Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Silva Family Garden - Week by Week

So we have started up our first garden. We took pictures week by week intending to post them to the blog every week but we were too busy. So now we are playing catch-up. Here's the chronicles of the Silva Family Garden 2009.

March 28th - Planting Seeds

We began our garden by planting seeds. Caleb helped plant the seeds. We planted onions, lettuce, cauliflower, and peppers. We planted them in this starter kit we purchased at the Home Depot. It did okay but we had more luck planting the seeds in empty yogurt cups.

April 10th - Working Outside

We have moles in our yard. We didn't want them to eat our garden so we put down chicken wire to keep the moles out.
Here's my strapping husband making dirt (he wrote that). Caleb was watering it down. He loved helping out with the hose. Now let me explain how he is "making dirt." We are following the Square Foot Gardening method. Gardeners are encouraged to make dirt instead of improving the existing soil. It is a mix of peat moss, compost, and vermiculite.
Our first garden full of dirt.
We then had to build these cages to put over the top of the our garden to protect the crops from deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds and Mason.

April 18th - Gardens Ready

Our gardens complete with the cages. They are awaiting the plants inside the house.

April 25th - Planting Day

Strawberries go into one of our gardens. We had to adjust our planting plan because we got so many strawberry plants. Oh darn! Too many strawberries! Life is so tough!

May 2nd - Our garden is doing well

Peppers (far left column), Broccoli (middle left), Cauliflower (middle right), and Peas (far right).
Strawberries (3 columns) and onions in the right front square. Our onions died before translating so we purchased starts.
It may not look like much but these are raspberries starts that we planted at the base of our deck. A member of the Ward had starts so we got these for free!
This also doesn't look like much right now but there are potatoes growing in this container.

May 9th - A Moment of Silence

We lost a few plants! We lost 1 pepper plant, our cauliflower, and 3 strawberry plants. And I forgot to take pictures (remember me saying we were too busy).

June 19th - How Does Our Garden Grow!

In this is planted 8 boxes of strawberries, zucchini, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and onions.
Here you can see peppers, broccoli, beans (under ground), and peas.
The raspberry starts took. You can see new growth!
We added rhubarb starts. We won't get rhubarb until next year. The white pipe is the crappy sprinkler system that the previous owner installed (Mike added that).
Our potatoes are popping! So for you people who don't know about potatoes, the plants come up above the dirt. You cover the plant with an inch of dirt and the potatoes get bigger.

May 23rd - Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend is when most people in Rochester start their garden. We, however, are ready to harvest some spinach and lettuce. We will also have radishes soon!
Notice the trellis in the back? We have added this for our vine plants (tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon and cucumbers - to be planted). Everything is growing well.
In this one we added tomatoes, a pepper plant (to replace our dead one), parsley, cilantro, and planted carrots up front in the right. This is our salsa garden. We picked up these plants at the Rochester Public Market.

Stay tuned for more garden updates and witty economic posts (Mike typed that too).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Father Knows Best

Let me tell you of an experience that is all too familiar.  Caleb and Mason love to play together.  That is until both of them want to play with the same toy.  Outburst errupt turning the peacefull Silva residence into a war zone.  

A concerned parent sees what is going on.  Since the post is titled "Father Knows Best," I will fill the role of the parent (although I'm sure Danielle will second this).  Dad quickly asseses the situation: Simple - Two boys and one toy - Scarcity is the issue.  Now because of my intimate knowledge of my children (for example: Mason usually doesn't care which toy he is playing with.  He just wants to play) I am able to play the arbiter.  "Caleb you can play with it while Mason plays with this train.  In a minute, your turn is up and it is Mason's turn."  Oh the wisdom of Father.

Have any of you had a similar experience?  Maybe you were the child, or perhaps you were the parent.  I imagine every one has quite a few experiences like this in their lifetime.

Well I think people think of politicians in the same sort of way.  They are qualified to make judgements on how taxes should be spent, etc.  Some look to them with the same ethos as a parent.

I find this falling quite short due to one thing: information.  Remember in my example that I can make this decision due to my "intimate knowledge" of my children?  I know (or more accurately Danielle knows) who has had the most turns.  We know their preferences.  We know their tolerance levels and limits.  This information qualifies me to make this decision.

So how easy is it to aggregate this kind of information?  Really hard.  You probably have an excellent idea about your immediate family, and a pretty good idea of extended family and close friends.  It becomes more shaky as you move on to friends, neighbors, or those you are acquainted with.  

So then why do people think Washington can make these kinds of decisions?  They can't.  They simply don't have enough information.  We really cannot expect them to.  It is silly to me that people make people in Washington into heroes in their mind.  That does not help anyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Caleb's 3rd Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday Caleb!!

Black tongue from the frosting

Bike for his birthday

Fun in the yard

Mickey Mouse PJ's

Mindy, Todd, Ava, Bowe, my Mom and Dad gathered at our house for dinner and the party.

Caleb really wanted a Mickey Mouse cake

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Meeting with Geithner

Darn the New York Times! I was trying to keep a low profile and now the secret is out! They FOIL'ed (requested public information under the Freedom of Information Law) Sec. Geithner's appointment schedule while he was chair of the New York Fed and they found our meeting.

Here's the NYT Page. You'll never know what we talked about, but if you know me you can venture a guess.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Can't We Issue a Stop Payment on the Stimulus?

If you haven't noticed, the United States economy has not collapsed into an unfathomable abyss.  We are not out of the woods yet but there is some positive economic news.  Pending home sales and construction spending both increased in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. I'm happy that the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is three month moving average shows signs of improvement.  

When the line goes up the gray bars usually end.  And when the gray bars end, that means we're out of a recession.  That's some good news.  Furthermore the number of news articles about the Great Depression have declined.  If you don't believe me, check out Google Trends.
So it looks like the economy is starting to recover.  Funny thing too.  You remember that "Stimulus Bill" that was passed.  You know that that bill that had to pass or else we were heading for oblivion.  Well only $15.4 Billion of something like $787 Billion has been spent according to the President's site:

Thats about 2% of the total.  So if the bill was supposed to save the nation from economic calamity, why not issue a stop payment on the remainder?