The three basil seedlings are still alive. They don’t get enough sun and are spindly so I keep turning them. I plucked a leaf off one that seemed to be weighing it down. I ate the leaf and didn’t get much of a taste.

I’ve watched episodes three and four of Edwardian Farm. (It’s awkward the way I watch them on YouTube.) Alex has learned to repair and make hedgerows. The tool he used was shown being forged. Ruth cleaned and disinfected the privy for use. The walls inside were painted with something white which helped disinfect as well as make it easier to see in the dark. Two floppy-eared sows were brought to put in the pig sty next to the privy to assist in composting. They were painted with a waxy substance to protect their skin. Rooting around, they seemed happy and oblivious to whatever was going on outside of what was in front of their noses.

Peter began a trout hatchery. About 1500 eggs were harvested from one trout and she was released back into the stream. It seemed quite a laborious project, making pitch to coat the wooden hatchery and cutting down trees and sawing the lumber for it.

A tractor was borrowed to plow the field. It is the oldest working tractor in the world. Only 500 were made because they were extremely expensive.

Ruth also prepared toilet paper out of newspaper. She has a surprise secret project going–picking sloe from the hedgerow, mixing it with sugar and gin and at Christmas will have sloe gin to share. That was unusual because temperance was being pushed during the time period.

And if you’re still reading this far–on a personal note, I had a consultation with an expert today who recognized that I’m doing very well with the hand I’ve been dealt. I know this to be true and also that it isn’t apparent to the world. I was told that I’m the “gutsiest person” she’s ever met. True. I know it down to my toes.

Hopeful Basil Seedlings

It’s winter here again–gray, cold days. The basil seedlings are still looking perky. They quickly outgrew the shallow sushi roll container they were germinated in and were moved before their time. Becoming a bit spindly after transplanting, more soil was added on top to prop them up a bit. Maybe it isn’t good to cover more of the stem?

The windows are northeast here–the city grid is at an angle because of the river, I believe. The seedlings have been getting water often and very lightly because the soil seems to dry out fast but then the plants seem easily washed away with too much water. They are cute.

Basil Seedlings in Empty Sushi Roll Greenhouse

a promising beginning

basil seedlings/empty sushi roll greenhouse

These are basil seedlings–my “garden” for 2011. They were germinated in an empty sushi roll container that I carefully washed. I poked needle holes into the clear top but they weren’t large enough to make a difference so I left the lid on loosely and lifted it several times a day to let more oxygen in.

My apartment is not at all good for growing things but the seeds came free in a magazine subscription offer. The magazine is the first time ever I’ve been offered a senior discount (I’m 56) which I noted with amusement. Having a bag of potting soil and some decorative pots, I stuck a few seeds in one. That didn’t work out so well, mostly because of watering–making sure the soil stayed moist enough yet not washing the seedlings away. The best little “greenhouse” I ever had was a children’s educational toy which for lack of space I’ve long ago donated somewhere.

Soon the seedlings will need to be transplanted and the pots they’re going to be in aren’t really large enough. I may be harvesting the leaves when they are still quite small.

Last summer, I dried some leaves on a little bamboo mat, stored them in a corked glass container, then used them in early winter. There’s several seeds left so this might turn into an enjoyable little project for me.