A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap

“Gardening is a medicine that does not need a prescription, and has no limit on dosage.” Author Unknown

It’s that time of year again – time to round up all the gardening tools, find the box of seeds, spend way too much at the gardening stores, and hide my hands when I go out in public because no matter how often I wash my hands (which we’re all doing A LOT right now) and work the nail filer, I can’t seem to get all traces of the garden off of my fingers!

This was the year to expand the garden too! We put in a raised bed for our tomatoes, which opened up a significant amount of space for other veggies. I’m also growing potatoes in bags and pots, red, white, and sweet – it’s a lot easier and I’m hoping for a good harvest. I’ve been taking a seed starting course with Anna of House and Homestead because, while I’ve put out a garden for many years, I haven’t had much luck starting seeds inside and transplanting them. I have always purchased plants from gardening centers and big box stores for the majority of what I’ve grown. I learned a lot of great ideas and tips and had many successes! I’m growing veggies I’ve never tried before and have many plans for future gardens. I highly recommend Anna’s Seed to Soil course whether you’re new to gardening or have years’ experience. She does a great job breaking down important information in a friendly, informal manner. Find her here. You can sign up for her newsletter (which is always fun and informative) and be ready when the course is offered again.

Potatoes in pots and tomatoes in a new raised bed
Kitchen garden – herbs and leafy greens

We also added a fruit garden this year – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. I was also planning on elderberries, but there was a problem with getting them in, so we’re hoping to get them this fall. We built raised beds for the strawberries and blueberries and I’m adding pots of herbs to take advantage of the abundant sunshine in that part of our property. I know it will be a couple of years before we get to enjoy a harvest of luscious berries, but it will be well worth all the work. And, I’m excited about finding some new herbal tea blends incorporating dried berries!

Raised beds for blueberries and strawberries, and catnip for tea blends.

Recently, Ultimate Bundles hosted a webinar with homesteader Angi Schneider: “8 Common Gardening Mistakes“. It was great, with lots of tips and good information. Ultimate Bundles is also offering an amazing package on all things gardening and they gave detailed information on it during the webinar. In case you missed it, here is a link:

Three of my five girls, out enjoying some sunshine and green grass.

And then the chickens…they are finally enjoying some independence now that we have their yard set up, along with a temporary mesh covering (which I have to crawl under to get to the coop, but they’re worth it (haha!!) – and Jack has plans drawn up to fortify the fence and add a cover I can stand up in! He’ll also be building a pvc pipe chicken tractor similar to the picture below that I’ll be able to move around the property. But their fenced yard will often come in handy during inclement weather, or if I just want to keep them closer to home.

This is similar to the chicken tractor Jack will be building for my girls.

So, with all this work outside, who has time to work inside the house? Well, not me, unfortunately. Now, I’ve never been a top notch house cleaner. One of my favorite stories is from when my kids were young. I was cleaning the house, and my son stopped what he was doing and said, “Who’s coming over?” Yeah – that’s me! But it’s probably the worse I ever remember it being! And so many people are posting that their houses are so clean right now because they’re home and they’re trying to sanitize everything! Well, I may be home, but that’s not new for me, and I’m busier now than usual. There are only so many hours in the day and I’ve been trying to take advantage of my husband being home, and the occasional days without rain!

It has been an extremely busy couple of months, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The good news is that all of these spring projects are done! The berries will grow and we’ll be enjoying fresh fruit in a few years. The chickens will soon be laying fresh eggs for us to eat and for me to use in my baked goods. And the garden is already starting to provide fresh produce. This is my 3rd harvest of fresh lettuce and spinach, and my first harvest of chamomile, already drying for my herbal teas. With all the spring rain and periodic sunshine, I have lots of happy plants!

Harvesting fresh greens and chamomile flowers

AND…farmer’s market season is getting ready to begin. I am getting ready for many upcoming Saturdays. I was in the dedicated gluten and dairy free kitchen this morning working on some new recipes. Can you say BROWNIES?? You can find me and my brownies (and all the other treats and teas you know and love) at the Huntingburg market on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays and the Jasper market on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. I’m very excited to be preparing Good Food for my Dear Friends. Hope to see you there!

Until next time….

Lori

Published by hollandgirlfarm

I am a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, and new Homesteader! I will be sharing gluten and dairy free recipes and tips, herbal teas and medicinals, and new adventures as we explore the world of homesteading. I'm happy to have you join the fun!

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