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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

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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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I grew flowers in the garden last season with the goal in mind to dry them and use them in flower arrangements.  I scanned many catalogs and online references looking for the right flowers to grow.  I succeeded with some and didn’t with others.  The flowers that I found really easy to grow, dry and arrange were Globe Amaranth, Yarrow, Autumn Joy Sedum, Statice, Strawflowers and Zinnia.  There were a few others like baby’s breath, larkspur and blanket flowers that also worked but I didn’t end up with alot of them.  I bundled up all my dried flowers and took them down south with me this weekend to create some arrangements for the home there.  Most if not all of these flowers were air dried (hung upside down secured with a rubber band).  I am happy with the results and will grow more of these this year along with others ….

gardening-cup-design

wooden-basket-designmason-jar-designapple-jar-design

dried-globe-amaranth Dried Globe Amaranth … a bundle of flowers and then the wreath that was created

globe-amaranth-wreath

I will add some more design to the wreath but for the most part the flowers do most of the work in a design and everything came out pretty good I think…….finally!

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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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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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Since we have a couple inches of snow on the ground this weekend was a good time to start browsing the seed catalogs and make lists of what I plan for next season.  This past year I did notice alot more mention of the words heirloom and heritage and I wondered what the difference was between the two words and what they were all about.  This is how I interpret them = heirloom refers to seeds and plants, growing things, whereas heritage refers to breeds of animals.  Heirloom seeds and Heritage animals.  These are from our ancestors and some are on the verge of extinction.  Many growers have opted for fast producing, mass production varieties and have forgotten about the slower growing, more flavorful and disease resistant types….both with plants and animals.  I am no expert on this subject (yet) – that’s why I do enjoy researching so much, anyways…..I decided that our place down south will grow both Heirloom plants and raise Heritage animals.  The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a great site that lists heritage animals and where they rate as far as extinction status and I will be starting with chickens and quite possibly the guinea hogs.  I have my heirloom seeds all picked out (many I have grown in the past) and I really am excited about this!  I also created (just yesterday) a Garden Forum board that I hope others will join and share their experiences and this way we can all learn more.  I will be working on that and I am open for Topic suggestions, so please do suggest!  I mentioned in my craft blog that we have been shopping the local Goodwill stores for treasures and after this weekend I think I see a theme.

mug-and-gravy-boat

rooster-mug-and-gravy-boat  chicken-gravy-boat

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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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