Saturday, March 27, 2010


OK, so I just went through all my seeds last night - between the Survival Kit I received from Hometown Seeds and some randoms I picked up at Menards, I am already at about 35 different crops/vegetables/plants. WOWZER.

And I still have about 5 or 6 things that I still want to order.

I guess this will be the year I really try to focus on continuous planting and staying on top of things, which I've always slacked on. No empty spots, continuous harvest, it should be great!

One of the things that I want to really plant lots and lots of is lavender. I love the smell, and after my friend Sara posted a beautiful picture of a field of lavender, I would love to just have a whole yard full of it. Or a nice patch of it. I am trying to figure out a spot where I can have a lavender patch, but I feel like my lavender never really comes up that well.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Awww, memories

I'm on spring break next week, and am unable to sleep, and am trying to get some stuff done around the house that is no big whip, but that I need to do. So I'm on Shutterfly and Snapfish going through pictures back to when Char was little, and I'm coming across some old garden pics through the years.


2005 - It looks so little in retrospect...

Then in 2006, we had 2 raised bed boxes...

Still rockin' the 2 boxes in 2008...hadn't yet heard of Square Foot Gardening...

Ahh, Built all my boxes and later the supports for tomatoes, etc...2009 was the garden space explosion!
 (and apparently I didn't take any pictures when it was lush mid-summer? Just the creepy shot after the first surprise frost made it look like a haunted house garden? WEIRD)

I need to find pics from 2003, 2004, 2007...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What? Where? Huh?

Where are you all ordering your seeds from?

I am behind the eight ball on ordering for this season, but I'm okay with it. I was super excited to order a bunch from Baker Creek, but I'm having issues with their online ordering system. Keeps dumping my cart after each item I add to it.


What're you growing? I've got my list ready...but it is always changing and evolving...

Here goes!

Edemame - Envy

Chinese Red Noodle Beans

Bush Beans or these guys

Pole Beans

Sugar Snap Peas

Tomatoes - Yikes - where to start??




PattyPan Squash YUM!




OH! And Grapes!! I am completely clueless on this. My grandfather used to grow grapes here, but in the front yard, 60 some years ago. This sweet little picture is from, oh, let's say 64 years ago or so? And there's the grape arbor in the front of our house. Now there is a great big tree, so that space isn't feasible. But I have a couple little corners in mind.

AND I finally purchased a rain barrel, something I fully intended to do last year and just didn't get around to doing. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Great Chicago has a rain barrel purchase program for (I think) Cook County residents. $50 each, 2 barrel limit per family. SUPER excited to get that hooked up. We have visions of getting a second one and installing a gutter on one end of the garage (close to the garden boxes) and setting up a drip system from the rain barrel...

Oh well. It's 1am. I'm going to place my orders and then get some rest. Ellie and I are going to be working in the garden tomorrow, or possibly just building and staining some supports. I am still having visions of TONS of vertical plantings, and possibly some canopied crops (cukes or tomatoes growing from a support in one box to a support in another box, providing a canopy over the walkway/aisle).

OH! Sidenote: I am also fascinated by  the survival seed movement that has popped up here and there in my internet garden reading. It's pretty much what it sounds like: In case of crisis or food shortage, you'd have this stockpile of seeds with proven high germination rates that you could plant to sustain yourself/your family. Seeds are all non-hybrid/GMO so you would be able to save the seeds to plant again the next season.

Now. I am not saying that I think the end is upon us. However, I am the first to admit that growing your own food is an amazing feeling that, for me, brings about a real sense of self-sufficiency and security. The fact that we are JUST running out of beans and broccoli now, in March, from last summer? It's pretty incredible to me.   It's a really capable feeling, I feel very accomplished, a very sustainable goal achieved.

That said, I've checked out a group called Hometown Seeds. They offer survival seed packages with a wide variety of plants and a long seed shelf life. They have graciously offered to send me a sample packet of their survival seed kit, and I'm going to plant a selection from it and track the progress and growth here. 

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