Monday, February 14, 2011

Dog days of Winter


Or should it be dias de la Perro.....
Last night was warmer than it has been in the last few months. Today it is teetering around the mid 80's. My inside weather report on the internet said it was going to be 90.

Maybe, but not on the mountain. Possible in town in the direct sunlight wearing a nice black felt cotton shirt with long sleeves......

Today it appears that winter is 2/3 gone. That means that it will start having nights dropping down in the 40's and not like the 30's which has been the norm since mid November.

Time to allow the seedlings that have been taking up valuable counter space inside to be pushed a little closer to the harsh reality of outside.
Kind of like tossing out the kids at home when they hit their 19th birthday. After all you don't want them hanging around the house, getting lanky and lazy?

That's exactly what plants will do. They get lanky because they have to stretch to see the sun.
The problem is that due to all the trees there are few places around the house that have direct sunlight. I usually move the tray around so that they get exposed to a wide variety of directions. Kind of what having your kids being "street smart" does for making them understand what society will accept and not accept.

The "street smarts" aspect of kids is sadly lacking in a lot of places nowadays NOB, their social skills are melded by sitting in front of a computer or texting at the dinner table.
If you are going to all the trouble of doing that, isn't it a lot easier to just call the person on their cell phone?

That is something I do not understand. When you talk to someone you can hear their voice inflections. You can hear their anger or angst. Not so on texting unless you test bad words.........

So off to make the bed for which the new plants will lie the next months hopefully growing into nice patches of dill, oregano, mint, chives, parsley both Italian and curly.
Our basil was populated last November and has been slowly slowly growing in the nights, we built a plastic greenhouse about a meter square to protect them from the chilly nights.

Between Basil, Parsley and Chives that amounts to 80% of our herb addition. Although there is Parsley abound at the mercados and stores, it is lifeless for the most part, the store bought Basil is dismal to say the least. I have yet to see Chives sold in our local mercado and we use it quite regularly.

Many of the herbs that are taken for granted are slow to be found around these parts. Designer lettuce is non existent except for purchase at the Costco in Morelia. One of the things that we grow year round is our lettuces. Our climate here never allows them to bolt, so we just keep hacking them off at the base.

Well, off to make beds for the kids.....which we will transplant to outside probably by the weekend.

9 comments:

Don Cuevas said...

Designer lettuce? I'm not sure what that is, but Gaby of De La Huerta de Sanabria sells a delicious organic lettuce mix at the Buen Provecho Mercado every Friday from 11:30 to 1:00. (I wonder why they have such limited hours!)

There are a few photos of the plants au naturel, but I can't pull up my Picasa Web Album just now.

Recently, she also had fresh bulb fennel, a fantastic find of finocchio. This is great, flavorful produce. Just don't buy it all up before I get there.

Saludos,
Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

The lettuce she sells is basically a designer lettuce, which is a Mesclun Mix. I have purchased a few bags there, but cringe at the price she charges for the small amount that you get. It is very expensive especially if you consider how easy it is to grow. I go to the market now and then but now since I can get the bread at Don Chuchos on Wednesdays I shy away from the Friday market. The hours are kind of inconvenient especially since whenever I got there a little before 11:30 the bread would be late anyway and if I got there after 12 it would be all gone. Before starting to get it on Wednesdays, I could at least reserve a few baguettes so that I wouldn't be disappointed.
We also started going to town later and later, so often hours are kind of inconvenient.

norm said...

Snow peas? I like to put in a few pounds, eat a few when they are ready then turn them under for the summer squash to eat, works well for watermelons if you row crop them. Snow peas are a pain to pick and I leave most of them in the field but the summer plants eat them up. Here in Ohio, I try to get the snow peas in by March 21 if the snow is off the ground.

Don Cuevas said...

Norm! How could I forget the sugar snap peas Doña Cuevas planted last year? We were enjoying them every day for about 3 months.

Now, with our vast chest freezer, we should be able to blanch and freeze any surplus.

Saludos,
Don Cuevas

Felipe said...

If you are going to all the trouble of doing that, isn't it a lot easier to just call the person on their cell phone?

I imagine you've got some high-end Gringo cell phone with a monthly contract and lots of bells and whistles, probably internet. Might even filter your water. I don't know how those work. But down here in Mexico, those of us with the TelCel babies that use pay cards, it costs way more to call someone than it does a text message. I only call someone when it's necessary.

So, sure it's easier to call, but it's sure not cheaper.

Tancho said...

Never considered Snow Peas, but will give them a try. I think that both Snow and Sugar Snap peas will do great in this climate....
thanks for the suggestion.

Tancho said...

Well Felipe, you haven't paid attention to the preponderance of texting activities NOB. On the internet last week they showed a woman walking in a mall texting her friends and then falling into a fountain filled with water... Seems that texting has become so dangerous that it is outlawed in many states.
Sitting on the plaza I do see a few kids texting now and then, but then again few kids have the super duper phones that have internet and water filters. Almost all the phones including my Telcel Amigo phone (which is at least 6 or 7 year old) which I can recharge at Soriana or at any streetcorner in Morelia , also provides texting capabilities. Not sure of how much it costs for texts, but sounds like you do, I was not aware of that they cost more to text,simply because I have never texted in my life.
I have sent emails, but there is no charge for that.
It is a good thing that it is expensive maybe that will eliminate the frivolous texting. I am sure that if the people NOB who walk around and text down here in Mexico would certainly get run over by a driver....several of them in fact.
I still don't understand why texting is more fashionable than just talking to the person....and it also must be cheaper in both countires.

Felipe said...

Señor Tancho: I can scarcely contain my delight at hearing you are one of us, the little people who tote the humble TelCel Amigo. But you give me the impression that you can send email on your Amigo, so there must be higher levels of TelCel Amigos because you sure cannot send email on my Amigo, which cost, I believe, about 300 pesos and came with 200 pesos of air time, so it really set me back less than ten bucks. That was a few years ago, and I still have and love it.

I do not recall the specifics, but yes, it is a whale of a lot cheaper to send a text message than to make a call.

When you say texting has been outlawed in many areas of the U.S., I assume you mean while driving, as it should be. Cannot imagine it's illegal anywhere to walk and text, even if one does fall into fountains on occasion.

Tancho said...

At that time we were looking the only way to get to Playa Azul was by airplane. The Autopista was still years away and the drive from Morelia was over 12 hours on horrendous roads. Even though it was a steal then, compared to what we paid for our 25 acres it was expensive. Lazaro although a larger city had not much to offer in those days, and we would have felt pretty isolated.
I thought of going there to check out Playa Azul again via car, but have second thoughts about it, just because I would probably have serious remorse for not extending myself and possibly buying beach land. Also it would have been a little more hassle to get the title on the land because of the Federal Law.
One thing for sure the isolation would have prevented many friends from the journey to visit the mainland.