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Apple Blossom Amaryllis

January 17th, 2017

Growing up, I remember that my dad always gave my mom an amaryllis bulb for Christmas. She’d plant them and we’d have bright red amaryllises blooming in the house in February. This year, my parents gave both my and my sister bulbs. I planted mine as soon as I got home and it started blooming last week. (note that we celebrate Christmas the week after Thanksgiving when we are in Ohio, so I planted this in early December).
apple blossom amaryllis
It’s quite a bloom and it brings lots of color to the upstairs garden. I have it in a bright window by the grow lights with a wide variety of other plants. My mom always kept her bulbs and they rebloomed year after year. I may or may not keep mine, I haven’t decided yet.

Do you grow amaryllises for winter color?

Getting Close

January 16th, 2017

Those spicy microgreens I seeded last week are just about to the stage where I can start harvesting them. I think I can seed them a little more thickly next time. The seeds are supposed to be around 1/4″ apart in the flat. They are quite spicy, I plucked one little seedling from the flat as I watered them and it provided a nice punch of flavor!
spicy microgreens 1
spicy microgreens 2
You’re supposed to harvest them when they get their first set of true leaves, mine are just getting their first true leaf. Technically they are ready to harvest today through Thursday, which is the 10-15 days stated that it takes. I’m going to wait until Thurs, if my office was warmer, they would probably be larger now. I’ll let them get about twice this big, which will provide us with 4-6 meals from my two flats of greens. I’ll definitely be getting a few more flats going this week.

Is anything in season in your area?

Decluttering with a Cause

January 10th, 2017

Every year I minimize more and more things around the house. It’s like a breath of fresh air to get rid of things that are no longer needed or used. One space that I want to focus on this year is my sewing room. Over the years I’ve collected lots of fabric, people give it to me, I purchase some, some is from old pieces of clothing, some from scraps of past projects. I want to get rid of a lot of this fabric, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
sewing-zipper-pouches-1
Then I remembered the zipper pouches I made to send to an orphanage last summer and decided to start making lots more of these to send down to the school I work with in Colombia. The only problem is that if I want to send them to the school, I’ll need around 400 – yes FOUR HUNDRED!
sewing-zipper-pouches-2
With that in mind, I set a goal to sew one pouch each day this year. So far I’ve managed to do 2-4 per day, which is great because in the summer I won’t have as much time to sew. It’s proving to be the perfect project to reach my goal. I get to sew and be creative, while using up fabric from my stash. I’m even using up all the random spools of thread that I got from my grandmother’s sewing supplies. My scrap jar is overflowing with all the tiny scraps of fabric that are too small for using (these make perfect stuffing for various projects). One thing I will need to buy is more zippers, I only had about 50 in my stash (many came from my grandmother’s sewing supplies). I’ll purchase more from Zip-It on Etsy.
sewing-zipper-pouches-3
sewing-zipper-pouches-4
If I end up making four hundred of these pencil cases I’ll use up most of my unwanted fabric, which will be just perfect. Last time I counted I had made 25 zipper pouches as of the first of the year. Each pouch is unique, I want no two to be the same, partly because each child is unique and partly because it makes it more difficult for them to be stolen by another kid.

What charitable goals do you have for 2017?

Winter Gardening

January 9th, 2017

I’ve been seeing microgreens at the grocery store for quite a few years now, they’re not sprouts, but little seedlings grown in soil. Johnny’s Seeds sells the seed mixes for them along with individual varieties. I purchased a packet last year with hopes of growing them last winter. That didn’t happen, but I did manage to get two flats sowed yesterday.
seeding-spicy-microgreens-1
seeding-spicy-microgreens-2
I have one flat on a heat mat, both are on my light stand ready for the light to go on when the seedlings emerge. I’ve read that these can be ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks, which seems like the perfect length of time. I’ll keep you posted on my efforts to add a homegrown microgreens to my plate during the long, cold winter months here in Maine.

Are you doing any indoor gardening for your plate?

And They’re Off…

January 9th, 2017

The spicy microgreens I seeded under the grow light are growing. Obviously the flat I put on the heating mat germinated quicker, but the second try caught up quickly and they’re pretty much the same now. Which shows that with these the heat mat isn’t worth using.
spicy-microgreens-under-the-grow-light
These are supposed to be ready to harvest in 10 days to 2 weeks, as soon as the first set of true leaves appears. I’m anxiously watching and waiting to see how long it takes and what they taste like. While I’d never grow enough greens for an entire salad like this, they will be nice to add a bit of green to certain dishes, like fajitas, soups, or omelets. I’m thinking of seeding a tray of cilantro microgreens for enjoying on fajitas in a few weeks.

What’s growing in your house this winter?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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