Daily Dozen: Garden Dreaming

[contents: seeds,no dig gardening,gardening and farming on rented or borrowed land,pest control,chickens]
I am itching to get seeds started ,even though it’s way too early here. I’m making do with planning and scheming. Mostly.

  1. Tomato Seeds: From My Garden to Yours – one of my faves, You Grow Girl , is selling seeds from her own garden at her Etsy shop
  2. 32 Seed Companies – Gardening Jones – my favorite seed company is missing from this list, so I will add FedCo and make it 33.
  3. how to grow spinach, with tom stearns – spinach is one of those easy indoor greens to grow and this talk with Tom Stearns tells you more than you will ever need to know about spinach
  4. Gutter Gardens – I’m thinking of reprising my  “Lettuce Turnip the Beet” rain gutter garden in the new place. It worked really well to keep slugs and other things from eating my greens
  5. Wine Bottle Reuse and Recycle Week – A Green Garden Border – just because. I don’t even drink wine so Id have to go raid a wine drinker’s recycle bin. Or maybe a bar.
  6. How to Make $100,000 Farming 1/2 Acre You Don’t Own – Lots of inspiration here from Curtis Stone (not the chef) who wrote a book about how to make money from land you’re leasing/renting or borrowing. And in my opinion, this is how food sovereignty and accessibility is going to happen. The problem is, we have landowners who are not willing to allow people to grow food for some odd reason and finding people who will let you borrow their unused land is kinda hard. Here on our Rented Homestead, I have 5 acres (although half of that is a huge ass pond and marsh) and I have no restrictions on what I can do with the land while we live here. My goal isn’t really to make money but to instead provide for my family (which is just as good as cash) and be able to share the harvest-wealth with others.
  7. How To: Reflective Garden Decor from Recycled CDs – I found a stack of crappy CDs when unpacking a box the other day,so…
  8. A Beginners Guide to No Dig Gardening – Indie Farmer – I mentioned a few times that I was “lasagna gardening” at our new place and people were like, HUH?This is what that looks like. It makes the most sense for me since I have all the materials needed for building layers and no real access to a tiller.
  9. 12 Great Uses for Wood Ash in Your Coop, Home and Garden – you guys, I can’t wait to get chickens but for right now, the wood ash is handy as a ice melter and I’ve also used it in my lasagna garden layers a bit.  I have not delved into soap making with wood ash because it sounds like a giant pain in the ass.
  10. Top Ten Chicken Keeping Blog Posts of 2015 -handy reference
  11. Grow Write Guild #32: When the Gardener Can’t Garden – I know it’s a writing prompt but I only need one sentence: It was hell. The end.
  12. The Poor as Folk Garden Party –  I made a Facebook group for low income gardeners of all skill levels. Get and give advice, boast about successes and cry about failures here. (I will change the privacy setting to closed so no one will see your posts unless they belong to the group

Lunchtime Links: Recipes for Novice Canners and FREE Non-GMO SEEDS!

Today’s round-up of food things.

Home canning basics from Attainable Sustainable.

Recipes for the Novice Canner  -the simplest ones to start with, with tips for beginners | via Attainable Sustainable

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 7 Common Kitchen Disasters and How To Avoid Them – Because avoiding food mistakes means less food waste which means saving money. I appreciate the blender tip. Mine has a missing top. I just use a lid from a storage bowl that’s slightly larger than the top of my blender and hold it there.

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Groundswell is giving away free non-GMO seeds. Here’s what you have to do to get some:

SIGN UP FOR HEALTHY SEEDS NOW!

How it Works

  1. Sign up to receive seeds and share the names of at least two friends or family members interested in receiving seeds as well.
  2. Groundswell sends you a packet of open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds from Sow True Seed, a locally-owned company based in Asheville, NC.
  3. By planting these seeds, you are supporting healthy seeds that can be saved and used to reproduce food year after year.
  4. After you have signed up to receive seeds, stay tuned! Below are different ways to connect to receive updates on the campaign from now through the end of April.

– See more at: http://www.groundswellinternational.org/seeds/#sthash.FCvmIxye.dpuf

 

ALSO …
Ann from Bohan Seeds  has very generously offered FREE veggie seeds to readers here. She says, “If you would be interested ,please check my site out but instead of ordering through the site just send email from site with what you want and I will do what I can to comply. Free of course. Please start your email with Poor As Folk so I will know.

Thank you so much, Ann!

 

We’re having a Seed Party

The first thing my little one does when he wakes up in the morning is go to our “Seed Shelf”, a plastic yellow shelf my husband rescued from the garbage at a supermarket. It was an end-of-aisle display shelf for bug repellant. It’s been sitting  in a corner of the boys’ room, displaying lego creations and holding stacks of Pokemon cards. Now it’s been cleared off to store the random small containers and toilet paper tube pots we’ve gathered together from raiding recycle bins to start seeds in. The lack of a backing makes it a perfect seed starting shelf, placed in front of of one the few windows that actually lets light in our house.seed cups

This morning, my littlest peeked over the edge of a shelf , looking at the containers he helped me fill with soil and pushed seeds into with his tiny fingers . I could tell by the look on his face he was expecting to see more than just dirt. Disappointed,he said, “There’s nothing growing there. I think we need to have a seed party to make them pop up!”

Seed Parties, as it turns out, involve lots of water, spraying of water, and staring at DSC_0613the seed pots impatiently waiting for the magic to happen.

Time is hard for a three year old. Eventually, he gets tired of staring at dirt and goes off to play but he’ll come back later to check and make sure something exciting didn’t happen while he wasn’t standing watch. He doesn’t remember much of last year’s gardening experiences – it’s all new again this year. To me, that’s just so cool to see him experiencing things all over again, just like it’s new. There’s some things retained from last Spring. He remembers eating so many cucumbers and tomatoes off the vine ,straight from the garden but the seed starting business is fairly fuzzy in his memory.

This year he’ll be old enough to pick up new curse words if he hears me ranting at the woodchuck, the deer ,and the slugs who think my garden is an outdoor diner, so I’ll have to learn some new curse-worthy sentence enhancers to yell. Like maybe, “BY ST. BOOGAR AND ALL THE SAINTS AT THE BACKSIDE DOOR OF PURGATORY!”

The Seed Shelf. I was standing straight. It looks crooked because the floors in our house are sloped. No kidding.
The Seed Shelf. I was standing straight. It looks crooked because the floors in our house are sloped. No kidding.

ICYMI-Recipe & Thrifty/DIY Tips Round-Up: Understanding Seed Catalogs, Kitchen Grease Soap, making the most of produce and more….

Recipes,food,budgeting,thrifty tips…stuff you might have missed this past week.

Save Cash and Eat Better With These 8 Tricks for Your Fruits and Veggies–   useful tips to make produce last longer

Making Soap from Kitchen Grease « Little House in the Suburbs- I know it sounds gross but it’s the reason my Grandma saved all her grease in a can by the stove. Ultimate recycling.

What To Buy In The Month Of January – How I Pinch A Penny- maybe this helps,maybe it doesn’t. Poor is poor and a lot of times that means there is no money to buy anything, even if it’s cheap but… if you have some extra jingle and need some things, these things are cheaper in January.

How to De-Gas Beans – Whole New Mom– It doesn’t say it but…the longer How to De-Gas Beans. This REALLY works! Find out how to take the gas out of beans and make sure you don't end up "gassing" everyone else out after eating a bean-filled meal!you soak the beans, the less gassier they will be. Hey, when you eat a lot of beans, every tip helps.

Meal Planning and Keeping a Stocked Pantry-Doing this instead of meal planning works best for some people. It can be hard for those with low income/SNAP budgets to have a well stocked pantry sometimes,though. I do a bit of both. I have to do a lot of shopping at once because we don’t have a car and if someone is offering a ride, that’s the time to get groceries…ALL the groceries …but in that context,I would only buy the fresh produce we could use in that week and make sure the rest was either frozen (or freezable) or canned/dry goods.

Parsnip Fritters – I’m betting CSA members have parsnips they need to figure out what t do with…

So many NY apples, but not enough storage -My state, so probably not applicable everywhere but right now in NY, apples are cheaper because of piss-poor planning. Overproduction, lack of storage. Shameful the lack of waste associated with this.

To Peel or Not to Peel?– Literally just what it says. Which veggies are worth taking the time to peel or not.

How-to: Shopping in a Wheelchair – not budgety or anything but helpful for anyone new to shopping while in a wheelchair.
How to Choose the Best Seeds for your Garden: Understanding Seed Catalogs-The one thing (the only thing) I love about January is the arrival of seed catalogs in mailbox.
This video is really,really good if you’re a newbie to gardening and trying to figure out what kind of seeds to buy or swap for. I like the tips on organizing your seed stash,too. I’m a terrible seed hoarder. I need to get better at organizing them.

Eat All Your Vegetables: How to Use Stems and Roots- use ALL your veggies.