Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Agriturismo Le Sughere all'isola d'Elba from isoleditoscana - elbavideo.com on Vimeo.

I don't know if we will go there, but I found a nice hotel in Elba, Italy.  Elba is a small island about one hour by ferry from the Italian coast.  Juergen wants to go there.  I thought we could rent a hotel for 2 nights and check Elba out. Maybe as a birthday gift to Juergen?  I don't think the kids will like it because there are no soccer fields.  Jessica does not like boat rides, but I think a one hour ferry ride is OK.  Oh the places we would go if we did not have kids!

I wonder if my brother Rick could come to Germany and paint a mural of this terracotta house on the wall behind my vegetable garden?  We could re plaster the wall, paint it terracotta, and have him paint windows and shutters and flowers.  Wouldn’t that be cool! It's been almost 5 years since Rick was here.  Seems right for him to come again!  I miss him!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

my new seeds

We finished the new pallet garden

Juergen and the kids emptied the compost piles into the bottom of our new pallet garden bed. Then they used up the rest of the top soil Juergen bought last fall. Finally I added about 8 large bags of finished compost to the top of the bed. And I planted tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, Swiss chard and even a few sunflowers. I have to get more soil so I can plant the sides of the bed with strawberries and flowers. I think it turned out great! It feels great to finish something so fast.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A good day

Today Nicole washed windows and Sarah and Juergen built me a new pallet raised garden bed. My passion flower also started to bloom. And we finally got some rain. A good day!

The Divine Michelangelo - Part 2 of 2 Documentary

BBC Documentary The Divine Michelangelo Part 1

I just love Juergen! Last night I showed him the progress Nicole and I have made in the garden. I said I want another pallet garden built. He left early today to buy the pallets. He will build it today :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wacky College Scholarships

The garden is growing

It's hot out and I'm already thinking of how I'm going to cool off the greenhouse.  Crazy!  And we may put some drip hoses on the garden beds because of a lack of rain.  But everything is growing fast. I have flowers I didn't have until June last year.  Of course nothing is lasting long because of the heat.  But here are some photos of the garden.  We are planting strawberries, flowers and lettuce around the outside of the raised beds.  Some of the seeds we planted in the green house last week are already up.  My biggest challenge is keeping everything watered.  I may need to water 2 times a day.  I'm use to watering 2 times a week in April but the heat is drying everything out fast. 

BTW our garden beds are built with shipping pallets. Jürgen and Nicole built these for my birthday last year. They have either 4 pallets to make a square bed, or 8 pallets to make long beds. I used up my compost piles on the bottom of the beds, then top soil, then the very top of the beds has good compost. They are at an easy height to work in. You can stand up and garden without hurting your back. We get very few weeds and no slugs. If you want to try this, use stainless steel brackets and screws that don’t rust. Make sure your shipping pallets are heat treated not chemically treated pallets. You can use old pallets, but be sure they haven’t been used to carry anything toxic. Because I’m growing vegetables in my raised beds, Jürgen bought me new pallets. They only cost about 5 Euro each. I’m sure I will not have anything bad leeching into the soil and vegetables. I would like to build 3 more long beds in my garden. Shipping pallets are built to transport stuff over the sea. I think they will last a good long time. This is my experiment with using sustainable Martials to grow food. You could grow a pallet garden on a roof top or in a parking lot. You don’t need much space to grow vegetables. You also don’t need to spend years building up good soil. You can have very good soil from day one. This is a practical thing if you live in a city (like half the world does). I would love to see mission’s teams that build these pallet gardens in church parking lots and in poor neighborhoods all over the world. There are many hungry people in this world. We could empower people to help grow some of their own food. I’m trying this out in my own yard, but I want to see the idea used.