Monday, April 28, 2008

It goes on

Well I decided to go and get the manure. It was all spread nicely on the garden. The fence is still not completed due to lack of hubby, but hopefully this week.

The weather has turned yucky again. We're back to more typical New England spring weather today. The temps are in the 50s and it is rainy, raw and yucky out. Wednesday should be rain free, so hopefully Thursday I can get all my cabbage and broccoli starts out. I also want to get seed in the ground. With a quick trip to the farm, I'll get the onion starts and potato starts in as well. It will then just be a quick 2 weeks until plantout for tomatoes and peppers. The blueberry bushes got put in the ground, but I'm still not sure if it is possible to put in the fruit trees that I want. We'll see.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What to do next?

Well here I sit trying to decide what to do next. I turned over the garden and fertilized it with organic fertilizer and compost. It just doesn't seem to be quite good enough though. There is a place not too far away that is selling composted cow manure for $3 a bag. I think 10 bags ought to do it. Then I can turn it all 1 more time and wait patiently for planting time.

We went to Lori and Al's this week hoping to get the blueberry bushes. That was until we realized that they were 20 years old and very difficult to get out of the ground. We nearly broke my shovel trying. Fortunately there was a sale at the garden center down the street and we were able to get 4 really nice bushes for the yard. We also looked at fruit trees and drooled over the varieties available. I would like to cut down 2 nearly dead trees in the back and plant some trees down there. We should be able to get 2 apples and maybe a self pollinating peach down there. It will be a few years until we get a real harvest, but that's ok. At least they'll be there.

Little Man was going to try his first sleepover at Auntie's house. I was feeling quite apprehensive, but allowed it. I headed off to my parent meeting to chat with all my friends. At about 9 I got a call saying he was throwing up. I ran home and beat them here by a few minutes surprisingly. We were up until 3:30 with him very sick. He seemed better to a small degree yesterday, but still not really eating. Daddy let him sleep with me and we slept quite well last night. This morning he woke up looking pretty grey and feeling weak. I got him some water to drink and he and Daddy are sleeping away up there still. The poor kid is sicker than I remember him being before. I'm just hoping to keep him hydrated enough to avoid the trip to the ER for fluids.

Pooh Bear and I have been cleaning and working in the garden. Hopefully we'll get the blueberries in the ground and get the cow manure turned in today. She would also like to make some brownies as well. She loves to be able to stir everything together and then put the sprinkles on top. She is such a great little helper.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Last of the potting

I got the last of the seedlings potted up. This time it was peppers, a few more herbs and some flowers. The tomatoes are really looking great. They are putting on true leaves and getting big and strong. There are also more seedlings coming up in the pots, so I'll have even more seedlings than I previously thought. Since I have more than enough people that will happily take them, its a very good thing.

I went to the LDS cannery with Lauren this weekend. It was quite an experience. We got there and started to place our order when one of the workers approached us. He asked how much we were looking for. A group from Vermont had arrived with a Ryder truck and purchased almost the whole wharehouse. We were able to get what we wanted just barely. We literally got the last of the wheat. The price was 6.25 for 25 lbs and we got 15 bags between us. He said that this would be it for the wheat because anymore wheat would be $44 per bag for the same stuff. Very scary indeed. They won't be carrying it anymore because people can't afford it. I feel that we have enough of the basics for a year now, but this needs to be ongoing. I just ordered mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to put it all away.

We have beautiful weather this week and so the last of the garden ready to go. Noah and I are just finishing school right now and then we'll be out in the dirt!

Lastly is teaching canning. I have had quite a few people ask me to teach them to can. I don't have the space here, but one of the moms has a bigger kitchen. The plan is to wait until the gardens start producing and then teach a bunch at the same time. I hope I remember to teach all the important things. It is really interesting to me that there are so many people that are getting interested in growing and putting up their own food. It is so exciting and wonderful. There is nothing better for our planet and our bodies in my not so humble opinion.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Before the Rain

I realized today that the area of the garden that is not yet prepped is really not an issue right now. The things that needed to be planted were not going over there, so it could wait until the nice weather next week.

So... Noah and I flew through school and headed outside. I was determined to get the cold weather stuff in the ground before the rain started. We went out and turned over the row closest to the front part of the fence and raked it flat. Noah helped me plant the peas along the fence. We used about 150 seeds! I can't wait for all those yummy peas to be up. They are one of our favorite veggies.

In the original section of the garden I planted spinach and swiss chard as well. Noah is all excited to try them. I'm excited that he's excited! He's really embracing the garden this year. He's been helping me to loosen the soil and plant the veggies. He actually thinks its fun, which is the whole point of all this.

Now I can relax a bit and after the rain, I'll finish prepping the rest of the garden. There won't be anymore planting for the next 3 weeks or so anyway, so plenty of time. I hope that by then we'll be seeing the peas, spinach and chard poking their heads up.

One last thing. So far the cold frame is working beautifully. The seedlings have been out there for 2 full days already and are doing really well. It was really sunny on Wed and Thurs, so I threw a sheet over them for part of day so they wouldn't get burnt. Today it is cool and cloudy, so they are fine as is. It is supposed to be cool and rainy the next 4-5 days, so we'll see.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Making Progress

It has been beautiful the last few days. The weather has actually been springlike. This will of course change tomorrow and be cold for the next week, but its nice while it lasts. I've been outside working on the garden as usual. the fence is 3/4 of the way in and the garden is almost ready for planting. I still have about 25 sq ft of sod to remove. The rest of the garden will be turned as it is planted for the most part. I had wanted to finish this week and get the peas in, but I have run out of time.

I finally got the guts to put the broccoli et al in the cold frame and so far so good. Yesterday was the first day and for much of the day I had a sheet over them so that they wouldn't get sunburnt. The same will happen today. I'm a little worried about the next several days because it will be rather chilly. The plus is that they will get more used to being outside without too much sun. It will also not freeze as far as I can tell. This is all a learning curve for me, so we'll see what happens. I just hope not to lose all my babies.

The tomatoes et all in the basement seem to be doing quite well and are growing normally. I think that they'll be about perfect sized in 5-6 weeks. I just wish I could get it a little warmer in the basement. If I had a space upstairs, I'd bring them up.

Today we're going to Myrna's house to pick up some stuff. She is having chest pains, she says and doesn't want to seek treatment. She doesn't want Lori and Stacey to get some stuff, so we have to come and get it before she dies. It all seems rather dramatic, in typical Myrna fashion. The catch is that even though we don't want this stuff and have no place to put it, she doesn't want us to sell it until she dies. We'll see about that. Rich is working an overtime shift tonight and his regular shift tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get some stuff done indoors.

Saturday will be a busy day as well. I'm going to the LDS cannery to stock up on things with Lauren in the morning. I'm really looking forward to it, I can't wait to see what is there and how much I can get. We can't can anything up yet, because they are too busy, but we'll get stocked up in the meantime. After that we have Nick's 5th birthday next door. Then we have to run to a photo shoot. Then it's off to Mom's for a dinner with the family. She says she told me that Heidi would be down, but I don't remember any such thing. At least I don't have to cook that night.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Potting up

Well after being sick all week, I'm finally feeling better. I've also overdone it, but what else is new. I woke up and promptly scrubbed the revolting bathrooms and took a shower. All the bedding and the rest of the laundry went off to the basement to be cleaned as well. I usually wash everything in cold water, but today it all went in hot. All those nasty germs had to be destroyed!

Then it was time to pot up the seedlings in the basement. I'm very happy with how things are doing so far this year. All the broccoli and cabbage got put into individual pots and placed in the window. I have WAY too many broccoli starts, so friends will be growing broccoli as well. The lettuce went into a gallon ice cream pail and in the window as well. The window is officially full. I really need to get up the nerve to put everything out in the cold frame. I'm going to try a few things out there next week when all this rain and cooler weather has gone away.

The tomatoes were next. They did super well for the most part. A few varieties haven't come up yet at all, so we'll see how they do. I already have enough tomato plants, so it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. The peppers are just starting to come up, so they haven't been potted up yet. Thyme and basil are doing well, so they were potted up. The echinacea and hostas were no shows and I just don't have room for them, so off they went to the trash.

When I took it all to the basement, I realized I didn't have enough room under the lights. This is even with the broccoli and cabbage upstairs now. I got out the aluminum foil and tented it around the plants so that the light is reflecting off and causing more light in there. I think it will also keep them warmer. This is fun!

I had to then go to Lowe's for some more peat pots. It was hard to resist buying more seeds. they all look so yummy and fun. The kids decided that we needed new bird feeders and happily each picked one out. It's pouring out today, so we won't be able to get them out for a bit. We're supposed to get a couple days of rain too.

Everytime I go outside, I realize how much needs to be done to get the garden ready to be planted. There is still some sod left to be removed and if Al doesn't come up and till in the next few weeks, I'll be turning it by hand as well. Exercise is good! The fence also needs to be completed soon as well. My goal is to get all of this done by about April 21st or so. We'll see if the weather and everyone I'm depending on work with me on this one.