A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


 I started this blog last year with the intent of chronicling the growth and development of my yard and garden.  As the garden flourished, my time ran thin and I failed to record the events I set out to.  This year, I truly hope to maintain my record more diligently.  Not only is it important to me to share my experiences with others, but recording the information for my benefit is absolutely priceless.  I sat down last night and read my entries from last season and simply glowed with the flood of memories, as well as the anticipation of the season to come.

 I have ordered a plethora of seeds, most have arrived, and many are beginning their lives under lights in the basement already.  The usual staples are, of course, going to be included in the garden this year (tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, onions, etc.).  A few new flavors will be added as well.  I have ordered tomatillo seeds, spigarello broccoli (a leaf-only variety), numerous plants for making homemade tea (stevia, chamomile, hibiscus, etc.), and some new grains (amaranth and quinoa).  That is just a sampling of the new additions. :-)  Once we get planted, I will work to keep a complete running list of this year's plantings and their varieties.  

For now, however, I am reveling in the sight of seedlings as they rise from the surface of their trays.  I am thrilled to say that a few of my tomato seedlings have officially developed their first true leaves and are off to a fantastic start (despite me nearly killing the entire tray once by failing to water).  My biggest challenge to date is holding off starting any more seeds than I have as it is just too early for most things.  I started the tomatoes a bit early, but who doesn't love the smell of tomato plants when you brush against them?  They will just be larger and ready to set out when the time comes!  

The list of anticipated outdoor projects is steadily growing as we wait for a few warm days to arrive.  I feel a bit like a racehorse waiting at the gate, ready to rush out and hit my stride.  I just need the opening I am looking for to race off and start ticking items off the list.  There are, of course, the usual clean up duties of spring, but also finishing a couple flower beds we worked on last fall, and some new projects.  Since the laying flock increased in size last year and we did not lose many to the extreme cold this winter, we have decided to expand the chicken coop again to allow more floor space for the girls.  This time, the expansion will be upward, rather than outward.  (More on that another time.)  

We will again be expanding their yard as soon as the weather breaks, and building a lovely seating area with a donated swing from my mother near their yard (and in the shade) from which we can watch the flock scratch around.  We are also thinking about adding a garden surrounding Lexi's play area to draw birds and butterflies.  This would also be our herb and tea garden as well.  

This is the toughest part of the year for me.  Waiting. Waiting for the weather to warm.  Waiting for the soil to be workable.  Waiting for things to be green again.  Looking at last's year's entries, I was working outdoors in April fairly regularly.  That is good news, as April is not far away.  Looking out the window, however, at the snow still mostly covering the lawn, it doesn't feel like it.  Mother Nature better get a move on with the warm up.  She doesn't have long!  I am ready, oh so ready, to sink my hands into the soil and get elbow deep in earth.

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