Thursday, December 20, 2012

Broad winged distraction

Today's post has no new photos because this morning when we left the house the dog startled out a huge barred owl, and we spent a lot of time trying to get good photos of it. Unfortunately, the best we got was a vague brown blur among brown branches. So instead of new photos, I'll be reusing photos, sorry!

So here's a picture of a baby bunny looking at the world.

One of the things that I'm sure has come across is how flat out busy the Lady of the House and I have been lately. Life's been a bit nuts due to work since she works in academia and I work in a warehouse and a retail business. That is going to be slowing down shortly which will be nice. On the up side for blog topics, there are other things we have been doing earlier in the year that we can discuss.

Top among them is preparing for planting a garden next year. We have a couple areas we are going to be focusing on for growing. On the right of the steps in this photo Right we already have garlic in the ground. That's all set and done, but we also have a lot of seeds from the seed saving meeting we mentioned. The meeting was hosted by the "Hilltown Seed Saving Network" and was a wonderful event for us, as we got to not only get 30 varieties of seeds, and let folks have some of the seeds we'd saved, we got to meet a lot of like minded people. One of them being Kathy Harrison, the author of the "Just In Case Book" and the "Just In Case Book Blog" that you see on the links to the right. She is a local that Michelle Chandler told us over and over we needed to meet, and we were delighted to finally do so.
Left is the other major area we are going to be planting. That is a south facing hill that gets constant sun, and is very stable. It isn't terraced yet, log that in the projects to carry out over the next decade. However we can still do beds at various levels and get plants that get full sun covering most of the hill. We probably aren't going to be covering the Whole hill this year, we are trying to have reasonable expectations. That said, we have been endeavoring to work out a plan for what we want to do. Nutritionally we obviously need to have a variety of plants, but practically as new gardeners, the Lady of the House and I don't want to over extend ourselves. So, being that we are very much ourselves, we've been doing research and making charts and plans.

The first thing we did was make a spread sheet of the seeds we have on hand from the seed saving event, and our own seed saving efforts with herbs. That's what gave us our list of 30 plants that we have seeds for. Looking the chart over again it occurs to me we should have a separate sheet for herbs and vegetables, but that is something we can do easily enough.  The chart has the plant name, the year the seeds are from, light requirements, soil requirements, water requirements, whether it is well suited to growing in a container, days to germination, days to harvest, a growing reference, dates it should be started, and the seed shelf life.

Our next step is going to be to do some nutritional research, and find a good variety of plants to grow so we can have a good variety both for our enjoyment and health. What we have now isn't all we will be growing obviously. We don't for instance have viable tomato seeds so we will need to buy some as tomatoes do very well for canned food for the winter in the form of tomato sauce and paste. That said, our basic plan is something along these lines to be bolstered by later research.

Bok Choy
Butternut squash
Green Beans
Rattlesnake Pole Beans
Buttercup Squash
Tomatoes (Need to buy seeds)

The Lady of the House has been doing all of the herb growing, and we have a decent indoor herb garden already. We will probably be expanding that since that is all in pots and being able to move that back and forth as the weather demands has gone well so far. Right now we have basil, lemon basil, chocolate mint (currently fighting some bug infestation), marjoram, and others.

We are going to once we figure out exactly what we want to grow do soil testing for soil composition, make a growing chart, and then start the revision process. We'd welcome comments and suggestions on easy to grow plants that will improve our nutrition for us or our soil!

There won't be a post for Christmas since I'll be running helter skelter around the state, so expect the next post on Thursday the 27th.

Have a wonderful holiday season everyone.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a tastey veg list! But what aobut sweet peas? Sugar snap peas don't keep at all, but they come up fast and early (well, not here, but in other places with more than one and a half seasons), and they're so good!

    Are you going to try cold-framing to get an early start on your seeds?