BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wow, what a crazy last few months. Nikolai is growing strong, I've completed my Ph.D., and have gotten a job in Victoria (hence, we now live in Victoria!). On the downside, we've lost our vast support network, but on the upside, we have an (almost) new city to explore! It's odd: even though we completed our undergrad degrees in Victoria, we feel like it's an entire new city now that we're NOT students any longer.

On the garden side, we managed to get a plot in the Rayn or Shine Community Gardens over on Raynor Street in Vic West. It's only a short 10-15 minute walk from our suite in Dockside Green (very nice spot, although the neighbourhood is still 'under development' and is a far cry from the community spirit of Commercial Drive). We'll be planning out our planting schedule in the next month, but since we only have 1 small plot, it won't be as extensive as it has in the past. To fill the gap, we've found a local food delivery company that offers a truly local food box. They only populate it with foods from the Island, or at the furthest the Fraser Valley... the Okanagan is even too far away, although Northern Washington is in.

For my commute, the best part is that our apartment is on the Galloping Goose, and I can get about 1/2 way to work on it. I've taken a position as a Design Engineer, which is great because I could use some practical design experience after so long in the purely theoretical.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


:) The gardens have been enjoying the hot sun, but I've been enjoying my newborn son, Nikolai Zarikoff. I had a moment to water the thirsty gardens earlier this week though, and things were looking ok, although the cucumbers have not been stellar in the sprouting department. The pic above of the shallots is something new we tried this year. And wow, are they ever huge! Bigger than the garlics by far.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Wow... what a weekend. Just finished installing my bro's old hardwood floors into our co-op unit (story: insurance claim on damaged floor, 50 sq. ft. wrecked, but still had 400 sq. ft. of good floor leftover). With the help of a few good friends, we ripped out the old carpet in the living/dining room, and threw down the good looking hardwood. We even recycled the trim! The only 'new' items we had to buy was the underlay (a mostly recycled, no/low VOC version []), and the thresholds... which we're still working on. Lot of work though, but there was enough expertise present (none of which was mine...) that we managed to avert most major set-backs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Kartoshnaya' (Potato) Tomato

This is pretty cool. My baba Zarikoff gave my mom a slew of her tomato seeds about 15 years ago, which she promptly placed in the freezer. Last year, my mom re-discovered them. Lucky for us, they are still viable! Most (if not all) are apparently heritage seeds brought from Russia when my great-grandparents made the trip over; orange, 'yellow flower', 'Russian' red, and my favorite, at least right now, the 'Kartoshnaya', or 'Potato' tomato (a pic of the spouts are above). This one gets its name from the fact that the leaves apparently look exactly like a potato plant, and causes some discomfort for the uninitiated (seeing a red berry on a potato plant brings back the idea of the original 'deadly Nightshade' plant to some, apparently). Sounds perfect for the community garden :) .

Monday, April 21, 2008

Plot 12 at SFU

Ah, cleared land is so much easier to prep. This is the first year in three years that we haven't had a brand-new, untended plot to remove the grasses from at SFU. We had most of it turned and prepped in only 2 hours this last weekend. It was so nice to see that some of the lettuces in the cloche survived the SFU winter: around 8-10 made it. You can see in the picture above that they've perked up nicely. Hopefully we'll get a few salads from them before they bolt in late Spring. In the picture, you can also see our kale in the back, and our few token garlic and shallots (I planted the majority down at Strathcona before we decided to abandon that plot... recap: Emillie is pregnant, so growing priorities are rethought :) )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ah, Spring is coming along nicely now. Flowers are coming up, the kale and cauliflower are perking up, and we've seeded our Walla Walla onions. They're sprouting indoors right now, in fact. We'll be sticking to only the 2 SFU plots this year; extenuating circumstances have made us drop the Strathcona plot (it rhymes with 'maybe').