Brighter Planet's 350 challenge Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
(used with permission from Jordanne Dervais)

Counting it down, are you prepared??

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prepping for Spring - Soil prep & Choosing seed

A good friend shared some advice on facebook this morning and I think it is worth sharing here.  I know in some places gardening year round isn't feasible without a green house but that doesn't mean there isn't work to be done.

Get ready!!!!! We are about to have a few days of dry weather. It will be a perfect time for some old fashioned weed and insect control practices. When the soil firms enough, either turn or till it. 1-This will bust up the insect beds where they are hibernating for the winter and freeze a lot to death. 2-it will expose the young tender roots of the grass and kill a lot back. Grass puts on new root growth during the winter if you did not know. For better weed control turn every two to three weeks if able to expose more new root growth to freezing temperatures. 3- This will also allow for better water infiltration to build your subsoil moister. Subsoil moisture is your plants reserve drinking supply in the dry months. For those of you who attended my garden workshops and learned to use a probe, winter is a great time to use it to increase your subsoil moisture and work off some of that Christmas candy too. 4- The best part about doing this is that it gets you out into the garden making winter a LOT less gloomy!!!   ~Tim from Oleo Acres Farm 

Everytime I turn soil, I try to work in compost or any other organic fertilizer so I have nice rich soil ready for spring planting.  Also an important step in the planning category is to know what you are planting.  If you took notes last year, they will be of great help in deciding what is worth planting this year or what you need to plant more/less of. (I highly suggest taking detailed notes  Next, order your seed catalogs, I recommend ordering from a company that sells heirloom non-GMO seed, that way you can harvest and save your own seeds for next year.

Sustainable Seed Co.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seed Savers Exchange

How to save seeds

Once I plan what I am planting, I map out my planting space on paper and draw very basic blueprints, noting which sides of the yard get full sun or shade.  Most veggies take full sun (6+ hours a day), so keep this in mind when choosing seed.

What do you do to prep for spring or do you garden year-round?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Whats growing right now?

Right now we are doing more prepping and planning than growing, but I do have a few things going right now.  I have 2 broccoli plants that are growing good and have baby broc on them, 2 cauliflower plants which are growing big but no cauli yet.  I lost all the bean plants to the frost we got a couple weeks ago (guess they aren't as winter hardy as they said they were).  The nagoya kale looks beautiful and is ready to eat. I'm gonna pick some leaves off and cook them for lunch and if its good dinner too.  The only herb I have left is the rosemary and its growing big; planning on using some to infuse olive oil.

(insert pics)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today on the Homestead...

We are getting new windows and a new sliding door to the patio.  It's a wee bit drafty while the are switching over, but well worth it!  Thankfully its over 50 degrees right now, with a high expected to be almost 70 before the storms roll in tonight.  Still crazy its that warm in mid-December and I'm sticking to my gut that this doesn't bode well for the winter to come.

Adding to the stash today:  1 quart dill green tomato relish, a couple quarts bread and butter green tomato relish, 2 quarts pickled banana peppers.  Also changing out some of the water supply today.  Might do some cranberries in syrup later, really love using the old-time method of inversion canning!!!  So far, i haven't lost a seal yet and I've been doing it this way all summer (with my high acid foods).  Hoping to get a pressure canner for Christmas, it's top priority on my list.  And a Aeropress.  Google it, you will thank my later. (that is if yo u are a coffee drinker like me).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Long Overdue Updates

Sorry y'all for not updating sooner, I've had a ton going on.  My garden right now consists of 2 broccoli plants, 2 cauliflower plants, rosemary & nagoya red kale.  I'm hoping to get a greenhouse setup for christmas so that I can add some more and start some seeds for spring.

Forecast says its gonna be almost 70 degrees later this week.  It's mid-December y'all, this ain't normal.  Today I have been busy clearing out clutter and added 13 litres of water to my emergency stash.  My gut tells me a storm's a coming, and I'm gonna be prepared.  Got about 10 more litres i need to take out and rotate with fresh.

I've been doing a ton of reading lately and wanted to share some stuff with y'all.

Generation Organic

This is one inspiring moved me to tears y'all.

Town trying to grow all its own veg

Companion planting