Jenny's blog

Garden Beginning

Last year I printed out a planting calendar developed by Virginia Master Gardeners to know when I should plant stuff in out garden. I have been curious about succession planting and wondered if I could do it in out little garden plot. We have a garden that produces well even though it’s only about 12 x 15 feet. Last year I had Jared dig me out a hole about 18-24 inches deep (borrowed Ray Humphries’ Bobcat), put concrete blocks around the outside and we filled it with garden soil from Newton’s. We also put Bermuda grass on the pathways and sprinkled fertilizer for bermuda grass on it to neutralize the nutrients of the soil in my garden.

WOW. The soil was so good, it just cranked out the veggies. We did so well in fact, that I can’t wait to start again this year. There’s just nothing like going out to the garden and picking your salad vegetables or whatever. I have such a thing about tomatoes, and there is NOTHING that can beat a tomato right off the vine. If you also want to ensure that your soil is good, farming equipment and vehicle such as a tractor may be necessary. You also have to make sure that it’s in good working condition. If not, you can take a look online for the number one source for compact tractor parts and foreign tractor parts.

Anyway, the reason I printed the thing was because I thought maybe someday I might start a little Farmer’s Market style garden here. Our road gets a lot of traffic, and it would be nice to have some actual “real” farming going on here, imo. But that’s a ways off, I guess. I am too busy growing the websites right now to fool with it….

As always, I’ve got more ambition than time….

But, looking at this printout, I should be planting peas and kale in the next week or so. Yipe. We still have 12+ inches of snow on the ground. I read about a way to start seeds indoors using a coffee filter and a ziploc bag that sounds promising. Since the soil can’t be worked well right now to get the seeds to germinate, I figure I can do it inside, and then transplant them outside in a few weeks. The Psycho Winter From Hades has to end soon.

So I’m learning about inoculants for beans and peas and wondering if it’s worth doing when we garden on such a small scale. Sounds like it helps the garden become richer in nitrogen tho, so I’ll probably do it. Increased production isn’t really a big draw for us. We enjoyed our cucumbers so much last year that I’ve also decided to build an arched trellis for them to grow up on that will make harvesting easier.

We were at Costco yesterday, and they had the CUTEST cedar planters I’ve ever seen. It was 6 trapezoidal sections that you can arrange any which way you like, with a plastic cover for one to protect less hardy seedlings. Awesome. The thing was $300, so we bought it. Jared was not thrilled :) I am having second thoughts myself, honestly. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE our potager style garden:

Raised Beds

and I wonder if I should just use the money to expand it instead of spending the $300 on cedar boxes that will break down eventually. After all, I’m permanent. Shouldn’t the garden stuff be, too?

Problem is, I need muscle power. Jared is out of town this week, and I need to have beds ready pretty fast. Maybe I could hire one of the ward kids to help.

Today we sang “Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing” in choir. It was Fran’s last Sunday as choir director. We’ll miss her, but Bev will be great. After that I had a meeting with the rest of the Activities Committee. We have planned a super-fun activity for our combined Chili-cookoff/Family History activity. It will rock. I’ll post all the details here when it’s finished. The committee is so great. They were all so helpful. I can’t wait to get going on this!

We’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics, but I’m starting to get tired of it. The day that the US set a record for number of medals won, I didn’t even watch it at all. I am staying up so late to watch the Olympics that I can barely get up in the mornings.

I am so happy to be waking up to sunshine again. I hate the winter months when there’s so much night. I am one of those people who really gets down if I don’t get enough sunlight, and with this horrible winter I’ve found myself in a pretty good funk. I am experiencing some other symptoms, too, that are leading me to think I may be experiencing PMDD. I have had some outbursts over the last few months, each time the week before my period, that were pretty crazy. It sounds ridiculous now that I’m feeling fine, but I can tell you at the time, it is not so much fun. I tried to set up an appointment with a gynecologist that Lynlee and Elizabeth love, but his office was closed due to the weather. I will try again this week.

Jared almost missed his flight this afternoon — left his wallet home and had to come back. Good thing the flight left out of Richmond and he had left pretty early. He spent the weekend at the Freeze Out and helping folks out with some computer problems. It was DS’s first freeze out. His age group did Orienteering. Apparently, it was crazy fun. Everyone else dug down and pitched tents on the ground (on a tarp) except Jared, who pitched his tent right on the snow (also on a tarp) with some padding and stuff inside the tent. Apparently his and DS’s was the only tent dry in the morning. Guess all those Freeze Outs he did in Wyoming as a kid paid out. DS MADE HIS OWN biscuit mix from a recipe in the Scout book, and I gave them a packet of gravy mix. Apparently that was about the best breakfast they could have had. Of course, everything tastes better when you’re camping. I’m just glad to see DS doing some outdoor stuff and taking the initiative to mix up stuff to get ready for Scouts.

I think Scouts is dum, but he does love it. And so does Jared.

Several of the boys came ill-prepared. Their leader told me he was trying to get them to plan out a meal (since the Scouts provided their own supper and breakfast), and they said all they wanted was Ramen. The leader asked them if they were sure, but they insisted. So they showed up with packets of Ramen. No spoons, no bowls, nothing to cook in. A lesson learned, I expect. Several of them didn’t bring adequate winter clothing, and spent the night by the fire trying to stay warm. Some melted various peices of clothing as a result. This sort of thing happens every year, especially with the Deacon-age boys. I hope DS learned from what he saw.

Kids finally had their Valentine’s day parties Friday with the snow delays. They didn’t go Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was a 2 hour delayed start, and Friday was the first full day they’ve had in over 2 weeks. It’s going to be interesting to see how they work it out. I hope they don’t mess with Spring Break.

We had a good lesson in RS today. The subject was the war in Heaven/pre-earth life. The teacher split everyone into groups — something I really dislike — and then asked for comments. It turned out to be a great lesson. Just goes to show why *I’m* not in that calling. Sacrament was great too. Topic was Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Aaron and Elizabeth talked with the youth speaker. All did a really good job.

When my kids were really little, I used to spend the entire time I was at church wondering why I came and wishing for the day they would hush so I could enjoy the sacrament and really feel the spirit again. Now that my kids are bigger and I am not running out every 10 minutes, I find I’m so out of the habit of really focusing on the Savior’s sacrifice that though I’m being quiet (or reminding others to think of Jesus) I’m not really experiencing the Sacrament in the powerful way I used to. I have fallen into the “I’m at Church, who do I need to talk to/check on/who’s missing” mode so much that I don’t focus on my own personal communion with the Savior. It’s something I hope to work on over the next few months.

Getting up late has messed with my workouts and scripture reading, too. Now that the kids are back in school regularly, I hope to get back on a better routine.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.