Friday, February 27, 2009

64 degrees and snow on the way

You heard me. What is with that? Oh yeah, I remember,
it is still winter! It was so warm today, I thought spring had arrived.

I have seeds sprouting (mostly mustard), These are from Johnnies but all our
seed company preferences are listed on the right somewhere.and branches blooming (plum branches)

(inside, not outside), and we played outside without coats on today.

Just a break in the weather? Maybe. It's OK, I'll take it. I was able to
open the windows to let out all the germs from our being sick the last week
and a half (or more?) and let the fresh air in.Then the rain came.
It's too cloudy to see Venus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

At last the seed sowing has begun

This is what it looks like in our little corner of the Garden State..Farmer Dad fills the six packs with starter mix,
while Princess writes out the labels (copied off the seed packet)

Once all the labels are written out, the seed sowing begins

We started :
  • Red Wing Lettuce Mix
  • Mizuna Japanese Mustard
  • Japanese Giant Red Mustard
  • Green Wave Mustard
  • Pac Choi
  • Green Butterhead Lettuce
  • Ho Mi Z Green Mustard
  • Merveille Des Quatre Saisons Butterhead Lettuce
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Tatsoi
  • Giant Ceasar Lettuce
  • Georgia Collards
The finished product may not look like much to you, but to us it is the real promise of spring!
After we were done, we went outside for a walk around the yard

checking what might be popping up

happily, finding the snow drops have popped up

spring can't be too far off can it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

My in box today contained a bit of good news,

instead of a letter asking me to sign a letter of complaint

against a company, or government official, I received this...
Dear KATE, (yes, that is my real name)
Less than a month after his appointment, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is already calling for policies that echo our efforts to stop the loss of agricultural land, support local food and conserve our land and water resources. Secretary Vilsack's openness to new ideas that promote a better understanding of where our food comes from—as well as his commitment to increased diversity in our food production system—will help lead to healthier citizens, a better environment and new opportunities for farmers.
Please sign a letter of support to Secretary Vilsack today and thank him for his strong start to addressing these important issues.
Last Thursday, Secretary Vilsack literally “broke new ground” by tearing up a tract of pavement at USDA headquarters that will be replaced with a green landscape. His pledge to establish gardens at every USDA office throughout the world—from window boxes to full-fledged plots—is a pledge we can carry to our own homes and communities!
In a monumental show of support for farmland protection, Secretary Vilsack also called upon fellow government officials and citizens to join him in replacing excessive asphalt with natural landscapes, along with building community gardens and protecting our natural resources. His fast action on making a commitment to protecting farms from development comes at a critical time for farms and farmland across the country.
Secretary Vilsack is also presenting a new vision for agriculture by proposing new ways to encourage and reward farmers’ efforts to protect the environment. His plan includes offering “green payments” for farms of all sizes that use their land to help absorb carbon and provide clean water and other environmental benefits. These incentives could reinvigorate the agriculture sector and reward farmers for the environmental benefits they provide.
We compliment Secretary Vilsack for his early and earnest commitment to healthy farms, healthy food and healthy communities. Please join me in sending a letter of support to Secretary Vilsack thanking him for the steps he is taking to protect our farm and ranch land and promote a greener future through American agriculture

Naturally, I clicked right over and did so.

My cold has me feeling pretty gloomy right about now,

and Farmer Dad moved a bunch of stuff in our "school room" to make way for

starting seeds, which did not make me happy. Yes, I am all for

starting seeds, but many,MANY,people do it in their basement...

why can't he? Oh well, I guess I can "take one for the team".

By the way, got the e-mail confirming our town's community garden plot.

Princess and I are very excited. Our very own little space. We'll grow what

we want how we want.We washed out our seed trays and got everything set up.

This week, we'll start some seeds.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Backyard Bird Count

How many did you count? just when it looked like we would have none, our bird feeder started getting busy..
many more flew away as we tried to photograph

Need more info?Great Backyard Bird Count
Farmer Dad and Princess got to play a bit, after we cleaned up all the
mess from the high winds the other day.

The 50mph+ winds toppled our hoop house. :-(
No real damage done, but this will surely affect my
early spring plans.

Hope you all had a lovely Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


One of three vintage "Birthday" angels given to me by a friend
who is another lover of vintage, she gave us each one for our birth month.
This is February, for Farmer Dad

From my collection of pitchers....also vintage

Be sure to stop by Sue's blog to see her Rednesday post. I was hoping to include our

resident cardinal pair here today, but they are staying out of camera range.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Community Garden

We're getting one in our town!!

I'm very excited. We do not have

enough space in our yard, and we are limited by our

lack of full sun. The site is near my library, and full sun.

The plots will be 10' x 10'. Not much, but full sun.

Now I really have spring fever!

Monday, February 9, 2009

We have melted

There is no more pretty white snow here in
our corner of the Garden State.
Bits of green are coming up everywhere, although I could not
find a snowdrop anywhere. Farmer Dad and I took a long walk
out about the yard on Sunday after his Birthday Celebration
on Saturday. Did you hear the guys jamming out in our basement
where you live? I took Princess and vacated the premises for a few hours.
I came home to quiet and the house was still clean.
Men do grow up! Who knew? ;-)
We also spent some time trying to figure out what seeds we may need to order
for this year.There is a lot of activity on the fruit trees and my forsythia is wakingMy beloved Fig tree is growing up towards the sun and looking happy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why the Farming Crisis Has Everything to Do With the Economic Crisis

Read why some believe we need a 50 year farm bill.
This whole topic gets me a little hot under the collar.
I'm really wish I did not have to support FARM AID, there should
be (even in a not so perfect world) no need for it, I'd rather see advertisements
for AIG AID. Know what I mean? Yes, I have to support Farm Aid, it's really
quite simple, NO FARMS,NO FOOD.
I can't tell you how strongly I feel about this. There are many things we spend
our money on that we don't NEED, food is not one of them.
Remember, you are what you eat. Do you want to be a ripe, luscious, Jersey Tomato?
Or High Fructose Corn Syrup (with or without mercury)?
The choice is up to you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are you homegrown?

Rednesday is another Snow Day

in little corner of the Garden State.
Isn't it lovely?

According to my friend Sue

so I am going to join in. Here are two of my favorite
"red" things in my house. Both are in my kitchen.
The first is a painting of a barn in Freehold New Jersey, painted
by my Grandfather.

The second item, is a vintage pitcher I found right before the holidays
in a little shop on a rare "Mom's only" outing with my girlfriend.I'm still excited about finding it, it was on my "wish list" for a long time,
but I had only seen it in books.
Here is where we will be today...
it's one of those glorious days that just beg for a walk outside and a mug of hot cocoa!