Friday, June 8, 2012


The last two days we have had severe afternoon showers complete with an excess of hail. Huge hail. Ping pong ball sized and mean, mean marble sized ones. We lost everything on the right hand side of the garden! All the peas, green beans, wax beans and the watermelon starts. The garage wall sheltered the tomatoes, corn and green peppers, but only barely. I am fairly sure we will lose one of the tomatoes, it split the stalk lengthwise and is looking rather puny. The fence sheltered some of my cukes and squash, so I am happy about that. Should still get in an abundance of zucchini. *sigh*

Debating replanting.... since we are moving in about 6 weeks, I'm just not sure if it's worth it. Plus the forecast is calling for more storms late next week. I may just spread hay over a large potion of the ruined area and let it mulch for next year. That way Al has better soil to work with. Really need to put in a screen arbor or something for the hail... if we were staying here I would look into the cost of building one, it can't be too much for such a small space, but we aren't. I'll suggest it to Al and he can decide. He will have all winter to prepare it that way.

I'm still very upset about it all, but I am also learning things I will need to know for when I try to do this on a larger scale. The next two years I think I want to try to provide enough to get my family through and not have to grocery shop for produce.. then I really want to think about starting a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.) I have so much in my head that I want to implement and put out there right away, but I know it's smarter to wait. Especially if I want to add nice things to my CSA shares, like local honey or eggs, to set me apart from other farmers in the area. Then, of course, there is the matter of having enough land to grow for a CSA. At least 2 acres of dedicated farmland... plus whatever land I need for my personal use meat and dairy goats, the chickens and all the rest! *huge sigh*

It's a dream right now, but I'm going to push through and make it happen... !!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


So I finally remembered to take my camera to the garden... four days ago! I've just been too forgetful to post the pictures. So, without further blathering... garden pictures!!

Cucumber, Squash
Small tomato
 Green beans
 An unknown herb (Al planted it) May be sage...
 Green peppers

 We picked it...
It was delicious. Sun warmed and sweet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


The pool opened this weekend. I dislike some of the people who "hang out" there, but I know Bastian will have a good time if we go so I can suck it up I suppose. *laugh*

Made honey wheat bread the other day. It came out beautifully and we made some fantastic French toast with it. I have pictures, but the computer is being lazy...

Some radish and beet seedlings have started to come up in the garden. Still need to get pictures, but I can never remember the camera!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


The hardest part of the land share is that it's 8 miles away and a pain to get to daily to water. It's good for me to get out and about, but -geez!- is it a chore. More than going out in my backyard would be. Still, I'm very proud of it. Can't wait for the seedlings to come up. I do have a few still in the house... I kept the strawberry basket and one tomato (heirloom rainbow) and radish, lettuce and beet seedlings that still need some time to get stronger. Not to mention Steve (our resident avocado tree, sprouted from an organic avocado pit.) --->

I actually harvested some tiny strawberries yesterday. They were tiny because they were on the vine during transplant to the basket and so were stunted from transplant shock... they were a bit tart, but still "berry" tasty!! *giggle*

Friday, May 18, 2012

Land Share!

So I have been horrible remiss in posting. But summer break is upon us and my only classes will be online, so I should have more time to post. The last few days we've been very busy at a friend of ours home. We helped him with some landscaping then his neighbor offered this little parcel of land to us to grow veg on. It's just a tiny alley beside the garage but it's beautiful to me! Any space outdoors is better than space indoors. I took progression pictures to show how we changed it:

The beginning -
 This is my seed drawer. It's horribly unorganized right now... semi-alphabetical. I love seeds!

This is the alleyway beside the garage... or at least this is how it looked three days ago. Just a poor scrap of land sitting very unused and begging for attention. *laugh*

Then we pulled up the large weeds by the roots, yanked a few patches of stickerburr type plants and mowed it all down. The hedge is still there, but you can't see it in this picture... we didn't remove it or chop it down, it provides a nice barrier from the road and dogs and such.

Then we tilled, turned and sifted out roots. We thought about renting a roto-tiller, but decided to do it by hand with a pitchfork instead. It let us see what we were working with dirt wise and we could control the weeds better. The soil is very clay heavy, but we added some "Sheep and Peat" (peat moss and sheep manure) and some Cottonburr blend to help it out.

<--- This is the Sheep and Peat mixed with the Cottonburr and some topsoil/compost dirt. It doesn't show well in this photo but it has the most encouraging dark black color... Which you can see better in the photo with Bastian. --->

 All set up. We put in so many things. There on the left are tomatoes, which I had started indoors and on the right are green beans and peas, also started indoors. On the back riser there are cukes, squash and zucchini which should sprout in a week or so and below the riser are carrots.
 Coming down a bit you can see a large blank area on the left which is corn, well... will be when it sprouts, and the little plant there is a bell pepper. We also planted a Bell Pepper "Color Mix" set in there, but again - seeds. On the right we have some more beans (a yellow version) and just in the left corner there are some watermelons! In between the flat packed squares (where we plan to put paving stones or something if we can find them on Craigslist) are rows of radish, beet and lettuces, easily stepped over plants. We tried to make the most of the tiny space and I'm pretty sure we did.

 It's not going to be easy... we'll have to hand pollinate the corn, which is time consuming, and we'll have to really keep up with compost/manure spreads and weeding because of the way the ground was. Next year we won't be here.. since we're moving to another state... but our friend Al will have a good base for it. Especially if he mulches it over the winter.

I hope to be able to remember the camera when we get in the sprouts and as it gets greener and more exciting in there I'll be sure to update.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Long Absence!

I know, I know... it's been forever. School has really been sapping my time. Not so much of my time I haven't managed to do a little container gardening though!

I have peas, green beans, bunching onions, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers currently poking their heads up and out of my big green pots in the living room. I am very excited. We also have a tiny mystery plant. I have no clue what it may turn up to be. It looks like a pea plant. There was a mystery seed in the bottom of the bag from Lowes. Since we had a few different types of peas this one could be anything! How exciting. It is definitely growing faster than the bush snap peas. It may be snow pea or a climbing pea. Its little tendrils are so cute. I have had to give it a branch to cling to, it's so tall, but not strong yet. I need to look into finding some deeper pots for the tomatoes. They are just an inch tall right now, but once they get bigger they will probably need more depth for the root systems.

Apartment gardening is a huge challenge. I really prefer outdoor gardens, but for now some green is better than none, right!? Oh, yeah. I love being dirt covered. I also marvel at how a few bucks worth of dirt and seeds can turn into so much. It's beautiful and it is why I want a farm more than anything in the whole world.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My divorce papers came in the mail today. Everything went through just peachy. I am officially a single mom now. I'm not certain how I feel about that... On one hand, I feel good. Free, I guess. But on the other hand, it's the end of a chapter in my life. A long chapter. It will be alright, just ... it's like the end of a book or movie... sometimes a bit sad and you aren't sure you want it to be over like that. I realize it isn't over, that I'm beginning a new chapter in the same book... but I don't know... it's still sad. Mostly for Bastian. He's the one who suffers the most for this whole thing. He is very tough, but sometimes he shows the wear and tear of the whole situation. It breaks my heart when he asks for Scott to come back and for us to be a family again. It's hard to explain it to him.

Just need time, I suppose....

Monday, January 9, 2012


I baked a strawberry cheesecake today. From scratch. Including the crust! Though to be honest, the crust was simple. Just crumbled up leftover gingerbread cookies from Christmas and half a stick of butter, mashed up together and pressed into the bottom of the pie pan. You could easily cheat and use a premade crust though.

This is the cheesecake recipe, in case anyone else wants to try it. (Modifications I made to the original plain cheesecake parts will be in parenthesis and italics.)


1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice ( I omitted this and added 1 tbsp. strawberry extract instead)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
2 eggs

1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
(1 tsp strawberry extract)
(tiny bit of burgundy food coloring) 

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in sugar, lemon juice (extract), vanilla, and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Place crust on baking sheet (I didn't use a sheet, I had a thick glass pie pan) and pour in filling.

Bake on sheet in preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean . To prepare topping, combine remaining ingredients. Spread over top of cheese cake. Bake 10 minutes longer; cool on rack. Chill 3 hours.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Well, the holidays were nice and the break was fantastic. Bastian is back in school now and life returns to a semi-normal state. As normal as it can be these days. I am very excited to be starting school on the 18th. I bought my textbooks the other day and am anxiously awaiting their arrival in the mail. Yay for Amazon. *laugh* To be honest they were much cheaper. Though I am renting one textbook from Barnes and Noble, since the book itself was $80 and I can't ever foresee needing the "ServeSafe Manual for Food Safety" as a reference guide on my coffee table. I figured it was worth saving the $40 to just rent it and return it after the semester is up.

I am not nervous about any of my classes this semester. I know I can ace them. This summer, however, I am on edge a bit. I have to take a few math courses and I have serious doubts that my GPA will survive the term in a healthy state. I'm not a math person. I'm going to have to put in a ton of study time. It will be worth it though. Once those math courses are out of the way I know I will be able to breath easier and breeze through the rest of the courses until I finally get that darned degree! *sheesh*