A Garden Amongst The Weeds

A Garden Amongst The Weeds

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Becoming more Self Sufficient

Here in our Garden Amongst the Weeds, it's still too cold to play outside. A chilly 46 degrees with rain and snow on the way. As much as I'd like to protest, this is pretty typical for our climate. So for now we wait and plan. Luckily, I have some very good friends that understand and share my passion for good, home grown food, the exchange of knowledge, seed, the beauty and practicality of good quality hand made goods.
Thank you Sandy Merrill, for the beautiful hand made pot holders, the lovely fennel seed and the awesome magazines! I have been pouring over them and drinking in so many good ideas, sound homesteading practices and dreaming of the growing season!

Do you like to trade and barter? We have a little online gardening group that we spend a great deal of time on, sharing ideas, seeds, supporting each other, sharing pictures and stories of family and our gardening experiences and in general, just learning all we can from each other. We debate and talk over plans and work on ideas of  ways to keep genetically modified seed out of our lives. This seems to be the biggest challenge.
We've been changing our diets and watching labels closely

Hunting everywhere for good, quality organic foods

Buying only pure, unadulterated foods.
GMO has become the new 4- letter word... Genetically Modified Organisms are in so much of our food supply it's sickening. In the name of greed, companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical genetically modify seed to withstand high doses of toxic weed killers. This in turn contaminates our food supply, the water supply and the soil itself. None of this is government regulated, none has been tested and found to be safe and yet the USDA pushes it right on through and feeds it to a population of unwitting guinea pigs. (Us) I have a serious problem with that. All of this talk of poisoned, tainted seed is daunting but one thing you can do is buy and trade only heirloom seed. This can be harvested and stored year after year to plant your future gardens with.  

 I spend a lot of time with baskets like this one.
One for veggies and another for flowers
This year we plan on several gardens. Everywhere there have been flowerbeds in the past, will be filled with a variety of flowers and vegetables. Kind of my own take on companion planting.

We have so many seedlings in the kitchen that it's hard to find room to turn around. Come on spring! We are ready!!!

We also plan to have turkeys. And we have a due date! April 20th! We are really looking forward to this growing season!
Doesn't look like much, but this will be the 'nursery'. It turns out that turkey poults when scared or cold, huddle. This is deadly for the turkeys on the bottom and so, they recommend that you use a container with round sides, so they can't pile up in corners. We will be adding lights for heat and some type of hay or litter for the bottom.
Super excited!

Wishing you warm thoughts on this blustery 'spring ' day...

For now, we'll keep the home fires burning and keep all of these babies warm and snug!

May your garden plans grow into beautiful fruition!

Ta Ta For Now, 
As Always, Happy Gardening!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cabin Fever

Sometimes you just have to forgive yourself and move on. It can be a liberating experience. I myself, am a gardening addict. I tried the other day to go for an hour without uttering a single sentence about gardening and found that I could do it, simply by keeping my mouth shut but keeping the voices in my head quiet, was another thing entirely. I kept myself busy with inside chores like dishes and laundry but both of those things occur in my kitchen.
Where the walls look like this!

The voices all seem to chime in and wait, (impatiently) and worry, (obsessively) and wonder, (constantly) whether or not we'll have a long enough, mild enough growing season, or if we will be infested by grasshoppers again or rather or not we'll have snow in June!


This has been a really long winter, we really haven't had that much snow but I'm beginning to feel like the 'pause' button is stuck. Living high in the mountains as we do, the growing season is short anyway and so, leaning toward my optimistic side, I decided to put that to my advantage this year and have spent the cold months reading anything I could find on perma-culture, gardening, seed swapping, seed preservation and animal husbandry. I am very excited at the prospect of raising turkeys this season. I even have a due date! Our local (ish) Pellet Mill will have turkeys in on April 20th. I haven't yet found out store hours but you can bet I won't miss the date! This is a long anticipated venture that we hope to use as a secret weapon against marauding grasshoppers.

Know your enemy

This time of year is dedicated to staring out the window alot and making huge plans of how to make my gardens bigger, better, more productive.

Seedlings are popping up all over while we eagerly await warmer weather

We've given up moving very much in the kitchen as all possible space is filled with scenes like this one.
And spend down time converting things into bird feeders, like this one.

And this one
And that one.
Only a few more days til the official declaration of spring!
I sure hope old momma nature is listening, 
cause I sure am ready!

Happy Gardening!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gearing up for Spring

The weather has been surly and unpredictable. Mid February was sunny and nice. Even got to play in the soil a little bit.
We've had lots of birds all winter.

Which has prompted me to build lots of feeders, like this one!

I've been saving my pennies and planning next year's strategy
To combat against this nasty creature!
We've had help building structures
In the hopes of raising turkeys
I've been trading and saving good, organic seed
And raising critters in the house, like this special secret weapon
And these guys...
And these guys!
We've been watching the skies
And struggling through
And planning
And turning over new ground
And playing a little bit
Okay well, maybe ALOT!
But we're getting things done too.
Between storms
Literally roto-tilling ground as soon as it thaws!
I hope your winter has been snug and rapid. I'm so ready to be outside!

We have another storm coming in, and so, for now we wait and watch the lovely Mount Shasta for any signs of spring!
Ta Ta for now, and Happy Gardening Dreams!