Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cold Frame is Almost Beautiful Again!

Last summer we decided that it made more sense for us to build a stick-built cold frame out of "recycled" lumber from a local feed lot and buy a cheap roll of plastic to cover it.  For $50 we had a wonderful structure with a large window and door.  This works perfectly for us because we don't want to spend thousands until we're making money too.  Rick worked all afternoon getting everything screwed down like we want and is going to do a layer inside this week as well - THEN I can start seeds!  We're going to try planting lettuce and other greens out in the beds and putting "bells" over them at night.  Last fall my husband drug home 30 or so 5 gallon water jugs (the ones with the handle on the side and a spout) that will be our "bells" this spring/summer.  They will keep our plants warm at night hopefully, at least warm enough to do well.  The French have beautiful glass bells that they use for intensive, cold weather gardening, I would love some but for now the jugs will do!
We have several neighbors who would like to buy produce, maybe we could be the neighborhood produce people!  That'd be lovely - each neighborhood should either have one or a community garden so they can grow their own.  I have visions of block BBQ's in my head, maybe we could drag everyone out of their shells (not a lot of people outside often for some reason) and hope that we all enjoy meeting one another.  Might be fun : )
Last Wednesday we went to First Street Market in Butte.  I just...don't even really have words for how many amazing Italian products they have.  Over 200 cheeses - several imported - and you can sample most of them!  Oh, it was beautiful!  Aged meats from Italy mmmmm....divine little store.  Floor to ceiling shelving full of balsamic vinegars, handmade pastas, olive many lovely things to smell and taste!  We came home with a Parmesan, beautiful balsamic, amaretti, pasta (of course) and foccacia from their deli.  I tried a spoonful of $40/bottle balsamic that was thick and sweet - a little tangy - just absolute heaven.  Wish I was willing to spend that on balsamic, but we're quite happy with what we came home with too.  I love stores that are run by the people that own them, talking to someone who is passionate and invested in what they're selling makes all the difference in the service and selection.
I'll post pictures tomorrow of our 1st meal made with our buys: asparagus, portobello, onion, garlic, and tomatoes over pasta with a drizzle of balsamic and a sprinkling of parmesan.  A little red wine...perfect way to break up our meat, vegetable, salad routine!!