Hello, Blogness, My Old Friend

WOW. Has it really been a month and a half since my last post?! HELLO, little long lost bloggie. And how are you?

I wish I could say I’ve been solving world hunger or writing a manifesto that will lead to sustained peace on Earth and good will towards mankind, but no. I’ve just been busy – working, living, prepping for and then celebrating Christmas, playing with my super amazing kid, and watching movies in my jammies with my husband.

So what drove me to post today? It’s pretty self-serving: garden planning has begun, and this is still my official place to store such knowledge for future seasons. This is the second year in a row that I’ve received a gift card to Seed Savers Exchange for Christmas, which is pretty much the best idea ever for a gardener in the winter. Just cracking open that amazingly colorful catalog on these insanely gray December days has been good for the soul.

Day 43. I think Seed Savers Exchange has perfected when to send their dreamy catalogs, full of promises of beautiful, colorful, delicious growing things. Don't worry, Willem, we'll get plenty of green beans. #100happydays

And today was the magical seed ordering day. I also ordered a heat mat, and we’re heading to Lowe’s later to step up our game with lighting in the basement. No more lights zip tied to the bottoms of shelves; no more of this propping up of seedling trays on various boxes to get them closer to or further away from the lights depending on their stage of development; no more needing to constantly rotate the trays so they actually get sort of, kind of equal lighting. We will have adjustable, bright, wonderful lights this year, and my life will be so much easier for it.

Here’s what I ordered today. It also turns out I have an insane number of seeds packets from last season, too, which I’m hoping will still germinate somewhat successfully. Mama needs her arugula!

Exciting things this year: cucumbers will make their return to the garden, and we’ll be trying to grow acorn squash and muskmelon for the first time this year. Oh, and I’m going to have a lot of space dedicated to growing onions right this year. And maybe an entire husk cherry area somewhere. And tomatillos!

  • Tomatillo, Green Husk
  • Swiss Chard, Five Color Silverbeet
  • Tomato, Mexico Midget
  • Tomato, Italian Heirloom
  • Squash, Table Queen
  • Radish, French Breakfast
  • Pepper, Tequila Sunrise
  • Pepper, Jalapeno Traveler Strain
  • Onion, Red Wethersfield
  • Melon, Schoon’s Hard Shell
  • Kale, Lacinato
  • Ground Cherry, Aunt Molly’s
  • Cucumber, Japanese Climbing
  • Beet, Bull’s Blood

Basically? After my disappointing seed starting endeavor last year (I DID have a baby in the midst of prime seed starting time, so I have a  good excuse), I AM NOT MESSING AROUND THIS YEAR. You hear me, future garden? NOT. MESSING. AROUND.

6 thoughts on “Hello, Blogness, My Old Friend

  1. I’m so glad to hear from you! Me being a mom and grandma, I was concerned that something could be wrong. But then the other side of me, being a mom and grandma, knows how busy this time of year is, especially with a little tyke… so, I’m glad it was just Willem and the Holidays keeping you from us!
    On another note, I’m super excited to see how your seed growing goes this year. I’ve never had much luck starting with seeds. I live in California, so I just sowed my seeds directly into the ground for my winter garden. The summer garden is different though, I usually buy the plants from our local nursery. Please take pictures of your new set-up, I look forward to see how it turns out… and, Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Aw, this won’t sound right, but it feels good to be missed! We have been great – wonderful, really. I really, REALLY love Christmas as it is, and so it was extra fun getting in the spirit of things, knowing it was Willem’s first. He got spoiled like crazy, we got to visit lots of family, we went on a few adventures and had Chris around the entire holiday, and we still had a nice, peaceful day together on Christmas itself. PERFECT.

      I will definitely document how the seed starting goes this year! We have a lot of direct-sow seeds this year (arugula, beets, carrots, green beans) and then a bunch of other recommended direct-sow seeds that I’ll probably still start indoors. I just feel like it gives them a better start, you know? We’ve been starting our seeds in our cold basement each year, and so I’m hopeful the heat mat will help significantly with germination. The lights themselves usually emit enough heat once the seedlings have taken off a bit, but last year our germination was pitiful!

      Happy New Year to you and yours! I’m so glad to hear from you. 🙂

  2. I’m starting my garden planning this weekend!

    Also, we have a really rigged set-up in our basement for growing seedlings. My dad found a shop light that plugs in at a garage sale (seriously, if you’re not careful touching the metal on this thing you’ll get shocked – it needs rewired but I don’t know how to do it), and we have it hanging by a chain to the beams of the basement. That way we can raise and lower it as needed. We really need a 2nd light set to grow all the things we want, but we make do for now with the one kit.

    • I’m totally going to be drawing out our garden plots tonight and penciling things in – I love garden planning!

      Your setup sounds far superior to ours. 🙂 I think we’re going to pick up a few sets of shop lights at Lowe’s – they’ve got ones that will work with our metal shelves for only $11 a piece! We have to wait until the next credit card cycle, though. Christmas has been rough on us this year on more or less one salary, even without going overboard. I’m really excited. No more super janky seed starting over here, no sir!

      Seriously, dreams of our summer garden help make these cold, wintery days much more manageable. What are you most excited about growing this year?

      • I know what you mean about Christmas! We had our dryer break, though, on top of the little we spend on gifts so I know that’s partly why I feel like it was so expensive. Sad that being an adult means new appliances instead of gifts!

        Tomatillos are definitely on our list this year. We grew them the one year and didn’t really realize when to harvest them so a lot of them went to waste. I’m tempted to give beets a try again but I’ve just never had luck with them and I feel like I’d rather use the space for something else. Mostly, though, I’m excited about not being pregnant so I can put the time and effort into the garden this coming season like it needs – last year things were just so overgrown and nothing ended up canned or even frozen.

    • YES, to the not being pregnant/being able to focus on a garden this season! I am so with you. Last summer, I was stealing little moments here and there to harvest vegetables… and NOTHING got weeded, like, at all. And a lot of the harvesting happened with a baby in my arms. I’m hopeful that Willem will be able to play in the garden while I work – we’ll see about that!

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