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Archive for the ‘Seeds’ Category

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 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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It is rather early to start seeds for the 2009 growing season, but I get so lonely without any gardening going on and since I have all these grow racks with lights I should use them, right?!?  So I did start some Marigold seeds – the ones I am giving away free and they took about 6 days to start sprouting up (not all but a few have started).  I do remember last year when I planted the garden outside saying to myself I need to start the marigold earlier since I use them as a companion plant to attract the bees and also to ward off those bad bugs.  So when I was transplanting the marigolds outside last year they weren’t even close to flower stage, but come this spring I bet I have plenty of bright flowers blooming!

marigold-sprouts Marigold seed sprouts

I also started Spinach under the lights – this I can harvest indoors all winter long and once again these are the seeds I saved from my spring crop .. they are great growers!!

spinach Spinach seedlings – 3 days after planting!  The onion seed I saved seems to be a winner also!  The sprouts started popping up and it’s only been a week since planting.  I am figuring the onion bulb will be a nice size come spring and I hope to have a good harvest.

onion-seed-sprouts Onion seeds sprouting

I have been planting Lavender from seed and transplanted quite a bit down south and it will take another year before flowering so a thought occurred to me this past weekend.  I should take cuttings and try to root them in water and save myself a year of grow time.  Not sure it will work, but it sure is worth a try …

lavender-rooting Lavender cuttings

And so the Gardening continues ……

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I was able to organize my seeds and have 4 different varieties of peppers which I added to the website that are available for free to those who would like them.  This was my first year growing Marconi Peppers and I really liked them alot!  Once they turn completely red they are very, very sweet and delicious.  They grow 4-5″ long and I did make stuffed peppers which worked out great.  The Mini Red Peppers are small and one or two can be sliced up and added to a bowl of salad and this eliminates wrapping up extra pepper and storing in the refrigerator for another use later.  The hot peppers can be used for salsa or to add an extra kick to many dishes; omelets, soups, chili.   I did can up some jalapeno peppers this year.

canned-jalapeno-peppers

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My first luffa was fully dried and ready for peeling, so off came the outer skin to reveal the luffa sponge inside!

luffa-peeling-2

Here are the seeds that were inside this one – quite a bit!

luffa-seed-from-one-luffa Luffa seed

I worked on my first gourds and I designed a little swan … how perfect 🙂  I still need to make some feet or something so he can stand on his own.  The other larger gourd (bottle gourd) I decided to make into a vase so I cut the top off and transferred a pansy design onto it, then I woodburned it.  I will add more design and color and when it’s complete I will add it to my craft blog.   It looks pretty cool so far …

little-swan-gourd  woodburn-pansy

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I did purchase a P.O. Box for those interested in the free seeds.  Just follow the easy instructions and they will be on the way!  The reason for the P.O. Box is because you are never suppose to give out your personal info. on here and I really didn’t want to wake up to lines of folks in the front yard all waiting for seeds each morning so I opted for the post office box.  I also have to share my newest dilemma and one that is going to drive me nuts if I don’t figure out a solution.  It involves recycling.  Every time we go down South I bring back a bag or two of recycling items and toss them in our containers up here to be taken away and run through the recycling process.  I have become very, very  accustomed to my recycling way of life and I try to dispose of most garbage either in the compost bin, to the worms or the recycle container.  I got to talking to a new friend down South and she told me the landfill is almost full there and there is NO recycling.  Here I was at a bbq with new neighbors asking where to toss the recycle and they are looking at me like I am a crazy person.  Sure, I am from the other end of the state….where recycling programs have been in full force for many, many years, and I just didn’t understand the concept of “No recycling”.  So recently I spent some time searching the internet looking for the Recycle Angel that will just land in my area down South and wave a wand to create this center for recycling.  No such luck!  I read about starting programs at work or at school – which is Great, but there has to be a place for all this stuff to go and I am betting it takes millions of dollars to establish this type of operation.  I found a few nice websites where I can continue my research and please, please if anyone can steer me in the right direction, I would appreciate it greatly!

adult-baby-swan-and-heron

Here’s an updated picture of the adult swan with the baby swan and the blue heron looking on.  This is the only fully white baby swan, the other 5 babies have finally started to lose the darker feathers and it looks like they will be white also.  I did notice this one has an orange beak and the 5 others black.  Interesting!

baby-swan-11-3-08

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I have more seeds than I could possibly plant next year and I could toss them to the worms or the compost bin, but I would much rather send them off to someone who could enjoy them.  I am working out in my head how to do this, but I am thinking I would post the address on my website where people could send a SASE and then I could just put the seeds in there and send back. SASE = self addressed stamped envelope (an envelope inside the envelope you are sending with your address and postage already on it).  That way it won’t cost me anything and all it will cost the person is postage and 2 envelopes.  I am sure I can’t send anywhere like out of the country – there has to be laws about that, but within the USA should be ok.  If I start with Marigold seeds to see how this works all should go smoothly.  Envelopes at the post office go through this machine which could crush seeds so that’s why most seed companies send your order in a box or bubble wrapped envelope (these don’t visit the machine) and they arrive uncrushed.  That’s what I read on the internet and it makes sense since I have received seeds from others that were in fact “crushed” and no good.  Marigold seeds won’t crush and they are very easy to grow!

I am open to suggestions so if anyone has ideas or experience, I am all ears.  Otherwise, watch the website or my blog to see what I come up with!

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