Tag Archives: Garden


As I sit here writing this, with our son learning how to make popping noises by sucking his tongue, the trees outside are coated in sticky white snow and the chickens can’t remember what they did in this stuff two weeks ago. I cringe thinking of all the gardens that I saw started during our warm spell — apparently some people forgot that we live in New England.  I can only hope that they left themselves enough seed and desire to replant after the first full moon in May, when the danger of all frost is gone. Its sad to see people become disenchanted with gardening due to a simple mistake.

Things are starting to ease into the frenzy that is spring planting season around here. Tomato, broccoli, onions, and green pepper seedlings have all been planted. So far we’ve had great success with the broccoli and tomatoes. The onions and peppers, not so much. If all else fails, I’ll buy onions at the market and pepper seedlings from a local greenhouse again. Here’s hoping I can finally get the lettuce going this weekend.

In all reality, it won’t be that long before we see these little shoots showing up once more.

Home-made Fire Starters and A Quick Update

So before anyone thinks that we just don’t exist any more, I figured I would write up a quick little update.

While I haven’t had much time for crafts in between getting used to being a homesteader while growing a homesteader, I did get a car-seat blanket made for cousins of ours that just had their first child. I also have one slipper for myself 99% done and a scarf over half done. I also found time to experiment with making home-made fire starters.

Most mornings, and other times that the stove dies, we use a few pieces of kindling and a couple handfuls of shavings to light it off. Thus wouldn’t be such an issue if the shavings didn’t tend to go all over throughout the week. In between us dragging them around on our socks, the cat playing with them, and the dog rolling in them, it makes a mess. A while ago Joe ordered some fire-starters for us to try. Turns out they were simply a bunch of shavings packed in with melted wax. I figured that was easy enough to make, and sure enough, I was right. By melting wax in a ceramic container on top of the wood stove and pouring it over shavings packed in egg cartons, I was able to successfully make fire-starters of the same caliber of those that we had tried out. The plus side is that each cardboard egg crate creates six of these useful little buggers.

In other news, the Maine fair dates have been updated for the 2012 season and there will be a new gardening page started today, even though last year’s somehow got skipped.

Garden Planning – Stage II: Companion Planting

Companion planting is a very natural concept. If you look out in the wild, you never see one form of plant by its lonesome. Daisies, black-eyed susans, clover, and buttercups amongst others interweave into these communities of flowers. Maples, ash, willow, and pine mingle through the woods, rarely sanding aloof from one another. The plants that you do see by themselves look alone, deprived, and normally have a harder go at it than those mixed into a society of flora and fauna. Companion planting takes this idea that plants should not be segregated from one another and works towards growing plants with one another in a helpful, semi-self-sustainable type of gardening.

We’ve decided to take this route with our gardening plans this year.
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