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When wednesday felt like monday.

2 Sep

Considering it’s been months and months and months since my last post, let me get you up to speed:

Finally convinced (enough to forge ahead with the plan anyway) my husband that we so.totally.need.chickens.please.and.thank.you.  So, I purchased six chicks in very early May and raised them in the basement while Lee was busy constructing their future home: a la cluck-de-ville, the chicken tractor.

Once the chicken tractor was completed, we were able to move the chicks outside.  Six hens turned into five, as SURPRISE, one was a rooster.  Mr. Rooster had to go…if you know what I’m saying.

FAST FORWARD: The date is now Wednesday, September 2nd, and I’ve been checking the coop for a random egg pretty regularly now, as everything I’ve read indicates laying begins anywhere from 4-6 months.

The chicks are just over four months, so I knew it was coming but still couldn’t contain my excitement when I found THE VERY FIRST EGG this morning!  I may have made weird, whooping noises while running the egg into the house where it would be cleaned off and prepared for its first ever photo (it’s 2015, people).

In my haste and excitement to rush through the cleaning process, I somehow managed to drop the egg on the tiled floor.  Seriously, this really happened.  This is the very first egg my girls worked so hard to produce, and I smashed it all over the kitchen floor.  WHAT IS LIFE?!  Better luck tomorrow, hopefully.

firstegg

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And then the blog was forgotten.

5 Oct

Well, look at that.  Summer has come and gone, and I’ve updated not one tiny piece of information about my garden since May 1st.  Boy, this blog is an informative one!

Things to get done:
1) Add a summer growing season recap to the blog
2) Maybe mention something about garden harvest?
3) Preferably before next Spring

A winter that just won’t give up.

1 May

Part of my massive Gurney’s purchase included an order of Red Zeppelin onions.  And yes, if you’re wondering, Led Zeppelin weighed heavily on my decision to select this specific species of onion.  Yesterday was a decent Minnesota Spring day, so I forged ahead and decided to plant these bad boys in Raised Garden Bed #1 (#2 still needs to be completed, but that’s for another post). Now, mind you, I planted outside…in a t-shirt.  Comfortably.

And, the thing is, I knew there was a snowstorm approaching.  I know…WTH, right?  My thoughts exactly.  It’s May now.  MAY!  So, the weather forecast was calling for much lower temperatures and measurable amounts of snow, but the Red Zeppelins were sure to die if their roots didn’t contact soil sometime soon.  That being said, I made my decision to give these blessed onions a fighting chance.  I planted them.  On April 30.  One day before a snowstorm predictably hit.

Image

Red Zeppelins in all their glory.  

And then the sun set and rose again.  And this happened:

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Um…yeah.  

If you look closely, to the right of the photo you will see a single row of Red Zeppelins bursting beyond the pesky snow cover.  Two reasons for this: 1) It’s kind of a science experiment.  Will the snow act like enough of an insulator to keep these babies alive? And 2) The blanket wasn’t big enough to cover that last row.

After surveying what may very well be the nail in the coffin for my Zepps, I did what any normal person would do.

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Why, eat and drink of course!

And this wasn’t just any sort of eating.  Oh, no!  I found the lone remaining frozen bag of carrots from last year’s harvest.  After sautéing those babies up in a touch of olive oil, then gently tossing with a bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, they were good to go!

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Seriously, so good.  

Cooking up a bit of tasty goodness using homegrown produce turned out to be just what I needed to restore my zest for backyard gardening.  Even if I’m watching the snowflakes fall in May.

And so it continues.

28 Mar

My seedlings are taking off, people.  I can hardly wait to get home at night and check on their progress.  It’s quite sad, really.

ImageMy broccoli babies and two tomato trays on the right.

I’m ridiculously proud of them.  The tomatoes?  Mehh…they could be better, but they could also be more disappointing.  So whatevs.  Maybe the tomatoes know how proud I am of the broccoli and therefore feel like they can’t even begin to compete, so why bother?

ImageHerb-alicious!

I love looking at the herbs growing on the windowsill.  It feels magical or something.  I’m helping these herbs to grow by channeling my inner Harry Potter, putting spells on them each and every night.  It’s awesome.

The onions are also doing pretty well, I just didn’t take a picture of them.  They’ll probably all die now.  Oops.

More seeds have also been started indoors:

March 25, 2013

  • Gurney’s Tomato, Hybrid Early Girl (days to maturity : 52)
  • Gurney’s Tomato, Hybrid Baby Girls (days to maturity : 62)
  • Gurney’s Hot Pepper, Hybrid Primo Jalapeño (days to maturity : 70)
  • Gurney’s Hot Pepper, Thai Super Chili Hybrid (days to maturity : 75)
  • Gurney’s Sweet Pepper, Hybrid Bell Boy (days to maturity : 70)
  • Gurney’s Eggplant, Hybrid Twilight (days to maturity : 62)
  • Gurney’s Brussels Sprouts, Hybrid Royal Marvel (days to maturity : 120)
  • Gurney’s Cauliflower, Hybrid Snow Crown (days to maturity : 55)

A grow light has been ordered as we’re running out of sunny window space.  A greenhouse would be so handy.  Future backyard project?  Put it on the list!

And so it begins.

14 Mar

Garden 2013 is now underway.  Can I get a wootwoot?!  So, in order to better keep track of just what the heck is going on growing wise this year (and also because I’m mildly obsessed with list making), I am going to make a list! Of things I have planted! Wootwoot again?! Or too much, maybe too much…

Moving on…

March 13, 2013

1. Planted herbs for indoor pots (seeds from 2012 season, so we will see what happens)

  • Burpee Cilantro (harvest 60-90 days)
  • Burpee Thyme, Common (harvest 180-200 days)
  • Burpee Parsley (harvest 40-60 days)
  • Burpee Sweet Basil (harvest 60-90 days)
  • Burpee Dill, Fernleaf (harvest 40-60 days)
  • Burpee Oregano (harvest 90-200 days)

2.  Started various seeds indoors

  • Burpee Tomato, Super Beefsteak (two trays : harvest 80 days)
  • Burpee Broccoli, Major Hybrid (three trays : harvest 43 days)
  • Burpee Onion, Evergreen Long White Bunching (seven trays : harvest baby scallions in 60 days and full sized green onions in 120 days

Note: Broccoli is from 2012 season, Onions – 2011(!!) Tomatoes – 2013

Crossing my fingers that these babies will sprout because I am so flippin’ excited!

 

Plan b.

31 Jan

I had big plans for this evening.  Plans involving acorn squash, manicotti shells, a camera, plus some other random items.  The plan went something like this: attempt this new butternut squash (I was totally going to substitute acorn squash…because that’s what I had) manicotti recipe, take a ton of photos for a little how-to type thing, blog about it.  Foolproof, right?  Wrong.  

As it turns out, something like 80% of the manicotti shells split open either before or during the ‘stuffing’ process.  Okay, plan B it is.  So, because I’m ridiculously imaginative and incredibly adaptable (but mainly because I didn’t want to waste all this food), I created this um…awesome?…lasagna layered type dish using manicotti scraps alternated with layers of the shell filling.  Not that bad, actually.  Not pretty at all, but I would say it was somewhat of a success?  

Just don’t ask to see pictures.  

Add it to the list.

22 Jan

Wohoo!  I’ve finished my first book of 2013: The Quarter-Acre Farm by Spring Warren.  And, you guys, it was a fabulous read.

In the book, Warren turns her suburban yard into various garden beds in an effort to support 75% of her family’s diet with homegrown produce…for an entire year!  Warren tells her gardening tales in an interesting and comical way.  She discusses what went right with her adventure, but more importantly, what went wrong.  Her mistakes (and awesome problem-resolution skills) lead just-starting-out homesteaders, like myself, to believe that maybe…just maybe…we can do it, too.

Quarter-Acre Farm