January 19th, 2015

Change is in the air

The party for Benny went well on Wednesday. He really enjoyed his muffin. In fact, he got to have two of them because one of the other dogs didn't attend.

We've gotten a new chief in charge of our port, and she wants to leave her mark by changing lots of things (even if they're already working fine). She has already reassigned our canine supervisor to a different location, so we'll be getting a new supervisor; there's no word yet on whom she will choose. (Only one of the supervisors actually wants the job, it seems, and he's a new hire, so she's worried it will be too much for him to handle.) She mentioned that she also wants to change our schedules, which is annoying, because we've already mapped out our days off for the year and submitted our projected leave requests based on that. If she makes us work shifts on different days, that will screw up a lot of holiday plans.

This weekend we had reasonably good weather. I spent pretty much all day Saturday clearing out three garden beds in preparation for spring planting. This involved a lot of weeding, plus harvesting root crops. I got about three pounds of potatoes (from volunteer plants) and at least 40 pounds of yacon. After that, I spread compost around the beds, particularly the one where I intend to plant melons. I'm going to try direct-seeding four different varieties of watermelon this year, in the hope that they'll do better with enriched soil and no transplant shock.

I don't really want to store 40 pounds of yacon in my garage, so on Sunday I started going through and picking out any that looked damaged (which is a lot, the things crack open if you breathe on them wrong) and juicing them. After about two hours, I had done half of them, resulting in five quarts of juice. My plan is to boil the juice down into syrup for more compact storage. We'll see how that goes. I'll also give some away to the neighbors, who liked the last batch I took over for them to try.

Add to that more weeding, pruning, and replanting the yacon crowns, and my whole weekend seemed to vanish. I barely even made a dent in cleaning the place for having company over next weekend. I guess I'll have quite the busy time for the next few evenings.