Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hardiness zones

In my 40 years being on this planet and 10 years of city gardening under my belt, I still don't understand hardiness zones.  This is mainly because I almost always plant seedlings I buy from a garden store.  I had little luck with any of the plants I tried to grow from seed Garden update in June (beets, peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes).  I assume the seeds I'm buying or that are available in Canada are good for this climate?  Do I really need to consider hardiness zones at all or is that just climate lingo for "this is how cold it may get at night so these are the only plants that will survive in your climate."  Shrugs.  Help?

Tomato seedlings and oatmeal muffins from last year.

I have one garden that is south facing and one that is on the west side of the house.  We had tomatoes, lettuce, kale, sunflowers, celery, spinach and green beans in that garden.  My peppers did not like it there.  We've cleared some of the trees so make more sun though and with a little better planning I may do better there this year.  The kale and lettuce flourished there but the tomatoes were just not great.  It wasn't just me, a lot of people in my area were complaining about their poor tomatoes last year.  It was too cold and wet.  I'm going to get a head start this year though on a few seedlings in March - with the help of a greenhouse set up that I'll post more about once I decide how and where I'm going to make this happen.  It's almost February so don't mind me getting excited for spring - only 3 months away!

Friday, 23 January 2015

This Moment

Linking up with www.soulemama.com.

Planning and plotting

What is it about this time of year that makes me a little crazy?  Could it be the dark and the cold and the cold and the dark?  Yeah I think that's it.  This winter is much nicer than last but this outdoorsy girl is spending way too much time inside.  Last Friday I embraced inside, took out my seed catalogs and picked out twice as much seed as I ordered last year.  And I think I've convinced my husband that we need a green house.  Next steps, order seed and greenhouse!! 

Evening chores are done at 6pm when it's already as dark as night outside.

I've signed up the kids and I for a 5K walk called The Coldest Night of the Year to raise money for a local homeless shelter.  It's happening on February 21.  I'm really looking forward to this event.  I hope it will give my girls a perspective on all they have.  

We replaced the screen on the chicken coop with a pane of glass - voila - chicken TV!

This weekend I'm hoping for lots of sun and activities outside.  So far we have planned a chicken coop cleaning and a bon fire.  I think the menu will be BBQ hamburgers and hot dogs.  A little bit of summer in the middle of January - sounds like a plan!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy New Year!

My year ended with a trip to my childhood home.  I had not been there in 28 years.  Many reasons but the two I'll share are that I was estranged from my step dad and it's an 8 hour drive each way.  Most of us don't get to go back to our childhood homes so I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity.  It gave me pause to be back in that old house.  It was much smaller than I remember it and filled with memories.  And I was surprised that it still felt like home. I went to the church where I was baptized, I visited with long lost step family and I planned to go back and visit again in the summer.  It was not how I was expecting to close out 2014 but my step father's passing came much quicker than we expected.  It left me in peace.  In 2014 I turned 40 years old and this along with my visit home has me thinking a lot about my mortality and my legacy.  What have I done in my lifetime that people will remember about me?  Am I being a good role model to my girls?  Am I instilling good values in them?  Is there anything more I can do to live my one wild and precious life?  Am I really only 10 years away from being 50?!  Our move to the farm has certainly enhanced my life in so many ways.  My plans for this weekend and 2015 include:
  • Making a leftover soup (everything in the fridge that is near expiration will be put in it).
  • Organize the kitchen for some serious cooking this weekend.
  • Games nights with my girls and starting a puzzle.
In 2015:
  • Re-thinking how water is used in our house.  We are on a well and don't pay for water but do you ever think of how wasteful it is to let all that cold water run down the drain while you wait for the hot water to come?  That could be water for the dog!  Water for the kettle!
  • Paint the kitchen.
  • Replace the carpet on the stairs.
  • Dry wall the mud room.
  • New light fixture in the mud room and living room.
  • New vent covers in living room.
  • Paint the chicken roost.
  • Order seeds and plan the 2015 gardens.
  • Plan for our summer trip to Manitoulin.
  • Plan crock pot meals that my kids will actually eat.
  • Help plan a pet friendly event with a girlfriend.  Date is already set!  I'm selling vegetables, baked goods and eggs at the farmers market.
  • Do another 5k run or two this year.
  • Read more books on farming.
  • Love ME and take care of ME.  This is something I've been working on in 2014.  My focus is usually my job, my family or how clean my house is.  This year my main focus will be ME plus those other things.
  • Make a Will.
I'm also thinking a lot of  my health and lifestyle changes which I've mentioned here before.  Eating whole foods has been very easy for me.  I did have chocolates over the holiday's but I'm being very conscientious of how I'm eating with a focus on portion size and calories.  I'm back on track now. 
So here's to 2015 - good food, good fun and hard work!