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The Early Bird…

March 2nd, 2013

On Tuesday of this week, my eyes popped open at 4 am. After laying in bed for 15 minutes or so, I knew sleep was a lost cause for that morning.
seeding celery 1
Cup of coffee in hand, I started sorting through my seeds to get things going. I put off starting my January seeds because of our trip to Colombia, which means I’m a bit behind.
seeding celery 2
What did I start? Two different kinds of celery (Tendercrisp and Tall Utah) and 4 flats of various onions, including: Copra, Ailsa Craig, Brown Australian, Stuttgarter and a few more.
seeding celery 3
Waking up early isn’t a rare occasion, I’m a bit of an insomniac at times. Thankfully, I’m used to it so I’m able to accomplish a lot even with little sleep. Soon enough, we’ll be getting up at 5 am every day to make sure we get all of our work finished.

Do you ever wake up really early? What do you usually do?

16 Comments to “The Early Bird…”
  1. daisy on March 2, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Oh yeah. I’ve been rising at 4-4:30 lately. I get my email and paperwork out of the way. With others still sleeping in the house, there’s not much else I can do. Sounds like you make good use of your time. Ah, starting seeds. Can’t wait to see what else you’re growing!

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  2. Robin on March 2, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I’m up by 4:30 am each day. I have my shower while coffee drips, decide what’s for supper in case I need to take something from the freezer, and read my favorite blogs with a cup of coffee. As soon as it’s twilight earlier I’ll have coffee on the porch or by the pond, and read blogs in the heat of the day.

    I need to start my onions, leeks and high tunnel seeds today! It will be nice to have soil under my nails again.

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  3. kristin @ going country on March 2, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Yup, all the time. And then I dress other people, feed them, talk to them, give them toys . . .

    Kids, you know.

    I look forward to the day when I get enough sleep at night that I can get up at 5 a.m. for an hour of quiet and not be completely wrecked. That day will come again. Sometime.

    The MiL started a LOT of leek seeds last weekend, and they just started popping up yesterday. WHEE!

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    • Susy on March 2, 2013 at 7:51 am

      So exciting to see the first little green sprouts of the season.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Joan on March 2, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I’ve got terrible insomnia, rarely getting more than 5 1/2 or 6 hours of sleep. It’s a relief when I wake up at 4:00 instead of 1:30 or 2:00, because if I wake up at 4:00 I don’t even have to try to get back to sleep. A lot of the time I’ll just lay in bed and read or play on the IPod, figuring rest is better than nothing if I can’t get more sleep. Other times I’ll get up and get the fire going in the woodstove then have my morning cup of chai tea while I read the news online (and your blog – something I always look for every day!). In the summer I might go for an early walk or kayak, or go out and do my morning chores (garden, chickens, horse, etc…).

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  5. whit on March 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Sounds like we’re all in the same boat so far. Every two or three days, my body decides that 4 hours of sleep is enough for one night, and i am up at 2am. That’s usually when i catch up on reading or cleaning. I build the fire for the day, drink a cuppa mate, enjoy reading your blog, then get to work. Sometimes i knit.

    I wish i would feel comfortable enough to go outside at that time. My whole garden could be seeded by now. But the shoppe next to our greenhouse is a home to a funky skunky right now…and it’s baby season. That could really ruin one’s morning, eh?

    Imagine what we all could get done if we were neighbours, eh? Communal pot of coffee going. Friendly chats while work is accomplished. One of the elements of life that is sadly missing from life in the US.

    Reply to whit's comment

    • Susy on March 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      I agree, getting blasted by a skunk at 4 am would probably ruin the rest of the day!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. tj on March 2, 2013 at 10:44 am

    …Sounds like you’re making great use of that time! Kudos to you! :o) If I can’t sleep, I either read or sew. I would like to start seeds but I’m not sure where our garden is going this year. We got free fencing to fence it in but sadly it isn’t gonna put itself up and besides, we’ve been talking of selling our home, so it’s all kind of up in the air.

    …I got an email this morning from Scratch Magazine and they have a link for folks who want to plan their garden on a spreadsheet of sorts. I saw the demo and it is kinda neat but I doubt I would ever use it especially since it isn’t free. :o\ Anyway, here’s the link if anyone wants to look into it for themselves:

    …And I thought of you the other day when I came across this website. It’s called “Granny Miller – A Journal Of Agrarian Life & Skills”. She and her husband live on a small farm in rural PA. and she offers info’ on what she calls, “living deliberately”. I like that term. Anyway, here’s the link to her:

    …That’s all I got today. Hoping you have a lovely weekend! :o)

    …Blessings you two. :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  7. amy on March 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I have dealt with sleep issues all of my life…..Sometimes I refuse to get up… and I lay there until my body recognizes who’s boss and falls back to sleep:)….but most times I get up and drink copious amounts of milky tea and do yoga.

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  8. Maybelline on March 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I go back to sleep. Nothing like a morning time nap.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  9. Alana on March 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I’m curious about starting onion from seed. I’m a new gardener but have started from sets the last couple years. I thought it was super difficult from seed….

    Reply to Alana's comment

    • Susy on March 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Nope, onions are pretty easy actually. Make sure you’re using fresh seed, onion seed deteriorates quickly and germination rates plummet after even one season.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Deb on March 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I would think it’s pretty early to start seeds for planting in your area. How long do you allow for inside grwoing before you put outdoors. I’m in Ohio and last year started 3-8 in my greenhouse. That was plenty early for everything and had tomatoes about 18″ tall before I could plant them outdoors around 5-15 or so. Do you put in sunny windows? I would do that but my cats would destroy them. LOL Great job on getting started. I’, waiting till next week at least depending on forecast as I will have to use an oil filled electric heater in the greenhouse overnight. Due to Menopause I have some insomnia and hubby can heat a gnat breathe in the next room through a closed door so have to be very quiet. Sometimes I go to the computer if I’m awake too long.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Susy on March 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      I’m only starting onions and celery at this time, other things will come later. In fact, I typically start my celery in January and some of my onions as well. Celery has a long growing season and prefers the cool wet spring season. I have 6 flats of onions seeds so far, which can be planted out as soon as the soil is workable in the spring. After they’re planted out then I’ll move on to the later things, cabbage, tomatoes etc. I probably won’t seed tomatoes until April.

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  11. Deb on March 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Guess I better get on the ball for onions then. Do you dot hem to use as green onions or the ball onions for storage. Never did much with onions till last year and direct seeded green onion seed in Feb. becasue of the good weather. I still harvested some green onions in Dec. 2012. It was nice. I don’t do celery, maybe next year. I’ll remember it takes a long time. Thanks. Deb

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  12. Nebraska Dave on March 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Susy, I don’t see any guys here complaining about not getting any sleep. I have never had an issue with sleep. My wife used to get angry at how fast I could fall asleep and not wake up until morning. I think it’s because women have much more complex minds and think deeper on things than men. So therefore it takes longer for women to shut down and sleep. what do you think?

    I wish all of you to get the right amount of sleep that your bodies need. As for me it’s about seven hours with one nature call during the night.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment


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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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