Monday, March 30, 2009

Our new additions

Red and Oreo are the new additions to our family. Red is bigger and friendlier then Oreo ( we think Red is maybe a week older then Oreo)but we are excited about having them here. The kids love having to feed them milk and "train" them.
They are drinking there milk from a bucket so that helps. No need for a bottle, although I did get one just in case. But they are drinking their milk great from the bucket.
Hope to get some better photos of them tomorrow.

postponing the posts

Sorry for so much time between posts but things are getting really busy around here. As the following posts will show - just how busy we have become.

First, last Sunday we decided to take the kids fishing. They all had a great time although we didn't catch any fish. We ended up at the creek, skipping rocks and having a blast here are some photos of our day.
The boys enjoyed catching frogs and crawl dads while I enjoyed searching and watching the minnows in the water.

Back at home there are tons of bees on the flowering trees. So nice to see so many of them so soon.

The onions are growing in the raised beds as well as the peas. I seeded the carrot and radish bed the other day and they should be sprouting soon also.

New strawberry beds are awaiting the arrival of the plants. They should be here any day now, as well as the new fruit trees and our potato seeds. The potatoes are going to be very late. Oh well they will get planted when they arrive!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What are you doing...

On March 28Th 2009? Will your lights be on? In case you are wondering what I am talking about let me explain. March 28Th at 8:30 pm you can turn your lights out for one hour to vote for Earth and against global warming! Its one hour, will your lights be on? Please click the sign to sign up or find out more! We have 4 days!!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekend Things to do

This is the first weekend of Spring!!!! With that said theres lots to be done. ( check out list below) The weather is actually nice but not hot to ease us into the spring of things ( pun intended). We are eager about getting lots of things started in the raised beds as well as starting new tomato plants in the seed trays.
New tomatoes- As if 6 varieties were just not enough my mom and I attended a heirloom seed workshop last night and received 7 seed packets each which in turn made the grand total of 14 new varieties. hmmmmmm Now where are they going to go? Not sure but plan to grow at least 2 of each just to see how we like them. So now this weekend I plan to seed the following tomato seeds:
Old Virgina
Yellow pear
Great white
Golden Cal Wonder
Verna Orange
Uncle Mark Bagby
Black Krim
Black plum ( I have 2 packs of these)
Grace Lahman

Also have the following new pepper seeds:
Red cheese pepper
Emerald Giant
Hungarian Wax

I am still needing to research a few of these. The workshop was very nice to partake in although I did not learn much more then I already know. Built was really nice to know that others seed start, plant, transplant, make newspaper pots the same as I do.
With all that said below is the list of things that I need to do this weekend:
Prep herb garden area
Peg down strawberry bed frames
Clean around birdbath garden
Plant more peas
Clean out pond
Clean up mint around pond
Clean out shed

With all that said ( sigh) Have a great productive first weekend of Spring!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Small veggies seeds

With Spring upon us I have been itching to get into the garden nd raised beds. With lots of planning still yet to be done we were able to get alot done this past day or so. The garden has been tilled and 15 foot added to make up for the extra veggies being planted this year. The last raised bed for the year was filled yesterday for the carrots. I also made a guide for the seeding of the small seeds. I hate wasting so every seed I have to "thin" out seems to be a waste for me. So this year trying to avoid the "thinning" process I made a template last night.

This is the template I made from cardboard. I made a grid on it so the carrots would have enough space between each other so the thinning would be none existing. Each hole will have 1-2 seeds in and after all 35 holes have seeds simply pick up and move to another part in the bed. This way the kids can also help seed the carrots.
This template can seed 35 seeds at once perfectly spaced.

Will keep you updated on the process. Happy gardening.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Our youngest son

Our youngest son brought a cabbage plant home the other day from school. He is very excited to have it and watch it grow. He has always been excited about growing there our "kids garden". All the kids in the class received the cabbage plants to bring home and plant. Then before the Sept. deadline take a photo of the head of the cabbage and one student from each state could win a scholarship. I was pleased that his teacher is getting them into gardening. With the hard time so many are facing its time to get back to the basics.
He has decided to plant it tomorrow, although has not yet decided where. The kids' garden is very wet right now but with any luck it will be dryer before they get home from school.
He has been watering it and talking to it since he brought it home.
I will keep you undated on his progress with his plant.


Could it be? Spring? Well the daffodils are up and flowering and I just couldn't resist picking these and bringing them into the house. The robins are finding the best tree for there nests. The lilac bushes are budding and waiting for a bit of warmer weather before flowering. The peas have been planted. The weather is getting warmer every day.

The tomatoes are coming up and look very happy to be alive again this year. We have planted several varieties this year including German green, Rutgers, Break Odays, Dads sunset, Mama Leone. The cabbage is looking very well even though they are late due to the new "lesson learned" episode earlier last month. ( Lesson learned - onions and cabbage were killed by extremely cold unexpected weather in the shed)

Tomorrow I will be going to my moms to get some cardboard - some for things - some for use in the raised bed.
All in all I am excited about the weather being warm enough to get out of the house and get my hands dirty in the rick soil that longs for plants to grow and nourish my family.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jan., Feb., March dollars

How much things cost. I hear about it all around. Wow you plant this much it must cost a fortune. Well this is why I am going to keep updates here on what I spend and what I save through the year to see just what REALLY comes out on top.

This years supplies so far:

seeds - $75

100 strawberry plants - $39

5 fruit trees - $40

utility light for growing seeds - $10

mini greenhouse to start plants early - $40

soil - $40

Total so far - $244

Yes that seems like a lot of money but I bought things gradually and I hope to get it back through harvest. Also most of the things won't need to be bought again next year if I do it right. The soil was a unexpected purchase which we thought our compost would have been ready before we needed it but it didn't get hot enough soon enough to make the compost to the dirt we needed for the many raised beds we built this year.
So when I harvest produce from our garden I will weigh it and go by the "average" price per pound for here in our state. Then I will add it all up and see how much money I have saved by growing our food instead of buying it at the local market.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ideas of my own

My biggest pet peeve in gardening is myself. I don't trust myself enough. i doubt myself more then I should. I think of a plan, I start to do it then BOOM I start thinking well maybe it won't work then I end up doing more then I should because I don't try the simpler easier plan first. I make it into this big complicated, highly involved, process that really is not necessary.
When I was younger I would help out in the garden and remember a basement full of canned goods at all times. As I grew I held on to those same traditions. When I first got married we owned chickens, goats, and rabbits. But didn't have room for the garden. When we moved to a much larger plot of land we somehow got away from the animals and concentrated more on the gardening aspect. We started with a garden area which over the years has grown into a larger garden plot and 12 raised beds. But all along the way of this I would constantly ask someone else "what should I do?" "Can you grow this here?"
After many years of not getting the answers I wanted I have decided this year to take back my garden and just do it. If I think it will work I will try it. If it works, Great. If not then I will jot it down in my gardening journal and try a different approach next year.
I know we can get more then one cucumber harvest here in our growing season. I know to make the tomato plants stronger to plant them side ways. I know to get better tomatoes and tomatoes through out the season to remove the suckers that grow between the branches. I have learned allot through the years from others and I really enjoy talking to others about there experiences. I am however going to trust my ideas also. I will try my ideas without doubting myself, more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


What do you prefer to store your bulk flour in? I prefer glass but what if I told you that I can get 5 gallon buckets for next to nothing. Yup that's right, while talking to a friend on Freedom Gardens, she mentioned I might beable to locate a bakery that will sell the empty icing buckets to me. So I did and much to my delight found on close to home. They are very low in price so I am putting my flour and sugar into these because the glass jars are so high with me just wanting to store 50 pounds of flour. This will do for now.

This is also a very great way to recycle the buckets.

Hardy Kiwi

This year we are attempting to grow new varieties of fruits and vegetables for our families needs. Our children love kiwi and could eat a half dozen a piece. So we decided to grow them. they are a little expensive to buy as a plant so we bought seeds for $4.00 and hey we will see if what we can do with them. Will they grow? Will they even germinate?

I sowed the seeds in some potting soil on January 26Th 2009 and kept the soil moist but not wet. It took a while but on Feb. 18Th we noticed a few were sprouting.

( photo taken on Feb 23rd)

As of Feb 23rd a total of 6 seeds have sprouted.

This week the hardy kiwis have been growing well and have a "true" leaf.
( photo below taken March 12Th 2009)

We are all very excited about how well they are growing. For the first time ever growing them I think we have had success so far.