Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tue 13 Apr 2010

I was going to show you pics of the new screen doors on the greenhouse but I had a bit of excitement this past weekend. Can you guess by the photo above?

I only saw the aftermath but apparently we were visited by a bear.  As far as bear visits it wasn't too bad as far as damage goes; knocked down the compost fence (I have to keep one up to keep the neighbors dogs out of it), climbed a tree about 15 feet and stole the remnants of the suet for the birds... along with the suet feeder and about 20 feet of rope, (have to wonder what he or she will do with it) knocked down the thistle feeder, ate the seed but didn't break it thankfully.  He or she chewed a corner off of a bag of manure... apparently didn't like it as that was the extent of that.

As you can see from the pic he/she stuck their claws into the skin of the greenhouse; not sure but those might be bite marks to the right. You'll see smaller holes if you can look close from cats climbing there... something I needed to repair anyway. Not sure what the bear was trying to do.... maybe just curious what it was.

I consider myself lucky as a bear could easily crush the entire structure if they wanted without trying. I don't leave anything they might consider edible inside so hopefully they'll leave it alone. Hopefully they won't have any Endive cravings.

I should have thought to remove the suet and seed earlier this year with the warm spring as it's obvious the bears would wake up earlier too.  And be hungry. Not much one can do to bear proof a compost pile

This isn't unusual; though in recent years I haven't seen as many bears as in the past. I have several stories if anyone is interested but in case no one is I won't bore you with them now heh.

Just to let you know: this is the American Black Bear. Not to be confused with the Brown Bear; better known as the Grizzly Bear. Black bears are reasonably peaceful as long as you don't bother them or go near their cubs. Or get between them and something they want to eat. One just backs off slowly and removes oneself from the general area to be on the safe side.

The garden is coming along nicely. I've had several salads from the lettuce, spinach and endive. Peas are just sprouting; the first row took three weeks to germinate; the second one week. The difference I think is I got the inoculate on the second batch and so lost less seeds to rotting.

The lettuce, spinach and kale planted on either side of the pea fence are sprouting now too.

And yes: the screen doors were finished this weekend and one side of the sides that roll up for venting.
So... in another month or so I should be able to plant some heat loving plants in there.

I'm always experimenting with tomato stakes and cages. This year I'm going to try making four sided cages out of oak tomato stakes one can get at the garden stores. They last quite a few years if you pull them up and put them undercover in winter. So that's the next building project in the garden.

I was out and about Sunday and went to the Harlemville (NY) Farm store; the local Rudolf Steiner community and bought a pack of their Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato seeds. Couldn't resist
I grew them once years ago and I have to say they make more then enough tomatoes for me, family, friends and anyone I can get to please take some. So in the end I did start just one pot of tomato seeds. They are in a pot next to the kitchen sink so I can keep an eye on them and once they sprout will put them in individual pots.

I've been transplanting a lot of house plants this year too. One thing in the greenhouse is a potting bench I actually found for $15 at the Salvation Army a couple years ago. It's very simple but I figured the lumber would cost more so I grabbed it. It's great to have a place to take plants and pot them up instead of doing it on kitchen counter on newspapers and making a mess.

Well... time to get back to work. It's a bit cool the last few days and windy but still nice and good gardening weather.

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