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Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

morning-chick Good Morning!

This is my new screen saver – Rosey!  She is growing right along and definitely has a different personality than the other two chicks;  I wonder if chicks have unique personalities like people do … we will see.

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They have become quite a bit more chirpy the past few days and at times they have stare downs with each other.  They will even chase or run at each other – time for more room maybe.  This weekend we  (we I will be helping) and taking notes and pictures for a blog post – “The Coop that Stan built” !

The seedlings are growing right along also …

seedlings-3-24-09

You can see a list of everything I hope to grow this year and I am still trying to figure out what to plant at which location.  I did cut my first batch of parsley yesterday and added some to my salad – what a fresh zippy flavor!

parsley

And yes, the crocus are blooming !

crocus-in-bloom

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This is a slide show I created last year and shows some of the seedlings that I started and grew and this reminds me I need to do the same for this year….  Slide show    Make sure to watch the original view and turn up your speakers!

Something that came to mind as I was looking back at my notes and pictures from last year was a simple reality that alot of folks are intimated by gardening and hesitate just because they have never gardened before and…… there is so much different information out there it can be confusing.  So I thought I would help by suggesting a few plants to grow for the first time gardener.  These were easy for me to grow and gave me inspiration and a desire to try other plants!  A few herbs that work well are Basil, Dill, Cilantro and Borage.  Marigold and Zinnia are great flowers to add to a border or include them in your garden as companion plants.  The vegetable plants I suggest are Spinach, Pepper, Tomato, Squash and Cucumber.

Dig up an area that receives a good amount of sunshine during the day and make sure to keep your new garden watered.  As you experiment with growing you will look into different varieties that interest you and those that  you enjoy cooking with.  You will also find yourself searching out more and more information on soil, preserving and techniques that you want to try.  Start out simple in the beginning …

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Just recently I was invited to join Twitter and since I had heard some talk about it, I decided to register and give it a try.  You don’t have to be invited to join; you can just go to the website and look around and join if you decide.  Well, I think it is COOL and it’s only been a few days for me.  There is Followers and Following – you can Follow people and when they make an update to their Twitter account about what they are doing, you see it and can go check out a blog post or website if they include the link.  Some posts just advise what they are currently doing – like weeding their garden or starting seeds or even eating breakfast.  Then people can Follow you if they want to see what you are up to.  I found this link to Organic Gardening back issues of the magazine that you can actually just read on-line.  I haven’t had time to read any of them yet, but how neat is that?!?!  I am also following FarmFoody.org who connects folks with local farmers; seems similar to Local Harvest.  I know I will be following a lot more folks who garden and I hope I can share with them some of my gardening experiences.  I only have 3 updates on my Twitter account right now (an update is when you type in what you are doing).  So today I said I was Drying Strawberries and ….  <–the link to my Twitter account.

I made Trail Mix with the dried strawberries and cantaloupe.  Just added almonds, raisins, cheerios and a few chocolate chips. 

trail-mix

homemade-trail-mix

Update found on Twitter http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6961929

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spring-arriving-2009 Our trip down South this past weekend was Great … signs of spring were starting to surface!  We attended The Midwestern Herb & Garden Show in Mt. Vernon and listened to Roger Swain “the man with the red suspenders” speak on community gardening.  There were vendors throughout the mall and my greatest purchase was Hollyhock seeds for $1.00 – I have a ton of them!  I also gathered Hibiscus seed off two of our own plants and now have plenty of them also.  I have received all my seeds that I ordered and updated the lists across the top of the blog here for the coming season (all except the flowers) … I have added grains as well.  I have the layout for the herb garden planned and next to it the strawberry plants will find a home (I ordered 75 Junebearers so this should be a fun challenge in June!  I received my issue of GRIT magazine while I was away and discovered my photo of “Bee on Borage” featured on page 7.  I will be setting up my account over there to include the CU.Grit.com feature where I can post some more great photos.  If there are any good bloggers and/or photographers out there … check out GRIT.com – they are wonderful folks to work with!  Actually, everyone should check it out … it’s a spectacular website and magazine!  I posted on my blog about the window overlooking the lake – the window valance with woodburned designs is a project I am currently working on …well, here’s a shot of the view with Frankie the dog checking out the sunrise!

frankie-watching-the-sun-rise It’s dark, I know, but I did that on purpose to show the outside colors.  The valance will be 10 ft. across so it’s a Project and I hope it comes out really neat!

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I am interested in growing grains this year and spotted wheat and flaxseed in the bulk section of the grocery store so I just had to buy some and plant them. It only took 3 days for the sprouts to spring up and after 2 weeks this is what they look like – wheat in the back, flaxseed in the front.

wheat-and-flaxseed

Although we have snow piled up outside (along with a whole lot of other folks in the country) I was pleasantly surprised to see the marigold plants starting to bloom!

marigolds-ready-to-bloom

The Amaryllis is ready to bloom and Frankie the dog just had to get his hound nose in on the picture … that nose sniffs everything!!!

amaryllis-ready-to-bloom  hound-nose-smelling-flower-bud

I am working diligently on my quilt and I posted on my GRIT blog along with pictures … check it out when you have the time – the whole website has alot of valuable information!

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From the title of this post it appears I am going backwards in time, back to the basics and … I am!  I have been researching grains to grow this season in my garden and I am surprised there isn’t more information out there, but then again our world has become so modernized that most folks don’t grow their own grains or need to make their own quilts to stay warm.  In reading up on quilting there was some history touched upon and Quilting Bees used to be the big social event!  Can you imagine??  Most everyone was busy working in some form, cutting logs, baking bread… survival – and the quilting bee was a time to gather and the women would sew and chat, and then there was dining and dancing – everyone dressed to the max for these events.  I would probably dig it, but I bet I am the only one in this family who would!  So although making a quilt looks like ALOT of work I am going to attempt to make one … I think it would be so neat and since I can’t be out gardening in this negative degree wintry weather, I might as well make something to keep us Warm!  I did post several facts about Growing Amaranth Grains on the forum under Grains and it appears to be an easy grain to grow.  I will be researching other grains and hope to grow them as well.  It seems our hard working ancestors have plenty to teach us about the basics in life and with the present state of our economy, I am betting many folks will benefit from this information.  I know I will be growing alot more food for my family this year, all my seeds are already ordered and my research continues! 

thyme-sprouts-2   Thyme seedlings I started a few days ago … along with the other herb seeds which are all sprouting up also!

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I have added a “Herbs” page to the blog and listed herbs that I know for sure I will be planting.  I received Richters 2009 herb catalog and there are a TON of herbs listed, so I am sure I will be adding to the list!  I actually planted some herbs last night indoors and they are under the grow lights.  I always start my seeds too early, but with herbs you can actually use them – they don’t get leggy like the tomatoes and peppers that beg to be planted outside (no, I haven’t started those yet).  The herbs will help me focus on eating healthier since that is one of my resolutions.  Here’s what I planted: thyme, summer savory, oregano, basil – lemon sweet dani, parsley, marjoram.  I have a sheet of plastic wrap over the containers to keep the moisture in since that seems to be one of the biggest problems growing at this time of year; the soil dries out very quickly with the dry air in the house.  I will keep the plastic on as long as possible but watch that mold doesn’t start to grow.  I will be sending my seed order off to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds today – what a spectacular catalog they have this year … it’s Beautiful!

I also added a Recipe page to my website and hope to post those healthy recipes I come up with.  Researching grains is one of my newest ambitions and I actually bought Buckwheat pancake mix today to see what it tastes like.  I did grow buckwheat as a companion crop last year and it grows very easily – so I may be growing a whole lot more to harvest for eating.  To those who are receiving the Luffa seeds I plan on posting to the forum some information on growing them (there is a blog post here also; search Luffa).  I added a calendar function to the forum also so we can add events going on around us that others may be interested in.

Looks like 2009 is shaping up just dandy!  Happy New Year!

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