Begun the Garden War Has!

We’ve been enjoying greens from our cold frame for weeks now.  And with the abnormally warm weather, they have been just exploding in number.  The shallot greens are in the same boat–we’ve been using those instead of scallions or chives in a lot of our recipes.  It still might be brown and dormant outside, but life abounds in the frames.

Last weekend JGL posted a picture of dinner, which also included a fresh cold frame salad, and one of my favorite professors at my place of employment quickly posted “Fresh lettuce? Begun the garden war has!”.   We got a good chuckle out of both the thought of a gardening war and the clever Yoda reference, but later that evening JGL said, “Crap.  This means we have to step up our game, don’t we?”

Yes, JGL, it sure does.  I have full faith that the good Professor is going to kick our sorry gardening butts, but we’ve got to give it a good ole college try, right?  Right!

Having never been in said Gardening War, I’m not exactly sure what it entails.  However, lists are being drafted, the Farmer’s Seed and Supply store was scoped out today, and once these cold frames are installed, it’s on like Donkey Kong.  Challenge Accepted!  😉

To say this week has been a long one is an understatement!  There’s still a ways to go, but tonight I’m excited about having salad with fresh greens from the cold frame.  That’s right, folks, the cold frame has officially exploded with big, luscious, leafy greens.  How can a week be that bad when you have that on your table?

Fighting Daylight

I’m struggling here at the Homestead.

I know, poor pitiful me who was able to take a week off of work and go hang out with my family.  Life’s so not hard for me. But truth be told, I’m really having a heck of a time getting back into the rhythm of things here–I’m getting up late in the mornings, going to bed early, and I blame this whole lack of light thing while I’m at home.  It’s just barely bright when I leave, and it’s definitely dark when I come come.  And what I really want to do most is take pictures of the cold frame and the lettuce that is THRIVING outside despite the hard frosts, or to try and capture the holiday smorgasbord that has become our neighborhood.

Old man winter has just barely settled in, and I’m already itching to get out.

I have to remember that this is truly a perfect time to plan, a time to till up the back garden, a time snag manure at the barn here at work to put in said tilled garden, to make seed catalog lists, to install the freecycled grow lamp Dad passed down to us, and to map out what exactly everything will look like so we’re ready when the spring will eventually hit.  But that’s all weekend warrior stuff–so for now during the 9-5 rush I’m relishing sun soaked lunch-time walks at work, being very thankful for not one, but TWO windows in my office, and also trying to remember that we can find gardening bliss even in the smallest of Solo Cups–and as long as I have that, Old Man Winter’s got nothing on this GAL!

 

Be careful what you wish for…

Back in February I thought to myself, I wouldn’t mind just one more nice snow.  One more excuse to snuggle up with a good book by the fire, bake, and put the outside work off just one last little bit.  It sounded like an awesome idea, actually.

And then we started having 70 degree weather, things started poking up, and nothing sounded better to me than spring.  I fully packed away winter in my mind, and was heading full force toward our garden chores.

Now that we have new things planted and spinach and such starting to poke up, Mother Nature decides to send us a late season snow storm, one that’s threatening to dump 4 inches in our area.  So JGL and I had to get creative to help make sure our newest additions to the gardens.  Our weapons of choice?  Plastic water bottles that need to go to recycling–I cut the bottoms off and used those for the little seedlings, and used the rest of the bottles to help protect things like the clematis.  The beautiful cold frame is now on top of the strawberries.

Moral of the story?  Be careful what you wish for, folks….

Filling up the Cold Frame

After our weekly trip to WW, we ventured down to our Fabulous Farmer, Seed and Supply Store and picked up seeds to start.  I can’t believe it’s only February 26th and we’re starting seeds, but the weather has been beautiful and it looks like it will continue to be as such for the foreseeable future.  We’ll certainly take it!

We filled up the fabulous cold frame with our reusable seed starting containers we inherited from my family, and filled them up with potting soil.  After that we put in several varieties of tomatoes (Rutgers, Jubilee, Roma and Yellow Pear), a few jalapenos, basil and petunias into about 24 pots.  So here’s to starting early and fingers crossed for a FABULOUS yield!

In the Hot House

I shared a while back how I really wanted to use our old windows to make some mini-greenhouses/cold frames/hot houses to start our seeds.  In trying to figure out how to build these and what materials for the frames we would need to purchase, we heard from our Sister-in-Law that she might have a solution for us.

When her company receives shipments they come on wooden crates that are on hinges, and once disassembled lay flat.  She was incredibly kind as to let us have access to them, and JGL and I are dreaming up all the different ways we can use them for raised beds.  But Sunday JGL put his thinking cap on and built me our first cold frame.  We’re looking forward to filling it full of seedlings soon!