WeedFest 2.0

Hello fellow farmers!

I just wanted to send a last notice to all who may be interested in helping out in the garden tomorrow.  We will be weeding, taming the beans and peas, and thinning the orchard fruit.  Start time is 9am and we will be enjoying a potluck lunch around noon.

Come with whatever tool you prefer weeding with, and something to toss into the pot luck arena for “feeding time.”  Enjoy the harvest that is ready for you!  (lettuce, spinach, parsley, beets, kale, radish…)

See you in the sunshine tomorrow!

Suzanna Maria


I have a need… a need to weed!

Hello Farmers!

One last reminder about this Saturday morning’s weeding party – just in case I missed anyone with my previous email.   If you have a free couple of hours, come join Darrel in the garden and whack a weed or two!

I surely will miss joining the group.  The other job out there is in the orchard – thinning the fruit.  The tiny apples and pears should be snipped to every 3 or 4 inches apart.

Have fun out there!

And enjoy some of the first harvests:  spinach, lettuce, parsley.  Even beet tops if you enjoy thinning the beets.  They are tiny and delicious.




Hello intrepid gardeners!

We have a garden, wahoooo!!  Thank you, Peter for helping me get all the tomatoes, peppers and egg plants nestled into the dirt!  It is all beautiful and seeded and planted!! Dario has a few pumpkin hills left to go, and I still have to hoe some corn and beans.  I thought you would all enjoy one photo of the pristine earth.  I am sure the plants are happy for the rain today.  I wanted you all to know the $$ you spent – every one – is in the ground.  Good investment. 😊

So now we water and wait and weed.  The 3 “W’s” of summer!

Weeding dates are as follows:  June 3, June 24, July 8 and August 12.  Darrel is in charge June 3 (very light weeding) and June 24.     We will both be here for weeding and potluck on July 8 and August 12.   The harvest right now is parsley and rhubarb. 😉  Strawberries are popping up all over in the barrels!  And it won’t be long – a couple of weeks or so – for our radishes, spinach, lettuce crops to be just big enough to munch.

All our best,

Suzannamaria and Dario

Garden, Planting

Planting or Bust!

To all my lovely gardener enthusiasts,

Planting commences tomorrow!   I know – very short notice, but this is somewhat extraordinary circumstances this year, so I beg forgiveness.  From 12 pm to 5 or 6pm or so, I will be out there in the garden planting all the tomatoes and peppers and eggplants and seeds.  If you have time, come on over and join in for a bit.  This is the fun work.  The earth is tilled and ready to go!

Thanks to Rachel, Obeus and Patrick, the boxes were planted a couple weeks ago, and all those plant babies are popping up (peas, carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, kale) and I used eggshells to persuade the slugs to avoid the tender shoots, and lots of reflective tape to scare away those greedy birds.  The starts look good.

Weeding commences whenever you have time to pull a few.   I know weekends are best for most of you.

June 3 and June 24 are open – Darrel will be around for weeding  support.  I will be at work minding the human babies!

We will not be weeding June 17, as we have a giant sandcastle to build with the grandkids.

July 8 and August 12 will be big weeding/gardening dates with potlucks at the noonish hour.

I will keep all posted when there is harvest.  Right now you can take home rhubarb! We also have a long row of parsley that overwintered nicely.

Take care,


Garden, Planting

New Garden Planting Date

Ok garden crew -Due to events beyond control, we are scheduling a new planting day.  I actually caught Darrel out weeding in prep!!  Of course he believes in power tools and tractors for all jobs – I’ll let you use your imagination…

Planting date:   May 17th Wednesday

Hope to see some of you there.  I know it’s a weekday, but weekends are booked, so I’m really sorry about that.

Take care all and hope you’ve enjoyed some of this sunshine.  I know our bees have!

Suzannamaria and Dario


Alert: Planting Day Reschedule

Hey there Co-op Members

We have a bit of a family situation that has come up.  Due to a fire in Bud’s (her dad) garage last evening, Suzanne will be in Lebanon though this weekend helping with insurance, birds, and Bud.  Fortunately, Bud is just fine (very grumpy, but fine) but he has no water, electricity or heat, and the house has some smoke damage.  The family seems to be rallying well to get Bud through all of this.
As for our Planting Day, it does present a problem or two.  Due to the very wet spring, we have not been able to get any prep work done and the ground is not quite ready for rototilling.  I’ve also got some barn prep (doors coming Monday) and two very large piles of rock I have to get distributed around because doors are coming Monday.  I think this is the first time we’ve ever had to reschedule a work day but Suzanne and I have discussed it at length and think it is best.  Stay tuned to these email posts and/or collinadimela.com for a new date.
Garden, Planting

Fun times watching the garden not dry out.

Greetings fellow garden enthusiasts!

This Saturday we are adjusting the gardening plans due to inclement weather.  Darrel and I will be outside working during the morning hours if it’s not pouring down rain.  The work we can do is more organization, weed removal, and gentle moving of the earth.  We would still love your help, but I’m afraid planting anything will be quite limited.  This year the majority of planting needs to be delaying until the earth warms up and dries up a bit.  Stay posted for those dates.  Meanwhile, I’ll pick up the plants and store them in the geenhouse.

Mother Nature is teaching us patience!


Garden, Planting

Planting Day Plans

Hello Co-op members and those who are considering!

It has been a long, rainy, drizzly, cloudy, mushy winter and early spring.  How the earth will dry out in time for May, well only time will tell.  We are going to work on earth prep and plant what we can on May 6.  I will buy all the seeds and plants, and have them ready for your depositing into our collective earth.   We may need to hold the tomato plants, eggplants and peppers hostage in the green house for a bit – I don’t think the earth will be warm enough.  I’ll commit to watering and not killing the green house plantings.  We’ll schedule another planting day to follow up as needed.

Bring you mucklucks (boots), shovels, hoes, and whatever tools/clothes you prefer to scrape some weeds and dig up the dirt.  We will get the thing planted!

If you have something unique and unusual you’d like to plant, bring it along.  We’ll find a spot.

Oh, the bees are settling in nicely, and flying out of the hives when the sun peeks out.  We saw both queens when we installed the nucs last Saturday!  They are dotted with yellow paint, so our new beekeeper eyes were able to spot them!

Pot Luck  Lunch of course.

Also – if I missed someone, please let me know.  I think I’m missing a couple of email addresses.

Happy Easter weekend!
Suzannamaria and Dario


Snow Flakes and Moth Traps

Hello all co-op enthusiasts!

We have 5 inches of snow up here today, right now.  Just thought I’d share that!

Also, for those of you itching to do a little more garden and orchard prep, I’m throwing March 18 out there as a day to help mix and hang moth traps in the trees (think bananas, vinegar and a lot of molasses), scratch at the raised beds a bit, and poke in some seeds.  If the day is somewhat dry, we may also prune back the marionberries, which need it desperately.   I will cancel if there is snow.  Good grief!

Darrel and I will be working at the projects off and on that day – very casual type of arrangement.  You are welcome to join us if you have a bit of time!

Carla – broken arms get you out of all work. J



An Emotional Extortion Exercise

“So are you celebrating Valentine’s Day or are you not a believer?” asked Naomi with a somewhat smirky smile.  I sat down on the bench and smirked back “You mean emotional extortion day?”  Naomi laughed as she slid a weight onto the end of the barbell.  

“So you’re not a believer then!”  she said as the weight clanked into position…

“No I suppose I’m not… mostly because it’s silly to single out a day just to sell cards and flowers”

“So you are a romantic – I knew it!” Naomi quipped.

“Yea, I can do romantic but Valentine’s Day seems superfluous”  I grabbed the barbell and lowered the weight down to my chest.

Naomi walked around the barbell; “Well, I’ve never gotten a romantic Valentine card… I mean, I have gotten cards and flowers before” she said as she moved in to spot me.  Grimacing I started to press the weight up.  “…it’s just that they were from weirdos”

Suddenly, I lost my concentration and started laughing about the weirdos; entirely at Naomi’s expense I might add.  The barbell instantly came back down on my buckling arms, impacting my chest abruptly; knocking most of the wind out of my har de har har.  I laid there spitting up muffled little chucklets of laughter, while my eyes bugged out; the veins in my neck were popping out hard enough to bounce a quarter off. Naomi quickly grabbed the barbell and helped me get it back up on the rack; she too was laughing and she quickly apologized for not spotting me close enough.

“No, I’m sorry for laughing but you’re young; you’ve got time to find a guy who will treat you right… and he won’t need a silly holiday for the hint.  He’ll do it because he wants to.” I grunted as I attempted to lift the weights back down to my chest again.  She kept her hands on the barbell as a precaution and then asked…

“So how long have you and your wife been married?”

Again, Naomi’s timing was perfect; catching me midway in my bench press… “Comon, you should know this” she smirked… I put the weight on the rack and asked “What year is this?”.  A very shallow and obvious attempt at stalling… she snipped “You seem to have lost count of your reps too cuz you’re not done yet”.  I pretended not to notice her comment and continued… “2017, would beee coming up on… 38 years”

Naomi’s eyes got wider… “Really? How old were you when you met?”

“Umm, Suzanne was 15 and I had just turned 17.”

“That’s just incredible” she said.  

She motioned for me to continue my bench press as I asked “You mean to tell me you haven’t had a nice young man give you flowers?”  

“Well my last boyfriend gave me a card the first year we were together but he stopped doing that kind of thing after a while.”

I continued to do my reps as I grunted advice; it wasn’t pretty and I should have known better but I kept on blabbing… “That’s the thing right there Naomie.. [Ughhh].  We should do these things because we want to.  [Ughhh], Not because we think we have to; [Ughh] especially because it’s some commercialized date”  

Now I was barely able to press the weight; I realized my arms were shaking like a California quake… “Wait, how many reps have I done?”

“You passed 10 of them a little bit ago”

“Why didn’t you stop me?” I protested, as I slid the weights back onto the rack.

Naomie smiled… “You seemed like you were doing it because you wanted too”

She chuckled a bit and then, turned and started walking… “Follow me.  We’re going to do some core”  She lead me over to the mats and grabbed a small medicine ball for me to do stomach crunches as I tossed the ball to her and she tossed it back.

As the ball knocked me backwards into the mat she asked “So what are you going to do today since you’re all emotionally extorted and stuff?”

I grimaced as I sat up and tossed the ball back to her… “I don’t know – probably get some flowers and take my wife to dinner”

“You are a romantic”

“I’m not stupid either” I said as I tossed the ball a bit briskly back to her.

She caught it and the gave me a look as she announced…  “Alright, screw the ball”

Suddenly I was faced with a dilemma.  I could have just replied “Ok” and then got up and listened to what’s next quietly.  That’s not what I did.  Before I knew it I replied wistfully… “Well I don’t know what to say.”

Now my timing was perfect.  Naomie, was on the floor in a planking position, about to demonstrate a perfectly good planking torture for me to try.   I said “I can’t remember the last time a nice young lady has suggested something like that to me on Valentine’s Day”.  Suddenly she was trying not to laugh, but her arms gave out and the laughter came; and she turned beet red in the process.

“I’m sorry” I said, as she laughed face first into the carpet.  

Naomie’s answer was muffled… “You’re fine, you’re good… I just need a moment”.  

Naomie made me do so many of those one handed, one legged, planking things (I’m sure there is some evil spell required to actually do them right) that I could hardly hold on to the flowers at the check stand that evening.



Thoughts on the Swing