Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vegetable Garden

The planning has officially begun!

I have seeds saved from last year to look through, I'll also have to wait for sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic, and onions to purchase locally. I ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds last year for the first time and had great luck with their product.

Last night's order consisted of the following:
Jujube cherry tomato
German red strawberry tomato
San Juanito tomatillo
Amarillo carrot
Bleu de solaise leek
Purple top white globe turnip
Kuroda long 8 carrot
Butternut rogosa violin "Gioia" squash
Boston pickling cucumber
Rocky top lettuce mix
Ground cherry
Amsterdam prickly seeded spinach

Saturday, January 18, 2014

More trees? Yes, please!!

It is that time of year again! When Beltrami County posts the tree order form and I get creative when thinking of new places I could plant successful little tree-lings throughout my yard.

I didn't plant anything new last year. We didn't know what we were doing with the pond or garden, I didn't know how much time I would have devote myself to watering, and I was already overwhelmed with tending to my gardens with an infant. This summer will be about the same, but Logan can be outside more often with us this year, and he takes by himself now!

My future trees:
American Plum. We planted five trees, 2 springs ago, and only two survived.  I would love to make plum jam (probably not until I'm retired!). I also love the little white flowers on these trees, they would do wonders for attracting bird.

Lilac. Planted fifteen, 2 springs ago, and only one died! I want to have more to fill in the driveway area, so that in a few more years we have a hedge and don't see the road.
Sandbar Willow. I have a perfect spot near our old pond that still holds water. I think these would be amazing as a filler plant.

Rugosa Rose. I love these flowers, they will be planted near large rocks that line to the hills to our walkout basement.

The trees come in bunches of 5. I'll order one bunch of each, except lilac will be 15. I think this will be it for this year!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Garden Pre-Planning Shed Edition

Last year my dad built a pole shed, so he did not need his smallish 10x12 shed for anything. We traded the hubby's computer help for the shed. This ended up in the huge tree cutting, 'pond' filling, and demolition of a small area of our yard. I will end up almost doubling my garden size and have space to start accumulating hand tools and gardening supplies. There was no space in the garage and real shed up by the house. This shed is mine, all mine!

I'm overwhelmed with the thought of organizing my new building. I have no shelving, yet. I have buckets and bins, maybe a few boxes here and there. This will be my new sanctuary so I want it to gradually become my perfect space. My budget is basically $0.00.  I'll be garage saling and Pinteresting to get cheap supplies and fresh ideas.

I hope in the next 1-2 years to talk the hubby into chickens and/or rabbits. I have the space to do it right next to the shed, so we'll see if that happens. I'd also like to build some sort of a lean-to for the southwest side of the shed to start some seeds. This will also be a 1-2 year out project.
Here's a picture of my little shed. The garden would be to the right/northeast. The former 'pond' to the left/southwest.

Here are a few inspirational photos for my shed pre-planning:
I like th eidea of having storage on the doors for lighter tools.
My original thought was to have shelving all the way around the inside. I love this idea of having everything neatly hung on one side.
Velcro ties or even zip ties for over the winter would be handy.
I'll be on the lookout for a used shoe hanger! This idea is great, especially for gloves! I always seem to have one but not the other!
I thought this looked a little like a gun rack... but if I could find the materials to make it, I definitely would!
Another idea for door storage.
With 2 pallets sitting along my flower garden, I know I could make one of these for quick outside storage.
Reusing old hose would also be easy, I have a long hose that is out of commission.
This would be awesome!
Inside storage - sand with oil mixed in to keep tools sharp and rust free.
Eventually, something to help me better seed plan, and harvest plan. All of the ideas and knowledge floating around in my head that I forget when I'm in the garden could be posted on a board!
Smaller storage idea.

For inside the garden, or in my flower garden which is a good distance away. A decorative mailbox with my every day tools would be extremely handy in each garden.

For details and links, see my Pinterest board:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Garden Pre-Planning

Even though last night hovered around -40 degrees I can't stop thinking about my garden! My frozen little patch of soil in the back yard completely covered by snow. We expanded the garden last year, taking out trees and clearing way to almost double my garden size. I am going to have to dedicate more time though, last year's garden was a sad excuse for a patch.

I had so many more weeds than normal. My squash didn't grow. My asparagus hardly sprouted. I planted the wrong tomato seeds. My corn was so small it was inedible. I had white mold in my bush beans. Deer ate many of my pole beans. I couldn't find some of my garlic and onions. My pumpkins didn't grow. I received 1 jalapeno from 4 plants, no bell peppers. At the end of the season, my zucchini rotted before I could freeze it, my pole beans molded before they could be dried, and my tomatoes rotted in the box they were ripening in.

I, and my garden, were a mess.

I think I might have more ideas than time for next year. I'm going to stop trying to get fancy with my garden and get back to the basics.

Some things I need to remember, especially for June:

* Proper spacing (hence the white mold in the bush beans)
* Companion planting and/or move a few things around
* Proper placement of full sunlight and shade plants
* Place potted veggies closer to the house or in shade to prevent drying out
* Double check seeds to make sure they are what will work in my space
* Better marking for rows, patches, and randomly planted ground cover plants
* Learn plant identification (I think I pull some veggies out and leave some weeds in at the beginning) of each year
From the fence, going left ,almost to the edge of the photo is where my 'big-girl garden' will extend.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Root Recipe

My husband was a little turned off by the smell of turnips but was game for trying them (again). He forgot I mashed them in potatoes last fall! 

I decided to make pan fried roots to go with our dinner and wow did it turn out awesome. So simple if you have the items in your garden, which we did! We'll definitely be making something like it again. I wish I had taken a picture, it was a beautiful side dish.

2 med-large turnips
2 carrots
1 large onion (used purple)
3 med-large potatoes (used red)
4 tablespoons butter
garlic powder
salt and pepper

1) Peel turnips. (carrots if desired)
2) Cut carrots.
3) Cut onion, and potato in large thin slices.
4) Melt butter in sauce pan.
5) Add veggies and garlic powder. Cover.
6) Fry for 25 minutes (or so), stirring every 5 minutes (or so).
7) Devour!

Day of the Turnips

What to do with a box of turnips...

I picked all of my turnips last weekend. There were so many slugs weaved in and out of my precious crop, what's a girl to do!? I threw my turnips in a bucket and the slugs in water. Cruel, yes. Necessary, yes. Will I lose sleep tonight over the nasty slugs, nope!

I scoured Pinterest for ideas for turnips and ultimately decided to blanch and freeze. We used a few of them over the last week for dinner (recipe here), but couldn't use them all soon enough; they were starting to get soft.

My adventure started this afternoon as I peeled and cut all of the turnips. I started the boiling water and by the time I got all of the turnips in the water had probably been boiling for oh... an hour?! Opps, got distracted I guess, too many shiny things in my house, and the baby!  Threw the turnips in and as expected water stops boiling. Wait and wait and wait. No boiling. Check the burner, it's on. Start zucchini chip adventure. Crap! Turnips are still boiling. Throw into cold water and they are all beyond blanched, they are cooked. Oh well. Mark em, bag em up, and freeze up! Done and done!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pinterest Weekend Project - flower stand

My Pinterest Tuesday is changing to 'Pinterest Weekend Project' because I really don't have time to do many... so when I have time it will take me all weekend! The husband had the baby today for a few hours inside and I made the most of my time alone outside. I got so much done! Only two things to carry on to the week!

My list:
*weed vegetable garden
* mow around outside of garden and to compost pile
*weed whack around flower garden (will be completed Monday)
*finish planting in pots
*wash newly purchased (used) baby swing, play gym, and high chair
*water potted plants
*weed flower garden (will be completed Monday)
*upcycle my newly purchased (used) flower stand
*add mulch to front flower garden

We did some garage saling today and I purchased a flower stand and super cute old footstool/storage thing. I decided to try something from Pinterest and upcycle my flower stand today! The idea I had was similar to this from Pinterest:

To do this (supposedly) you paint the canvas or wood, put stickers over the first coat, paint over the stickers, and when the second coat is dry, remove the stickers and waaahlaaa! You have a cute quote or word on the project.

This did not work for me. And I even took my time!

I love the way it turned out and technically my words are covered anyway so no one would even notice, except me.

This project literally cost me $1 today. I had paint and a brush from a previous project, a tank top rag, spray paint from a Cub Scout derby car and scrapbooking stickers.

My potted plant nook on the front porch looks completely different after today!

My tools.

Originally the letters were supposed to be a dark turquoise color. Next time (if there is a next time) I'll try a different type of stickers. These were foam scrapbooking stickers that I thought would be easier to take off. Turns out I was wrong....

Mid-way done!

I forgot to take a picture of how bad the shelf looked after I took the stickers off and half of the work was dark turquoise and half was brown... UGLY!

I decided to make lemonade. Because the stickers were raised foam there was a little bit of dried paint along the sides of all of the stickers. This made for a really cool textured word instead of a different color. So I painted over the dried paint word and left it. And love it more than the color word.

The flower pot added much added height to my potted plant nook.
Now I must patiently await the flowers, spinach, and fennel to spring forth!