The day after

It is the day after Earth Day, did you miss it? Ty and I were discussing the sad truth that only one day is set aside for the ONLY place we have to live, even though we live here every day of our lives. While every day should be considered Earth Day, Ty made an uplift point. Ten years ago would every television station, talk show, stadium, company, small business or the Internet be paying homage to the destruction we have reaped and the spectacular beauty we live upon, no. Ten years ago many people didn't know such a day existed, so yes there is a silver lining.
Last blog I implored you all to find new and simple ways to adjust your life to help limit your consumption and in the end your waste, e.g. replace paper napkins and paper towels with cloth (saves money), use chlorine free bleach, turn off the light when you leave a room, buy biodegradable trash bags (wow are those simple or what!). I said I wanted to find three more ways my family can reduce our foot print. I have decide to go with one major change, NO MORE PLASTIC! This one is a doosie and not for the faint of heart. I really don't know how we are going to do it, but we can start with not buying or bring anymore plastics into the house. I have been trying to weed it out of the house already, but I think we are ready for the next step.
Now I don't like to admit I, on occasion, watch Oprah (rarely!), but I happened to catch a few minutes yesterday where they were talking about a garbage heap the size of Texas floating between California and Japan, in some places it is 90 feet deep. I did a little research on the net and it seems to have been around since the fifties, it is created by trash being thrown strait into water systems or the majority has been blown off the land into the water, the swirling currents collect the trash and consolidated it in to what has now been loving dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In the beginning the trash raft was largely made up of biodegradable garbage, but in the passing decades plastics have taken over and it is now 80% plastic. I was horrified that such a thing existed, but more so that I had never heard of it before.
So, as I make my grocery list I am taking a time out to think about the products that are significantly packaged in plastics. I'll try and find a better alternative and if I can't we will juts do without. A lesson I think all of us (especially Americans) could learn a little better. Living without, living with less, do really really need all the junk. Well, off the store, thanks for listening to another rant. I should be better by tomorrow and back to my usual cute kid and farm pictures. Ciao!


What are you doing?

What are you going to do on earth day, it's tomorrow did you know? Regardless of the fact that everyday should be earth day, I encourage us all to consider three ways we can incorporate simple yet meaningful ecofriendly habits into our everyday live. Here are a few that I try and practice (and I am not always perfect at doing all the time). Switch to energy saving light bulbs and stop using incandescent (the amount of energy they waste in heat is amazing), reduce shower time by just two minutes, plan outings in the car with multiple stops to reduce car pollution, buy second hand, turn the thermostat down. These are just a very few things that everyone could incorporate into their lives with hardly a ripple of change to their "norm". They are so easy and guess what they all save you money too, if your not motivated by helping the earth and the future then just help your wallet. Don't forget the most important ways you can live REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!!!!!!!!! These are so easy and again save you money. If you need a hint in ways to practice each of the three R's then let me help. Reduce what you buy, come on, do you really need more stuff? Look at what you are buying, is it going to just sit on a shelf, will you use it more than a few time a year or once a month? Does it really have to be new, if you need something often you can buy it just as nice used, consignment is no longer meant for people who can't afford it, it is meant for everyone who cares about saving ourselves from ourselves and, you guessed it, saves you money. Now onto Reuse, take plastic containers, do you really need to spend more money on more plastic containers to put left overs in? This seems really silly, food you buy comes in reusable containers you just have to use them, not buy different ones to put different food in. Instead of getting rid of furniture remake it (another way of reusing), give a makeover, new paint or fabric and it looks completely different. Lets get over the mentality of "I can't do that myself" cause you can and you will like it better. You always get just what you want and the satisfaction that comes with it is worth more than any expensive piece you could ever buy. Remember someone made why can't it be you! Reuse those grocery bags, it's not trendy it's responsible! Last, but not least Recycle, recycle plastic, glass anything you can it will cut down on you garbage bill, compost food waste, recycle clothing to others the list goes on and on for what you can recycle. Recycling to me means reuse, because that is eventually what happens to something recycled. Whew, I am exhausted. funny how ranting about something you feel strongly about cone take it out of you. Well stay tuned for tomorrows blog and we will see how the rant grows. Thanks for listening.



Hooray! I actually got somethings accomplished today, you know beyond the usual taking care of the kids, making meals blah blah blah (you know, I really love doing it). I managed to rototille most of the garden in between lunch, naps and diaper changes. I put some Swiss chard seeds into the ground that had been soaking for two+ days (two days too long) , I cut the flower stalks off the rhubarb. A good thing to do before they open so the rhubarb will put its energy onto growing the edible stalks, not reproducing, you will have better rhubarb all summer long. I consolidated some random cardoon plants into a singe row and I hacked down the way too tall grass clumps (more like mountains) around the blueberries, fruit trees and raspberries. I would have loved to get some work done in the greenhouse but it was a little too crowded in there with all the other work going on. I am talking about all the wasps making themselves at home (more like three homes). We are having a terrible time trying to get them out since we are not too interested in bombing them (and all our veggie starts). Ty tried smoking them out tonight, we will see if that works. They did leave and we hung a bar of soap in the openings (that are only open on warm days), we read it deters wasps. I can only hope any of this will help because they are putting me way behind schedule. We tried a homemade trap out of a modified two liter pop bottle, but we came up empty handed (or empty bottle really). First mice now wasps in the greenhouse, I guess I can't blame them I know I really love to be in there. I'll check tomorrow and let you know how it goes. Lets hope the plants in the greenhouse grow and not the wasp nests. Ta Ta for now.


Saturday gone by

A Saturday gone by. It was one of those days where I am not feeling up to my usual mostly healthy self and all I want to do is lay in bed (which I did do for quite a while). I had so many high hopes for today, all the gardening I would get done. I have a list a mile long and I couldn't even cross one thing off. I guess there is always Sunday.
I did manage to drag myself out of bed long enough to go to a Chicken 101 workshop put on through our county extension office with WSU. It was led by a man who runs a small, but bountiful egg, meat and chick operation from his small farm. He led us through raising chicks, hatching, feed, egg production, housing, breeding, health care, selling and any thing else you might need to know when starting your own backyard chicken flock (it was a three hour class we learned a lot). I learned a few (or more) new tricks and got an idea for what it is going to take to start selling eggs in the community. It was a very informative workshop where the 20+ participants could ask any question they thought of. Another mother/farmer and I are going in together to sell eggs at small retail grocers and farmers markets, doing this venture together we hope to create a support system and make it a little easier on ourselves. We just ordered chicks for Cackle Hatchery, I have never ordered from here before but they had all the varieties we wanted. Going in on an order together is a great way to get exactly what breeds you want meet the minimum order of chicks which is somewhere between 15-25 chicks. The hatcheries do this so the chick will survive the shipping, their collective body heat keeps them warm until they get to you and boy did we get a whole gaggle of chicks. Marianna is starting her flock with 15 Barred Plymouth Rock pullets, a pullet is a female chicken up to a year old. They are wonderful egg layers and a very beautiful chicken. We have a few in our mixed flock along with some Golden Laced Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons and other breeds.
We are now adding more breeds to our flock; Arauncanas for
their egg color, the eggs often range from blues to greens, Silver Laced Wyandottes, because their pretty (I know not the best reason) and Splash Cochins, for their broody behavior, that means hens will sit on a clutch of eggs (not just their own) and hatch them out, not many of the breeds have retained that characteristic.
We are also adding ducks and geese to the farm, we had them years ago and miss them. We are getting Khaki Campbells for their egg production and Toulouse Geese because it is what we have always had. We won't be getting our new additions till the end of May, all the hatcheries are having an over load of orders, so if you want chicks order soon the do sell out. Happy Sunday!



April showers bring May flowers and busier and busier days apparently, I can hardly keep up! I have done it again, tripped an fell of the earth (briefly). At this point I would be lucky to keep a string of blogs going longer then three days in a row. Where does the day go? I might have a few ideas, we had family over the Easter weekend, which was lovely (but kept me busy, no time for blogging there). Above is Isaac and Grandpoo (Isaac started that nickname much to my dad's chagrin) and the fuzzy teddy bear in his arms is Gavin, all sitting on a log at the Foulweather Bluff Conservancy. We had many egg hunts and great meals this last weekend, it was great, thanks guys!

It seems our daily plate keeps filling up before we know it. It starts with field trips to the beach with the preschool group. Isaac got to fly his first kite yesterday and had his first bloody nose all in the same day. We took a tip up to Fort Worden State Park, where we walked on the beach and took flash lights and explored the old WWII
 bunkers that still remain (that's sounds like a strange activity to do with two to four year olds I know) . Isaac was prepared with his daddy in hand and head lamp on head.

 I have to admit now that I have started quilting it is a bit addictive, as many new crafts are. So I have found a little time for that. I seem to be making random squares of animals.
My mother and I were working on a farm animal quilt, but I seem to have strayed to sea turtles and penguins, maybe adding them to the farm yard would be pushing it a little. 
I have promised our garden club that I would keep a daily blog (that hasn't happen obviously) of my gardening habits. So I will try and be diligent from now on, scouts honor (I'm not really a scout but it still sincere). Now I don't get into the garden everyday and blogging about it everyday just might embarrass me a little on how late I actually do get things into the ground, but if it's for the sake of helping another gardener out, what the heck tease away. Today while I didn't do much I added another section of a row of Swiss chard, secession planting works well for chard. I started another round of dill and basil in the green house on heat pads, this is about two weeks after the first sowing I did and that's it (I said I didn't get to much today). Well I hear someone up from their nap, gotta run. Hope your garden is growing!                                    


another beautiful day

Pinch me, I must be dreaming. Not one, not two, but three glorious, sunny days to spend in the garden (in April!). And what do I have to show for those days? Note nearly as much as I would like. It is easy to feel discouraged when you look at all there is to do, I keep looking at the box full of seed packets waiting to be planted, but if you take the time to look around at what you have already done it just might lift your spirit. 
The rhubarb has just taken off with these few days of warm
 weather and I can't wait till it's ready to pick, we make an awesome dessert with shortbread crust, rhubarb custard filling and meringue topping (it's not too complicated, really) and I love to make rhubarb raspberry jam from berries we froze last year, can't seem to grow enough rhubarb. 
The first half of the peas are up and growing and the buds are out on the fruit trees in the orchard. The asparagus in the green house looks great. I am particularly proud of it since it is seed saved from our asparagus patch.

My heirloom tomato forest seems to be happy (lets see if I can keep it that way). The potato hills, more like potato mountains (we got a little carried away), haven't sprouted yet, but at least they are there and mostly planted. 
By they way in case you were wondering how the preschool silent auction went, it was a hit. We could have used a lot more people to attend but as it way we made close to $1000 for our little preschool, it think the bake sale was the biggest hit. Thanks everybody! Well, can't waste (I mean spend) any more time inside on this computer, I must go out into the sun and get my vitamin D for the next month. Happy growing!



Not to worry anymore I have been found, I am still alive and kicking, much to contrary blogging activity. I didn't fall off the face of the earth, just merely tripped and landed under a rock for the last few days (more like week and a half). I have been just so busy and caught up in life, I kept feeling bad for not getting a blog done as each day passed, but as I did get to glimpse a few other's blogs they seem to be suffering from the very same anti time, too many projects disease (oh no, it's spreading). Anyway, while I was away I did manage to learn a few new tricks. I tried quilting for the first time, my mother quilts and it has just taken me a little while to get involved. My mother, sister and I spent a day all quilting together, it was great fun and this is what I made...  Two squares for a farm quilt, they're not quite finished but this goat and sheep will join the others in a blanket (eventually), good thing my mother has a whole bunch of squares done already. Katy is making a happy froggy crib quilt, I think great,  a fresh idea for baby (enough of baby pastels). Gardening season is not the ideal time to take up new crafts, but I guess I should think of it as a chance for my crafty side to grow a bit more. I also learned from my sis (thanks Katy) how to knit with wire and make some very cool knitted, beaded bracelets (show you next time). They are very quick and easy. Well I should trot down to the green house and open it up, it was 98 degrees in there yesterday, too hot. We seem to be having a couple of awesome days of weather, I'll take 'em (and a few more please). It has been lovely working in the garden and orchard. The apple tree are growing bigger every day and so is Gavin, the picture above is of his first time sitting on the grass by himself (isn't he the cutest), I don't know when he learned to sit up so well it happened in a blink. Well, see you soon (sooner than a week and a half I hope!)

Inspirational Growing Quotes

"Gardening requires lots of water-most of it in the form of perspiration."
~ Lou Erickson, www.quotegarden.com