Monday, January 30, 2012
We have recently moved away from our original, tiny town homestead onto a larger lot in a smaller town! Whew- that was a mouthful! Let's hear it for the run-on sentence!
Our yard here is H-U-G-E! We actually have space to divide the yard into a garden/ chicken/ bee yard and a living/ playing space. I can't even believe that! This is an excited girl!
There are going to be some new challenges for me in this space. I am used to gardening in clay soil and my new yard looks like the beach. The soil here is so sandy. Most of my gardening dollars this year are going to be spent on building up the nutrient poor soil. Soil health is the single most important thing in the health of the garden. About 10 years ago my dad gave me Howard Garrett's (the Dirt Doctor) book and it has been the single most important gardening book I have ever read. Only because at that time, I hadn't put much thought into the soil.
This weekend I had the chance to start some seeds in my fancy leftover egg cartons. Like I said, my money this year needs to go towards healthy soil, so I determined to use seeds I already had on hand, and "seed trays" that were cheap and easy to come by.
I planted seeds and jotted them down in my gardening journal, along with the date and soil type.
So far I have planted:
tomatillo verde (2 plants)
striped Roma tomato (3)
Mary Robinson's German Bi-color tomato (2)
Purple Russian tomato (2)
Dad's Sunset tomato (1)
Turkish orange eggplant (1)
Thai yellow egg eggplant (1)
Florida Market eggplant (1)
Rotunda Bianca eggplant (1)
purple jalapeno (1)
Tam jalapeno (1)
Pasilla Bajio hot pepper (1)
green bell pepper (2) - seeds I saved from last year
banana pepper (2)
I need to procure some early girl tomato seeds and a cherry tomato seed and I think I'll be set in the tomato department. I'd also love some red and yellow bell peppers. Those are Moonpie's favorite. I may even have to pay the dollar to get some. Sound the trumpets.
And would you look at this? My new house has window sills to put seeds on! Oh, that makes my heart happy!
Some gardening links:
USDA hardiness zone You must start here! The USDA has released a new hardiness zone map. I'm 8b now. Who knew? (thanks to Root Simple for this information)
Sprout Robot This is a great tool (shared by my buddy Heather)! You can type in your zip code and they will email you about which seeds to start and when to start them. They even have additional tips next to each plant if you need it. This is a great resource! Thanks Heather!
Square foot gardening If you live in a small space, or just want to start small, this a great resource. In our last home, this book was my go to guide.
Baker Creek Seeds
Have you gotten your hands dirty yet? What have you started?
Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
...It's a dreamy kind of morning
The day started with rain
and the rain continues
Moonpie is on the couch reading
Buddy is in his room quietly playing
and I'm dreaming of a spring garden...
in the meantime, I have a new cleaning recipe to share with you. I usually am a vinegar and water kind of gal, but I threw caution to the wind this week and came up with something I rather like. I hope you do too!
Herban Homestead All-purpose cleaner
(based on a recipe found in Green Clean by Hunter and Halpin)
2 C hot water
1 tsp borax
1 tbsp Dr. Bronner's castile soap
1/8 C white vinegar
5 drops rosemary essential oil (EO)
10 drops lemon EO
2 drops tea tree EO
using a funnel, pour into spray bottle
This cleaner has better surfactants than my typical vinegar and water. And it smells great!
Monday, January 23, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Know what I love even more than getting flowers from my husband? My little girl getting flowers from my husband.
Moonpie has been wanting some extra daddy time lately, so this morning he asked her to go on a date with him. He came home from work with a bouquet of daisies wrapped in pink paper and a purple ribbon. I wish you could have seen the shine in her eyes when he handed them to her.
She put on a dress, we fixed her hair, and they were off.
John and I have worked with teenagers for about 17 years now. Here is one thing I have learned over that course of time- if a little girl doesn't feel special to her daddy, she is going to look for it elsewhere. If the first time she ever gets dressed up and has a man tell her that she is a knock-out is when she is on her way to the prom, you better believe that trouble will ensue.
Moonpie hears that she is beautiful about one million times a day. You'd think her name was "Beauty" because that is what she is called most of the time. Tonight, when she was in her dress, with her hair neatly combed and her lip gloss on just right, she walked up to our bedroom door and knocked on it to let her daddy know she was ready. He opened it and saw her sweet little face beaming up at him. His eyes lit up as he told her "wow! You look so beautiful!". That child's face shone like the moon reflecting the sun.
She knew it.
She knew she was beautiful because her daddy told her so.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
On new year's day we hauled our Christmas tree out back and began setting it up for the birds and squirrels. I had some fruit from a couple of fruit baskets we received that was past its prime, so I sliced it up and dehydrated it over night.
Buddy poked holes and Moonpie slid the strings into place. I marveled at the sunshine coming through the dried orange slices.
After we had our fruit ornaments ready, we hung them on the tree. The kids made up new words to "Oh Christmas Tree" as we decorated!
We have decided that we will continue to add to the tree as the days go by. Next on the list is a popcorn garland and some peanut butter and seed pine cones.
This was such a fun way to begin our new year; taking care of our new neighbors in our backyard!
We saw a robin red breast for the first time yesterday. He ( Moonpie grabbed the bird book to determine his sex ) was quickly run off by a territorial blue jay, but for that brief moment, we were pretty excited!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
|photo credit: moonpie|
you may be wondering "do you always dress like a 3 year old girl?"
the answer is "no, usually I dress like a 3 year old boy"
Cracking the creaky out of my fingers.
Trying to get my mind to settle on one thought.
And waiting to see what happens...
There is so much to tell you-
our new home
our new yard
my thoughts for the new year
near foster/ adoption placements
some refining that is taking place
Thanks for sticking with me these past months as I've sat quietly. Thank you for your emails "just checking in" to see if I'm still breathing.
I'm entering this new year of blogging with a realization that there is nothing new under the sun. Nothing that can dazzle. But the sharing of ideas, the reminders, the encouragement- these are all good things. And I'm thankful to be a part of it.