Winter’s Purpose

Mechanical Timer
Mechanical Timer

It  may still be fall for most people, but for this IT guy there are two seasons: Winter and Growing season. Winter is a time for restocking, weather it be nutrients in the soil, or tools for the next year. This is a time to think about what has worked, and what has not, a time to plan what next years harvest will include.

As far as tools go, I lucked out recently when shopping at the local dollar priced store. You see, I was going to purchase these mechanical timers a few months ago, when there was a 50% off sign nearby. When I got to the register, they rang up at full price: $6. The frugal man in me proclaimed that they were marked half off, to which the attendant explained this item was excluded. I felt I had been the victim of a bait and switch, and even thought the items were worth the full price to me, I declined the purchase.

Then this last Friday, while my nephew was paying for his usual skittles and soda, I spotted a shopping cart marked “90% off” in the same store. I looked inside to find these Mechanical Timers, which contain water valves. If you set them to 30 minutes, the valve will be open for that amount of time. These would be a perfect addition to my watering habits. I can now set the sprinkler in the middle of the garden, add the appropriate amount of time, and walk away ! No more trudging trough mud to turn the water back off, and no more missing bits of my favorite shows. The best part is, after tax, each timer cost a whopping 63 cents.

Later in the weekend, Jenny and I were surveying the odd vegetables available to our climate, and made a list of new items to grow next year. Top of the list: Pak Choi, followed by colorful Swiss Chard, Purple Carrots, Bird House Gourds, and maybe even some…. gasp…. Brussel Sprouts.

Purple Peppers
Purple Peppers

When picking the final peppers before the first hard frost of the year, I found this pepper plant with four small peppers. They were too small to harvest, but too big to ignore. I dug up the plant, and placed it into an indoor pot, and set it by a large window. The plant is growing quite well, and I’m hoping to get four large purple peppers smack dab in the middle of winter. If it grows as well as the indoor pepper plant I had last year, I may replant it back in the into the garden in June 2011. That should really turn some heads if I can get fresh peppers before the end of June…. I guess well see.

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3 Responses to Winter’s Purpose

  1. chidy says:

    pak choi and swiss chard: yes, yes, yes. they’ll take more than one hard frost and keep on growing. they are loaded with vitamins and other nutrients. they are wonderful to eat (try steamed, with light butter and soy). they are in the “miracle” food groups for all these reasons and more. my pak choi was unstoppable and if the *(^*&^* bambis had not eaten it down right before my late season harvest, my swiss chard was too. i go for red chard just because the taste really appeals to me, but the yellow is nice too. around here, no pest likes either of them, and they seem to require very little special or fertilizing care. if the world were to end tomorrow for all but a few who had to feed themselves, and those people could only pick ten seeds to take with them after the rapture, one or both of these plants would be on my list.

  2. Eliza says:

    Loving your blog! On one of your other posts I think you probably guessed correctly that the cucurbits (squash etc.) shaded out the weeds (when I went to comment on it, the post had mysteriously vanished. I’m very puzzled). I’ve never tried digging up peppers and bringing them indoors before. I hope you’ll post about how that goes!

    • itfarmer says:

      Peppers were doing great, but there are little white bugs that run rampant once you bring the peppers indoors, so I gave up on one of them. I still have a pepper and tomato indoors. There growing very slowly.

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