Back around Christmas, the seed catalogs arrived as usual. I wasn't planning on ordering much since my past experience with starting seeds hasn't been overly successful. Lack of good light and the cool temps we keep the house don't seem conducive to growing seedlings. But while I was looking for the onion plants I wanted to order, I happened upon something that sounded interesting. I mentioned it too hubby and he was more excited than me. So we ordered ourselves a Portabella Mushroom kit.
It arrives looking like a big box of dirt (because that's essentially what it is).
You wet one packet of dirt and spread it over the other dirt then close up the box and let it sit for a week.After a week, we opened the box with great excitement and found this...
Yep, that's moldy dirt. At this point, we moved the box to our basement. Every few days I would mist the moldy dirt and wait for something to happen. After a week, I thought I must have done something wrong because nothing changed. I read the instructions again and discovered I should have covered the box with a plastic bag. This I did. Within a few days, little white bubbles appeared and before long we had mushrooms. (Sorry, missed getting pictures during this period). Now, here we are a month later and we've got mushrooms all ready to harvest.
I'm so blown away. They are awfully crowded in the box and probably won't get as big as the portabellas we get from the grocery store, but still. It's pretty damn awesome to find something you can grow in a cardboard box in your basement in the dead of winter!
Oh, and seeds? I did decide to give it one more try after seeing Boogie's post about these nifty little seed starting pots. I planted eggplants and tomatoes. The "greenhouse" is an olive oil jug with the top cut off. I keep it covered with plastic wrap to keep the cats from reaking havoc and keep it in the sunniest window of the house (supplemented by my Ott light on cloudy days). And lo and behold, we have plants!
So far, I'd say 2008 is starting out to be a pretty good gardening year!
And now for something completely different...
As mentioned in my last post, the prior week was pretty bad. So bad, in fact, I almost caved on the yarn diet. The Milan brainworm is still nudging around and then Elann's newsletter came to my Inbox shortly after I got some money for some yarn and bags I sold. The combination was nearly my downfall. Elann has new superwash worsted wool for $2.38/50 grams! I could get enough yarn for the Milan cardi for like $35. And Merlot or Cape Cod would be just perfect, don't you think? But I resisted. And I'm resisting now, even though I had to click over there to get the link. I'm closing the window now. If it's meant to be, the yarn will still be there April 16th.
A few knitting projects to report on. Here's a cute little bag I made to keep my oil bottle handy on my spinning wheel.I used some scrap hand dyed sock yarn I had lying around and just made the pattern up as I went along. I also made one of Mason Dixon's felted boxes for my library auction donation. I missed the errata for the pattern and knit nearly a third of the box before finding out they had the wrong needle size listed (they had US10 and it should have been 10MM, US15). So I had to rip the whole thing and start over. Turned out great though and it was a fast easy knit. The box is going to be a tea lovers gift basket. I knitted a little mug cozy from some of my handspun. The pattern couldn't be easier. Cast on enough stitches to equal a little less than the height of the mug. Work a few rows of garter stitch, then work in stockinette (always knitting the first and last 2 stitches) until the piece is almost long enough to fit around your mug. Work a few more rows of garter stitch, bind off, and sew together the first and last two stitches from both ends to make the hole for the handle. I'm not much of a cozy fan, but i do think this is cute and should help keep ones tea warm.
Currently I'm knitting socks. I finished the first handspun sock and love it. I'm well into the second sock. The slightly thicker yarn is making them a fast knit. I cast on another pair of plain jane top down socks, just so I'd have some variety.