Thursday, March 15, 2012

FarmGirl Friday Blog Hop! #49

Welcome Friends! 

This year, we are trying to increase our garden area, and that requires time and lots of elbow grease.  I really need the exercise, and that's an additional benefit.  Though some nights my shoulders complain... getting old is making me whiny and achy too.

We have been trying to beat a huge winter storm that's due to hit soon and freeze everything hard.   

Focusing on the area where the greenhouse used to sit (pictured above).  The greenhouse was there for a decade and the soil was hard like concrete.  

My wonderful hubby Jerry agreed to help with this task and he rototilled it with our big tiller.  After several passes, he barely broke any soil so we soaked in some gypsum.  After a few days he tilled again and it was a bit better.  It took another application of gypsum and one more tilling before he was finally able to turn the soil and mix in some organic compost.  That was the hardest soil I have ever seen.  I expect to have to keep tabs on the area until it's repaired.  That may take a few years.   
My honeybees are going to be housed there under two coastal redwoods.  My raised garden beds are located on the terrace just above, and this is the middle of my place.  In the soil where the greenhouse used to sit, I am planning to plant alfalfa to help rehab the soil and maybe some bee friendly plants too.  I had been hoping to put the "Three Sisters" corn, squash, and beans up there, but I'll put them somewhere else this time.  
I have transplanted 300 onion bulbs into the raised beds this week and I companion planted them amongst garlic, carrots and radish for now.  They will eventually sit with the garlic amongst tomato plants.   

I also set in several rows of quick growers like mescluns, lettuce, spinach, pak choy, endive, escarole, and arugula.  In preparation for the snow that's on its way, I put on the plastic covers for the hoop houses to three beds.  

I harvested lots of yummy crisp broccoli this week for stir fry.  

I'll be finishing off some cabbages soon too and then get that bed ready for summer tomatoes.

                                                      I checked my newly transplanted berry canes and saw lots of good signs.  New canes and buds allover the plants.  Yippee!!!  I had a big scare a few weeks ago when we went from 70 degree days to a one day 6" snow drop and a week of freezing temps.  They had only been in the beds a week when it happened.   The boysenberries all sucked in some, but they're alive, thankfully.

Look at these lovely blossoms.  I am going to lose them soon, when the snow comes.  I am so glad that the apples, pears, almonds, pecans, and crabapple are still dormant... 

Peach blossoms 
and Apricot blossoms... 

 Here is my new bird feeder.  My hubby got it for 25 cents at a yard sale recently.  

I washed it up, filled it and they are coming all day long... 

So many birds, lots of new little guys, so pretty and unique.  Red ones, black ones, striped ones, blue ones, and brown and yellow ones...  I love looking at them, but I am sorry I cannot seem to catch a picture.  They fly off as soon as they see my hands move...

In the kitchen last night, I altered Michelle's wonderful white bread recipe HERE by exchanging whole wheat for the white flour and I mixed mine in the bread machine.  
It was perfect and 100% whole wheat. Thanks Michelle!  

I used another batch to make the cinnamon rolls to the left.  I just rolled the dough out gently onto a floured surface after the first rise, and basted it with butter and cinnamon sugar, rolled them up and cut them.  I let em' rise until they doubled in size and I baked them up for 35 minutes at 350.  They are almost gone already...

My Victory Garden seedlings are growing nicely.  I hope this experiment works.  I have a few hundred seedlings in less than 4 days, yikes!  This method is faster, for sure, but my individual pots haven't arrived in the mail yet so I hope they stall a bit for now. Lol.


My new greenhouse shelves arrived today and I hope to get them put together before the snow starts falling...

 Having night time heat inside the greenhouse has been exciting.  I check the little digital gauge almost hourly because I just can't believe how nice it is now.  

It's been so warm this week that I have been venting the windows during the day to keep it below 80... I better quit typing before I write your ear off...

What have YOU farmgirls and boys been up to this week???


  1. Thank you ladies! You were the very first blog Hop I had every done! You allowed an ol farm BOY, to be apart of this. Just wanted to say thanks and God Bless!

  2. I love the green house! I want one!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Those hoop houses for your raised garden beds look really interesting. I wonder if I could use something like that as a cover at night to protect plants/seedlings from deer? Oh, I'm really excited to see all the cool stuff happening in your garden :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  4. Oh GULP Heidi, you are one busy farmgirl and I am shamed by how much you accomplish!!

    Thanks for becoming a member of the Grimy Hands Girls' Club. You're already eligible for the book So Much Sky by fabulous Karen Weir-Jimerson of Country Home and now Country Gardens, and also the kneeling helper from Gardener's Supply. Whenever a Grimy Hands gal is pulled she'll also receive an extra gift!

    Spring joys to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little green Island