Blowing Bubbles and Playing with Crickets

It was a beautiful Spring afternoon in central NC this afternoon.   Sunny and chilly, with a slight breeze.  I’m loving the extra daylight at the end of each day.  And to make today even better, it was the last day of the first tax season this year.  I have several others throughout the year, but the first deadline is h-i-s-t-o-r-y.  Yippee!

So, to celebrate, the two older monkeys and I played outside this afternoon.  We blew bubbles, spilled some, blew some more.   We checked out the trees getting ready to bust out in blooms.  And we played with a wounded cricket that we found.  In all, it was a very good afternoon.

Enjoying the simple things in life.

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Garden Planning

Planning a garden during the cold winter nights is always fun.  Dreaming of juicy red tomatoes, sweet cucumbers, spicy peppers… playing in the dirt, smell of the fresh air.  Ahhh,.. This afternoon, I went out and started getting some of the area ready.  It was about 45 degrees outside, and it was invigorating.

According to the NC Extension office I can now plant onions, peas, cabbage, radishes, and turnips.  And in 2 weeks I can plant potatoes, spinach, lettuce, and carrots.  So planting time isn’t just quickly approaching — it’s already here.  I planted some cabbage and turnips today.  And I have the area ready for the peas — just need to get some seeds.

Some years I plant big gardens, some years are small.  I normally do just a summer garden.  I typically plant and have good success with tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, and lettuce.

This year, I will have a new fertilizer source — rabbit poop.  So, I’m expecting everything to grow better.  Also, I would like to extend it into a year-round garden — or at least a spring, summer, and fall garden so I am planning a bigger than normal garden.  In fact, I’m not sure my garden space is big enough for everything I want to plant.  I have two spaces – one is 3′ x 56′, the other is 16′ x 32′.  So total, I have just under 700 square feet, and I need to plant enough to feed a family of 7, plus extras to freeze or can.

Here is what I would like to plant in no particular order.  The list is long and keeps growing.    And of course, I want to plant more than one variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.  It reminds me of going to a buffet for dinner — a little bit of this, and little bit of that, and pretty soon you have a plate full with twice as much as you can eat — or in this case, twice as much as I can probably care for.  I’m also trying to determine what kind of crop rotation I can do in order to fit more growing season into the space that I have.  Many of these are cool weather crops which I think will grow well in the 3′ x 56′ space that I have since it is beside a fence that blocks the afternoon sun.  If you have some ideas, I’d love to hear them!

Lettuce Carrots Collards Spinach Okra
Tomatoes Cucumbers Swiss Chard Bak Choy Rapini
Broccoli Cauliflower Kale Kohlarbi Cabbage
Peppers Onions Cantaloupe Watermelon Lima Beans
Green Beans Corn Garlic Zucchini Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

We tried potatoes and sweet potatoes this past year for the first time.  We tried to grow them in a large trash bag, layering the dirt with hay as the plant grew — something my husband saw on YouTube.  Quite easy but very disappointed with the yields.  The potatoes yielded nothing so I didn’t even check the sweet potatoes.  Well, today I decided to check the sweet potatoes — and low and behold, there were enough sweet potatoes for us to have a meal.  Yippee!