Thursday, April 28, 2011

As of Today.....

When I checked one of my "garden experiments" this morning, I found one of the lettuce seedlings went MFB (missing from bag). Three seedlings instead of 4. Hmmm.......pondering...... Bunny? Mouse? I doubt a deer. Maybe one of the barn cats nibbling on greenery. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

The parsley may be coming up already. Only 3 days? Seems awfully, awfully fast, but there are little sprouts right where I put the seeds in. The herbs are coming back. The thyme seems a little worse for wear, but hopefully will bounce back. Looks like only one lavender survived, and just barely. Then I accidentally pulled it with a handful of weeds......twice! I hope it will retake again.

Looks as if the horseradish is coming up. This year I have to harvest some, as it has now been almost 2 years since I planted it, but wanted to give it time to spread a bit. I'm going to start the ghost chili seeds this weekend along with some beans and peas. In fact, I may put the beans and peas directly in the ground on Saturday. If we do get frost yet, which we can, I can just cover any seedlings that might sprout.

Looking at the aftermath of the tornadoes. Makes me work harder at trying to get Spirit Seed going now.
We pretty much lucked out here. We did get a good thunderstorm last night, but not what was expected during the night. Our tornado watch came and went.......5hrs long. Sun is shining today, but the winds have been at it all day. Other areas to our west and south, however, didn't fare as well. Nothing like in the south, but still some very, very bad winds with outages, a few had some roof problems, trees......still,this area was lucky 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We had a good storm earlier this evening, and still on tornado watch as I write. Although we are still under a watch, I think that we're OK, as the dog has finally settled down and zonked out. Up until about a 1/2hr ago, she was a nervous wreck, long after the storm had passed. It did get a little funky looking in the sky with the weird bright yellowish light, but the peepers were yelling and I could hear crickets as well, so I figured we were fine there as well. But I kept checking, as if they abruptly stopped their "singing", that could signal a problem.

As it was a beautiful, warm day today (hit 80), I put a few plants out, but brought them back in due to the storms tonight. I'm hoping the cool weather seeds that I planted don't get so wet that they rot in the ground, but I guess we'll see.

I've been following the weather channel, not only for updates for this area, but seeing what is happening down south. Just awful. It is for situations like these that I hope Spirit Seed and Garden will be able to assist in the near future.

Wind is kicking up, and as the laptop is plugged in as I type (battery is low...figures), I'm signing off and unplugging in case of thunder popping up again. Although our sever storm warning was canceled an hour ago, we're still not out of the woods for bad storms later tonight. It will be a loooong night with Chance if it does storm. She'll be pacing, panting and keeping me up. Even radios on loud don't seem to help her.

Everyone in storm areas.......stay safe!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Looks Like It's Working

The experiment that I have been trying with growing lettuce in the soil bag seems to be working. There are little sprouts appearing. However, I think I will need to make the holes in the bag a bit bigger, as it looks like there really won;t be space for the plant to start filling out. Once the seedlings get bigger.

One thing I did find, is that when moving the bag, caution is necessary so that the seedling doesn't get lost in the bag. So it is necessary to keep the bag as level as possible when moving. At least until the seedlings get bigger. (Right now they're no bigger than a pencil tip.)

More news as they grow.....I hope!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Garden Gifts

When doing your Mother's Day shopping, how about considering gifts for the garden this year. You can make up great gift baskets of pots, seeds, seedlings, and have lots of fun putting it together. As this is exactly what I did this year, I can honestly say, it was the most fun I have had in putting a Mother's Day gift together.

I bought a decorative pot to use as the "basket" and have been purchasing unusual vegetable and herb seeds as I find them, as well as some little peat discs, a small garden decoration and a few other little things that I know Mom (and Dad too) will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lettuce Under Water.....

The lettuce seeds I planted in an old bucket have started to sprout. Little, but they're coming, even with this overly cold weather.

However, we had one big storm about 2AM and when I took the dog out this morning, found the poor little sprouts about an inch under water. I poured the water out, then covered to protect from the rain we're supposed to have today yet. Hopefully, the bucket isn't so soaked that it will rot the sprouts out. We'll see.

Well, our second, though unexpected experiement. A good one though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


If you've noticed, I've changed the look of the blog...just a bit. I hope that you all find it brighter and a bit easier to read through, both in the articled themselves and sidebars.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where is Spring???????

The calendar says it is spring, but the weather doesn't. Snowflakes today....and COLD! I have all these seeds here staring me in the face, with more on the way, and it is just too cold to even put some of the cold tolerant seeds in yet. (I have some beans and peas just waiting.......) I will start some seeds in the kitchen and hope one of the cats don't dump the seedlings over like last year. But I have to make do for now.

A friend and I went to a honey bee program at a nearby nursery Saturday. The basics only, but enough info to get started, where to get further info and what all we need to start. I'm hoping that either this year or next I can have the bees that are in the wall of the house removed and hived. (I want to keep them...just not in the house.) So I'm taking this time to learn what I can and save for the equipment.

As New Century Homesteader and Spirit Seed and Garden Program will both be consisting of experimental and trial gardens (as well as some small stock like chickens, goats and maybe a few bees), I'm plowing through books and papers to decide how and where I'll start this year with the gardens.

Now, the weather needs to cooperate.........

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Experiment for Spirit Seed and Garden

Trying some planting in a bag. Instead if taking the soil out of the bag, just made some holes and planted, then put bag outside. It is still cold out, but I want to see if the seeds will even grow in the bag and if the bag will act anything like a greenhouse, keeping the soil warm.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spirit Seed and Garden Program

The Spirit Seed and Garden Program is an experimental program I have started to work on ways bring emergency gardens to those in disaster areas, areas where the soil might not be suitable (or so it seems) for growing or space is an issue.

There is lots of experimentation going on for alternative ways to garden for large production, but nothing that, for the most part, the average person can use. And while there have been ways, which I have seen myself, that could eventually be utilized in a realistic situation, the work is not being carried out in that direction, instead being done in highly controlled circumstances the likes of which is not possible for most people to replicate.

I will be working to find the right plants that could grow quickly in emergency circumstances, working as much as I can with heirlooms. I will also start working with selected hybrids in an effort to breed back to true breeds that might still hold some of the favourable characteristics the parent hybrid may have, (like fast growing, disease resistance) while bringing them back to a true plant where the seed can be saved to reproduce.

Within a few years (or less) I hope to be having workshops, publications, etc. with results that will be able to be put into real use.

At this point I am working to obtain major corporate sponsorships to begin full time operations and (hopefully) relocate the program to be year round, instead of seasonal. If your company is interested, please feel free to contact me.

As Spirit Seed and Garden is tied to NCH, and those who follow this blog will most likely find the experiments of use, SSG will be part of  and found on the NCH blog.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weather Starting to Improve..?

It is finally warming up some, but still uncomfortably cold and damp in the AM. This is has gotten a bit old. The nice spring temps can come at any time now, but I won't place any bets on when. Seems like upstate/western New York has 3 seasons...winter, fall and winter. None of which are enjoyable when you're a summer person!

I have to admit, however, this has been a pretty good time to cut out all the non producing and/or unwanted berry canes. I haven't actually trimmed the good ones yet as it is still a bit early for that, but that IS one job completed.

Started doing a little weeding out of the flower and herb gardens, but not much done there yet. The barn cats have discovered the catnip coming up and have already been enjoying.

I now need to look at all my seeds and decide what I'm planting and where. I have a slew of seeds coming in the mail as well, including ghost chilies, said to be the hottest peppers on the planet. Who knows exactly what I will do with them once they grow (I like spicy but not suicidal spicy), but I've been wanting to grow them for a long time, and this year is it.

I wanted to start my garden experimentations this year, but the weather may not cooperate. Can't wait to actually be able to get out of NY for warmer weather and better/longer growing seasons.