Seed starting – Both Flats – 04/26/2010

Alright I ended up only transplanting 18 of 27 cells of the cucumbers and the zucchini tonight, so you’ll see a couple of before and after pictures below. Also you can see that I’m going to give growing potatoes another shot this year (more details to come on the pallet growing bins) hence why those potatoes are under the grow lights.

Seed starting – 04/23/2010

The pics for this set came out pretty bad, since I didn’t have the camera flash turned on. So the only light, is the light coming off of the florescent grow lights. From now on for the seedling posts, I’m going to stick with just the calendar date instead of the number of days that the flat has been growing. Things are just starting to get a little bit too confusing for me trying to remember the numbers of days instead of the date.

So here is a quick breakdown of when the two flats were started:
Flat #1: 04/13/2010
Flat #2: 04/21/2010

Garden – 04/24/2010

For the last couple of weeks I was on the fence (literally) about whether to add some more space to the garden, another 8′ by 16′ to be exact. Well I finally pulled the trigger on the idea, but I ended up executing the idea a little bit differently than the last time that I added onto the garden.

Usually I would take my pick/maddox and grub all the grass off the surface, which is a very time consuming and labor intensive task. So as I was looking at the space an idea popped into my head out of the blue, burn out all the grass out with my propane flame thrower! I was only able to get about 1/2 the plot done, since a rain storm ended up rolling in on Saturday afternoon. And last I checked, propane and lighting don’t mix. But for the half that I did end up getting done before the storm, it only took me about 35 minutes to get it done and that was even with the grass still being slightly wet from the rolling rain storms.

With just a little bit more burning to go this week, I’ll finally be able to plant up all the seeds for the sweet corn and the beans/snow peas in the ground.

Picked up April/May 2010 Wine Club Shipment from Domaine Carneros

Talk about good timing on my part, in that I was actually able to catch the UPS guy for once. And not a moment too late, since when I was pulling into my driveway the UPS guy was up the street about a block making another delivery. So I basically just stood in my driveway for the 5 minutes, waiting for him to drop off my wine.

Once again I’ve got a nice little mix in the bi-monthly shipment, with both wines being “new releases.” For the sparkling I received a 2006 Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine, and for the red its a 2008 Domaine Carneros Dijon 115 – Clonal Series Pinot Noir. Below is the write-up for the Pinot Noir, and I’m really excited to give this unfiltered Pinot Noir a try. I’ve also attached a scan of the newsletter page with the write-ups of all four wines available for this shipment.

The 2008 vintage marks the debut of our new Clonal Series. Each year we will put the spotlight on one of the 12 different Pinot Noir clones grown at Domaine Carneros by bottling it separately. In this first edition, the Dijon 115, was a stellar candidate from the beginning. Sourced from two different estate sites, the final blend ventures into new stylistic territory for Domaine Carneros. Along with the full complement of fruit that one has come to expect from the Chateau, this clonal wine leads with an exciting aromatic profile featuring earthy forest floor, saddle leather, tobacco box, roasted coffee and a wisp of smoke. tasting reveals delicate anise spice, baked cherry, and a silky texture.Enjoy this limited wine and Club exclusive. 500 cases bottled without filtration.

Newsletter Page

Potato Chip Review – Lay’s – Munchies – Flamin’ Hot

These chips were one of those impulse buys when I was at the local bodega getting dried chilies for my “4th Place Chili.” Honestly, I had pretty low expectations when it came to this Lay’s Munchies blend. But it turns out that I was pleasantly surprised with the flavors coming out of the bag of this Munchies blend.

With a label of Flamin’ Hot, I was expecting nothing but heat and no flavor. But really the only hot component was the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (review coming soon), and a lot of the flavor was coming from the Baja Picante Sunchips and the Salsa Doritos. The plain Rold Gold Tiny Twists were a nice intermission from all the other flavors going on in the mix. If anything the only thing that I would change, would be to maybe substitute the plain Rold Golds from maybe cheddar flavored Rold Golds.

The pretzel swap really isn’t a deal breaker for me, though I do wish that they would have added just a little bit more pretzels to the mix. I took care of this small issue with a handful of mini pretzel twists that I brought back from Michigan with me a few weekends back.

Overall, I would totally get this mix again, even though they are a bit on the pricey side with an 8 ounce bag for $2.50. But getting it every once in a while would be a nice little treat to add to the “chips rotation”.

Seed Starting – 1st flat – Day 13

Amazing what another five days of growing will do, but it looks like I have a mixed bag of results as far as seeds that ended up germinating.

Aji Limo
El Jefe
1/2 the Bell Peppers
1/3 the Banana style peppers
1/2 the Sage
1/2 the Basil

The other 1/2 or 1/3 of all those listed above
all the parsley
all the cilantro
all the oregeno
all the rosemary

I have to say that I’m not 100% sure that the parsley, cilantro, oregeno, and rosemary have failed. Since all those herbs take anywhere from 14 to 21 days to germinate. So before I toss out all the dirt in those flats, I’ll give them another week or so to do their thing.

Tidal wave of potato chip posts

Get ready for a large dump of potato chip posts over the next week or so, since I’ve got about five that are almost ready to post and at least another seven to ten that are in the hopper waiting to be completed. So bear with me while I finally clear out the hopper and get all these posts out of the way.

Seed Starting – 1st flat – Day 8

It’s been a little bit tricky, figuring out how to get the temperature just right on the heating pad. Since when I wrapped the whole flat in a movers blanket, the temperature inside the flat shot up to 95F. So I’m going to test out simulating the heat and light cycle of the sun in the growing area. So last night I set up a make shift growing station with a grow light on a couple of copier boxes, with the heating pad and the grow light both plugged into a timer.

The basil ended up sprouting this past weekend, which was a lot quicker than expected. And when I checked the flat this morning, I started to see some activity on the El Jefe jalapenos and the sage. As it currently stands, it seems like the heating mat is cutting down the germination time almost in half, which is pretty amazing. That is of course, with me assuming that the seeds that I saved from last year are still viable. Which is the big question mark for the garden this year.