Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adventures in Gardening ~ Part 2

{To see where we began, read Adventures in Gardening ~ Part 1}

A lot has happened since we began our little gardening adventure...however, none of it actually involves getting plants in the ground.  It’s a work in progress for sure.  

I would just like to point out, that I think these are the cutest plant markers ever.  

We planted our little seeds and have a few seedlings popping up much to our excitement.  We used paper cups filled with organic seed starting mix. Some cups have one little sprout while others have about 20.  That's what happens when cute, squishy little hands help plant seeds.  The tiny seeds also enjoyed a few songs to help them grow.  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” was a particular favorite.

The challenges our little seedlings face include lack of sunlight.  I have them in the sunniest spot in our house, but as they grow and reach towards the window, I worry that it’s not enough.  I do feel like a mother hen with these things...except they're not chicks, so I don’t know what that would make me.  Mother plant.  Mother vegetable.  Mother gardener...  Anyways, in an effort to give them more sunlight, I am trying to set them outside on warm, sunny days.  We did this yesterday, and they seemed to love it!  Never mind the slight bump when I ran their tray into the door frame.  Best. Mother Gardener. Ever.

The highlight of my gardening adventures so far (insert sarcasm here) is my first encounter with a snake in one of our garden beds.  I prefer not to kill things. Unless it’s in my house.  Then it’s gloves off...well, gloves on in that case.  So, I’m outside raking the bed, turning the soil, enjoying the afternoon sunshine, and something slithers through the dirt.  I think I screamed.  At first, I actually wasn’t sure if it was just a super huge earthworm or a snake, but I didn’t want to get close enough to find out.  I just wanted to get it out.  In a show of good faith, I simply attempted to rake the snake out of the bed and into the woods.  That thing coiled around the end of my rake, and I thought I might die.  Not really.  But this is usually the kind of thing I leave to my husband.  It wouldn’t let loose.  I shook that rake, waved it in the air, slammed it on the ground, hit it on a rock...all that critter had to do was let go...I think he was probably as terrified as I was.  In the end, I got him off...not really the way I preferred to...but he’s gone.  

Now, I’m just waiting for the weather to warm up and our seedlings to grow a little more, and into the ground they’ll go!  

What about you?  Have anything good growing?
Happy Gardening :)

Covered in Grace

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Adventures in Gardening ~ Part 1

I come from a family of farmers.  My mom gardens, my dad farms, my uncles farm, some of my grandparents and great-grandparents either farmed or grew overflowing gardens.  It's in my blood people!  And each spring I peruse gardening books and explore aisles and aisles of plants and seeds...and come up totally short of my gardening goals.  I have faith in this year :)  I'm thinking that maybe if I attempt to write and post updates about it, I'm certain to stick with it and have success, right?  One can only hope.

This is our backyard.  We own a small home on about a half an acre which sits in the midst of trees and fields (I totally love that).  There are fruit trees to the left (apple & peach) which were lovingly planted by the couple who owned our home previously.  The pink blossoms are just lovely this time of year.  I like to call it our orchard.  If four trees can count as an orchard ;)

I've been eyeing the prettiest images of "potager" gardens on pinterest.  I am certain that one day I would love to have one.  So, this is where we begin our journey.  One raised bed at a time.  

The awesome hubby/daddy used his fabulous skills to build the boxes for our garden.  And some short time later, after watching my futile attempts at digging (and probably chuckling to himself), he dug the ground.  He's the best!

This little garden is our new project.  The girls already love being outside and digging in dirt, and I'm hoping we can grow some of our own foods together.  They were so excited about our project...but I think it had something to do with all of the earthworms they found.  Earthworms are great fun and so good for the soil.

After we the hubby dug our beds, we added garden soil.  

I asked my big girl what she wanted to name our little garden.  "Happy Foods Garden" it is!  And I don't think we will be the only ones enjoying our happy food.  We don't even have plants growing yet, and I have counted four deer grazing in our backyard since we built our boxes. 

In my mind, I have super big plans for our little garden area.  I told my husband I wanted to build a trellis for growing blackberries.  He gave me this look and said, "You mean like the one I dug up when we first moved here." ...Ummmm...yes, that would be correct.  I am also trying to convince him that we need a few chickens in our life.  
He's still not buying it...but I am not giving up ;)  
Here's to our little home on the tiny range and our new Happy Foods Garden!

~ Have a beautiful day ~

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break is All Kinds of Wonderful

At this very moment, we are well into our spring break week.  I kind of see it as a trial run for summer vacation to determine if we can all get along without hurting one another.  
 Just kidding ;)  

The weather has been kind of wild lately.  A little over a week ago, winter gave us one last burst of loveliness (or so I thought).

She's trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue :)

So pretty.  But it's spring's turn to shine!  The last few days, we've really enjoyed being outside, breathing in the fresh air, playing in dirt, and anything else two little girlies can think up...

One morning while walking Charlie Brown-Black, the sunlight bounced off of dew drops on my dad's wheat field beside our house, and I got this picture.  It's one of my favorites.  {I carry my phone with me everywhere because I never know when something like this might happen!}


And now, as I finish up this post and look out of my kitchen window, it's sleeting and snowing! Say whaaaat?!  


 Once I picked my jaw up off the floor (because I wasn't expecting that at all) I had to take a few pictures.  After about 20 minutes, this was our front "yard" or patch of forest...we don't have grass in front of our house, we have moss ;)

These are our fruit trees in the back, covered in pink blossoms and a layer of sleet.  It's kind of crazy but oh so beautiful, and I am reminded that God is in control of it all!

There were many things I planned to do during this short week.
~Start a garden
~Start an exercise plan
~Clean the girls' room and find new homes for 1/2 of their belongings 
(they have so much stuff)
~Spring clean
~Make lots of fun crafts
~Find new recipes and attempt to cook those new recipes 
(without burning the food up or the kitchen down)
She's prepared either way...

But, sometimes, life happens and plans change.  I didn't start a garden, but I did repot a few plants.  I didn't start a rigorous exercise plan, but I did swing and play and run around outside with some lively girls.  The girls cleaned their room themselves (sort of)...I cannot begin to tell you the nooks and crannies where toys and clothes have been stuffed.  We did not make any elaborate crafts, but we colored lots of pictures.  I did not find any amazing new recipes, but I have enjoyed lots of coffee :)  
And it's all good, I thank the Lord for every moment! 
(Plus, we still have a few days left...the possibilities are endless, really)

There's this quote I found in a cherished desk calendar my mom gave me:

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” 
~ Guillaume Apollinaire

I love that, and I want to add "thankful" :)

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

All photos taken with my iPhone 4...because I'm retro like that ;) 

life rearranged