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Showing Her Age

February 9th, 2016

The old red truck is showing her age. She’s our plow truck, in fact she’s been plowing this driveway for many, many years. With our last snow storm, the 49 year old engine mounts gave out.
fixing the old jeep
She’s not down for the count, parts are on order and a plan is in place. It’s amazing to have a vehicle that’s 10 years older than me still working hard around the farm.
plow truck 1
With tender loving care and a little luck, she’ll be able to keep on trucking for years to come! Even though our other vehicles are also getting old, she makes them all look like spring chickens.

How old is your oldest vehicle?

And Sow It Begins

February 8th, 2016

This past weekend I seeded my first two flats of lettuce and radicchio. I like to have a flat of seedlings ready to be planted into a low tunnel when the weather starts to warm up. For me, it’s well worth the few minutes it takes to complete this chore in early February in order to be harvesting loads of salad greens by mid/late March.
soil blocks
Cat on seedlings tra
Littles decided that the flats needed a little warmth and has decided it’s her new favorite top. Thank goodness for these heavy duty Perma-Nest trays!!!

What’s the first vegetable you seed for your garden?

Friday Favorite: Snow

February 5th, 2016

After being in the mid-fifties on Thursday, we woke up to snow covering the ground and a forecast of 3-6″ to fall during the day.
Snowing 3
While I do love spring and appreciate it, I enjoy winter as well. Snow is vital to our gardens, it provide nitrogen and moisture for spring plantings. It protects our perennials with an insulating blanket. We will still get more snow in the weeks to come, winter isn’t even close to being over. I’m certainly going to relish these last few weeks of winter and hopefully will be able to get in a lot of snowshowing!

Do you get snow in your garden? When do you typically get your last snow?

A Nice Window

February 4th, 2016

It’s been a little warm here the past few days, our blanket of snow has melted and the ground can be worked. It’s the perfect time to broadcast a few seeds for cold tolerant varieties like arugula, cilantro, mustard, and a few other things. Winter will return, in fact we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow and next week it will once again be in the single digits. These seeds don’t care, they will wait and spring forth when they’re ready.
winter seeding 2
They won’t germinate as quickly as they do when the soil is warmer, but they’ll germinate when the conditions are right and I’ll have a much earlier crop that I would have if I had waited.
winter seeding 1
I’m also going to be seeding a flat of lettuce, which is something I do every year. I find that having a flat of greens ready to go into the ground in spring gives me a jump on the season and has me harvesting greens for my table at least a month if not 6 weeks before direct seeded crops. I love having things ready to plant as soon as the ground is ready. This winter has been fairly mild, which means my overwintered spinach is thriving and should start growing as soon as conditions improve in a month or so.

What are you doing in the garden this weekend?

First Seeds of 2016

February 3rd, 2016

Yesterday I planted my first garden seeds for this year. What were they? Artichokes.
seeding artichokes 1
seeding artichokes 2
At 180-240 days these babies take a LONG time to reach maturity. I’ve also read that they appreciate a bit of a cold snap early on to make them think they’ve gone through a winter.
seeding artichokes 3
Will I be able to harvest artichokes to eat? I guess we’ll find out this fall. If Eliot Coleman can grow them here in Maine, I think I can as well.

What fund edible are you going to try this year for the first time?

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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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