Renegades and Rebels

Here's a photo of a renegade rosebush that's sprouted in our front yard. I want to tear up the the grass that's growing around it and plant columbine, hollyhocks, foxglove, cosmos, marigolds, and nasturtium.

My salmonberries seem to have all survived their move from last July and the winter. They all have leaves and a few buds on them. My strawberries that I brought with us from the old house on NE 18th are also doing well, and I found this bugger munching on them when I went outside with my camera. He was sentenced to death.

I celebrated yesterday's new moon by transplanting my tomatoes into homemade newspaper containers, and now my shelves are crammed with seedlings, large and small. I have brandywine, orange-flesh purple smudge, Amish paste, Willamette, and Oregon spring tomatoes in addition to peppers, kale, endives, chives, thyme, sage, lavender, oregano, hollyhocks, foxglove, and more.

The plotting and planning and thinking and constructing of the hive continues. In the meanwhile, I need to buy my veil and hat, gloves, honey, and beeswax in preparation for a delivery slated for April 8. Spring seems to be whirling by already, and it hasn't even officially started. The cherry blossoms are almost done. I discovered this blog, Norm's Bees Naturally, and he does some top-bar beekeeping. I haven't had a chance to really dive into it yet, but I'm excited to find this resource. He references another blog worth exploring, Guerrilla Gardening. I have mixed emotions about guerrilla gardening, but for the most part, I believe I'm in favor as long as it's done with respect and with understanding.

I haven't been able to do a whole lot of reading for myself of late. Tonight, after I make this for dinner, I am going to be reading junior lit. commentaries. But here's some of the books I've been dipping my toes into:

Spring break is before me, and I will be re-reading The Bean Trees for school (planning to teach it), diving into Harlem Renaissance literature, and hopefully reading more about bees, animals, vegetables, fungus, and dirt.

I'm proud of how far I've come though. Last year, I thought the green leaves in this picture were just invasive, huge weeds.
I now know that it's comfry, a plant that's deep roots suck nutrients up from deeper layers of untouched soil, making great compost and compost tea. (Elijah, el gatto in the picture, is right now curled up on my lap).

Here are the ugly teenagers:
One day I'll get a picture that does justice to their hugeness. They are not the little fluff balls they were a month ago, that's for sure.

The grape hyacinths are out and everywhere:

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