Hello all. I have missed visiting with you. Every day goes by so quickly during this season. The garden work continues.... even though we had an amazing snowstorm today. Big, fat, fluffy flakes that came in a flurry and are almost gone by this evening. Winter headed out with a sulk :)
Right now tomato and pepper plants are consuming my attention. The counter has been cleared of most of the cultured stuff to make way for lots and lots of veggie starts. We saved seeds last year for the first time, and the germination was a little sketchy. I overplanted to compensate and have spent days thinning them down to a maximum of the 3 strongest plants per cube. Yesterday and today I separated them into singles so they can get a lot bigger over the next few weeks.
I also separated out groups of different kinds of tomatoes to share with friends. If I promised you some you might want to nudge me. Because I didn't label these, it is random lot of tomatoes, but I kept them to one variety per container. As I have been separating, I choose one from each container for each of my friends. This way they end up with 20-30 heirloom tomatoes - all different kinds - don't know which is which :) They are all good.
Next up I will start cucumber and then last melon plants. I will also direct sow cucumber. The melons, though, I want to keep track of. I ordered about 15 different types of heirloom melons - pink, yellow, orange, red (inside the watermelons) so these will be planted with a little more attention to which is which. We have seed from last year and I purchased some new from Baker Creek Seeds.
Let me know how your garden is going. It looks like here where we are there will be about 10 more days of storms.... then a couple of days to dry out.... then the garden will begin in earnest.
My sister and I continue to study the benefits of grass fed chickens. It is fascinating and will need it's own post. Right now I am feeding them an abundance of greens in the morning (clover, weeds from this area, several types of grasses and vetch) with some scratch thrown in. The long, slow rains have kept everything green. In the evening they get a little laying pellets. We are moving them onto a scratch that combines oats, sunflower seeds and other organic grains. We are trying to move away from corn and soy. So far so good!