We are not ready for spring. Very simply put: this is crunch time. We have seeds to order, potting soil to mix, bird netting to find, row covers to locate, and kitchen windows to clear for a landing. Of course, the prep work for the garden is great fun! A seemingly simple question like, “What sort of tomatoes do we want to plant?” sparks a passionate discussion about the mistakes we made in the garden last year, articles in Grit, Victory Gardens, salsa ingredients, and the joys of yellow tomatoes. By the time we tire of talking, we may not have even made a decision. Ahh… but it is fun to think about. Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out soon and then flood this blog with pictures of seedlings. Until then, here is some money-saving advice on starting seeds that needs no debate:
- Pick varieties of plants/seeds that will actually succeed in your area. Find a sunny spot (or use artificial light) where your new babies will not be disturbed and where the temperature stays between 65 and 70 degrees.
You can start seeds in all sorts of containers (yogurt cups, etc). Simply disinfect them, poke a few little holes in the bottom, and fill them with potting soil.
Make your own potting soil by mixing one part perlite, four parts vermiculite, and four parts peat moss.
While I’m chatting away about excitement… you just haven’t seen excitement until you’ve greeted chickens with a plate of homemade suet. Our Gabor sisters crowd the doorway to the coop (they are still cooped up because we only just got them and we want them to know that the coop is where they bed down at night once we let them free-range). The girls gracefully walk the edge of the nesting boxes like runway models and then dive for the suet. Here’s how I make my suet:
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter (could use smooth)1/4 cup lard or bacon grease
1 cup wild game bird feed or chicken feed
1/4 cup rolled oats
a few tablespoons of corn meal
Mix all the ingredients together, scoop the mixture into a container, and then freeze it until I want to give the birds a treat. I use old store-bought suet containers but you could use muffin tins lined with wax paper. Serve suet to your birds once it is nice and firm.
Dee - I love hearing about your farm animals. I especially enjoy the fact that you take so much time and effort into making such wonderful special things for them. Animals & fowls seem to thrive better when you give them extra attention. You’re a good pet/animal/fowl owner!~applause~
Hope you have a terrific Tuesday.
Lips of an Angel - I’m going to have to try making some of that suet for the birds around here; they’ve been making a fuss lately since we ran out of bird feed and haven’t been able to give them anything other than some bread crumbs the past few days.
I am enjoying having some homemade cream cheese…. I used a couple coffee filters to line the strainer and to cover the yogurt and it worked really well. 🙂 Thank you for all the helpful info you have here and on your site!
I hope you have a lovely day!
Razor Family Farms - Dee— Always a joy to see your comments! We also loved your email! Hugs!!
Lips of an Angel — I’m delighted with your idea of using the coffee filters to strain the yogurt!! Fabulous! I’ll update that page and credit you with a link to your blog on Monday! Send me a picture of it if you don’t mind. My email is on my profile. Lucky birds at your house!
Gina - Hi! It’s been a while since I’ve done much posting- don’t think I could possibly “catch up” but thought I’d at least jump back in!
I really am hoping to get a garden (of sorts) in this year. Our yard isn’t really well-suited for one, but I think I could manage a small plot, and I’d like to focus on some container gardens. We have problems with squirrels around here (urban) getting into everything!!! Any suggestions??
Also- I LOVE all your birds!!! and I LOVE the names!! “The Gabor Sisters” How hysterical!!! They are all soo beautiful!!
I made ALMOND milk today!!!!!!!!!!
Sally - Thanks for the advice on seed planting. I look forward to trying it out!
Shelli Wakeman - Thank you for stopping by and taking a minute to encourage me about my church situation. I guess you could say that we were in the same boat as you. It was my first church that I believed in Christ in so it was special to me. It will be a long process to get used to the idea that it’s no longer my “home”.
I also love to garden. At this point, my backyard is mostly shady and on a hill so I don’t plant many vegetables. I miss planting bush beans. I love them! I tried the pole beans but they just weren’t the same. I hope to have an acreage someday so I have room for a vegetable garden, a cutting garden, and a flower garden. I can understand what you are speaking of when you talk about the excitement of picking seeds out. I love to do that with the catalogs in the winter, even the veggie catalogs. I don’t usually have luck with seedlings. I am inspired to try again this year. At the very least, I can grow some tomato seedlings and zucchini and cucumber seedlings for us and the rest and can share with my garden club.
Have a great time picking your varieties.
I too love that you name the chickens, it’s sweet. I wouldn’t know a rooster from a hen myself, the last time I saw living chickens on a farm, my granny was chopping their heads off. It bothered me to see it so much that I didn’t eat chicken or turkey until I was an adult and I still MUST have it boneless!
Nature… it’s a no red tape zone : Razor Family Farms - […] nesting boxes and suet in your yard — away from the area in […]