We have a frog! I found this little guy swimming near the glass last night. We made quite a clamor, searching for a net and a suitable container. I am keeping a closer eye on the remaining tadpoles.
Now– what to feed Allie frog(named by Teresa)? Gaelen chopped up a worm for me this afternoon to feed to Allie. Every piece wiggled–ewww! Unfortunately, Ally was not impressed. I think we need smaller food. So we are going in search of bloodworms or mealworms.
The frog is so little and light that it reminds me of an insect when it hops. Its legs are so perfect, and tiny, and almost transparent. Amazing!
The other tadpoles are growing fat, chomping away on the little algae pasture growing on our driftwood. One has arms and legs, but still has a long tail. It seems happy, so I am leaving it be for now. As Blaise reminded me today, tadpoles know how to grow into frogs better than I do. So I am going to trust them to do what they were made to do.
Maggie and Teresa found some tadpoles in a pond recently, we are keeping them in the fish tank:
More pictures coming soon!
I have a few ideas for blog projects involving sound and music files. This is a test:
Hmmm. I would like it to play while you browse the blog. I will have to do some more research on this…
YES! This is cool. I will explain what I did later.
We now have vegetables in our garden! We have two beds, each about 6foot by 10foot.
I have been learning about composting and discovered that used coffee grounds are a good mulching material and addendum to soil. The article I got most of my information from Starbucks “Grounds for your Garden” . Starbucks offers free one gallon bags of used coffee and espresso grounds. In Grand Forks, the Starbucks I visited places these out front for people to pick up. I also picked up grounds from my favorite local coffee house, Porpoura Coffee House, Grand Forks, ND. Our soil is clay rich — the coffee grounds cause the soil not to clump as easily, making it more permeable. Grounds are also carbon rich, contain some fixed nitrogen, and sulfur.
We also picked up six dozen (72) earth worms from Cabela’s, East Grand Forks, MN.
Coffee grounds are not as acidic as coffee. Also, earthworms love coffee grounds — and slugs hate them! This is pretty cool.
We decided to mix coffee and soil in a 1:2 ratio in a five gallon pale and then add two dozen worms. Three pales of addendum were made this way, one for each garden bed. For the butterfly garden, we churned up the dirt in between the flowers we planted on Saturday and spread the coffee/dirt/worms over the bed. For the vegetable garden we dug several trenches and filled these with the coffee/dirt/worm mix.
The vegetable garden, so far, has a row of carrots; two rows of alternating kohlrabi, eggplant and pepper; three small size tomato plants (Sweet Million, Japanese Golden Pair, Grape); and a row of mixed peas and beans. We also sprinkled basil, parsley and cilantro seeds between the plants. The idea here is to have the small herb plants displace potential weeds. These herbs also deter insects. We alternated the kohlrabi, eggplant and pepper in order to increase the diversity of these rows. Here is a good list of plant families: Canadian Country Woman. Well, we will see if any of this works by the end of the summer
Here are the latest pictures:
My oldest son and I have built the central planter box for the side yard butterfly garden. The idea is to have a three tier system after we till the ground around the base of the box.
Speaking of tilling, we are very happy with our new Troy-Bilt 26cc 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator. Our two garden plots are nearly ready for planting. My son, 13 years old, had no difficulty using it. My lower back and I appreciate the light weight and ergonomic design. More reviews along with movies and pictures are coming soon.
Butterfly garden lower box.
Upper and low planter box for butterfly garden.
Troy-Built 4-cycle tiller (review coming soon).
We tilled the food producing portion of our garden. We had a pile of old bricks that the kids desperately needed to turn into a wall. The best way to handle this behavior is to ask, “I am getting a wall whether I want it or not — were should it go?”. Peregrine and Maggie are shown here busily constructing a wall — I was going to make the raised beds with green treated lumber — but got an awesome brick wall instead. The other bed is bordered with concrete test forms from the mechanical engineering department at the local university. So a brick wall is a pretty good counter point to that. The awesome thing is that the two year old went to bed with little trouble tonight — and I have the vegetable beds for our garden pretty much figured out. Tomorrow some more tilling and then we work on the butterfly garden. The kids are such an awesome power at helping me — I just need to learn to get out of their way!
Peregrine (Bob the Buider) exuberantly taking on the job of building a brick wall.
Sure they could pinch their fingers -- this is a good way to learn!
This is my first post. Hoo-ray.