Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FIVE GENERATIONS! Life is busy around here!

Obviously I come from a very busy and prolific, longevity family!  Yes I know, we are also very goofy.  In the above picture is just part of my Paternal side of the family.  My family is a very mixed-variety type and it is really a little complicated to explain but the five generations in the above picture are (in order) Great Great Grandma Hazel, Great Grandma Deanna, Grandma Chandy (me), my son Nick, and his princess daughter Addison.  Of course the family could not have grown without our significant others to supply the other half of the DNA possible to create each generation.  Listed from left to right starting with the back row and relationship to the little princess (5th generation maker) is Aunt Rachael, Great Grandma (ShaNaNa)Deanna, cousin Abbie, Great PaPa making a peace sign, cousin James, Uncle Mike (with an "M"), Great Uncle Jim, cousin Joe, cousin Jake.  Next row kneeling behind the sofa: cousin Jess (James wife soon), Aunt Becky, Great Great Aunt Diane.  On the couch:  mommy Michelle, Princess Addison, daddy Nick, Great Great Great Grandma Hazel, Great Aunt Dandy, Front row and looking like dorks:  Grandma Chandy "ME" and Grandpa Brian!  Missing are my brothers and Great Uncles Mike and Joe (and Joe's wife Great Aunt K.D. and their twin boys and cousins George and Clark) and cousin Gaby (she had to work).
First rising
Final rising

So, I woke-up today with the headache I went to bed with.  Bummer!!!  I decided that it would be a good day to make bread since I am down to only two slices left of my last loaf of two days ago.  Today it is a sour dough (my own homemade starter) enriched with ground flax seed, oats and hemp seeds. I am thinking that this will be very tasty.  Problem is I love bread loaded with all it's carbs and I am diabetic!  Another Bummer!!!

We have been busy around the house the past week or two.  I saw a really cool "vertical" veggie growing idea that frees up twenty spots in my garden for other plants.  I emailed Brian pictures and asked him if he would help me make one.  He is my McGiever (sp?).  Together we make a great team.  On his way home from work that day he stopped and bought the materials I needed ($20) and we set to work.  It is an 8' long 6" diameter PVC tube.  It was cut down to 7'.  On two opposite sides starting at one foot and 2" from the bottom of the tube we cut 2" diameter holes 16" distance from the next up to the top of the tube.  Then on the other two opposite sides starting at one foot 34" we did the same. This gave us 20 holes in the tubing.  The tube was then buried one foot into the ground and filled on the inside of the tube with soil up to ground level.  That put our first two holes 2" above ground level.  We filled the tube with a water retention enriched soil to the bottom of each hole planting a seedling as we planted up the tube.  When we got to the top I planted a basil plant in the top opening.  21 plants planted in the space we would usually use for one plant.  It has been almost three weeks since we planted and my seedlings have been growing into healthy plants.  I planted acorn squash in the bottom two holes and then various hot peppers and three cherry tomatoes in the other holes.  I may need to add some support such as ties to the tube to support the growing plants at some point.  I will watch this.  Here are some pictures:
The black spots on the tube are from where I first marked the tubes to be cut and then decided that I wanted them spaced differently.

 I am also trying my hand at growing red potatoes in 5 gallon buckets.  I do not have enough garden space to grow everything I would like.  I would like to be as self sufficient as possible but Brian does not want to dig up the whole yard and make it into a food producing yard.  Therefore, I must be innovative.  I have two potato buckets started and plan on doing another red potato bucket and one or two sweet potato buckets.  I am in the process of making my sweet potato slips.  Since the weather has been chilly up here in the upper Midwest they can not be planted yet.
We have drilled holes in the bottoms of the buckets and around the sides of the bottom of the buckets for drainage.  You then put a couple inches of soil in the buckets, plant your slips and cover them with just enough soil to cover.  Water.  When they have grown sprouts several inches above the soil, you then add more soil to almost cover the new growth.  You keep repeating this process until you get up to an inch or so from the top of the bucket and water until the plant has bloomed and the blooms die off.  Then, theoretically, I should have a buck full of potatoes.  Just tip the buckets over and harvest the spuds!  

So, I come up with all of my ADHD ideas and want to do all this stuff and propose them to Brian.  He is a Saint to go along with me or at least allow me to try some or most of them.  Sometimes, I think that my headaches are caused by all of the ideas that are running through my brain and I know that I can not act on all of them.  As I have mentioned earlier, I do not have enough garden space.  I had sent Brian some other ideas but he said "NO" to the pallet vertical wall gardens.  But when he made a trip to California a couple of weeks ago guess what he saw????  He saw many pallet vertical gardens all planted up at a Farmer's Market.   He thought that was pretty cool but still did not want to help me make any this year.  Perhaps next.  What he did agree to after he saw several was building me a small raised bed sweetcorn bed.  So, I now have a 4'x6' raised corn bed.  I had started about a 1/3 of my corn plants inside and then transplanted them.  Then I planted the rest of the seeds right in the bed.  I have read that if you stagger your plantings a little you will get corn to eat at a staggered rate.  I believe that I have 21 seedlings planted and then about 30 more seeds sown in this small space.  Brian said that the ones he saw had the plants closer but I would rather allow my plants to have a little more space.  In the picture below, you will see some foot prints in my raised bed from the ferrell cats that we caught last year, had fixed and released.  They are living under our shed and Aunt Diane keeps feeding them.  She even made them an insulated home to sleep in over the cold winter months.

My mixed variety Mint garden is going crazy.
If anyone wants to come over and pick mint,please be my guest.  If you look closely, on the very left side of the picture below is a patch of Horehound and on the very right of the bed is my (not yet in bloom) lavender.

Here is a picture of my general garden.  Lots of Tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and beans planted around the edge that will be trained to grown up the fencing (works like a charm every year).  This year I decided to plant some melons between my tomato plants so that they can grown low to the ground under the tomato plants. However, I am still toying with the idea to train them up on a trellis.  I have been doing research and heard that they do well that way.  The tomato plants can be trained to do that as well.  My jury is still out and I have time to change my mind.  

In the time that it has taken me to write this blog, my bread has risen to the point of being ready to bake.  So, off to the kitchen to put on my bakers cap.  While it is baking, I think that I will work on my FB Farm and take time to breath in the wonderful aroma of homemade baking bread.  

What can you find to inspire you to sit back, relax, enjoy, think about and find the Wisdom to Breath in today?

Have to share the finished product.....and how I had to have some!  Yumm, did not stop at one piece, glad I made two loaves...  ;)