Monday, January 31, 2011

Garden Goodies

This weekend I was very very sick but I took a moment while out tending to the chickens to take a look at my growing garden... the lettuce though small is doing wonderfully and I topped my burger with it and I must say it made the diffirence : ) .. I have serval turnips ready for pulling so this weekend I will be cooking and mashing them, my carrots are growing very well and I love digging around in the dirt to see how developed they are, one of my broccoli plants has a small 2 inch head on it so I'm letting it grow more, the bok choi has been very dissapointing it was a crop I really had high hopes for it produced wonderfully but was tough and bitter.. after having a talk with my mom about how she loves bok choi but she grew a type this year that she thought wasn't good either (same thing tough and bitter) then I said told her I grew Ching Chang Bok Choi low and behold hers was the same variety so we decalred that type no good.. my onions are growing nicely and I can't wait to harvest them in august.. this weekend I will be going to get my seed starting stuff and start the spring veggies : )

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Winter Storm

Work... we I spend 40 hours a week... Well there I was again helping patients, dispensing medication, when I pull out my phone for a time check... 5 o clock

I notice a couple people have updated their facebook status.. I check.. First one is someone complaining about there life (typical) but the 2nd was a alert and the start to a interesting night. It read "Under a tornado watch until 9pm" of course I right away went to the weather channel website and typed in my zip code... sure enough tornado and serve storm watch..

I told my fellow co workers and called Ronnie to tell him to make sure all windows were closed and the chickens were put in..my coworkers and i all went to look out the drive through window... nothing... 10 minutes later one of my co workers said what time is it... it was 530.. I asked why.. she said come look.. all curious we went and looked... the outside was black as midnight somewhat foggy and nobody was out there... we opened the pass through door.. wind blasted through blowing our hair and making us relieze the storm was on its way...

Customers stopped coming in.. and we turned our computer into a weather board going to the local news channels website and turning on the live feed... all of a sudden we heard on the roof a steady pounding and looking out the window we saw the downpour now going on... the drops gleamed with the street lights as they fell. The reporter on the tv was announcing a water spout seen in apollo beach, a possiable torando headed towards disney world, and a touchdown in springhill. We all were nervous everyone was on the phone with the family at their homes making sure everyone was ok.

I called ronnie who told me it was just as bad at the house and the chickens were making load noises in the coop. He went out to check on them and thinks the were just scared... the wind was whipping around and a customer came in saying the roads were flooded and half the lights were out. She said cars were driving on the wrong side from lack of vision and a lot of cars were pulled to the side with their hazard lights on.

Knowing I love storms everyone had to crack a joke about asking me if I was enjoying this and I thought... yea its a good day for ducks and plants : ) they think I'm crazy anyway!

The rain slowed and the tornado warning expired early... and the customers started trickling back in the get their medication. The reporter was talking about how the storm stretched all over the state of florida but the southern tip and how flash flooding can occur when the beep beep tuned him out and all heads snapped to the screen another tornado warning had just been issued and would continue to the morning hours.

I asked my manager if I could leave early it was now 730 so I could get home before the next round of rain and storms hit she said it was no proplem! I can home to silent chickens and a peaceful house listening to the rain patter on the roof.
The windchimes were blowing making beautiful music in the night and I relaxed under the blanket on the couch.

The next morning I awoke to the sun shining through my windows.. I looked outside and all the plants were jewel green and glistening in the morning light..it was beautiful! My chickens were fine but anxious to be let out and as soon as the coop door was slid open they jumped out 1..2..3.. they pecked around in the wet ground and shook their feathers out.. I went over to examine the growing veggies.. everything seemed to love the rain and my turnips were developing nicely as well as the carrots and onions.. one of my broccoli plants had started to develop a head and the swiss chard I never thought would sprout was doing just that! I thanked them all and mother nature and came back inside to get ready to start another day at work...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Money and Gardens

Finally after writing posts about what I want to do in the backyard.. I will finally have the funds to do so!

Step 1: rototill... I hate to do it cause it will compact the soil but my plan is to till up the grass, rake it clean (compost the good stuff of course), and then go back through by hand to loosen up the soil...

Step 2: Build the beds.. 4 pieces of wood screwed together

Step 3: Fill with compost...

Step 4: Plant all the lovely seedlings I'm getting ready to start within the next 2 weeks

I will be making my picnic area surrounded with lovely flowers : )

It will also give my the funds to build those cowpea cages I want ... maybe even a homemade pond with some fish and water flowers

Finally the garden plans will be able to come to life!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A wonderful Storm

This winter so far has been very dry with only a couple light rains to water our plants.

This morning when I woke up I did so to the roll of thunder and lights flashing in the grey sky.. rain falling from the sky in lrge drops splashing to the already flooded ground..

The cat was perched in the window watching the rain fall with small interest, the chickens were huddled in the corner of the coop looking around frantically not sure what this noise and wet was all about. This is the chickens first thunderstorm and they don't seem to be enjoying it.

The gardens though unlike the rest of the yard were drinking up this rain with utter delight and the sight of the rain bouncing off the leaves of the turnips, lettuce and bok choi was very beautiful and intrancing...

The rain has slowed for the time being and I have to hurry and get to work! Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seating Space in the garden

Everyone has some space in their yard to sit, a small porch, a table with a couple chairs, a swing, a hammock, a bench something..

I've been thinking a lot about that lately I have a screened in back porch but I wanted something closer to the garden action

So I'm thinking about creating a 6x8 area that will be surrounded by a 1 or 2 foot garden bed filled with short flowers

I would of course use this as a picnic area : )

Does anyone have any zone 9 flower suggestions I've only ever really grown veggies...

Thanks! : )

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The sound of music..

Looking towards spring it promises many good things mostly revolving around my garden and up and coming urban farm but also with music.

Being as now my little one is a little older (almost 3) I plan on hitting some festivals as a family this new year!

I have always had a love of music some of my favs being phish, the grateful dead, string cheese, umphreys, zep, wipespread panic, rusted root, and many many others... though in the past years I found myself drifting from my music (its been awful).. now I'm looking for a record player and cd player so I can start grooving again. I put my old cheese cd in and was brought back into the rythem of me..

When I decided to venture out on my own at age 15 I lost everything, my family, my music, my clothes, everything luckily I got the most important back (being my family of course "Hi Mom") and have lately started to try to rebuild my music and clothing collection.

So far the first festival is starting March 24th - 27th this being Suwannee Springfest

The Second which I know I will be attending is the Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival.. after so many fond reveiws and so much good music missed at the last 2 I have promised myself I would go and I think I have a festy pal (Hi Jenn!!!)

So go out to your garden sit down in a sunny patch and turn up your fav cd : )

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dreams..

Last night was wonderful as normally I have dreams that make me toss and turn all night..

I dreamt that I lived in a small cottage house on a hill overlooking a vast expance of trees and nature, in front of these trees were wonderful green crops of all types, tomatoes with the brightest color I've ever seen, corn towering over me, and squash that vined out as far as my dream eyes could see no with a hint of bugs, or dieases..

Over head the clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds stood like a beautiful picture as the suns rays shone through..

There were deer with their young, and birds in their nests.. my daughter was playing with the chickens (in dream world we had it seemed like 30).. the goats were grazing as were the 2 cows, and the dirt path led to a pond with ducks all around..

Ronnie sat in a rocking chair on the porch reading the news and my mom was bringing in a basket of fruit from well I'm not sure where as that wasn't in my dream...

I'm not sure where this amazing dream place is but I would sure like to visit again as I have never felt such peace in a dream..

Maybe it was a sign of things to come (though not sure my mom would be there) or maybe it was just a nice spot for my dreamself to rest her head but it was fantastic : )

Hope everyone has great magical dreams tonight!

Monday, January 10, 2011

3 Months Old

So my chickens are coming up on the 3 month mark... (much improvement since my first chickens made it to 5 weeks)
Yesterday they were moved into their outdoor coop. I couldn't bear to post yesterday afraid that I might awake to what I did with my first set of chicks but they did fine...

I wasn't going to move them till Friday when they officially turned 3 months but I had it all set up yesterday while the chickens ranged and when I went back outside at dusk to bring them in they were all already asleep in the outdoor coop.. I couldn't bring myself to disturb them so instead I hooked up their waterier and feeder and locked up the coop..
I checked on them every hour after dark just to be sure they were safe and sound until I went to bed at midnight. This morning I couldn't bring myself to go check on them so I sent Ronnie.. once I heard him say good morning ladies I breathed a sigh of relief and carried on my normal morning activities (getting ready for work, etc)

Its hard to imagine that those small little puff balls that fit inside of my palm are now these large birds and only about 3 months from providing my family eggs... if all continues to go well we plan on starting another 3 chicks come Feb/Mar..
I'm hoping my local feed store can throw on some barnevelders for me in their order but if not its not the end of the world..

The black giant otherwise known as shadow is the friendliest of the bunch and will sit on your lap for a while being petted, next is the wyandotte otherwise known as Penelope who is fast and will put up a good fight before finally settling down to be held and petted finally is the amercuana (who has not yet been named but will be shortly).. she is the spunkiest hates to be held chicken, we all take turns holding her trying to calm her temper down but you can just tell she hates it and will widly flap her wings and flail her leg with her sharp claws until you put her back down..

Living in a urban environment I'm always nervous someone is going to complain or the birds are going to fly over the fence into someones flowers... but they are well behaved and rarely travel farther then 10 feet from their coop.. they have torn up a patch of weeds to expose the loose dirt below and take daily dirt baths.. the amercuana loves the dirt more then the others and even a hour after being brought inside the coop will ruffle her feathers and you can see the dirt fly off...

Brooke loves herding time.. she chases them until she corners them and grabs them (sometimes by the tail feathers which they dislike) then calls daddy or mommy over to pick up the chicken and put her in the coop.. its really a sight to see, she loves them and kisses their feathers and attempts to give them hugs any chance she can..

They have really become a part of this family and I'm so happy to report how well they are doing!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Looking for a record player..

Does anyone know where i can find a working cheap record player?

2 bucket growing system (Global Buckets)

Many times have I heard of a system close to this.. but they seem to make it easy for even the simplest gardener.. of course you can use this for ideas and make your own "unique" version.. ENJOY!






Saturday, January 8, 2011

Harvest Saturday!


Ah Saturday the first day of the 2 day weekend...

Today Brooke and I played on her new slide she got from her grandma for christmas, we are also going to have a girls night with the tinkerbell marathon (all 4 movies), homemade treats, popcorn, pedicares, and dress up : )

So today at around sunset I went to herd the chickens back to their coop at a day of ranging and their they were waiting at the door for me to let them in : )

After getting them inside and discourging brooke from yanking tail feathers I went out to check the garden...

2 huge turnips await that I swear are over a pound each, bok choi that I had forgotten about and had almost started to go to seed, and it was past time to thin the carrots.

I went back inside to get my harvest basket...


I pulled up the turnips and got my hands and kness dirty thinning out the carrots.. little carrots had already formed so I through it all in my basket!

Once I was inside I pulled the greens from the tops of the carrots as well as the really tiny carrots and threw them all to the chickens, the small carrots were washed and given to brooke who had them devoured in 5 min...

Right now the turnips and bok choi are sitting on my counter top waiting for my to find a recipe worth their doing : )

Happy Harvest Saturday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Seed Order Jan 5th 2011

Ordered from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds on Jan 1st ----> Arrived Jan 5th

Country Gentlemen Sweet Corn.. A sweet shoepeg type heirloom non GMO corn

California Black Eye Peas.. Classic Black Eye Pea (Cowpea)

Bedfordshire Prize Cucumber.. A large 10 in cucumber great for freash eating

Golden Honeymoon (Honeydew) Melon

Jalapeno Criags Grande is a high yielding large hot pepper

Grey Zucchini is a early summer squash that's supposed to be diease resistant

Black Cherry Tomato.. a dusky purple tomato that has a rich sugary taste that makes black tomatoes famous

Tzi Bi U tomato.. is a purple small fruited tomato with green strips with supposed very high yields

Golden midget watermelon... a beautful small ice box watermelon

Parisienne Carrot.. Small orange round carrots great for heavy/ rocky soils

Lemon Basil.. great for seafood

Nero Di Toscana is a blend of cabbage and kale and is a wonderful loose leaf italin heirlom

And my free gift is love in a mist flower seeds

Most seeds will be started at the end of the month and I will keep you all updated on how they preform as I start my 2011 garden journal : )

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strawberry Problems

Strawberries are a pernienal and I live right near strawberry capital (plant city).. but for some reason last year my strawberry plants couldn't make it through our summer

I watered weekly plus the summer rains.. but yet the strawberries turned brown and collapsed onto the soil tops.

This year I have created 2 compost filled (strawberrys are heavy feeders) thin and long strawberry beds.

Maybe they need some shade to help with our summer sun beating down on them??

I will be testing different things trying to get our strawberry plants to grow, spread, and live longer then 3 or 4 months!!

Ill keep you updated!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Enter 2011...

The first day of the New Year a wonderful 70 degrees with sunny skies and a light breeze..

The chickens our roaming the backyard pecking at the last of the green weeds and bathing in the dirt they scratched up!

Ronnie cooking New Years Dinner for us as I make stock from the left over Christmas ham and a ham, potatoes, cheese, broccoli soup to freeze for later.

I received my final (I think) seed catalog yesterday Bountiful Gardens.. I have already flipped through and seen some interesting looking goods like moth beans...

We went out with our gift cards from Christmas and stocked up the freezer with ham that luckily my Walmart had a bunch left and marked them down to a $1 a pound, and chicken drumsticks and boneless breasts for .98 cents to 1.49 a pound as well as buying fire starter and firewood which came in these nifty orange plastic bags that we will wash and reuse to store squash, potatoes, or other root crops

Today I also went through and ordered my first round of seeds from bakers creek once they arrive I will post my new purchases!

Hope everyone is having a amazing start to 2011!!

Peace be with you!!!