"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease." -Genesis 8:22 (ESV)
During the winter it's easy to forget God's works in nature because it's bare, cold and where I live it is snowy. What could possibly be happening? But, then the snow starts to melt and I know that even though there is an obscene amount of mud at first, the earth will drink it in and keep it for when the plants need it in the summer. At least that's what the wild plants can look forward to. As much as I like my raised beds, for our long term goals of food independence, the method is somewhat restrictive and expensive. After watching the Back to Eden film again and mentally taking stock of what we have available, the B2E method of gardening really seems to be the smartest approach. I just need to find a place for it on our lot! We have a pretty good pile of fully composted horse manure that will be the base and I will find some wood chips somewhere.
The greenhouse is back up and running at about 50%. I still have a couple beds including the big one to get watered up and ready for seeds. Two of the small beds have been seeded with peas and spinach so I am anxiously waiting for little seedlings to pop up! It got up to 68°F in the greenhouse on Sunday with full sun, so with a few more sunny days they should be up. In another week I will put the onion, cole crop and chard seedlings out during the day to start to harden so they can stay out full time.
Speaking of seedlings, my onions had a really horrible germination rate this year! I thought perhaps it was my fault but when I went back on Fedco Seeds website to see if they had more available it had that variety discounted. So, I am thinking that they may be having general germination problems with it this year. I will email them to let them know my out come and will be ordering a different variety that is a cross of the Copra I have and another onion. These seeds are open pollinated or "heirloom" as most have come to know them as, so I will be able to save seed from them. As a side note: I fully support Fedco. They are a Maine company who get seed from real growers and this is a seed co-op which means they basically are sharing seeds with their customers! I am not at all upset by my onion seeds poor performance because I know they are real seeds that were collected by people who care. My cousin in Michigan gets her seeds from them and if she keeps going back then I know I'm in the right place! Prices are also great and I get free shipping because I am local.
Along with my new onion seed I will be getting a few other things. I haven't quiet decided on them all but as of right now I am planning on a storage carrot and some winter spinach that I hope to nurse along in the greenhouse this winter with the lacinato kale. My large deep bed in there will get insulated and heavily mulched and hopefully with enough snow to insulate the actual greenhouse we will have greens all winter long. This is optimistic though because it will get down to -10°F at night in January at least a few times most years. Guess we will see!
I am incredibly thankful for the abundance of eggs we have been getting! I have been selling eggs again and even used 5 dozen to get credit toward my feed cost last week (my feed store buys eggs from small farms to sell to customers at no profit to them). I just opened a new bag of feed for them Monday, so I am going to see how many days it takes for them to go through it and how many eggs in that amount of time to get an average cost per dozen. My hope is in another year or two to do what Paul from B2E does and feed the chickens on nothing but yard and garden waste/produce. My flock right now gets most of my kitchen vegetable waste so it will be a fairly easy transition for them I think. I will then use the compost they make in their run on the garden. I will likely then reduce the price of my eggs because they will basically be free to produce. My heart says to someday make good food easily accessible to those who need it and I truly want to make that happen! I have had that dream for a while, may the Lord make it so. :-)
Sorry this post is a few days late, but as the title says, the madness is beginning. More spring is ahead! Til next time!