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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Springing to life with blooms and water

Our Nectarine plant is in full bloom. I really trimmed it during the winter so I'm hopeful for some good fruit!

Behind it, you can see some of our five peach trees about to burst open. If we can get through the next couple of weeks without a cold snap. . . we should be setting fruit!

Our strawberries are really coming out and I've seen a couple of blossoms.

Our cane berries are also coming to life. I can't wait for more raspberries and blackberries.

Michael tested out his project to get water to the garden. Here is one of the spigots.

Here's the pipe in the trench going back to the greenhouse.

Here's where the water pipes meet on the other side of the greenhouse.

And then going up to the other end of the new part where we hope to build more beds. It will be so wonderful to have water close by and not have to drag the hose all over the yard!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I love spring!

Boy, I do love spring when nature comes alive!

Our pear trees suddenly popped open on Sunday.

Our tulip tree is the prettiest it has ever been. Going to church I've seen some that are 30' tall so I wonder how old they are. Ours is still a baby!

I had some lettuce that we wintered out in the garden and about three weeks ago it started coming to life and has grown enough that I was able to start harvesting some lettuce from plants we planted last and then it got too cool to produce.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beautiful first day of spring!

We had an absolutely beautiful first day of spring. It was in the 70s and so pretty outside. All of the trees are just about to bust out in bloom.

Eric and Tracy came over and the kids helped plant a bed and a half of seed potatoes. It was fun to watch them in the dirt. Sydney got excited to see some worms but the dove back down in the ground very fast. I caught one in my hand and she asked to touch it. She loved the wiggles it made!

Haily was good at covering up the potatoes. They wore some cute aprons that Grandma Fuller made to work outside.

While we were doing that, Eric helped Michael run a trench digger that he rented for the day. We have a water line down to the greenhouse but decided to put some water at each end of our future raised beds and we also ran a water line over to the existing raised beds so watering will be much easier. I can't imaging digging the trench by hand as Michael figured he dug about 160' with it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Air layers in the greenhouse

We are creeping closer and closer to getting the greenhouse finished. We double layered the walls and ceiling and yesterday Michael installed the blower and tubes going to the various walls and ceiling.

That gives us a layer of air insulation to help keep things air tight. The south end is not double plastic as it will have some doors we can open up for air to be pulled through by the blowers we will put up on the top.

Spring is slowly coming. Here is our tulip tree just about ready bloom!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trying out the Canned Cheese!

Last October, I blogged about canning cheese. Since it's been just about six month, we decided it was time to open a jar and see if we liked it, how it tasted and if you could grate it.

It looks different and has a different texture than packaged cheese since it was melted and then canned but it was still solid, just more grainy and not smooth. We ran a knife around inside the jar and got half of it out.

We were able to grate it up just fine. we had a taco salad for dinner and used it on top. The taste was great and so I think this is a great way to have real cheese in your food storage!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Plastic on the Greenhouse!

After a winter of a lot of cold, wet and even snowy weekends, Michael finally had Spring break with descent weather that he he could work on the greenhouse.

Michael worked to finish up the framing and so late yesterday and early this morning before wind and rain, we put the plastic on the sides and top. I was brave and climbed up the ladder to help on the top!

That was no easy feat as there is a double layer of plastic because we are going to have a fan with air blowing in between the layers for insulation. The top piece was 40' x 20' that we folded over but Michael had such a wonderful idea to do it that we did it in less than an hour with just the two of us!

We still have a ways to go but having the plastic on and soon the doors, we will at least start to be able to use it while we set up the electricity, water and other things!

Starting plants!

It's that time of year to start plants for the garden. I use newspapers to make our own seed pots. They area good size for the roots to grow and get a good start and you can plant them straight into the garden. The roots will grow out through them and they will biodegrade in the garden.

Here's what I planted:

12 peppers including: California Wonder, Crispy Hybrid, and Early thickest

5 peppers that are warm called Pablano

4 Peppers that are colored: Carnival mix and Rainbow blend

30 Heirloom tomatoes including: Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, and Beefy Boy

3 Swiss Chard, rainbow

5 Squash: Zucchini and Yellow straightneck (I will plant these every four weeks throughout the season to have successive plants. I love summer squash.

Here are a couple of the flats, ready to plant. I planted three flats today and have three more to still do!

Now we just need some sun! I wrap them in plastic wrap to give them more humidity for sprouting.

I have some more to do but this is a start!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring is around the corner!

I went out and worked on our raised beds to get ready for Spring! We pulled carrots through the winter but I brought in the last of them today. They taste wonderful and it was neat to just leave them in the ground through the winter.

You can't hardly see the red lettuce, but the lettuce we planted last fall also made it through the winter and is starting to grow for spring.

I went ahead and bought some broccoli plants to try to get a harvest before it gets too hot for it. This is quick 45 day to harvest variety so we'll see how it works out. I had started some plants but we've had a lot of clouds and those plants don't look too good.

Here's a bed of cauliflower that I also planted today. Above it you can see some of the Swiss chard that also lived through the winter and is starting to grow again.

The peach trees are all budded out and almost ready to open. In fact, all of the trees have buds on them.

Here's a view of the garden from one of the budding trees. I have already gotten the strawberries cleaned out and mulched. My mouth waters already for strawberries!

Michael is off this week and finished up some framing on the greenhouse and hopes to put the plastic on it tomorrow! I'm so excited for spring but we sure have a lot of work to do to get our greenhouse and new beds ready.