Well, December and January have come and gone without follow through on my part. I still haven’t written the article about homemade detergents (I continue to experiment with different recipes that I come across, so I still have hope that I’ll be able to write a nice comprehensive article in the future). Our yarden still looks a mess- with weeds and old pepper plants. It is in need of a good trimming all around – from roses to butterfly bush to grass to side yard. We have yet to rake the leaves that fell in the Fall (oops) and get them into the front bed to solarize. The carrots and beets that were planted in the Fall are slowly flourishing. The collard greens are looking beautiful despite being completely left to their own devices. The broccoli and Brussels sprouts have thankfully chosen to do the same.
I had hoped that I would have had my tomato seeds started the last week in December. Instead, I had a baby—an 8lbs 11 oz baby boy named Gideon to be exact. His sister has been thrilled with his addition to the family. His arrival has been a harbinger for change in our lives. Ardis has moved up from the Toddler classroom at school to the Primary classroom. My husband and I are learning to live without sleep. I returned to work a couple of weeks ago. Our house is slowly moving through the chaos of adding another person and seems to be emerging on the other side of that particular tunnel no worse for the wear. So far my biggest challenge seems to be getting back into the routine of balancing home and work- especially now that the home end is well over 8 lbs heavier. Blogging has actually been hindered more by a lack of internet access than by our newest addition (I’ve had a hard time picking out an ISP since our last source via my husband’s cell phone had been free).
We’ve begun to delve into our hard work over the course of the past few weeks. Soups, chilies, and sauces have all been enriched by our homegrown produce. I definitely feel a huge chunk of satisfaction when I end up with two pots of chicken taco soup on the stove filled with homemade stock and homegrown tomatoes.
So at the moment my gardening to do list goes as follows (and, hopefully, yours looks very similar, though, you may have things checked off):
1) start tomato and pepper seeds in peat pots. I am hoping to grow “Romas,” “San Marzano,” “Boxcar Willie,” “Early Girl,” “Abe Lincoln,” and “Queen of Hearts” tomatoes. I still have seeds from all (except for the “Queen of Hearts,” which I will likely search for at the local Seed and Feed store). I have a selection of miscellaneous pepper seeds for starting as well. These peat pots will live in my mudroom until the last frost has done its due diligence.
2) clear the garden beds of weeds and excess. Fill the two front beds with whatever can be composted. Close in with plastic to solarize the bed and speed up the composting process some.
3) plant yet another round of carrots in hope of getting a few more growing.
4) select plants seeds for the rest of the garden. Start pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers in peat pots in a week or so.
5) make a plan for improving the herb garden as well as the back yard.