Category Archives: self sufficiency

2014 Seedlings and Garden Plans

It must have been a March Miracle, but I was only a day behind schedule on getting my seeds started.  On Monday night the Supersweet 100 tomatoes, X3R Red Knight bell peppers, Roma tomatoes,  Red Flame pepperRed Rocket pepperSweet Sunrise peppersKrimzon Lee peppers, and  Aurora peppers all got planted in the APS seed starting trays.

When the snow melts and the ground thaws, I am planning on sowing the rest of the garden directly in the ground: Sweet Spanish onions, Butter Cream Corn, Farmers Wonderful watermelon,  Triumphe De Farcy beans, sugar snap peas, Cheyenne Bush Squash (pumpkins)Marketmore cucumbersNorthern pickling cucumbers,  Romaine lettucePurple Haze carrots,   Sparkle strawberriesYukon Gold potatoesWando PeasGold Ball TurnipPurple Haze carrotsBloomsdale Long Standing SpinachChioggia Beets.

I still have to find space for all of this and the blueberry bush collection (includes one 18 month-old plant each of Patriot (Early), Northland (Midseason), and Jersey (Late) and find the time to manage it all.  However, I am optimistic that with Henry’s help and possibly some space in my neighbors garden we should be alright.

I also have been doing some research into developing new gardening habitats.  Instead of investing in cedar raised beds,  I have been learning about hugelkultur  mounds. They seem like an interesting way to create sustainable garden beds.  The concept is simple, dig a trench, fill it with tree stumps and branches, layer soil and organic material on top of that until you have a mound.  Stay tuned to see how they come out.  I anticipate taking the better part of this year to set them up and looking towards 2015 to start planting on/in them.

Hugelkultur1 (1)


Reunited and it tastes so good

I admit I have a coffee problem. First off, I drink too much of it. I start the day off with an espresso, then make a to-go cup for the drive to work and then work on one or two more cups during the day at my office.images

However over the past year or so, I have gotten lazy about how I make my coffee and subsequently the level of enjoyment has dwindled.  I shelved the French Press, scuttled the little four cup drip brewer, abandoned my camp percolator and started using a Keurig. After some trail and error, I found a few brands that were palatable, but not exceptional. What wasn’t acceptable was the price. It was exorbitant to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per cup.


For the cost of 2.5 boxes of k-cups, I bought a Cuissential manual coffee grinder and for the past three weeks or so, I’ve been enjoying really good coffee. Getting back to basics; grinding my beans, boiling water and using the French Press.  I think the little extra effort that is required makes the coffee taste better. Something to consider with the rest of my kitchen endeavors.

Shhhh don’t tell my wife

I placed my seed and starts order for the 2014 garden. I still have my hot pepper, cucumber, zucchini,  and carrot seeds from last year.  I also have left over pea and green bean seeds that should still be fruitful. So I did not need to replenish my entire seed stash.

In addition to ordering Yukon Gold potatoes, I added San Marzano and Supersweet 100 tomatoes, X3R Red Knight bell peppers and seedless watermelon ( Farmers Wonderful).

Oh and I also might have added a trio of blueberry bushes and gotten free shipping….but on a fixed income and limited discretionary spending money this would be considered a splurge.

So we’ll just have to wait until April to see what comes in the mail.