Homestead News, Volume 25

Sit back, pour up a cup of coffee, and enjoy the update. Thanks for stopping by. Please share your news in the comments. The more we learn from each other the better.

Did you know when olive oil gets cold, it partially solidifies? Just move it to a warmer location and let is set for about 12-24 hours. You will read everywhere that oil will go rancid after about six months. We have stored and eaten olive oil that was five years old with no degradation in quality or taste. Not that I would recommend that to everyone, it’s just something we have done.

As the seasons turn, my thoughts are always on our food supply. I have been planning the garden for a couple of months now. We have a few salad greens growing in the greenhouse for winter eating, but mostly there are flowers, some that grew on the porches last summer and some I planted in there in the fall…..just because. During the polar vortex we ran a couple of space heaters and covered the plants with frost cloth. We had some damage, but most of the plants did very well.

Once the sun came out, it warmed up in the greenhouse quickly. It always amazes me to see the difference between inside and outside temperatures. The greenhouse is not sealed, the air freely flows out around the top and the sides. The inside temperature here is 33*, the round thermometer is hard to read, it is 72*.

I have three bus tubs planted with brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and carrots that I will transplant to the garden when the time comes. I have started moving them outside to maintain the adjustment to cooler weather. The greenhouse is starting to heat up quite a bit on sunny days.

We discovered during the cold snap that this entryway into the garage had heaved upward and made the storm door drag on the concrete when we opened it. This small slab has been sitting here for 40 years or more. In the last 12 years we had never had anything like that happen. Fortunately, it settled back down to it’s normal position after the temperatures warmed up again.

I started growing sweet potato slips right before the recent cold snap. We had some starting to sprout that we grew last summer and I intended to grow all of our slips from the heaviest producing variety. Now we have plants growing in a kitchen window since it is too cold in the greenhouse for these tender plants.

Yesterday was a busy day. We partially repaired a chicken house door that needs replacing before it falls off. Then Frank brush hogged a small area by the barn before we replaced the brush hog with the tiller on the tractor. We have an extended rainy season coming and wanted to get the garden area tilled and fertilized. A few months ago, right before we were going to clean out the barn and haul it to the garden, we had bought hay that had been sprayed with Grazon, an herbicide. We were told the hay had been sprayed before we bought it, we just didn’t know enough to ask what with. Grazon can kill your garden, even after it has been ingested and passed through livestock. A friend had their garden spot decimated for a couple of years until the Grazon had time to deteriorate in their soil. As fate would have it, we were unable to clean the barn before the baby goats were born and in the meantime found out about our hay. We replaced what hay we had left with another supply and took the remaining few bales out into a pasture to be burned at a later date. The barnyard will be dumped out there too instead of being brought down to the garden.

It’s hard to imagine the garden looked like this just a few days ago. What a difference a week makes.
Commercial 13-13-13 fertilizer we applied to the garden this year.

Winter weather and aching bones have also prevented us from cleaning out the chicken house and getting that manure into the garden early enough to be useful and not be too hot to burn any seedlings we want to plant, so this year for the first time ever, we are using commercial 13-13-13 fertilizer. I am grateful we have the option of purchasing fertilizer, even though it is not our first choice. If it was unavailable, our garden would probably still produce well since it is a spot that has been worked and fertilized for 10+ years. I still plan to make some manure tea with chicken litter over the summer to water some of the crops.

Just as we finished spraying down the tiller to get some of the caked on dirt off, Frank discovered we had a flat tire on the tractor. Not just a low tire, but it looked like the tire was almost off of the wheel. We didn’t think we could get it to seal and hold air at all. So out in the mud and water puddles we had just created while cleaning off the tiller, we got out the air compressor and extension cords. We were very happy to find we could get it to hold some air, at least temporarily. It was enough to get the tractor back to the barn, but by then it was almost completely flat again. Frank aired it up again with the compressor there, but it very quickly went flat. The good news is we got the garden tilled before the rain came. We have rain forecast for about a week and were working against the clock on getting the garden fertilized and tilled.

While Frank was tilling, I was working on getting the last two flats of carrots planted in the greenhouse. These are seeds we saved from our carrots in 2018. I planted a bus tub of them in the fall to see if they were still viable. Since they were going on three years old, I planted them thickly. I have thinned them twice and they are still too crowded. That’s good to know. Saving viable seeds is always a gamble. Sometimes they are viable, and sometimes they are not. I use the Pot Maker for these seedlings. Direct planting carrots in the garden doesn’t work for me. The weeds and grass take over and they never have a chance since they are so slow to germinate. Using the Pot Maker [link goes to a previous article about them] also allows me to easily thin them before planting and space them in the row just by planting them next to each other.

Our new companion is named Charlie, but she’s a girl. Frank named her. Many of you know we are ham radio operators. When using phonetics for call signs, the alphabet starts with Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, etc…. Well, when we were thinking of names, Frank said he is always alpha when it comes to our dogs, and that is true. Then he came up with he is Alpha, I am Bravo, and she is Charlie. Our Great Pyrenees, Pearl, left us about a year or so ago. We miss her a lot. She was great with the goats and had the best personality. Charlie came to live with us this last summer at eight weeks of age. So far we have survived the puppy stage, but some days just barely. She no longer tears up 40 lb. bags of potting soil, eats the front and back porch, but she still tore up some of the black plastic we have around one of the sheds in the garden yesterday. I made a big mistake not long after Charlie came to live with us. When she got here the garden was in full swing and she would follow me around when I was picking vegetables and weeding. I would pull a weed and hand it to her. She liked the roots and would take it, run off, and attack it. As she grew, she got to the point of pulling her own weeds, except they weren’t all weeds. At the end of the season she even decided pulling up full grown okra stalks was a good idea. She also loves apples and would race me for any windfalls. Charlie decided it was fun to pick tomatoes even if she didn’t eat them, and peppers as well. She has good taste, but these crops are for the people, not the dog. Thus with the addition of Charlie to the yard around the house which includes the garden, this year we will fence it off to prevent certain destruction of seedlings. This will have to take place before we start planting, but we have it tilled and are ready for the next step.

As you can tell, a lot of our efforts are focused on food. At this day and age, I feel that everyone should be focused on their food supply. Prices continue to go up, stability of the world food supply continues to be questionable. Cooperation between countries that traditionally trade or sell their excess food has been changing over the last year. How that may affect our food supply, prices or possible rationing or confiscation is yet to be seen. I think all of these events are possible, but not necessarily eventualities. Only time will tell.

Over the past few years my goal was to plant a smaller garden. Aches and pains affect my ability to keep up with the garden, the weeds, the processing and preserving of the harvest. But, you know what? This year’s garden will be larger, not smaller. Being able to produce as much of our food as possible has always been a goal, now more than ever. We are not increasing varieties or experimenting with new crops, just increasing the volume of our known, proven varieties.

Folks, do what you can. Buy and store what you eat, not a bunch of strange foods that are supposedly ‘prepper’ foods. Buy what you normally eat and store it as best you can. If you can grow and preserve more, in a garden, on a porch, in a pot, do it. Learn more about how to provide for yourself. Even if the world, our country, your state, county or neighborhood doesn’t have challenges in the coming months or years, it never hurts to depend on yourself, your knowledge and abilities instead of someone else.

Because if things continue the slide into tyranny, into subjugation, into the enslavement of the masses……

NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU.

Until next time – Fern

Open Thread, October 3, 2020

Well, folks. The world still turns and gets stranger every single day. There are many people that daily outline the events taking place around us – political, criminal, availability of everything from food to ammo to canning supplies to baby chicks to anything, you name it. 

Right now, and all day everyday, we request your prayers beseeching the Almighty for the quick, total recovery of our President and his beloved First Lady, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

The turmoil, unrest, and uncertainty of the future of our country appears to grow everyday. Every single day. There is something that happens, information that comes to light, or the placement of one more piece of a puzzle that is so deep and wide that it truly seems beyond the human mind to fathom.

So we step back, take a breath and attempt to decipher what is real, what is conjecture, opinion or outright lies and fabrications. Then we go outside and enjoy what we have been blessed with. A beautiful place to live. Flowers. Hummingbirds. The final harvesting of the garden. 

The sweet potatoes are dug and curing in the greenhouse. We grew three varieties to compare productivity and flavor. We will use those potatoes and plants for next year’s crop.

The only other things left in the garden are okra and peppers, which are declining since we are already having lows in the 40’s and 50’s. The turnip greens are growing well, they like the cool weather. The spinach is trying to grow, something killed all of the lettuce and it needs to be replanted. Yes, we are still growing some food stuffs. But it’s going to be an early winter this year, or so I have been feeling for about a month now. I would recommend you stock as deep as you can and prepare for a long, cold winter. Just a feeling.

We are canning chicken today. Baking the last dozen we had in the freezer and getting them all on the shelf. Next week we will start butchering our older laying hens to can as well. The young hens are laying well and we are over run with eggs. We also have another batch of young chicks that will start laying in January. So we have meat and eggs on the menu for part of a future food supply.

The goats are drying up. Three does are due in January. One more doesn’t seem to be bred or show any indication of doing so. We don’t know what is going on with her. Braum’s (an ice cream store in our area) has started selling A2 milk which is a very pleasant surprise. Our vet is drinking it with great success. He hasn’t been able to drink milk in years due to a gut issue. That proves to me that there really is something to the A1/A2 issue. We are buying milk from Braum’s to get us to January and our own fresh supply again.

Just walking into a store now days is a strange, eerie experience. Half of the people look at each other like they are scared to be around anyone, another half is wearing masks and doesn’t like the ones that aren’t, the other half just tries to act normal, but hardly anyone talks. It’s quiet and suspicious. I know that’s three halves, but you’ll just half to deal with it.  Just like living in this dystopian virus controlled world.

My mom is now on hospice and continues her slow steady decline. I haven’t been able to go into the nursing home to see her since March 12th. It kills me to go see her through the window and not be able to touch her and hug her. Knowing there are hundreds or thousands of others in the same predicament doesn’t make it any easier, but I am very empathetic to the pain it causes so many of us in these days and times. A person we know just lost a healthy, active parent with underlying conditions to this virus. It hits close to home since they were younger than Frank. 

Pray for our President and First Lady for there are those that take joy in their sickness. These people that wish our President and First Lady harm are part of the deep, entrenched, putrid, decay of our country. If they win the election, if they take over, we are doomed. If you are not prepared for either outcome, I fear for you. 

Please share what is going on in your neck of the woods. We are all in this together and we all need help from each other. Please share. Be safe. Stay healthy. Be extremely vigilant. Use discernment in all you read, watch and believe. Pray for guidance always.

Until next time – Fern


Got Seeds?

Grow them. Grow your own. One tiny seed can produce more food than you can imagine.

One tough Swiss Chard that keeps coming back every year.

It’s not easy and includes a big learning curve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes they are viable, sometimes they aren’t. Guaranteed germination rate like store bought? No. But it can be done. Even by accident. That is how much of our learning takes place. We find there are times we learn more from our failures than our successes.

The small salad bed on the east side of the house.

Spinach going to seed.

Around here in the late spring spinach and lettuce go to seed. I will let the spinach seeds drop right in the bed where they are growing. I will harvest the lettuce seeds from the pot on the front porch and broadcast them into the “salad bed” where the spinach is growing. 

Back in February I spread some old spinach and lettuce seeds in this bed not expecting anything to grow since they were older. We received a nice surprise of an extended ‘salad’ season. I will remember this and broadcast seeds next February in hopes this will replicate.

 
This lettuce is growing on the porch in the same pot as some sweet potatoes.

Surprise spinach
Surprise lettuce and parsley

 
Last years sunflowers seeds have germinated very well and are growing great.

Turnips planted last fall went to seed and provided this seed harvest. We dried them in the greenhouse.

Last year’s sweet potato plants probably aren’t considered seeds, but we’re hoping this experiment, planting them in a large pot, having them in the greenhouse all winter, and now on the porch, will show us if they will continue growing potatoes. The few potatoes we harvested last year gave us half a dozen sprouts that have been planted in the garden. They are growing well, so we hope to have replacement plants from year to year. Kind of like seeds, right?

You can grow some type of food almost anywhere with a sunny window, a porch, a sidewalk, with a bucket, a large tub or other container, a flower bed, the edge of a yard along the fence. You can plant nutritious, calorie rich foods just about anywhere, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, any type of cowpea (purple hull peas, black-eyed peas, etc.), to name just a few. If you can find them, buy a bag of pinto beans at the store, they will grow vines you can train on a fence or trellis. The potatoes you can store and eat over the winter, the beans and peas you can dry for cooking later. Neither has to be canned, so no need for canners, jars, shelf space, etc.

The Seed Starters Handbook is a great resource. I bought our copy back in the 1980’s and still use it regularly. It’s part of our resource library.
 

Got seeds? Got food? Grow some. Any amount you can provide for yourself will decrease your dependence on others, be it the grocery store or the government. It will increase your self confidence and determination to maintain or regain a small portion of independence for you and those you love.

Until next time – Fern

Without Food, You Are Dead

Everyone needs to read the opening dialogue from Ol’ Remus at the Woodpile Report this week. He’s right. Food is a Weapon that can, has been and will be used against you. There is a reason Bison Prepper is always writing about food first, wheat, calories, wheat, wheat, wheat. Without food, you are dead. End of story. Not to mention the disease and debilitation that comes from malnutrition and starvation. 

I’ve been thinking about sharing our fall/winter growing plans for a while and the thoughts from Ol’ Remus decided for me that today, I had better get with it. We are working on putting most of the garden to bed for the winter. We’re in the process of taking down the tomato/pepper/green bean trellises. After they are out of the way Frank will brush hog all of

the plants, including the okra forest, into a type of organic mulch.

Then we’ll clean out the chicken house and barn and add that to the garden and till everything in for the winter. If the weather isn’t too cold by that time, it usually isn’t in our latitude, we will broadcast some winter peas for an edible cover crop. It’s good for man and beast.

 
This is the plan for most of the garden anyway. The two ends, east and west are planted with a few more food crops. Not to mention these volunteer squash plants that came up in the yard close to the compost pile. We’re enjoying a few last meals of squash. The first frost we had, we covered these plants with a frost cloth which prevented death, but did not keep the plants damage free. We’ll be covering them again this weekend to see if we can get a few more meals before winter takes it’s toll.

We have a small patch of turnips planted for greens. These are seeds we saved this spring from the turnips we planted last fall. It seems to be a good cycle to get into. We were also able eat fresh greens well into winter, again in the spring and even canned a few jars in June. Our permanent turnip bed idea didn’t work out, so maybe this cycle is a better alternative.

On the other end of the garden we have planted some beets for canning, if they make it that far. 

Some carrots for winter eating.  
 

And some cabbage. We still have some frozen, shredded cabbage we grew in the spring of 2018 that we are using in soup. It’s a great addition. If these cabbages make, I’m hoping we won’t have insect problems this time of year, we’ll eat some fresh and freeze the rest to continue our soup making routine.

 

This small bed on the east side of the house is the only place I have successfully grown spinach. We have had our first salad with miniature spinach and lettuce leaves. I was too impatient to let them grow any bigger before we had our first taste.

In the greenhouse we have started our winter salad collection.

We have two kinds of lettuce. Romaine

Black Seeded Simpson

Russian Kale

Pak Choy from seeds we saved this spring.

Cress

I have also planted a tub of amaranth since it is supposed to be good in salads and we know it’s packed with nutrition.

Even though I don’t expect success, I planted some of the tomato seeds we saved this summer. I wanted to make sure they were viable and wanted to try one more time for winter greenhouse tomatoes.

On a whim back in the spring I bought a six pack of sweet potato plants, put them in some rather rocky ground under a trellis, and pretty much ignored them. They made a few potatoes, more than I expected. We’ll try one for supper tonight with some of those turnip greens we canned in June.

I tried keeping the vines when we dug the potatoes and planted them in a pot in the greenhouse to see if we can use this for our plants in the spring. I don’t know if they will make it when the weather gets cold. We’ll find out.

This is the first year we have had anything close to an apple harvest from the two trees we planted about eight years ago. The apples are good, not too sweet, but homegrown which means a lot to us. We have one with lunch almost everyday. 

 

So, food. What do you have? Is it enough for everyone you need to feed? For a while? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Can you replenish the supply on your own without any outside assistance? 

Food has always been used to control people. Always. Think of Joseph in Egypt. His father and brothers had to come and beg for food. They had the money to pay for it, but that didn’t mean they would receive any. It’s no different today. Look around the world. Look at how interdependent everyone is. Some countries have oil. Some have water. Some have the type of land and soil that will grow food, some don’t. If any one thing goes wrong, one spoke of the wheel breaks, all systems fail. No water, no food. No oil, no fertilizer, no commercial farming apparatus, no food. No transportation, food rots in the field. No workers, no food. 

Food can and will be used against you as a means of enforcing your compliance to any and all demands. Moral, immoral, just and unjust. Be ready. Provide for yourself and those you love. Otherwise……. 

Without food, you, and everyone you love, are dead.

Until next time – Fern
 

A Strawberry Scarecrow & Sweet Potatoes

Last year the birds discovered our new strawberry bed and ate the one or two berries we let grow. It was easy for them to sit on the fence to select the next course for their meal. Now that we have some berries growing, it’s time to see if we can deter the birds. I don’t usually buy whirly-gig things for decoration, but I actually like this one and it has marbles. It even comes with a few extras just in case I ‘lose my marbles’, which I have been known to do from time to time.

I have heard of people using old CD’s, no not certificates of deposit, which are losing value quickly these days, but computer CD’s. Except for buying the occasional computer program or music CD, most people don’t use these anymore. With the advent of flashdrives and direct downloads from the internet, CD’s have quickly become obsolete. Well, we have a spool of unused CD’s that have been sitting around for a number of years, so I thought now I could put them to good use. All I need is a couple of old socks and some fishing line.

I wanted the socks to protect the cherry trees I am using for end posts. I figure if I hang the CD’s across the strawberry bed, it will keep the birds away…..maybe. It’s worth a try anyway. First I cut the toe off the sock, then cut it down the whole length. This way I can wrap it around the fishing line several times for cushioning. 

Then I wrapped the sock/line around each tree and tied it off, creating a kind of clothes line effect. This will easily hold the weight of the CD’s, but hopefully not the weight of a bird.

 
From here I tied a line to the CD’s using the hole in the middle. I thought about drilling a hole by the edge of each one, but then I thought the more wobbly the better. They still twirl about in the wind, which I hope will keep the birds away.

I tried to keep them up high enough that they won’t be in my way when I want to work in the bed, but low enough to deter birds. We will see if it works.

 
Next, I wanted to plant a few sweet potatoes. We grew a nice patch of sweet potatoes last year, but then found out we really don’t eat very many. I also agree with some other folks recommendations that it is better not to let them vine out all over, like I did, because then you have small potatoes everywhere the vine goes, and that’s a lot of digging.


So this year I am planting a few of our potatoes from last year that have sprouted in these large wooden planters. I think it will look nice, since sweet potatoes have beautiful vines. Then at the end of the summer, I can harvest the potatoes right out of the pots. It also gives us more room in the garden for other things.

The growing season is upon us and everything is green and lush. We’re getting plenty of rain to get everything off to a great start and school is almost out. Things are heating up all over the world, regardless of the season. Keep your eyes open, stay alert, and evaluate the information that is out there for yourself. Don’t take the words of the talking heads at face value. How will you get information when the talking heads are gone? Make sure you have your radio communications in order. The seasons of our world are changing and we will have to adapt, one way or another. Be ready.

Until next time – Fern

Garden Update, January 27

Is everyone gardening yet? I want to give you an update on the ‘garden’ I planted December 29th

The perennial tomatoes I tried to grow, that have suffered through aphids and spider mites, have died. I am not surprised. I will be starting new tomato seedlings in a few weeks along with some peppers.

The sweet potatoes are growing, but are still infested with spider mites, so I am going to throw them out. One of the reasons for this decision is because when I was checking our stored sweet potatoes, I found a few that were sprouting. This gives me another source of sweet potato slips for planting, so I am not going to keep doing chemical treatments to try to get rid of the bugs.

Many of our regular potatoes we dug last summer are also sprouting. I am going to put them in the garage, where it is cooler, and cover them with newspaper and see if I can slow down the sprouts. Then I will try planting these around March 1st for our first crop of potatoes for the summer.

The Walla Walla onions are doing pretty good in the window. It was time to give them a haircut. After onion seedlings get to be about three inches tall, I trim them back to about an inch and a half. This promotes growth of the onion bulb along with the greens. 

The cabbage is doing well and is ready to be thinned out. I used to try pulling up the smaller, weaker seedlings, but invariably either pulled up or broke off some of the plants I was trying to save. So now, I cut the extras down with scissors. It works much better.

Cabbage
Broccoli

Spinach

I also used the same technique to thin out the spinach and broccoli. 

There was only one kale plant that came up and it is very small. That tells me that kale seeds do not remain viable as long as cabbage, broccoli and spinach. But, that is okay I guess, because the three mystery plants that came up in the onion tub turned out to be kale. Isn’t it funny how some things work?

Small planted kale

Mystery plant kale in the onion tub


In the next few weeks I will be starting quite a few more seedlings. I’ll keep you updated on what and when. By March 1st I will start putting things out in the garden if everything goes according to plan. You know, sometimes plans work and sometimes they don’t. It’s always important to have a back up plan, just in case. Do you have one?


Until next time – Fern


Time To Plant the Garden? Yes!

It’s January, right? Going into the coldest part of winter? Yes. Is is time to plant the garden? Yes! For me anyway. You see, I can’t wait much longer than this. I just want to have something growing that could turn into food. We have the plans and materials for a greenhouse, but haven’t been able to build it yet. But we have a south window that we have lined with shelves that is the next best thing.

Perennial tomatoes cut from the garden, October 2013

On December 29th, I started my garden. Really, I did. We had a decent day where it wasn’t too cold, so I went out to our planting tables on the porch and dug out some of the pots and dirt I used last summer that didn’t make it. I recycle these into new pots of something else.

I find working with seeds and dirt to be one of the most relaxing, therapeutic tasks on the planet. It can get to be a lot of work when you are trying to start a lot of seedlings, but there is still nothing that can beat it. Pretty soon, I will start rolling up some more Pot Maker pots for lots of spring seedlings. 

I planted cabbage, broccoli, kale and spinach.

Then I got out one of our dishpans that we drilled holes in and set it up for onion seedlings. I just put some gravel in the bottom dishpan, fill the top one about half full of dirt, and plant it.

I have some seeds from 2009, so I am planting them pretty thick. I’m not sure of the germination rate I will get. If they all come up, which I doubt, great! 

January 3rd

The cabbage is coming up nicely.

The spinach is up, but the kale and broccoli haven’t poked their heads up yet.

Mystery plant

The onions aren’t doing anything yet, but they are always slow to germinate and emerge, so I’m not worried about them. But I did discover something growing in the onion tub. That got me to thinking. Remember that dirt I told you I recycle? From other seedlings that didn’t make it? This little plant coming up in the middle of the onion tub doesn’t look anything like an onion. If it is from last summer’s seedlings, there is no telling what it could be. So this will be my fun little surprise plant.

Don’t they look sad?


While I’m talking about the garden I will give you an update on my perennial tomatoes and sweet potatoes. First, the tomatoes. I cut them from my existing plants in the garden in October. There were a few aphids which I thought I had taken care of. Wrong. I treated the plants with an insecticidal soap and hoped that was the end of it. It wasn’t. I had to treat them again, but first I rinsed them off very well and gave them fresh water. That seemed to take care of the aphids.

In late October, I cut some of my sweet potato vine and brought it in for the winter so I would have my own vines to plant in the spring. From what I read, they do quite well indoors. They looked great for a while, nice and lush and growing. But after a while, the leaves started to turn brown and I found spider mites. They really took over quickly, not only on the sweet potato, but on the poor tomato plants as well. I have had indoor plants for years and studied horticulture for a while in college, but I haven’t had any problems with aphids and spider mites in the house in quite some time.



So, I decided to treat them all again and pot them up while I was planting the ‘garden’ with cabbage and such.



Maybe this will do the trick and they will bounce back. I hope so. If not, I have learned something from another experiment.





January 3rd

The sweet potato is sprouting out all over and looks like it will make a come back.

 

The tomatoes are still very questionable. We will see.



January 12

The spinach is looking good. It is happy.

The kale is coming up now. It is slower to germinate than the cabbage and broccoli.

The cabbage is doing well. It is starting to get it’s first true leaves.

Some of the tomatoes have died, a few are starting to grow more leaves. Even if these plants live, I will be starting more seedlings so I can have good strong starts. I don’t know how well these plants will be able to produce considering all of the stress they have been through this winter.

The sweet potatoes look great. 

 

This tub of onions is a good example of the long term viability of onion seeds. These seeds are probably four years old. Since I planted four different types of seeds, this shows me that Walla Walla seeds stay viable longer than the Red Hamburger, Lisbon Bunching and Texas Grano. There are a few lone seeds coming up, but I need to get out some more seeds and get them started. Pretty soon I will need to give these a haircut. I will post more about that later. 

But, you know what? I have potential food growing in a window of my house in January and I just love that. Frank went in there one day and hollered, “You’ve got a bunch of plants coming up in here.” What a great feeling. Think about what you can do to get a head start on the growing season, whenever it starts in your neck of the woods. Order your seeds. And like I said the other day, order or buy more than you will need in a couple of lifetimes. They will be worth more than just about anything else. What else can you share or barter that can feed a number of people? They make great presents. You may get some strange looks, but that’s okay. Think of it as the gift of life.

Until next time – Fern