Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Loot


I really like having my birthday in June.  In childhood, it often meant final exams on my birthday, but even then I appreciated the fact that it was six months from Christmas - the other time of the year I got presents.  A six month spread seemed like a good thing then.  Now I just like that I can count on fairly nice weather for my birthday.

I got a pretty sweet lineup of gifts this year.  Garlic scapes and the first tiny zucchini of the year.  Last year the only gift I wanted was a full weekend of my husband's help on a project.  We got the rocket stove built over that weekend.  I liked the gift-project idea a lot, so the only thing I asked for this year was this project:

Why, yes.  How observant of you!  The mailbox does swivel.

This is our new hand tool depot at the entrance of our main garden bed.  Out of all the materials that went into this project, only the concrete and the paint were bought new.  The huge mailbox was a craigslist score, with a busted hinge that my husband repaired.  The post we pulled out of a dumpster a couple years back, and the hardware to make the whole mailbox swivel was lying around the work table in the garage.  All told, our costs came to about $25.  I think the mailbox-for-garden-hand-tools idea was first published in an old Rodale book a few decades back.  Just goes to show that good ideas stand the test of time.  I had fun with the colors, as you can see.  I'm not terribly creative or talented as far as visual arts go, but I do like color.  I guess painting the bee hives earlier this year got me on some sort of paint kick.  It seems with the mailbox I was thinking Mediterranean.  Or something.  I love seeing the bright colors in the garden; it makes me happy. Now I'd like to tear out the hideous wallpaper in both of our bathrooms and splash some riotous colors around those rooms.  Alas, calmer heads will probably prevail on that front.

Having storage for my tools right in the garden itself will not only clear up clutter in the shed, but it will shave several minutes off my gardening routine on a daily basis.  I am all about making the task of food production easier and less time-intensive.  Invariably I end up making several trips to and from the shed to retrieve and put away tools as I need them and finish with them.  I could use a few extra minutes every day, couldn't you?


Even though the hand tool depot was my only requested gift, I also got a breakfast of waffles topped with our own black raspberries, plus the large garden hod I've been coveting for the last few years.  Pretty sweet!  My husband definitely knows my tastes.  Thanks, honey!

16 comments:

lisa said...

Happy Birthday. It sounded like you had a wonderful birthday..That is my kind of birthday.. Have a great day..Lisa

Darcy said...

Happy Birthday! I love the little produce carrier, too!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Happy Birthday! It looks like your beautiful garden will be providing "gifts" for many months to come!

The mailbox idea is so handy - and the colors are fun.

The Mom said...

Happy Birthday! I love summer birthdays as well. That mailbox is a great idea and looks so bright and cheerful.

esp said...

Happy Birthday! I love your mailbox idea for tool storage. I may have to rig something similar up in my veggie patch. Thanks for the idea!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

happy birthday...love the tool storage! what do you do with your scapes? i am posting a recipe for them today.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Happy Birthday, Kate! I think the gifts one gets for one's birthday are a reliable indicator of the completeness with which one has accepted this lifestyle. A mailbox repurposed for tools and a garden hod mean you're in it up to your eyeballs. (Me? I got a shotgun.)

Amy Lagerquist said...

Happy birthday, and what a great idea for hand tool storage! I might need to try this myself.

Anonymous said...

Many Happy Returns! I think your mailbox looks Moroccan. Very nifty! (I got a water butt and a greenhouse...)

Hope you had a lovely day.

Hazel

kristaandjess said...

Happy birthday! And wow, that is a wicked cute mialbox. Nice choice of colors, and such a clever idea. I have seen it on a few blogs, but none as cute as yours! What kind of paint do you use?

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Happy Birthday. Sounds like a good birthday.
I love the idea of the hand tools in the post box, no more disappearing tools. You are right too, a few minutes extra, are gold.

Kate said...

Thanks, all of you, for the birthday wishes. Hope some of you find a use for one of these in your own gardens.

Jaz, last year I made pesto and spaghetti carbonara with the scapes. This year I made pesto (which went on pizza) and risotto with them.

Tamar, next year I may want a shotgun myself. Up to our eyeballs, indeed.

kristaandjess, I use latex paint. Probably not entirely non-toxic, but at least it's made from natural rubber.

maggie said...

Sending birthday wishes a little late- I was busy celebrating my birthday yesterday! Hope yours was wonderful! Love your birthday loot. And I agree, your mailbox looks Moroccan. Awesome! Maybe next year, Moroccan garden lanterns to go with it? ;)

Kate said...

Maggie, I'll have to take your word, and Hazel's, that the colors evoke Morocco, never having been there myself. But I like tagines, so the association is alright by me. You'll have to enlighten me about Moroccan lanterns though, as I've never even heard of those. Hope your birthday was a good one too!

Diana R.Smith said...

Happy birthday to you...and my son Jesse who turned 35 June 22. Must be your same moon signs but he is an avid gardener,too...even in college he had a garden around his front porch!

I just painted my kitchen light aqua and your mailbox induced me to paint my real box aqua...it was pretty shabby...mailman didn't say if he liked it! DEE

Kate said...

Diana, thanks. I don't have the nerve to paint our real mailbox bright colors. I'm sure it would quickly become the target of the local yahoos that like to go around playing mailbox baseball, or simply blast them with guns. Country living has its down sides, after all.