Posts Tagged ‘Seed’

Renewal and New Additions

I’m planning to renew my blogging on Kittrell Country Life with vigor. It’s been a busy winter around here and I’ve hardly had a chance to slow down, but life is settling some. We’ve had some new additions to the barnyard arrive last week. My daughter and I bought four hens from Walk Ahead Farms in Youngsville. I’m looking forward to having fresh eggs again.

Chickens(Lydia, Lacewing, Rose, & Georgette)

Chickens(Lydia, Lacewing, Rose, & Georgette)

Another Picture of the Ladies

Another Picture of the Ladies

Another nice arrival this month was the snow, for the first time all winter it finally snowed more than a few flakes. It was beautiful and we were glad to make snow cream to eat, but I’m ready for spring. It’s right around the corner, less than one month now. As usual about this time of year, I have some seedlings growing in the house.¬† The top of the dryer near the back door and the kitchen window sills get good light and turn into my nurseries in the spring.

View of Snow Through Kitchen Windows

View of Snow Through Kitchen Windows

The only plants I’ve started so far are roma tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and dark beauty eggplant. I’m planning to start more real soon. In case you’re not much of a gardener and didn’t know, you can use older seed. I’ve had pretty good results, better than 50%, but it’s best to plant at least 2 or 3 seeds per spot if you’re using seed older than a couple of years as some may not sprout. Some of the seeds I used this year were four years old.

Gardening is just one small part of homesteading I do. Homesteading is a lifestyle, which involves becoming more self-sufficient. This means being able to provide more for your own needs without having to rely so much on outside sources. Usually, most of us aren’t capable of becoming fully self-sufficient, but I figure the more I’m capable of doing, the better. Just don’t look for me to start making my own nails or homemade paper any time soon. ūüôā

As I continue to learn more about homesteading, I’ll share about things as I go along. There will definitely be some recipes and links to recipes coming soon. I’ve really been doing a lot of cooking from scratch and baking. Trying to be more frugal to save money in this economy is good incentive to learn to do things for yourself you may never have done before. I’ve even become pretty adept at making homemade bread.

I have several boards on pinterest if you’d like to go take a peek. My favorites are the Gardening board and the Favorite Recipes board. Both have a lot of ideas I’d like to try and some I’ve already attempted. I try not to spend too much time on pinterest, but I do like being able to pin ideas so I can find them easily.

 

 

 

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Hopes in Midst of Rain and Changes…

English: Hopes Reservoir The water, seen from ...

English: Hopes Reservoir The water, seen from the dam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today has hopes of feeling like a good day.¬† A slow gentle rain has been falling for the last several hours.¬† Of course, don’t have to go water the garden today, but couldn’t resist going out there to see how things are progressing.¬† It’s looking nice and almost all the seeds I planted are sprouting.¬† Only saw one bit of deer mischief….they ate my four broccoli plants.¬† It’s time to get busy with my anti-deer plans.

Guess it will be one of those housework catch up days with a bit of reading and writing thrown in the mix.¬† Still reading a book I picked up the other day at the used bookstore, a book of Sylvia Plath‘s Journals.¬† Maybe I can think of something delicious to bake up.¬† Baking is always good to do on rainy days when you can’t really do much outdoors.¬† Not complaining though, we so need the rain and I wanted it for my garden.

Well in other news, my household has recently grown.  My daughter and her significant other have moved in so they can work on getting other jobs and saving up a little.  The other additions to the household include their two dogs, one of which is still a frisky little puppy.  They are almost completely done with the moving part.  Just finishing up a few odds and ends over the next couple of days.  So far, so good.

Still trying to not worry so much even though it seems like things want to start falling apart in spurts and too many changes happen at once.¬† If you are in need of an uplifting song, here’s Drinking From My Saucer by Michael Combs.¬† It’s a wonderful reminder to be grateful, which a friend shared with me.

 

 

The Plants Are Finally in The Ground!!!

The big garden was officially planted this weekend!¬† The babies I raised from seeds went into the ground finally.¬† I did pick up a few sweet bell pepper and jalapeno pepper plants at the feed store on Saturday as my bell pepper seedlings never made it.¬† They were a great price at $1.55 for 4 plants, which is less than 40 cents each.¬† I also planted seeds and can’t wait for them to come up.

The garden kind of looks straggly right now, but I have hopes it will blossom with growth in the coming months.¬† It’s an experimental garden in a way.¬† I’m playing with companion planting this year.¬† There are also going to be some flowers if all goes well.¬† The far end on the left has coneflower seeds planted and there are a couple of rows of sunflowers planted vertical to the garden on the far end.

There are still a few rows left if I think of anything else to plant in it.¬† I know I’d like to plant some more squash as I only had enough seed for a half a row and we like to freeze squash.¬† Right now I’ve been watering the garden daily in hopes of keeping the ground soft enough and the seeds moist enough to sprout.¬†¬† The garden is blessed with mostly Carolina clay.

Garden

Garden

This morning I went out for my daily watering and checking things out.¬† I love looking for any sign of new plant growth.¬† So far only spotted a couple of seeds sprouting.¬† Most of the plants look like they’ll make it and there’s only been one tomato plant fatality so far.¬† The next big challenge will be attempting to deter the deer.¬† I love deer as long as they eat everything else and leave the garden be.

Over the next couple of days I hope to put stakes, I already have, around the garden.¬† I’ll use these to put twine around and dangle pie plates from to try to scare away the deer.¬† Maybe I’ll try to tie on some bright strips of plastic too, so they’ll blow in the wind.¬† I’ve also heard you can tie bits of soap around the garden to deter deer.¬† We’ll see how it goes.

How’s your garden growing?¬† Any favorite deer deterring tips? . . .

Back to the Real World

Grass in a field.

Grass in a field. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got back home on Wednesday last week after a trip to dog sit for some friends while they were out of town.¬† Back to the real world.¬† Back to trying to sort out things.¬† My daughter did a real good job trying to look after things while I was away.¬† All of my seedling babies and the new plants in the raised bed were still living.¬† Only two very new herb seedlings didn’t manage to survive.

As much as I truly love spring and appreciate the warmer weather, it also has a down side.¬† Everything grows with such rapid speed it seems and the workload is just increased so much.¬† It doesn’t help when equipment failure wants to rear it’s ugly head either.¬† Have had difficulty getting the lawn equipment fixed or finding reasonably priced lawn equipment to at least temporarily replace it.

Yard full of things to do and not really able to do it.¬† The garden hasn’t been dug up yet.¬† I’d do it myself, but the tiller is broke, so I just hope I come up with a solution before all the hard work on my seedlings results in dead plants.¬† Maybe container gardening?¬† “BUT IT’S NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO!”, said in protest of Murphy’s law that if it can go wrong it will.¬† I can watch the grass as it mercilessly continues to get taller, but I can’t cut it.¬† Lastly, the well is acting like it wants to start up causing trouble.

Now, deep breath and release.  Done with the pity party and on to looking at the positives.  I took a walk outdoors bright and early this morning.  It felt absolutely wonderful outdoors and the birds were singing beautifully.  I watered my little raised bed, which is supposed to be strictly for herbs, but is sharing with a few vegetables.  The dwarf peas, mixed lettuces, and onions are growing wonderfully!  The fruit trees are wrapped up with the beginnings of very small fruits, which will hopefully reach maturity.  I was amazed at how big they are already.  Lastly, the Herb Fest in Wake Forest is coming up this weekend.  I am very excited and have been looking forward to it for quite a while.

P.S. – I wrote this blog entry this morning and had to leave before could post, but have fortunately been blessed with us finding a push mower this afternoon and now happily have most of the front yard cut!

Spring Gardening Update

Today started out a little cool, but it didn’t curb my gardening bug.¬† While in town, I stopped at a couple of stores to check out the plants.¬† I ended up settling on just one nice looking little peppermint plant.¬† It is destined for a pot rather than a direct spot in the herb bed.¬† I have learned better than that from my past experiences with how invasive mints can be in a garden.¬† It will be a welcome plant though as we love making peppermint tea.

More seedlings have sprung up from the fresh seed I planted, when some of the older seeds failed.¬† There are now a few watermelon and eggplant seedlings.¬† Never having attempted to grow oregano or sage from seeds, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far have at least one of each coming up.¬† Some of the plants from the first batch of seeds I planted¬†are getting so big!¬† I hope the big garden spot gets tilled up soon so I can get them planted in the ground.

I have only planted snow peas once before and the deer ate them all before we could have any, so I am very excited the snow peas are doing so well and are in a safe fenced in area.¬† Normally we’ve always had a garden and had minimal problems with deer, but snow peas seemed like candy to them.¬† Here are some updated photos of the dwarf snow peas :

Close-up of Snow Peas

¬†As you can tell in the first photo, the chives are really growing.¬† The onions I planted are starting to push up little green shoots and the lettuces have just started to germinate.¬† I can’t wait for everything to start growing a little bigger…except for the weeds.

Rainy Day, Gardening Updates, and a Spring Poem

Forsythia.

Forsythia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been rainy since early this morning and it still continues.  Pitter patter of unending rain, but at least content in the thought the new seeds will get the rain they need.  Yesterday, I reseeded the lettuce and onions in the bed as some of the older seed had failed to come up.  However, the dwarf snow peas were doing well and already about 2 inches tall.  I planted some nasturtiums along the edge of another square, so they can grow up along the fence.

Guess no outside gardening today.¬† It looks like today will be one of those piddle around in the house days.¬† This morning has mainly been computer time as I have added a few items to the etsy shop, wrote blog posts, and checked email.¬† The seedlings in the window sill have continued to grow amazingly well and I love the tomatoes have finally got their true leaves.¬† I love the smell of tomato plants.¬† Also, grateful spring is officially here.¬† Well, off to do chores and guess the only gardening today will be planting more seeds indoors, but here’s a spring poem(a haiku) for you to enjoy :

Golden Blooms

Blooming Forsythia
Bold color signaling spring
Golden yellow burst

Seed Crazed

There are two things I have trouble restraining myself from buying too much of :  seeds and baskets.  I am doing really well with my self imposed ban on basket buying, but this time of year have trouble with the seeds.  I had to go to town to run errands this morning and could not resist the urge to go to the local farm supply store.

It was a drizzly rainy day, but it still didn’t stop me from looking at the plants outside of the store.¬† I only found one beautiful thyme plant I couldn’t resist.¬† Inside was another matter, but I did find a good sale.¬† There were some seed packets from last year, which were marked 1/2 off.¬† Seed will usually last more than one year and the seedlings I already have growing came up from seeds at least a couple of years old.

Another weakness of mine, but I do know how to say no…is soft fluffy baby chicks.¬† I stood and looked a few moments, but headed to checkout.¬† The only seeds I ended up getting were some cherry tomatoes, collards, lettuce salad blend, and kentucky wonder pole beans.¬† I figure I didn’t do to bad, as my sum total was only about $10.¬† There was enough seed that some will be leftover for next year’s crop too.

Here is an updated photo of some of my seedlings in the kitchen window (Cucumbers are on the right.  The labels got a little mixed up, so the ones on the left are either cauliflower or watermelon, time will tell.) :

Seedlings

After getting home, I went ahead and planted the thyme plant in the herb garden.¬† It is in one of the squares with some of the chives, which are coming up nicely.¬† I’m looking forward to the herb fest coming up in Wake Forest next month, so I can find some of the herb plants I would like, but can’t find easily at the local stores.

Herb Garden

Herb Garden