Yesterday I had planned to post and update on my plants, a tutorial on making cheap and easy homemade tomato cages, and a look at my first loaf of bread for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge at Pinch My Salt, but yesterday, while not the end of the world, was a little off for me.
I accidentally hit the oven knob and turned the temperature up 100 degrees on the bread. The loaves were saved, but a little more… crusty than normal.
While the bread was rising, I went out and shot some pictures of the plants (those that survived and some new replacements) and the tomato cage tutorial without incident.
So what happened?
I went to upload all those photos into Adobe Light Room and deleted the pics before I hit import. All those pictures are gone. No evidence is left of my Saturday. After I kicked myself for a while, stuck a dunce cap on my head and pouted in a corner, I let it go and started a new project – refinishing a bunch of our furniture using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The paint has been getting a bunch of attention on home decor/design blogs lately and I wanted to see what all the hype is about. Don’t get all excited because a post for this project will not be ready for while.
So sadly without pictures, a brief update on my plants and tomato cage tutorial:
In the midst of finals, on a nice sunny day, I decided to harden my seedlings. Hardening is the process of taking plants started inside and gradually getting them used to the outdoor environment. Inside the plants are protected from direct sunlight, winds, and fluctuating temperatures. These conditions can be a bit shocking when you’ve lived such a sheltered life, so plants are taken out into the elements for short periods of time to build up their tolerance until you are ready to transplant them outside. You would want to place the plants in a shaded area protected from the direct impact of harsh conditions. With a brain full of land use law terms and a belly full of nerves, I unwisely placed my plants in direct sun for way too long – I forgot we were going out to dinner straight from my two-hour final. Needless to say, a few peppers are the only things to survive my shock and awe style hardening.
Heartbroken, but determined to have a bunch of veggies this summer, I headed over to our local organic nursery. Jed and I picked out five types of tomatoes as well as tomatillo, eggplant, sage, and cucumber plants. I transplanted those in the rain on Friday and started some of my original herb seeds (outside this time), and some other seeds that do not start well inside (beans, corn, cilantro, wild flowers). I will take pictures, again, later this week.
Using thin metal garden fencing (found in the gardening section at your home improvement store) that was left over from building a cage for our compost pile, I made five tomato cages. On roll of fencing costs around $20-$30. Three tomato stakes or one basic small cage will run about $8. You can do the math. Building your own also allows for customized sizing. After measuring out the length of fence needed to create a cage with the desired circumference, move one hole further and cut using wire cutters. Create the cage by twisting the cut wire fence ends around the opposite side or use other wire to fix the fence into the cage shape. I used my fingers to twist the wire, but you may want to use pliers. Again, I will post pictures later this week (arghhh).
I leave you with the only picture of the fruits of my labor from Saturday (taken this moring – as you can see most of the loaf is already gone): slightly singed Anadama Bread.