Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's still snowing.

January is almost over and winter feels like it's going on forever here in Iowa. So yesterday I got all my garden seed out and ideas from last year and started a plan so when the snow melts I can run out the door. I'm thinking about expanding the garden and making a cold frame so I can garden earlier. Since my kids prefer vegetables over anything else the more I can grow the easier it is on the grocery bill. And they get to plant what they will eat. What plants do you love to grow?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vegetable Garden Part 3

Just because I use to sell the seeds and plants didn't mean I knew everything about them. We had specific ladies that helped with the tough questions. But until I planted this garden I never knew how hard it can be.

Trouble number 1
This is the driest spring/summer we have had in years. We have only gotten .52 inches in July so far. Today did rain, you could almost hear the plants and trees singing for joy!

Trouble number 2
My vegetable beds are filled with half topsoil and half compost. The soil has sand in it, since it came from by a river. So naturally I thought I need to water a lot. Raised bed, sandy soil, no rain for months and its been a consistent 95F for two weeks. My tomatoes were wilting and even with watering twice a day they were not happy. So I put more mulch around them and decided they had a disease and they were goners. Since it was loaded with buds and tiny tomatoes I didn't pull them, I just stopped watering. After about 3 days they started looking better. So apparently you can kill them with kindness. Now I only water them every other day, and when I don't water I still water the mulch a little to keep the heat down.

Trouble number 3

Heavy rain and strong wind are not good for vegetables.

 After about 3 days they did snap back up.

The peppers needed propped since their heavy fruits were weighing them down.

Celery and carrots looking good.

 My not so dead cherry tomatoes. To bad they never make it to the house :)

Celebrity tomato. Just about ready for BLT's.

Strawberries, you have to pick them before you think they are ripe. Or else they will rot by the next day. Another thing I had to learn.

Vegetable Garden Part 2

Planting the seeds.

Planting radishes

Planting radishes

Radishes sprouted

 Our dollar store find. We used them as plant markers.

Onions coming up

Lettuce, mustard and kale.


We went to menards and they had their strawberry hanging baskets on sale for $7.00. So we got two. We'll plant them in the garden this fall so they will survive the winter.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our New Vegetable Garden Part 1

I have always worked in greenhouses and garden centers. It was my job to help take care of the lovely flowers, fresh vegetable plants and gorgeous trees. But when it comes to my yard that is a different story. I would guess my neighbors think I lie about my profession. Last year my husband got a new job and we decided to give me the summer off. I work at the garden center one day a week because i still love what i do. but this summer is for the family.

So the first thing i wanted to do is plant a vegetable garden. Since our yard is full of acid from the evergreens and roots from the maple trees digging in our soil would be allot of work. And with raised beds being all the craze i jumped on board.

Looks shady now, but it is very early in the morning. It will have full south and west sun exposure after 10:00 am.

Cam helping grandpa.

 Grandpa working, Cam being a ham.

Back to work.

 My dad helped me get the lumber and put it together. Now to drag it around and see where the best place is. I used untreated 2" x 10" x 12' long. I decided against the treated lumber since there is no clear answer if its toxic or not. Really depends on where it comes from. Since our garden is to eat healthy and get away from all the chemicals it just made sense. I know the wood will eventually rot but that could take 10 years, and I hope to be out in the country by then.
I built the garden before I know what to put in it. I knew I had a limited space and if I built it on what I wanted to plant then the kids would have no yard left. So with the help of my daughter Jorja (7) and my son Cam (3) we picked out our seed. In the small bed it will be sweet corn, squash and radishes. The squash will take over the space when the radishes are picked, and it can vine around the sweet corn. The large bed will only have 2 tomato plants (since they are at every booth at the farmers market), couple peppers, lots of different lettuce, kale, and cabbage (we eat alot of salad), 3 kinds of carrots for Jorja, onions, garlic and shallots.
I used a 50/50 top soil and compost. I wanted to add some chicken doo doo from my moms farm but I knew if I did my dog would be in it every minute. So I'm going to rely on the compost for this summer.

Now to wait for the warm weather so we can plant!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Earth Day April 22, 2012

The first Earth Day celebration took place on March 21, 1970, the vernal equinox that year. Earth Day proved popular in the United States and around the world. The first April 22 Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."

"Earth Day Anthem"
Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

These are the seed packets I made with my daughter to pass out to her classmates.
Order you custom seed packets at Ramblin River.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can't stop thinking EAGLES!

Last year I started watching the Decorah Eagles. Even if I wasn't watching it, I sure liked the sounds of the birds and wind. My children like it, but I don't think they understand where I'm coming from. When I was their age we never saw an eagle. They were very hard to find, and only hung out in certain areas. Now with their population growing they seem to be everywhere. We drive 20 minutes to school everyday. One road we take is 2 miles along the Cedar River. We started seeing more and more eagles. One day we counted 12. That is the most we've seen so far. Sometimes they are in trees just above the car and if no one is behind us we stop and peak out the sunroof. They will look down at us, and it gets a little intimidating. My daughter said she wanted one for a pet. I told her how big they are. So when we got home we made a life size picture of a female eagle. She changed her mind quickly when she saw it was the size of her brother. So now everyday to school and back we keep a journal in the car and keep track of how many eagles we see each day. It's a simple activity but gives them something to do on our long car ride everyday.

Here is the link to the Decorah Eagles if you want to join in our obsession!

Our life size eagle!

Eagles that sit above our road every morning. So I opened the sunroof and took a picture. Pretty cool looking that close into their eyes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flower Seed Packets

When my daughter was born I wanted something unique to give out. So I made these seed packets with her information cleverly disguised as flower information. So our friends and family can share the day with us by planting flowers to enjoy all summer. I have added more ideas to the list. These fun seed packets are professionally printed on premium white paper (3"x4").
  • Anniversary
  • Arbor Day
  • Baby Announcements
  • Baptism
  • Birthday
  • Business Cards
  • Christmas
  • Confirmation
  • Earth Day
  • Garden Party
  • Graduation
  • May Day
  • Military
  • Mothers Day
  • New Years
  • Remembrance
  • Retirement
  • Thank You
  • Wedding Favors
I will have seed planting instructions on the back so your friends are encouraged to plant them. Flower seeds are packaged in wax paper inside the decorative packet so they don't fall out. I have chosen zinnia seeds. They grow in any conditions and bloom all summer. You can easily harvest the seed to plant later. Aprox. 1 teaspoon of seed.