Harvesting has begun…

Aside from lettuces and herbs, and considering we planted late, we are finally starting to get a harvest from our garden. I also notices we have tomatoes starting to ripen and a few peppers that might be big enough to toss into tonight’s salad.

What are you harvesting?  What are you looking forward to?  Let me know!  Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re
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Garden 2017

Gardening season is officially under way here @home.  Wheeee!

2017gardenweedsLast year we weren’t able to get a garden going and we left it fallow for the season. That was hard. It was the first time in many, many years I haven’t had a garden. The result from letting it go is that the garden plot is now very weedy and turning it over by hand is not going very well. We are planning to rent a big tiller this week and get it tilled.  Son is going to whack all the weeds before we till.

2017gardenraisedbedsIn the mean time, the four raised beds are planted and growing. Compost from last year was added as well as local compost to fill the beds.  I didn’t start any plants this year so I purchased tomatoes, cauliflower and onions.  Not heirloom this year but we’ll work on that for next year.  Radishes, broccoli and peas were started by our own saved seed.  Everything is doing well except the broccoli which I think is a bust.  The first bed has broccoli (well, supposed to have broccoli) and peas.  The one behind it has cauliflower and radishes.  The bed next to it has tomatoes and onions.

2017gardenlettuceThe raised bed near the house (dubbed the kitchen garden) has lettuce, garlic, spinach and carrots.  The early spinach planting is pretty much done and bolted and has been reseeded already.

The herb garden is sparse this year.  My lavender, yarrow and savory didn’t make it through the winter so I will need to plant new.  I’m not sure why because our winter was actually fairly mild as a whole.  Chives are going 2017gardenchivesfull blast and drawing many bees.  Hubby loves having them in salads.  We had a nice small harvest of asparagus this year and we are hoping for a bigger one next year.

Lastly, the strawberries are looking great. This bed is badly in need of a good weeding, but the strawberries don’t seem to mind. I’ll need to cover these with bird netting because the local birds (as well as our own chickens) will gobble them up once they start ripening.

2017gardenstrawberriesJust a small update for now.  I’d love to hear about your garden this year whether it is a big farm garden or a small patio container garden.  You can leave a comment or link to your own blog post.

Until next time…live simply and love abundantly!

Ann’Re

Seed Starting 2016

seedlingsEven though my garden is buried under snow, in my mind it’s spring!   It’s time to make garden plans, order and start seeds.  This year I am excited because I am starting more of my own seeds and ordering less.

I had also hoped to make my own seed starting mix, but I wasn’t able to get what I needed.  I used a basic seed starting mix that I already had…non organic, but it was only peat moss, vermiculite and bark fines.  I’m trying to get away from using peat.  I added the last bit of coconut coir that I had on hand.  I can’t find a good source around me so I’m going to have to find a good source online.  Do you make your own seed starting mix or do you buy it?  If you buy it, what kind do you buy?

I had picked up a few trays on clearance from our local big box hardware store.  Well, not really local as most shopping is at least a 30 minute drive.  I love finding these kind of deals.  The plastic trays that I already had were old and starting to crack.  I also picked up some cheap dixie cups.  These are great for starting seeds.

160209plantlights1160209plantlights2I don’t have any specific grow lights or plant lights.  I just use regular bulbs that say full spectrum or daylight that run over 5000 K in cool light appearance.  The ones I have right now are 6500 K and 100 watt.  While I HATE fluorescent bulbs, these are the most cost effective (LED’s are still very expensive) and work work well for me in this tiny green house.  I also have two small fluorescent tube lights that used to be in our kitchen.

So far most of the seeds I have started are all my own seeds from last year.  Roma, Marglobe and Black Krim tomatoes, pablano peppers, white onions, red romaine lettuce, and slobolt lettuce.  I planted some cabbage, spinach and kale from seeds I bought last year, but just to be safe I will be ordering more.  I also planted some celery seeds I got last year but they have yet to germinate.   I have to buy bell and banana pepper seeds yet.  I also have some hot pepper seeds that I have been growing for years now.  I don’t know the name of the pepper but they seem to be Tabasco peppers from what I could find.  They are one of hubby’s favorites for making hot pepper flakes.

That is it for now.  I’d love to hear what your garden plans are for this year and what seeds you’ll be starting or have already started.  Until next time…grace and peace!

Springing Into The Garden

Been a while since I posted an update. I’ll be getting back to writing more frequently now that I’m feeling better.

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Chives are blooming in the herb garden.

Usually I have the garden all prepped and mostly planted by now, but I haven’t been up to it this year. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do a garden. I didn’t seeds and didn’t even crack open the seed catalogs.

As the weather warmed up I did get out to clean things up a bit, pulled the weeds from the herb garden, and that lead to prepping the lettuce bed and getting that ready for planting the beginning of May. I still wasn’t sure if I was going to work the big garden.

Hubby and I were discussing the garden and he was all right with letting it go this year.  As we were talking we decided to start converting it to raised beds.  I figured now would be a good time to start, nothing has been planted yet. So we are in the process of planning out some raised beds. Hubby and son will build the first one this weekend.

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Weeds, weeds, weeds!

In the mean time, I started working around in the other half of the garden. The weeds were up to my knees. Before I knew it I was hand spading the garden and planting onion sets.

We don’t own a tiller.  We found that it was more cost effective for us to rent a good tiller from the local rental center than it was to buy one.  But since we hadn’t done that yet, I thought I’d get the head start with hand spading.  If the soil has been worked before, it really isn’t that hard to do.  And I think I may have burned a few calories!  And I noticed there are lots of worms in our garden.

Using a shovel to hand spade the garden.

Using a shovel to hand spade the garden.

As I’ve been going along forcing myself to get things done, I find I’m feeling better and excited about the garden this year.  Must be the dirt and sunshine.  I won’t have a whole heirloom garden, but at least we’ll be growing our own food.

I’d love to hear from you about how your garden is going this year.

Grace and peace!
Ann’Re – Mama @ Home