Monday, March 11, 2013

Planning... the beginning of Self Sufficiency

The start of an idea...
 Spring rains have been falling for days, it has been so wonderful to hear and smell.  I glanced out the back door yesterday along with my Gator (he does not believe in getting wet) and was surprised to see my garden beds flooding.  Water several inches deep all around the beds, and coming down steadily.   After last year, it is definitely a blessing, my ground literally cracked last year from the drought.

As I have been up since 2:00 am this morning, I decided to make use of the time, and ordered my seeds.  The seed company I order from is one of my absolute favorites!  I have never received seeds that don't germinate, they have great prices, non-gmo, and in my opinion the best part is the variety of heirloom seeds available.

And on top of all that wonderfulness, it is a family owned and family run company.  I believe in supporting dreams.  If nothing else, other than to simply dream, might I suggest you head to their website Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  It is a wonderful site to daydream, plan and learn.

I expect they will arrive within the week. And since today is expected to be the last of the cool days, at 42 degrees we are well above freezing, hopefully before the weekend I can get the first batch of peas, lettuces and radishes in. I ordered a few of my favorites from Germany and France. It is so rewarding to be able to enjoy the flavors I grew up with. 

Hubby and I are building some new planters this year, they are specifically for growing potatoes, I am excited to try this method. I have tried to plant them in the ground here in Illinois, without much success, the ground is simply so dry and hard by harvest time that is in not even slightly enjoyable to try and harvest them. I will have to document the experiment for everyone.

Yesterday, while sipping hot coffee and listening to the heavy rains outside we planned out the green house.  We have spent a lot of years gathering supplies. It was important to both of us that it be completed mostly with upcycled materials.  The windows were salvaged from an 80+ year old building and the majority of the 2x4's were rescued from a construction project.  After planning it out, we are looking at an expense of less than $500 for an 8ft x 8ft year round green house.

The expansion possibilities of the garden are amazing with this addition.  We could live exclusively on vegetables, but the stuff from the grocery simply doesn't taste as good.  Anytime I doubt that I simply have to remember hubby's face the first time he had a fresh from the garden radish.  Or the wonderful flavor that you can only get from a vine ripened tomato that has not been tampered with by man.  Tomato sauce made from fresh Roma tomatoes will convince even those that hate red sauce to reconsider.

We are planning now, because the next few weeks will start the season. Potatoes will need to be planted before the month is out, the cool weather plants need as much time as I can give them. Within a few very short weeks, my gardens will come to life.  I might even add a few more blueberry bushes this year.  My goal this year is to cut my grocery bills in half while giving us a large variety of healthy choices.

Anyone else planning a garden this year?