Thursday, April 29, 2010

It doesn't always pay to be cheap (unfortunately)

Last year was our first year starting plants indoors and didn't go so well.  We had read so many places that "all you need is a sunny window" so we thought it would be easy!  We bought a bunch of seeds and some cheap organic potting soil and stuck them in a sunny window.  They started to grow, got their second set of leaves...then they started getting really tall, leaves started dropping off, plants died, and I cried because we had spent a lot on heirloom seeds.  All that survived were 2 types of tomatoes.  Well this year I really wanted to do it right.  We bought some shelving and a heat mat and figured that would solve our problems.  Well all of them were doing ok until they got their second set of leaves.  They stopped growing and some leaves started falling off.  They weren't leggy at least so they lighting was helping but I had once again cheaped out and bought the yucky potting soil hoping that the lighting and the heat mat would solve the problem.  I went out and bought some of the really good organic potting soil.  I transplanted all but a couple into the good stuff.  I left a couple in the cheap stuff to see what the difference would be....

uhhh...can you guess which one is in the good stuff? *sigh*

Well we learn so much each year I don't thing we will ever "know everything".  I think that is a good least it will keep us busy!  Like I have already learned that starting lettuce indoors is not worth the trouble.  The stuff I direct seeded is bigger then the stuff I started inside a monthe earlier!  Now the Kale I started indoors has done really well and is about double the size of the stuff I direct seeded.  So is the Swiss Chard.  I have also learned that seed companies use pretty generic planting instructions for the most part.  The sunflower seed packet says to wait until after all danger of frost to plant.  Well I started some inside and have been taking them outside during the day.  I have left them out all night and it has frosted 3 times and they are fine...

They seem to be doing fine.

I looked up some info and found that you can plant them earlier.  As long as they have not flowered yet and do not have a blossom they can stand temperatures all the way to 26 degrees at night.  I will be starting them outside earlier next year for sure.  Well our first market is this Saturday so I better stop writting and get some stuff done!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A video to make you think...

I love seeing things that make me want to do more.  This video is a great example of going the extra step...although some people would probably think it is crazy I was really inspired!  Like I really want to get our other rain barrel hooked up.  Hopefully I can get that done this week!  If you get a chance I reccomend checking out the other videos.

Friday, April 23, 2010

How we spent our Earth Day

We had a wonderful day of playing outside and working in the garden.  Great activities to remind us what the day is for.  I really do believe every day is Earth Day but I do enjoy a nice nudge in the right direction.  I believe we all get off track sometimes but yesterday was a nice reminder.

Cute little feet!

Picking dandelions for some dandelion wine.

Processing some dandelions...another pair of cute little feet!

A job well done!

I hope you all had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring activities

So we were at Lowe's looking at landscaping stuff.  We wanted some rocks to put on the borders of our flower beds but they were $3.00 each!  Well the field is full of nice big awesome looking rocks so we went out and got our own!  We wanted to get them before the farmer came through and planted corn so we did it this weekend. 

Me being supervised.


Seriously if you live in the midwest there are a TON of free rocks in fields all over the place.  Try and find a farmer who wouldn't mind you looking.  You will save a lot of money.  Maybe offer to border his/her flower beds?

Something I have grown to love with gardening is when something just grows on it's own from last year.  Our collards, being exposed to all of the element, still came back and are growing fantastically. 
Here are the collards next to the garlic.

This hardy little guy overcame the odds.  It is right in the middle of my radish patch but it made it this far so who am I to dig it up?

Also I will be staying home with the kids from now on which I am soooo excited about, but this will mean that we are going to have to cut back even more.  Our electric bill was way too much this month so I have been trying to do things to cut it back.

I am going to do my darndest not to use the dryer this spring/summer.  Drying clothes is a great way to cut down that electric bill.  You can hang them almost anywhere.  I am going to be doing all sorts of things to cut down on how much we spend.  I will keep you posted on all my little tricks!

-Mama G

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Radish sprout sandwich...

This sandwich was inspired by the French Breakfast radish.  I had to thin the radish seedlings but didn't want to just throw them out so I decided to try them on some whole grain bread with butter.  It was actually so good I made another one!

Mmmmmm!  It's all about as little waste as possible!

I also want to try pickleling radishes with some many things to do so little time!