"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, January 26, 2014

Winter Sowing

It starts with a nice winter day, some seeds, soil, containers and the Winter Sowing is on.  Its easy and fun to do and helps with the long winters and a great start.   I have grown hundreds of plant this way and this season I'm so excited to get started again.

First the seeds, I save many of my heirlooms but I can't resist the seeds in the store and even the cheap 20 cent paks do well.   Heres a just  few!

I have done Winter Sowing for a few years and my coffee can containers have lasted very well.  All have a number on the outside so I can keep track of whats growing each season.   I also keep a journal of the plant with number and there's a plastic label in the container too.   The label I make from cut up strips of milk jugs with permanent marker with plant info and date. 

I use potting soil but you can use soil less mixtures too.   Heres a pic on the deck, after about 3 inches of soil in container then water and let drain before adding seed.  Sprinkle some soil on top, add clear plastic with holes poked in the plastic.  Be sure container has bottom drainage holes.  Holes on bottom and on top is very important.  Your pots will be out in all the elements winter can bring so needs to have drainage from condensation,  rain, snow and protection too.

I just did 39 containers yesterday with many more to do.  Their nestled in some extra cement blocks to keep it a bit more organized and from blowing around.  They might not look pretty but come early spring and all the green tops coming up I can't think of anything more pretty.   Well I can but they do look nice : )!  

Heres a list of what I planted Saturday,

 January 15, 2014 Winter Sowing:
1-Cabbage-- Early Golden Acre
2-Onions -- Evergreen Bunching and Southport White Globe
3-Broccoli -- old seed
4-Asparagus -- old seed--Mary Washington
5-Leeks-- heirloom
7-Cherokee Purple--saved seeds -heirloom
8-Stupice--saved seeds-heirloom
10-Amish Paste-saved seeds-heirloom
11-Abe Lincoln-saved seeds-heirloom

12-Pepper- sweet bell type, Rainbow Mix
13-Joe Pye- saved seeds
14-Sweet Williams- bought and saved seeds
15-Echinacea- White Swan
16-Shasta Daisy- Alaska
17-Four O'clocks- Mixed colors
18-Canterbury Bells-
19-Columbine-Mckana's Mix
20-Liatris spicata- Blazing Star- purple

Also a shot at some Bonasi from some old seeds that were sealed very well.  This will be something new for me.
1-Fagus Sylvatica--Native Beech
2-Acer palmatum- Japanese Maple
3-Cryptomeria japonica- Japanese Cedar
4-Pinusthunbergia-Black Pine

Hope your Winter Sowing, if not I do hope you give it a try, you'll be hooked.   Below is a link to get you started and all you need to know to get you gardening in winter when the snow is flying.

Winter Sowing

Thank you for dropping by, have a great week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ski Trip

Yesterday was trip to Snow Creek.  First time for all of us.  I took over taking pic's and watching the little ones who did not want to ski.  But before long my 5 yr old granddaughter wanted to give it a try and off she went.  WOW! they learn so fast.   We are planning another trip soon and I'll be skiing next time.  Can't wait.   Its been awhile but I hope it will be like riding a bike, I HOPE! Cross country is what I like to do and never went down a big hill like this one. Not sure I will take that, its not on my bucket list.

Could not have asked for a beautiful day, weather was perfect, lots of sunshine and nice inside with fireplace going and hot chocolate and good food. Best of all the kids learned something new and was outside enjoying winter and all the fun activities it brings.  

In the summer months they turn the slopes into a mud run.  I like the clean snow better : )

Its been absolutely wonderful weather in the last few days, and garden planning and preparing is going on.   The days are staying a little lighter each day that passes and the snow is almost gone along the creek banks.

Last weekend we spent the day over at my first homestead with the family where we built a cabin and really lived in the sticks with no running water and an outhouse.  We did some cleaning up and it was a day of wildlife sightings.   While we had our heads looking up at a large flock of geese flying over a herd of deer ran passed us, oh was it a sight.   On the trip over about 10 minutes away there was a filed full of wild turkey and further up a owl was along the fence row with a catch, probably a field mouse.

We got a lot done and gathered some sticks and had a quick hot dog roast, shaved some wiener sticks out of long sticks and talked of the old times when we first moved to country many moons ago.

Whether one lives in the city or country or in between theres always something out in nature to enjoy.  Could be a critter, tame or wild or a flower coming up its all around us and all we have to do is slow down and enjoy.

Thank you for your visits and have a great week.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Work'n Those Needles

Between working at home and bringing in the wood I work the knitting needles.   I love to make socks and it seems the more I knit the faster it goes, even for that second sock.  One could make a sock in a day , but I don't.  I like to do to many other things : ).  So in the evening I get those socks worked on.

First pic is two pair of tube socks that went real fast and the one on the needles will have the heel.   Here they are done in the second pic.  They are wool over the knee.  They feel so good and will be great to wear when I'm trekking in the woods and going on a ski trip soon.

I got two more pairs to show soon , just need to get the toe done on the last sock, yeah!  

I like working on the wool yarns esp in the winter time, and cottons in the warmer weather.   Last year I knitted scarves with fun yarns for the girls.  They are super fast to make.  This year its been socks.

Oh boy is it cold , in the negatives, its 3* F and sun is shinning and the snow is sparkling with all kinds of tracks from the critters.

Got the wood stove fired up and with passive solar light coming through the windows it stays rather warm in our vintage cabin.

With seed catalogs coming through the mail I got my plans for the gardens and in a couple more weeks will order and also start the winter sowing.  Bring out the mini green house that will go in our cabin and start hundreds of heirloom tomatoes and peppers from saved seeds.   Future plans for a small greenhouse but for now the little one does very well just with sun heat and produces way more then I need.  DD takes many of the plants and sell.  I have put out 500 heirloom tomatoes one time and last year I just put out a hundred, not to mention the volunteers that pop up. Every year I knock it down a hundred or so.    This season I'm going to scale down a lardge bit,  about 50 plants but I always get carried away and will pop in another plant if there's room.

I'll be ordering some new heirloom to try out, so very excited about the gardens.

Well coffee is ready and another log needs to go in the stove.   So have a good one, thanks for dropping by and keep warm and enjoy every season.  They go by way to fast.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I'm so excited about 2014.  With lots of New Year resolutions to keep and hope not  break to many.   Mine are pretty simple so might not be hard. 

I put out some feed outside our cabin window to get some close up on the birds, This cardinal had some seed in his mouth when he seen a camera in his face.  He took off in a flash.  

 Its been a busy place on the homestead , with lots of happenings away from home and of course bringing in the wood.   Staying nice and toasty while the temp drops in the single digits.  Burrrrrrrr.

Christmas Eve was out at my sisters and BIL,  Mom is staying with them, she is 87.   Most all the grandkiddies where there and Santa aka my sister came to visit.  We skyped my son's family who could not be with us and the little one enjoyed his cousins and seeing Santa via Internet.  Was pretty cool to do.   Pizza and gag gifts and lots of fun.  Christmas day we had dinner out at sis's.   It was a great Christmas.

New Years hubby and I stayed home and watch the ball drop in New York in the comfy of our warm home.  New Years day I cooked black-eyed peas ( for a good year tradition) and spiced shrimp. 

I wanted to do something different on that cold day in the 5* F and snow in the forecast.  And hubby was game for it.  One of my resolutions this year is to do more fishing.  My sister and I are the Yak Sisters, we go fishing in our kayaks but last year we didn't even get an oar wet. NOT GOOD.  Where did the time go to go fishing.   I want to get hubby into fishing and the kayaks don't work well with this ol man.  Its about entering and getting out that was a problem.  Me too, sis and I gained some weight, it happens (also a resolution that might,ahh probably will be broken).  Well sis is worried that a game warden will give her a ticket for swimming in the lake and she will have to explain that the boat is underneath her. Not Good.  I think I know what her New Year Resolution is.   I'm good, I'm still wear'n the same size pants for years and sweat clothes are the best clothes ever.  Those are my main wardrobe.  Just keeping it simple.

Now back to New Years Day.   While I'm looking for a flat bottom fishing boat on the Internet so hubby and I can go fishing this spring, hubby says how about that boat over at the old homestead.  I had plumb forgot about it and wondering what kind of conditions it might be.   The last time I was in it was when my sister and  I did a little prank on some family friends that had put out trot lines on the pond in the woods.   We went last at night through the foggy spooky woods and launched the fishing boat.   We pulled up their lines, they didn't have any fish on it and placed vintage clothes on the hooks.   There was a go go boot, a 70's shirt and a whopper size bra that could have hauled in a big fish on its own.   We giggled the whole time with thoughts of them drag'n in the line think'n it had huge fish on it.    We only heard of their catch and they knew it was those sisters that live in the woods.  So its this very boat that has been over turned for many years and not used.

Our New Year begins with a short 10 min. trip to the homestead, camera with me to take some nature pics and driving up to the cabin there's about 5 or 6 wild turkeys hanging out under the pecan tree.  Of all time the camera says my memory card is protected, what in the world does that mean.  It worked the day before and here the turkeys are standing still for a photo opt. I could not ask for a better photo shot. Theres goes all my pics down in the woods.  The camera works the next day!   

So hubby and I check out our project.  The boat looks intact, no dents but very much stuck in the frozen dirt. And its cold 4* or 5*F. We peck out the dirt being careful not to damage this old vintage boat.   At one point i fall on my backside and my legs are all knotted together, hubby ask if I'm ok with a helping hand across the other side of the boat and I say I'm a big pretzel.  He laugh so hard that he's no help getting me out of this predicament and I'm able to undo myself pulling on a low limb over the boat.

Now as we almost got that boat undone has hubby was lifting up the back of the boat a big raccoon ran out almost under his legs, hubby jump and it was my time to laugh.   We were hoping we didn't get into a family but found a dead opossum underneath the boat.   Not sure if the raccoon was eating the carcase or just what the deal was.   But we were getting our boat.   There was in the beginning of this adventure when chipping away at the ice to give up and wait tell spring thaw after all we were not going boating on a frozen lake but we kept at it.     I hope my NY resolutions are that persistent.

We loaded the boat on the top racks of our SUV , that was hard to do to, tied down and headed back home.  On the way home there was some on lookers on the road and I told hubby how they were looking at his new(old) boat, he was so proud.  But really they probably worried the boat would fall on the road.  But hubby doesn't need to know that ; )

So far no muscle soreness yet!  Happy we got that boat which now has a cover of snow from last night.  Come spring well have a maiden launch at our public 70 acre lake, most the times we have it to ourself and no high power motor boats, 10mph is the limit.  Rowing is much quieter, but I bet hubby will want a trolling motor.  Now loading that boat is a bit much to, not as easy as a kayak so a little pickup will serve us well.  I let hubby know about this idea in the middle of the night and got a, ah, yah, ok, goodnight, Happy New Year.

I'm ready to start this new year with lots of fun projects.   Gardening is always on the top of the list with gardening.   New heirloom seed catalogs coming in the mail. And always planning for changes of the gardens and new plants to try out.  Winter sowing in containers well be starting soon.

Sis and I checked out a big garden center in town while waiting for a client to get home.   Oh how exciting to smell and see things growing in a green house in the winter time.   It gets the spring fever up and really helps with cabin fever too.

I'm going to continue back with the Plant Camp but not just on Mondays.  It gets to feel like a have to do and I fall short of that, so I want to make it more fun and winging it during the year sounds more fun and simple too. So no pressure.

I do want to thank you for your visits although I have had some hit and many missed blogging days.
Have a good one and keep it simple

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