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Friday Favorite: Plant Tags & Markers

February 8th, 2019

I’ve talked about how much I love these wooden plant tags and garden markers before. I used to buy them way back when I lived in Ohio and never knew that they came from Maine. Imagine my surprise when I made a wholesale order for Seeds & Sundries and was able to drive the 25 minutes and pick them up right at the factory! They use northeast wood to make the plant tags. I use all three sizes, the small ones I break in half and use for my seedlings. When things get planted in the garden they are then relabeled with either a medium or a large one.

After years of using all varieties of item for marking plant tags I came across these Garden Markers. They will stay readable for a year if used on the large plant tags, about 9-12 months on the medium, and for the season on the small. Nothing works as well as these markers do, which is why I sell them over at Seeds & Sundries. If you’ve been looking for compostable plant tags and a marker that stands up the weather, look no more head on over and grab some at Seeds & Sundries. You’ll not only get great products but you’ll be supporting this blog as well!

Do you have any great garden items to recommend?

Go Sweets

February 6th, 2019

Sweets, our little feral garage cat of many years, is a great cat (we also call her Sneets after a niece called her that once). She’s a smart little cat, spending her nights out hunting rodents. Yesterday, I went up to the garage to give her some food and found an ermine she had killed.

A few weeks ago, one of you was asking about her. She’s still around and doing quite well. If you haven’t been reading here long, this little black cat has an amazing story, you can read about her series of unfortunate events here.

If you’ve never heard of an ermine, you’re not alone. They’re a weasel, a small weasel, but very fierce. They can get into a chicken coop and kill every bird (including turkeys and geese) in one night. You can imagine how happy I was to see this one dead. Good farm cats are really worth their weight in gold, if this ermine had gotten into our chicken coop we would have lost hundreds of dollars in chickens, not to mention all the lost eggs in future months. Even though Sweets is getting older (she’s 9 now) she’s still a mighty hunter, especially considering she’s tiny only weighs a few pounds herself.

Trail Maintenance

February 5th, 2019

My goal this winter is to do some trail maintenance every time I head out for a snowshoe. It won’t be much, maybe 10-15 minutes a day spent cutting down saplings, dragging downed branches off the trails, and marking the different trails on the property. Yesterday, while out, I noticed the top of an aspen tree that came down at some point this winter, it will make for some nice firewood.

Luckily, it’s right on the trail and fairly close to the house. I also try to take notice of any interesting and beautiful things along the trails. This old tree was amazing, as was the ice flowing over this rock.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already 5 days into February, before long my free time will be spent seeding, planting, and working in the garden. I’m trying to soak up as much of this off season as possible. I often feel seasons help us appreciate each thing for what it is. I enjoy gardening, but also enjoy the bit of break to focus on other things I enjoy during the off season.

What are you enjoying during this off season from gardening (if in fact you live in an area where you have an off season)?

Get Outside

February 4th, 2019

The winters in Maine are quite lovely, we noticed how much sunnier and brighter they were our first winter here. The nice thing about these bright days is that it makes you want to get outside to enjoy it, even if it is rather cold. When there’s snow on the ground, my preferred winter activity is snowshoeing.

This weekend we were able to get out both days for a nice walk on the property. We’re lucky to have mile and miles of trails to hike/snowshoe on. I try to get out each day on my lunch-break to get some fresh air and exercise. Soon enough, the snow will be melting and it will be time for spring cleanup, until then I’ll relish the beauty of a winter hike!

What winter activity is your favorite?

Friday Favorite: Soil Block Makers

February 1st, 2019

Many years ago I purchased a soil block maker and have been using it for seed starting. It’s a wonderful tool, both for practical reasons (no plastic seed starting flats needed) and for the plants (reduced transplant shock, air pruning of roots). My old soil block maker started to get rusty and some of the welds were failing, so I purchased two new ones at Johnny’s Seeds. Lucky for me, they were on sale!

I have always used the 2 inch maker, this year I purchased a smaller one as well. With the smaller one I should be able to fit more lettuce seedlings under my grow lights, thus maximizing that space! I have already started a few flats of seeds, onions will be started quite soon. Then the gardening season is up and running….

Do you have any great tools you’ve discovered to recommend?

Seeds and Sundries
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Berkey Water Filter

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.