Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Perfect Spring Day

Today was one of those wonderful days that come along every so often.  Because of a schedule conflict, my hubby was home.  The day was gorgeous, the ground drying out and the garden called out our names.  School, office and housework was happily abandoned for a busy, productive day in the garden.

Early this morning the dining room became seed central.  Tomatoes and sweet peppers jostle with seeds, soil, plans and diagrams.  Thankfully, my hubby is patient and understanding and doesn't seem to mind not being able to use the dining room table for a month or so.  Also, it is a good thing I didn't order any more seeds.... this is what I have going already.  There are a few holes in my seeds.... but 10 packages of peas, 9 packages of radishes, 8 packages of carrots, 7 of beets.... I could go on, but you can see someone needs reined in on the seed acquiring situation.  I guess I could have worse habits :)

To be clear on my priority list for seeds:

  1. Must be non-gmo if it is a common gmo type.
  2. I ask the seed company if they test for gmo's.  It is not enough for them to say "we do not knowingly sell gmo seed"  The stuff cross pollinates like the poison it is and the seed companies need to be responsible for testing all batches.
  3. Heirloom, if at all possible, but this is lower priority than non-gmo.
  4. Organic seed is below this on the priority list.  Your soil as the plant is growing and producing is more important than how it starts out.
  5. Plant more than one variety of each type of food.  This makes your garden "well-rounded" and healthier!
Most common GMO plants:

  • Grains - Corn, soy, canola (rapeseed) and cotton
  • Other - Papaya, squash, cantalope, sugar cane, golden rice
For the home garden, corn, squash and cantaloupe would be the most important.  Ask the seed company if they test for non-gmo.  It is not a difficult test.  They have an antibiotic marker on the gene of the plant.  My favorite seed company is Baker Creek Seeds.  They test all of their seed.

Additional note:  While I was ordering a couple of packets of missing seeds, I came across this extensive list of where you can purchase heirloom seeds on line.  It looks like a great site.  I plan to spend some time there.  You can find The Heirloom Gardner's Assistant here.

I did find a good site on GMO's.  I didn't spend much time on it (cause I was in the garden til it was dark and now I want to go to bed) but here it is:  Say No to GMO's

I am sure that my personal opinion for GMO's is somewhere on this blog.

In the garden, we started out in the cold frame.  In this picture there is some companion planting and the first strawberries blooming and setting.  Strawberries, lettuce and some nasturtiums that came back from last year jostle around in this box.  They all seem pretty happy.  The nasturtiums flowers are used in green salads and have a spicy, pleasant flavor and some really nice color.  The pea shoots, also a salad green, and the radishes needed a bit of weeding.  That didn't take long.

 We pruned the raspberries and blueberries, then mulched them.  My faithful little helper worked so hard today.  I was so proud of him!  He is almost 9 now, and a good, hard worker.

Last year we had a melon patch under black plastic.  We left the black plastic (under hay) out for the winter.  Since then two big changes have happened... 1)  we are trying to get plastic out of every part of our lives and 2) we are trying to grow as much chicken food as possible... weeds are good chicken food.  Anyway, we pulled the plastic off today and folded it up for the last time.  The chickens went nuts with the slugs, worms and pill bugs.  We had to leave it for tomorrow to till, but this is where the spring garden is going in.  My little guy helped the chickens out by turning over dirt for bug finding!

Finally, we laid out what will be our repurposed worm bins.  With the idea of growing as much protein as possible, we are planning to do larger scale worm bins using some wooden boxes that used to be a part of a work truck, but have been replaced with a work bed.  The worms will be primarily for chicken food and for "worm tea" to water the garden with.  The compost is also amazing.

All in all, it was a picture perfect day.  Tomorrow we should be able to till the spring garden and work on the outside strawberry beds.  There are onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, carrots and a few other things to get into the ground.  This will be a small planting of these... the weather might very well turn cold, but I am willing to take a small risk on it.

Tonight we go to bed a little sore, sunburned (put coconut oil on!) and content with the world.  It is a good way to sleep hard.

Best of health to you


  1. Oh, what a GREAT day for your family!! I would like to invite myself up to see you garden this summer, Cindy;) Good for O for being such a good worker. You're a wonderful mom!!!! Thanks for sharing your day.

  2. It was a really fun day. Come up any time. I am thinking about doing a couple of regular afternoons(maybe weekly) for swimming and garden harvesting this summer. It might be fun to come up, swim and pick some stuff. I can guarantee that there will be lots and lots of good veggies!

    The picture of your little Kruzer is absolutely precious. If Koops has fun with bugs, he should probably come hang out with us on a garden day. Lotta bugs. ;)

  3. I am a new follower. I found you through Jodi's Bee Hive blog.

    My husband and I follow the Weston A Price Nourishing Traditions book. I LIVE BY their homemade salad dressings, yummy!!

    Glad I found your blog =)

  4. Welcome Ashley. We would love to have some of your salad dressing recipes! As you can see, salad season is almost here.

    Any ideas, comments or suggestions are so welcome to this community. We are all trying to find a new "old" way to live!


  5. That is such an awesome day!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to start working in my parents garden this summer. The seeds we started yesterday were, tomatoes, sweet peppers, egg plant, tropical melon, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin & bush beans.

    My parents grew spaghetti squash last year for the first time & it gave us so many. I can't remember if it was 20 or 40 but they are $5.00 each at the store so pretty worth it. I just had one last week so they store great too. Have a good day!!!

  6. No new posts? You must be busy or just depressed with the passing of the healthcare bill. My mom said you have a lead on a few little milking cows. Any luck?

    We just went & picked up more milk from our new rancher friends in Fallon.

    Talk to you later. Melissa

  7. Hi Melissa,

    Busy and depressed :( But mostly busy. Today (Tuesday) is the first time I have had a minute. I did find some of the Dexter cows in Oregon, but we might go a different direction. We are still negotiating!

    Awesome on the milk. That is such a treasure.

    Back to the bills :(