i went down to the community garden this afternoon to transplant some seedlings: 5 mallow zebrinas, 5 lupines, 5 gazanias. these plants have been sitting out on my backyard deck for about a week now, they should be properly hardened to the weather by now. i also brought some stones to lay out a pathway but my bicycle baskets could only hold so much. before i left i sprayed the chain and all gears with WD-40. i know this practice is frowned up in the biking world as WD-40 has a tendency to collect dirt, but the chain/gears were embarrassingly rusty from riding in them all winter through the snow and the salt, it was the least i could do. once the weather is sufficiently warm, i'll take some time to give the bike a thorough degreasing and at that point i can properly oil everything again.

i planted the mallows in a row in the back of my plot, since they might grow tall and i didn't want them to potentially shade any plants. the lupines i grew in a patch on the left edge of my plot. the gazanias a row in the front. i then planted a few leftovers along the edges.

from my old plot i managed to dig out some more garlic chives and delphiniums. i also collected a few showy white flower plants which emerged from tiny bulblets. they turned out to be star-of-bethlehem flowers, which now i have assimilated into my plot. finally, i managed to rescue some milkweed as well. true to their name, they have a tendency to spread, but they're easy to dig out. it's still too cold to transplant my tomatoes/peppers/eggplants, but i heard next week will be sufficiently warm that i can finally finish planting my garden.

anne-marie was there and surprised me when she asked what i was growing. apparently she was there to meet with a city worker supervising the park construction.

elsewhere in the garden:

i left for belmont a little after 3pm to meet up with my father for our 3:30pm solar energy appointment with amergy solar. mike showed up, a tall young man from methuen. for the next hour he walked us through the solar energy process, breaking down the details and more importantly the cost. i learned a few things. for one, i thought solar electricity went into a battery to power the house and excess electricity was then sold back to the utility company. in reality, all the power gets sold back to the utility company, at a lower rate than what you'd buy from them. in return the utility company gives you back credit on your electricity bill. i also learned about the SREC program, which is a special program in some states (including massachusetts) where the utility company pays you money over the course of 10 years so they can fulfill a green energy quota imposed by the state. this program has been going on for a few years, and 2017 is already the 3rd iteration of the program. by next year the program changes and new solar energy installers won't be making back as much money. it was pretty informative, and i think my father was already sold on the idea, letting mike know we'd give him an answer in a few days, while i was more conservative and told him we'd reply by the end of next week.

i did a tiny bit of yard work (dumping out the bags of manure into the raised beds) before finally leaving around 5pm (my father left minutes before me). i hit a bit of traffic, but i was on the motorcycle so i didn't mind the extra time it took to get back home.

for dinner i heated up a small pot of leftover mexican chicken soup. the hominy was much softer than before, but still a bit hard, although at least it was edible now. i added a few slices of oaxaca cheese to make it more mexican.

karen came home sometime after 9pm (she left for work this morning at 9:30am). she had some good news: her friend paula managed to find a job at brigham's women hospital. so she won't be "deported" back to mexico after all!