing table up here, or at least not for my price range.  So I asked my parents if they would get the necessary parts and bring them up when they drove up for a visit.  Man, table tops and table legs are nice and such a good price at Menards!

I decided I wanted a double table top, with casters, for my table.  I needed a place to store my QuiltCut 2 Fabric Cutting System*, hence the lower table top.  *It lived under the spare bed, but that wasn't very convenient and often stopped me from using it.
There's the QuiltCut!

I wanted the bed of the sewing machine to be the height of the table top, so the top needed to be cut to the shape of my machine.

So, to begin, Dad cut the legs down to make room for the casters.  The cut off ends became the short legs that hold the butcher block off of the black top.  Those little legs are all the way out at the corners so that there would be room for the QuiltCut.

Once they arrived at my house, we got out the sewing machine and drew the lines for the cutout from the butcher block.  After we bought a jigsaw (how does a man in his 40s not have a jigsaw?  come on Jeff!), Dad cut it out.

The butcher block piece that got cut out would become the rise for the sewing machine once it had a couple pieces of luan glued to the bottom.  Neither the rise for the machine are "hooked in" or anything, so it will be really easy to pull of or move if I need to sew a cuff on a Christmas stocking, or something.

The table top that Mom & Dad picked up is a nice butcher block, which I considered doing a color wash on.  I'm super happy that in the end I decided to put poly on it instead (4 coats, my Dad did the work).
the short leg to the left of the machine just slides in (it's not in place in this picture)
to ensure easy access to anything stored there

I love how the Poly brought out the grain of the wood - it just glows!

So now, I have a table specific to my machine and my storage needs!  Yeay!!!  I still want to get a storage cube or something on wheels to put under the table when not in use that can then be pulled out and my tools can set on top of when I'm sewing.  Oh, and you like my teal chair?  Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  I love it!  It comes in a ton of colors; I ordered one in peach for Rhyanne's desk.

Sew, what do you think???  :-)

storage for small rulers

room in front of the machine for my little snips

I can't get over how nicely the machine fits into the butcher block!