Friday, January 8

January, Thinking of Spring


Well it’s January

We had a huge amount of snow dumped on us here in central Ohio, and although I love snow, January and February always make me long for spring.

This time of year, I begin to look longing at gardening magazines.  I sketch my raised vegetable beds on graph paper to make sure I am making the most of my space.

I daydream about the seed packets and start making lists of supplies I will need to germinate the seeds indoors.

I stand for long periods of time looking out my window at my bare cold garden, trying to image it with vines full of tomatoes or onions pushing though the soil and wondering what I did with the longer handled shovel I love best, not the one with the thicker handle that just doesn't seem to fit my hands as well.



I live in a town, not in the country.
In a community, not on a small farm or large parcel of land, although (fingers crossed) that will change in the next year or two when we sell our house.
Our children are all nearly grown, with the last one graduating from high school this year.

It is a very sad time for us, we love children and family, but it’s also a new phase in our lives. We no longer need to worry about being in an area with the best schools, walking distance to playgrounds and the library (although I still go regularly) and making sure there are other children in the area for ours to play with.

The decisions we've made over the years were all made with the kids forefront and their best interest at heart, but now we can select our home with only us in mind and us alone, although that is never really true is it?

My backyard garden in the city
Our decision will still be based on being as near to our children and grandchildren as they will allow, (smile).
And I will want to make sure we have lots of extra room, so they will stay overnight with us whenever they feel like it. But mostly I want more land for a bigger garden!I have a nice veggie garden but small, and one cherry tree, I want even more fruit trees for preserves. I also have a nice herb garden, but that too I wish to enlarge.

My goal is to be able to can and preserve enough fresh fruits and vegetables to last us a year with enough extra to give as gifts (and to the kids).

I am a lover of trees. I just adore them and find it very difficult to cut one down. In every home we have owned I have planted trees.
But each year as I look at my flower, herb and vegetable beds, some of my trees lose more and more branches to allow for more sunlight.

I NEED to move before I am compelled to cut down one of my beautiful pine trees or the huge Japanese maple that continues to shade a large part of my garden!

Each year I preserve more and more of the vegetables I grow, trying out new things and even purchased a pressure canner in 2009!  (Unless you have canned your own green beans, you have no idea how wonderful they taste!)

I started out making strawberry freezer jam years and years ago, after tasting my sister Kathy's jam and have added something every year or two to my list.

I found Canning tomatoes was a great second choice to learn, very easy and so versatile. I use them in chili, spaghetti sauce, stew or stir in with chicken and noodles.
I also make and can salsa and spaghetti sauce from my garden tomatoes.

The best part about home canning besides the taste is that I know exactly what's in each jar, I put it there!
If organic is what you're after, this is one way to ensure there are no chemicals or additives in your food.
The canned jams also make excellent gifts, (well all the canned goods do!).

For Christmas I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble bookstore (thanks honey) and selected the book: “The Backyard Homestead” (Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre) edited by Carleen Madigan. So far I am really enjoying it and find it encouraging, very easy to follow and full of easy to use and follow tips to get started.
Last year my daughter and husband gave me a book I thoroughly enjoyed: The $64 Tomato.  A very funny read about a man who spends a fortune trying to get the “perfect” garden.

There are numerous books on the subject, I already have my eye on another: "Homesteading" by Abigail R. Gehring.


Baby bunny found in my garden
All these books are very useful if you’re thinking of starting your own patio or backyard garden or just wish to expand your garden as I am now.

I have had my own trials with my garden, last year trying to keep our Doxie Josie from digging up everything was more work than stopping the bunnies from eating the tops off the new sprouts!

Even a fence around the garden did not detour our Doxie, she found holes in the fence slats that were just wide enough for her to pass though, lol




Happy gardening,
Elizabeth

Other Posts:

Building A Patio

Easy Seed Storage Container

Building A Pumpkin Arbor



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spring has finally arrived in my area and I am so glad. Can't wait to dig in the dirt. Would love to see your garden. Mine is small but keeps me busy.