"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Plant Camp Monday's

Everyday gets closer to spring and I think most of us are good and ready and I love snow. We can get lots more so at least I can blog spring.

This pic is from over at our other homestead that the kids are running, its a Forsythia bush that I took a root cutting from the main bush over at my folks homestead. I planted a couple of twigs over here at the new homestead and it won't be to long they will be filled out, I love em.

The best part is these plants are an extension of a plant that we got from my grandmothers home that she had for years and may have gotten from her mother. So we have five generation, counting my grandkiddies when they have their own places someday, maybe six generations if I count my great grandmother. Starts from this plant will be passed on for a very long time.

Now I love yellow and spring brings on that color very nicely. I like to take cut stems from the bush this month, put in warm water and force them to bloom early. Makes a beautiful bouquet for your table inside.

Being out in the country I let ours go crazy and not worry about trimming but in town/city ppl will take good care to shape and make a nice border.

Heres a bit about this old fashion bush Forsythia , also called Golden Bell



Do you have any forsythia growing in your area? How about any plants that have been passed on.

Garden update:

I have little seedlings, in less then a week , normally they take a couple of weeks but I would keep the bigger homestead a bit cooler so with a much smaller area and much warmer they couldn't but pop up sooner.

Heres another tip to protect from damping off of those precious seedlings. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the soil, cinnamon has antibacterial qualities and its said to help. I use and have not had any problems,

Also you'll want to have a little air movement for your plants as they grow, A small fan will help, adjust so they don;t get hurricane winds but jsut enough to sway them a bit. It help circulate and could be another help from damping off. Damping off is when your so excited seeing the little guys and then you have another look and they are chopped down , not a good thing.


We had a nice hail storm earlier with heavy rain, thunder too. We have a metal roof on the vintage cabin so it was loud .

Well folks have a great week and always a big thank you for stopping by.

Don't forget to head on over to the Homestead Barn Hop, looks like another good one


tc linda

Monday, February 21, 2011

Plant Camp Monday's

Got something new to share you might like to join or just visit some great blogs.

Homestead Revival http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/ is hosting a "Homestead Barn Hop". Looks like lots of fun and new bloggers to meet and share of their homestead and happenings.


So head on over to the Barn Hop!

We had such beautiful weather last week , the break sure helped but we are backed to cold. Oh well it won't be long we'll be in those gardens before to long.

I started some seeds yesterday, tomatoes that I have saved for many years and a couple of new types of heirloom tomatoes , I love heirloom tomatoes.

I have nice sunny windows and I set the little green house in the our vintage cabin. With the sun warming it up in the daytime and our wood heat those seeds will come up in no time.

I used some really old tray's that I washed up from many uses. Most I have to double up to make sturdy b/c of cracks on the side.

On the tomatoes I just made little rows and planted seeds, when its time and its true leaves are
on the little babies "cotyledon leaves" will be transplanted in bigger pots, I even use styrofoam cups for transplanting. I'll be growing 300 to 500 tomato plants so I need everything for pots and keep the cost down too.

I love to recycle things and one thing I like to save are toilet paper rolls and paper rolls. I use them for a couple of things. For fire starters, I add dryer lint, wood chips, even cracked nut shells, load them up and add old melted down candle wax from the almost spent candles. Perfect to get those fires started.

But for the garden seeds i cut those rolls in half, four times for paper rolls , place in seed trays and add seed starter and plant the seeds. Makes perfect little seed starters.

I did them last year and they worked very well. Saved from buying all those little pots. I planted sweet peppers and some sweet basil in the toilet paper rolls.

Heres a list of saved tomato seeds


Mr. Stripey
Cherokee Purple

Pea Tomato, I got this one from Powell Gardens, I asked for a couple to give it a try. I forgot the name but its sooooo tiny.

New Heirlooms


Big Rainbow

San Marzano


Californa Wonders, sweet

Jalapeno, hot

I can't wait tell I get my seeds from White Harvest, I'm so excited about the garden season.

The weather was warm in the low 70* so a nice BBQ was in store. I cooked BBQ ribs out on the grill and made potato salad, found some green onions to add to the salad. They were growing in the garden after all that 20" of snow we got. Oh come on spring : )

Also I put the cut ends, root part of the little onions back in the garden and they should grow back, I'll have to see and check back later on this. I best get them marked today or I'll think they are the other onions growing.

Hope your growing your own seeds this season, you don't need a greenhouse, just a nice sunny window. I have grown thousands of plants this way. My folks have even used an old van to grow tomato plants when I was a kid, it worked!

Thank you for the visit, be sure and check out the Homestead Barn Hop and better yet join in the fun.

tc linda

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Plant Camp Monday's

A beautiful weekend , so nice and warm even with snow still on the ground. Hubby wanted to have a snow ball fight so I had to obliged him, these things help with cabin fever and spring fever too. You ever see two ol folks in a snowball fight? Its rather funny esp when we couldn't even hit each other, we were more catching each others snowballs instead of blasting each other.

Heres a pic of garden still with snow, those are my rustic poles made into tepees for the pole beans

Well each day gets closer to spring and next month I'll be putting out the potatoes, maybe get some peas out too and other cold crops. I'm still working on raised beds and this will help me get into the garden sooner. Last year the new gardens here in the woods we had a late start with the gardens and oh how the rains came. If it wasn't for the raised beds there would have been no harvest. The paths were flooded but the beds stayed nice and dry and growing.

I added some more seed to my list from the seed company I'll be getting all my seed from this year. White Harvest Seed http://whiteharvestseed.com/

I mention them last week and hope you went over for a visit, a pretty site isn't it? I love it. So heres what I will send this week and more great seeds to order from them. Head over and see the seeds and all the info on the different types of seeds.

Aunt Ruby GermanBeefsteak
Blonkophch (little blond girl)
German Pink
Green Zebra
Hungarian Heart
Kellogg's Breakfast
Old German
Powers Heirloom
Red cherry-large

Contender Bean
Henderson's Bush Lima
Kentucky Wonder Pole
Rattlesnake Pole
Top Crop

Boston Pickling
Market 76
National Pickling

Peppers: hot and mild
Anaheim Chili
Bulgarian Carrot Pepper
Cayenne Long thin, my favorite
Golden Cal Wonder
Purple Beauty
California Wonder
Early Jalapeno

Clemson Spineless
Long Pod Green
Red Burgundy

Don't you love the name of some of these seed/plants. I also ordered the book Perfect Pumpkins, I so would like to get another pumpkin patch growing again and I'm sure it will have lots of tips that will help me with a good patch.

Well I can't wait to start planting those seeds.

Old Camp news,

A few Plant Camps back I shared about a poinsettia I have had for two season now. It lasted the past two Christmases so I planted it last spring in the garden and brought it in before frost last fall. It grew slowly and around this last Christmas I seen a little red. Well here it is, not a perfect show but its growing and sense its St Valentines Day today I thought we needed a little red. So A Happy Valentines day to ya and if you still got a poinsettia still growing and its leaves are still hanging on, plant it in your garden, it will add some pretty green foliage , just remember to bring in this fall.

Heres a link to the poinsettia , experiment. http://compostpyle.blogspot.com/2010/07/plant-camp-mondays_18.html

Also if you missed any of the Plant Camp or need references ,check out on the right hand column on my blog on past Plant Camps, there's a list of plants featured in the camp also a button code to Plant Camp to copy if you like to add to your blog pages so you won't miss camp.

Have a beautiful week and thank you for dropping by.

tc linda

Monday, February 7, 2011

Plant Camp Monday's

Time to get the Plant Camp started up again even with 20 inches of snow on the ground and more to come this week. Oh well!

But there's lots we can do inside and get those gardens planned and those seeds ordered. So lets get down to the most important part, seeds and good seeds. If your a gardener you probably been going through the many seed catalogs and how exciting they are and we want them all, well I do : )

This year I'm getting my heirloom seeds from a new company, White Harvest Seed


Its got a good story how I got to know this company. I got an E-m from the company asking if they could use a picture of a plant I had taken from my garden a few years ago. I was so honored to be asked and of course I said yes. They were putting out this beautiful website of just what I like, heirloom seeds.

They have it all, a large variety of seeds,bookstore. They can help you with your garden set up, a beautiful blog and a featured gardener each month and much more. You go through all the seeds and add them to your wish list, I got quite a list already made and ready to order.

I had to join, and to my surprise when you speak of a small world , well it certainly is. I found out that I knew the owners grandparents from many years ago. They owned an apple orchard and I knew I would be doing business with a very good family. I was so happy to find this all out.

If not all that being a wonderful company to order from I was asked and honored to be this months feature gardener, http://whiteharvestseed.com/special-programs/featured-gardener.html. WOW , They made simple ol me look pretty darn good except for that goofy picture of me , but unfortunately its my best :/

Check out other featured gardeners, very inspiring. Also if your featured you get a certificate for seeds. So if you or know someone is a gardener let them know.

I have White Harvest Seed Company button on the left hand side of my blog page, so go and really enjoy a good company and check out their blog, well worth it.

Heres just a small list of the heirloom tomato seeds I have in the wish list that I'll be ordering, oh theres so many seeds they have listed.

Powers Heirloom
TomatoRed Cherry - Large
Blondkopfchen (Little Blonde Girl), My little granddaughters will like this one
Hungarian Heart
Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato.

Along with the heirloom seeds I saved from last year , it doesn't look like i'm going to scale down on my tomatoes, no way!

I'll share next Plant Camp of the other goodies I have in my wish list from White Harvest Seed, I highly recommend for your choice of heirloom seeds. Check em out.

So get those seeds and get ready for gardening, its going to be a good year : )

Happy Gardening and thank you for stopping by.

tc linda

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quinzee/snowhut part 2

Well I made it, didn't sleep in it though. The warmth of the cabin woodstove kept me in but I did go out at night and took a pic of the glow from the candle. It felt like I was in the North Pole.

I had to take several breaks letting the snow set for the final dig. I got in it and thought this is great, what a good place to camp out in the elements. But still concerned about the top coming down. So I didn't sleep in it. I needed to see what this dome does before I go into la la land. Besides sleeping in the cabin I dreamt about fly fishing and I doubt I would have such a good dream or even sleep in the snow hut

Here I am sitting in the cave , a bit cold and thinking I'll need to make the opening smaller. Or maybe running inside to the wood stove.

Notice the roof next to my nog'n, I didn't duck low enough coming in and gave myself a brain freeze on the outside of my forehead , so I bundled up good.

Now I couldn't wait tell the grandkiddies came over to check this cool playhouse out and sure enough they came over yesterday. I wanted to get all five of them in there but as they were heading in they were coming out of the thing fast. They said there was no room. What no room!, yeah I knew it was not big enough for hand ball but I knew there was plenty of room for all of them. So I checked

Oh no the roof had dropped to the size of a uncomfortable size , I could no longer sit in it. Oh I could have rolled up in a ball and slept but no this was not good.

My DD , mother of five crawled in and she thought it was great, maybe thinking a little break form all the kids, not sure.

My little 7 yr old granddaughter liked it to, the others headed to the cabin fast so didn't get there pic's quick enough .

So all and all I could have done the same thing digging out a snow drift. My next one will be done so different, and I will recruit others to help build a big one. I may add some water spray to make it more solid. And if I sleep over night in one I will make sure my hubby is standing guard outside to dig me out just in case.

I only wish I made these when I was a kid and even with my own kids. My mind didn't go further then a snow fort that was open and toss snow balls. This would have been a hoot to make with all the kid energy I use to have. We would have made a warehouse size Quinzee. Big enough for a handball game maybe even tennis.

Thanks all for following along my winter fun. I learn some things to do a better job next time. I also didn't freeze to death and thats always a good thing. Good news cabin fever is over with : )

tc linda

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fighting Cabin Fever

More wonderful snow and I haven't been to the store since last month. It's ok cuz I don't care to shop and like being in the woods but I still get cabin fever. I want to do so much and I just stay close to the wood burner and think. I do a little in my workshop and theres much to do in there, do a little knitting, little reading and planning the seeds but still its really about getting out in the snow. Not just bringing in firewood all day but getting out and playing in the snow. So I did it.

I'm working on a snow shelter called a Quinzee . I first learned about them from a true outdoors nature writer and adventurer . She has a wonderful site that is full of interesting outdoor experiences. You can kick the winter blues reading her pages. Very inspiring lady and ready to help those that would like to get into writing as well.

If you like to walk the woods and forage she has much to share! Bird watchers ,theres some cool videos that she has taken. Also an encounter with a bear. Check her site out, a very gifted lady. http://www.writerbynature.com/

So with 7" of new snow and more to come this weekend I had all the right stuff to make the shelter. I layered up on clothing and while piling up snow I had to shed them quick. I got a few pic of my progress and later today I will be hollowing the Quinzee out.

I went away from the cabin , didn't want to make a mess in the front yard. I like snow with no human footprints. I building the dome next to the creek out back.

This pic is the start, I used a old broken lawn mower and a cooler for my filler. These will be pulled out as I hollow out the shelter. Makes for less digging. If out in the woods and you needed to do this , using your backpacks would be good and just pull them out at the door opening.

Next is just start piling snow on it. Hubby took the snow shovel so I used a milk crate. Worked great until I got that shovel when he got home from work, Wow I wish I had the shovel in the first place.

The temp was in the lower teens and I would take breaks and come in for some coffee. This is such a different kind of workout and I was huffing and puffing. Here the pile is about 3 ft high

I got it to almost 5 ft and letting it set, this setting is needed and called “sintering” the snow crystals adhere to one another and help in bonding the structure together.

This pic is hard to see , the sun was setting so called it a night.

So today I'll be out and work on my project. Will I sleep in it? Oh I just don't know but I will sit in it and have some cocoa, maybe light up the Sterno and cook some soup. See how really warm it will get. Now providing it does not collapse, well see.

I'll need to put foot long sticks in it from the outside , these will be guiding sticks as I dig inside the dome. When I hit or see the end of the stick it means to stop, that way the walls will keep an even 12 inches thick. Oh I got a lot to do, cabin fever over

I'll get back later with pic of success or failure. See ya

Thanks again for stopping by. I was hoping to get seeds ordered and a list of them as will. I will do that after this project this weekend.

Plant Camp, will be coming up to and I'll share about how that two year long Poinsettia fared.

tc linda

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Enjoying A Winter Birthday

Today is by hubbies birthday. We don't go all out on birthdays on us ol folks , we like the laid back time on a snowy cold day at home. I do like to say things like "what do you think it is, Your Birthday" when we need to get a load of wood inside for the stove. But the ol timer appears to be sleeping and it looks like I'll need to bring in the wood. I'll make it noisy though : ).

I have been cabin bound for a time and stay out of the stores for over a month after Christmas. I don't think of birthday cakes for January in Dec. My bad, so I made hubby some pancakes, no candles so I cooked up some link sausages , a stack of pancakes with a link sausage on top, well it work, food always does.

Making some bread, grill some Cornish hens outside and peach cobbler for later tonight, along with a good movie. Hey I think it will work,lol.

Our plans for a 3 mile hike almost happen but we lazied out, but the day isn't over yet and there's that wood workout to bring in, helps with that pancake I had.

The grandkiddies called with a birthday song and that's always a wonderful gift. Our oldest granddaughter's birthday is tomorrow, she'll be nine and what a wonderful birthday gift she was for hubby just a few years ago and such a joy everyday sense, along with all our grandkiddies. An overflow of Blessings for sure.

So whats been up with me, CABIN FEVER, yep even happens when you love not going anywhere and being snow bound, happens to the best of us. I really think its more anxious to get my garden seeds going. I need to get over at the other homestead and get my coffee can containers, get lots of potting soil and get rock'n on Winter Sowing http://www.wintersown.org/ Check this site out, great way to help with garden fever early.

Later this week I'll have a list of my seeds that I'll have ordered, get the little green house ready, work up some newspaper pots and kick this cabin fever to the curb or in our case the roadside ditch.

Getting back into knitting, not much just those easy and fast dishcloths, making coasters too.

I need to get the yarn store b/c I want to make socks again. Actually knitting is a great way to past the winter time, its peaceful and rewarding plus keeps your hands out of the snack bowl, well sorta. Yes I would like to lose a few pounds, so off colas and lots of fattening stuff. I gotta cuz I need to fit in that kayak and not sink it : (.

Still lots of snow on the ground so here's some pic's around here.

Our driveway

This Christmas popcorn canister is full of bird seed, time to knock that snow off

The ol willow chair is topped with snow too

Along with the rockers , won't be long I'll be rock'n with ice tea and a good book, but not today!

Looks like will have snow for some time with more added later this week, continued snow bound but all is well with the thoughts of spring on down the road.

Oh the birthday boy is snoring away , time to bring in that wood, I'll try and be quiet, not!

Take good care and so glad you dropped by.

tc linda

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kayak Ice Fishing

Well I guess for some ol gals sis and I are pretty tough. Well sort of. On Dec 30, 2010 we took our kayaks out on our last fishing trip of the year. It was a beautiful day, warm even, so we thought we would not have any problems with the lake being iced up. Wrong O.

When we got to the lake we just stared and wonder if kayak sledding was in store instead : )

Looks like someone else must of wanted to go fishing to cuz they tossed in a few big rocks to see how thick that ice was, and also tossed in their cigarette butts (bottom of pic) gave up and went home. But we stayed , oh are we tough gals, our Mom calls it nutting ol women :/

Over at the launching area it was iced over but along the edge there was an opening, yeah!

So loaded up and ready to go

Most the ice I had to break with my paddle, even tossed in my anchor and draw it back in, some ice I was able to paddle through. Go nutty women , i'm mov'n now!

As the morning grew warmer the lake would open more areas to fish in so we got a good spot to throw in our lines. Notice the line of ice, this is where sis caught an ice fish, yep she reeled in her line and a chuck of ice shape like a fish was on her hook . I should have took a pic , it was a catch and release.

We didn't use live bait but I used a Christmas gift from sis, this little rubber fish lure is almost to cute to fish with but I gave it a shot, no bites

In fact no fish or bites at all, but I got to do some ice fishing. After all these years of talking about breaking ice and fishing I did it ;).

Toward the end of trip we were able to be out in the middle of the lake and the wind was up, there was even white caps and getting colder. We had a good work out getting back to shore paddling against the wind but we made it.

We got back to shore loaded up our yaks and ate cheese and Ritz's crackers in the heated truck. Did I say we were tough :/.

I stored my kayak for the winter and quite satisfied with watching kayak fishing on Dish Network and waiting for the nice spring days that fishing will begin for us again. Unless we get a wild hair to give it another try but I think we are good to go and will wait. The thing is I/we did it.

I like to make this New Year a year of doing things I talk about doing, take on those challenges that I set up for myself. Oh they may be little simple challenges in the big picture of things but if it gets me out and about I think it will be good for body and soul. Have you heard the saying "Move least ye rust". Well winter can do that to ya, its hard to get out in that cold, easy to stay by the fire and drink hot cocoa, watch a movie or play on the computer.

So I'm looking out the window as the snow is falling in the woods and thinking about snow camping, well I make that debris hut that I tried a couple of years ago and really sleep in it, maybe make a igloo quinzee, snow shelter and spend the night in it. Well the snow be deep enough, will I give it another shot! Well I cook again in the snow using the Dutch Ovens and make some camp coffee. Go for a hike and check out tracks in the snow.

These are things I like/want to do but right now I'm warm , I can see far into the woods and watch for wildlife, they can't see or smell me and may come up close to the cabin. The birds are gathering from plants in the woods and from plants in my garden. When the snow quits I'll toss out the bird seed and fill up the bird feeders. I only think of going out in the snow for now.

When I bundled up I'll take some pictures of our snow in the woods. The next few months will be a black and white look for awhile outside , maybe a glow of a firepit for a splash of color. A fuzzy red squirrel running up a tree. The brown colors of split wood and the green wagon I pull the wood in. Many arm loads a day into the cabin for wonderful heat.

The color inside the cabin are many with warm throws, the fire going, the looks of hot veggie soup and homemade bread and soft yellow butter. Drinking a cup of amber color hot tea over a spread of colorful seed catalogs and hopes of spring someday with all the beauty it brings and gardening.

I love these days where I can reflect, pray , hope , grow and most important love.

The snow is still falling and there's more wood to bring in. But before I head out, theres a seed company that i'll be featuring this month, I have a list of wish seeds that i'll be ordering from them. So stay tune soon for my next blog , I'll share which seeds I'll be planting . Time for getting set up for starting those seeds next month, winter sowing and getting Plant Camp started up again too!

Have a wonderful blessed week.

Thank you for stopping by.

tc linda
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