Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Vision for a Special Kids Garden

I have a vision in my head for a special kids play area. I am going to post it here so I won't forget it. I am not talking about a kids garden they tend themselves. They will have that as well. I am talking about a special place to play where things are growing. I am picturing a square of grass big enough for all the kids to sit in. All around the grass area will be like a moat with a pathway in. The moat area will be where the plants grow. I want to find large branches and tie them together to make a sort of tee pee and plant vining and climbing plants to grow up and over these branches creating a sort of canopy. There will be walls of sunflowers, cosmos, daisies, corn, and whatever else I think will grow well. Maybe snap peas and carrots for quick play time snacks. Also cut tree trunk rounds for sitting, standing on, or to use as a table. This will be like a summer nature fort. I know I have seen similar ideas online and am really excited to maybe have one for the kids this year. I think they would really enjoy this. This is more of a note to myself so sorry if you are trying to make any sense of this. :) If I can work out the details and get this done I will be sure to post more details and pictures.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Garden Planning

Garden season is coming. I love this time of year. The anticipation of what this years garden will bring. I am even more excited out here in the new house as we can have a huge garden in addition to what is all ready planted here. I have started obsessing over the one seed catalog that survived the move, sadly I think the others were recycled. Its a catalog for a local nursery and one I would probably have chosen to order from anyway so all is well there.

I usually start my garden planning with marking pages or making lists of what I want to grow even if it won't grow here. Then I mull it over in my head for a few days adding things as I think about them. This years list is three pages long!! lol I will be weeding it down. :) I always put the standard garden fare for my family which is: several kinds of lettuce, carrots, spinach, peas, green beans, tomatoes, summer squashes, and potatoes. I am sure I am forgetting something but that looks about right. After I list the main plants I start having fun. I like to add something new each year, last year I grew cayenne peppers for drying. This year I am trying some medicinal herbs and tea herbs. Also stevia is on my want to list but its a zone 9 or 10 so I am waffling on that one.

Once my list is made and I have mulled it over I start to condense it. This is where I usually sit down with Joe (who often groans when he sees the garden journal/notes for the year) and ask him what he wants to grow/eat. I cross off things I have decided not to grow and add things I decided to grow. Do I really need 6 different varieties of something? Once I have a suitable list I order or go to a store and buy the seeds. I try to do this early as I have noticed if I forget something its usually not available later in the season. One year I forgot to buy snap peas and they were really missed by all of us when I couldn't find any in the local stores.

Now comes the really fun part. At least for me the compulsive, crazy type. Its now time to map it! I usually use a grid paper and measure out the area I am using. I then make a key of one square equals so much space. Last years garden was small and one square equaled 1/2 foot. This year I think I will be making a much bigger map so not sure how to scale I can do it but I will sure try. I add plants to marked off map sections checking the seed packets and my gardening books for recommended spacing. I try to check previous years maps to rotate crops (though I mostly forget) and I like to plant flowers among everything for insect control and also to attract the beneficial insects. As I go down the list the map gets fuller and fuller. I usually find a few empty spots and add whatever I think we will want more of. This is about as detailed as I get on the map making my notes else where in my garden journal. This year I plan to note more information on the map itself. Days to harvest, info for fall plantings, etc. I may have to make a separate map for the fall/winter plantings but that will depend on how the map spacing is.

Once this is done its planting seeds inside and waiting for it to warm up enough outside to get to work. I will try to post pics of my garden map when I get it done. Currently I am still at the trying to get Joe to sit down and tell me what he wants to grow stage. I would just do it on my own but then he always says why don't I let him help! lol

Happy garden planning everyone, I would love to hear about what you are growing this year! Old favorites or new plants? For the readers in other parts of the world I would love to hear how your garden harvests are going!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We are here

We moved in on the 10th and are still unpacking. No photos yet but soon I promise!! The kids are really enjoying all the areas to explore in the yard and I am completely enjoying the peace and beauty that is out here. Madeline told me the other day that the air smells good out here. :) I am starting to plan our garden and am really enjoying unpacking and setting up house again. lol Hope you are all well just wanted a quick update on here as its been a while. See you soon with pictures...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changes are coming

We are in the new house! It has been a fun and eventful last few days. We had so many helpers Saturday morning that the move was unevenful and went fairly smooth. Thank you everyone who helped out!! Next came the unpacking and unfortunately water problems. Right when Joe and I were ready for a shower Saturday night we realized that the hot water heater wasn't on. lol So we turn it on and do some other things for a bit then headed to a shower. On Monday Joe left for work and took my phone with him so I was here at the house with no car, no phone (the cell doesn't work anyway and the home phone was in an unmarked box, lol) and to top it all no clock!! All of the clocks were wrong so I didn't know what time it was all day. The kids and I ate when hungry and slept when tired and I kind of guessed when it was dark enough to start dinner. lol It was hard to do and as I write it now I am reminded of Rhonda's post over at the Down to Earth blog about this. I loved reading how free she is with her time. (I'd link it but that would require opening a new window which just might freeze my dial up internet up, lol) Also about halfway through the day our water turned brown, really brown! It was awful, we had no water and I had to send Joe to the store as soon as he got home. Luckily there is a tiny little Mercantile about 1/2 mile away. Needless to say we have water in the pantry should it happen again, which actually we probably should have even more water in there anyway in case of disaster or something. Okay I am rambling. back to the house. I LOVE IT!! It is so big and the outside is wonderful. The kids run and roam and the the chickens really like their little section as well. Though they have taken to laying in the bushes in the soft grass right behind the blackberry bushes. :) I need to find a good plant identification guide as there are sooooo many plants here. I would love a recomendation if anyone has one! Feel free to leave it here in the comments. The owner loved gardening and there are many raised beds, lots of flower gardens, bushes, and trees. So far I think I identified found blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, lots of strawberries, several Rhododendrons, an apple tree, and lots of rose bushes. I cannot wait for spring and see what blooms. We were told that there will be things blooming from spring to fall and I cannot wait. I feel like a kid in a candy store, the anticipation is killing me. :)

And now on to the changes. I love posting pictures but I fear that will happen less often. I am going to try and get some pictures of the outside next rain break and give it a go. I will post inside pictures when its unpacked and pretty. Right now it looks like a junkyard. :) I am also going to be removing some of the sidebar things on the blog that make the loading slow. It only took 3 minutes or so to load today so its really not as bad as I imagined it would be. :) Most likely the Hyena Cart link will be gone or changed to a still image or text only and possibly the widget of where everyone comes from will dissapear as it took a while to load just that item. I do love that the internet is not a big pull for me right now. I used to check my blogs and email several times through out the day and now I pop on real quick as most things will not load very well so I don't even bother trying. :) So hopefully I will see you on here in the next few days or so with some photos!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Today's the day

We pick up the keys today!! Tomorrow Joe will go pick up the uhaul and a wonderful group of friends will show up around 9 to start helping us load. I am so grateful for the people who are coming to help us move! So many great friends, thank you all!! We will be without internet for a while so have a great week! Before I go I will leave you with a few pictures of our new additions:

Madeline has been asking to get a cat. The new house allows pets so we told her if she saved enough money she could. This is Clover. She is 6 weeks old and is very friendly and playful. She is also very pink, which Madeline just loves. Her paws, ears, and nose are a very bright pink color. Hope she stays that way as she grows.

Clover on the left and Luigi on the right. I bought Luigi for the rest of the family. He is 4 months old and all ready a lap cat. He loves to jump up on who ever is sitting down to take a nap. He is also very playful and its really cute to watch the two play together.

He has such a unique face.

Monday, January 4, 2010

November/December 2009

These are in no particular order. In fact I think they are backwards. lol

What do your kids do when you pack all of their toys without thinking? They make a mouse house!

Marah enjoying the snow

Naomi not really sure what it was

Christmas Eve reading the bible
The three older kids and Joe went to zoo lights.

Someone turned 9!!

Gingerbread cookies
Drawing with Daddy
They played dress up
This is a game called Star Mars. Think StarCraft and Mars Mission combined. The kids made it and its really quite fun.

Michael checked out this book from the library and fell in love with it. Its The Little Red Hen only with a burrow who grows corn and makes tortillas.
We of course had to make our own tortillas.

If you haven't heard yet we are moving! This Saturday to be exact. The house is wonderful and on an acre. We are super excited. Not sure how much blogging I will be doing as the house is so far out in the country that the options are dial up or satellite. Satellite is not in the budget yet so we are giving the stone ages, I mean dial up, a go. I posted more about the move over on my blog with some pictures and I will try to get new house pics up there if I can later. have a great 2010 everyone!!