Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garden Update

Ichiban Eggplant

The dog yard garden here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures has received a couple of new additions in the past week.

Growing garden

Foggy morning with flowering azaleas

Currently growing in the vegetable garden we have: three varieties of lettuce; three pepper plants including a cayenne pepper, a green bell pepper, and a Marconi pepper; shallots; three tomatoes including an Early Girl hybrid, a Brandywine heirloom, a Husky Red Cherry hybrid; a burpee seedless cucumber; and an Ichiban eggplant.

The shallots have finally sprouted

Marconi pepper with lettuces in the background

Husky red cherry tomato

Early Girl (left) and Brandywine tomato (right)

Brandywine tomato

The Ichiban is a new addition to this year's garden that we are excited to try out. Unfortunately, Ichiban had a bit of a rough start. As we were hardening off the Ichiban in preparation of moving it outdoors to its new home, sled dog, Acadia, decided that she would pick up the Ichiban eggplant and run around the back yard with it. What she really wanted was the plastic pot to play with so we were able to locate the uprooted Ichiban plant in the "back 40" and quickly planted it in its large permanent pot.

Who me? I would never steal an eggplant.

(In case you are wondering, the brown stuff on the right side of Acadia's face is pitch from her repeated attempts to stick her head in the wood pile)

We selected the Ichiban variety because it greatly resembles Italian eggplant in taste and size but does well in containers. We selected the cherry tomato we are growing for much the same reason: it grows well in containers.

In addition to the vegetables, we've also planted raspberry bushes and a variety of herbs including mint, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and purple basil.

The mint is back!

Gardening is tiring says Chloe, the cat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Maryland SPCA's Walk for the Animals

"Come on everyone," says Acadia. "It's time to walk for the animals."

On Sunday morning, Eric and I along with two of the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs, Acadia and Sobo, headed out to Druid Hill Park to the Maryland SPCA's Walk for the Animals. The weather was a nice and cool 40 degrees (perfect walking weather for sled dogs) and sunny. Of course, all of the Chihuahuas were cold but Acadia and Sobo were just fine. Some years it has been so warm for the Walk that it's been too hot for our heavily furred Siberians and Siberian mixes. Acadia got to wear a "purty" purple bandanna and both dogs received lots of attention and free goodies.

Druid Hill Park

Awaiting the start

And we're off (Acadia on the left with Sobo on the right)

Acadia leading the way (as you can see 40 degrees was plenty warm for her)

Walking, walking, walking

After all of the attention at the walk, Sobo returned to the dog yard to "supervise" the squirrels

Little Miss Energy Acadia wanted to play ball after returning home

New Mail Box

Digging and leveling the new mail box post

Eric and the sled dogs spent this past Saturday installing a new post for our mail box. Actually, Eric did most of the work while the dogs supervised the installation and "christened" the post once it was in place. Anyone with dogs, especially male dogs, will understand completely how a dog "christens" a mail box post. The old post was wiped out when the City plow back into it during the big winter storms in February.

The old mail box post was broken in a couple of different places

Eric dismantling the old post

New raspberry plants that Eric and I planted in the dog yard near the mail box

Sobo "supervises" the installation of the new mail box post

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

From Dog Sledding to Gardening

A tulip that Eric and I planted last fall

The time has arrived to put away the dog sleds and wheeled dog sleds and get out the gardening tools. The sled dogs officially ran their last on trail dog sledding program, for a lucky group of girl scouts, last weekend and can now turn their attention to sunning, sleeping, and relaxing.

The lilacs are blooming

Meanwhile, with the warm temperatures, the dog yard gardens have been kicked into high gear. While not all fruits, veggies and flowers have been planted, Eric and I have made headway in planting several of our spring and summer vegetable crops, window boxes, flowers, fruit bushes, and herbs. Spring has sprung here at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC.

Three varieties of lettuce, two pepper plants and two strawberry plants

Romaine lettuce

To date, we've planted several herbs including rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, and cilantro. Our mega mint along with our oregano has returned from last year with new vigor. We've also planted shallots from sets (which are just beginning to sprout), three varieties of lettuce, two pepper plants, and two tomato plants including an "Early Girl" and a cherry variety that grows well in containers. The newest addition to the gardens that I am most excited about are the rasberry bushes. Eric and I planted four rasberry bushes including two Boynes and two Lathams. Last summer up at the cabin in Maine, Eric discovered the joys of picking blueberries and blackberries so we've decided to add some berries to the dog yard gardens here in Maryland.

Early Girl tomato

The bushes and trees in the dog yard are also in full flower and fill the yard with the most amazing scents from nature. Among the trees are the crab apple, flowering dogwood, and the magnolia. The lilacs and azaleas are also flowering.

The magnolia tree Eric and I got at University of Delaware's Ag Day and planted 3-4 years ago

Some of the dog yard Azaleas are not blooming just yet but....

some are in full bloom

Even though our winter was quite tough with heavy snow fall, we only lost two boxwood bushes at the front of the house and two cedar trees at the rear of the house. All of our other bushes and plants seemed to have survived the long cold winter and even thrived. Eric and I are still discussing what we'll plant to replace the boxwoods.

Okemo enjoys grilling and dining outdoors

Spring is Sprung! Check back for frequent updates on the garden along with updates on all of the sled dogs spring and summer adventures.

Retired sled dog, T-Bone, enjoys the garden