Time to Talk Gardening



The other day, Ryan came home with two big bags of wildflower seeds. Snow flurries might still be dancing in the air, but we are getting ready for spring, my friend. That means, we are sketching out our garden plans and having the annual heated discussions about winter squash and the like.

Two years ago, our garden was enormous. It was our first year and we were overly enthusiastic. How were we supposed to know that although it’s extremely easy to plant a teenie-tiny seed in a teenie-tiny cup, those seeds will grow up into 96 tomato plants – all hopeful and trusting – and they all have to go somewhere? How were we supposed to know that once you raise a plant from seed you have such a deep relationship that you can’t not plant it? How were we supposed to know that 96 tomato plants make a lot of tomatoes? Ahem. Needless to say, it was way too big for me to handle.

So last year, we scaled back and settled on a huge garden instead. But alas, my inner-prairie woman did not rise to the occasion. There was just something a tad overwhelming about 47 bean bushes. We’re older and wiser this year, and are hoping to hit the sweet spot and have a nice, little garden. (We’ll let you know how well we control ourselves.)

It all starts here: in this little aluminum tin. We saved some seeds from last year and are testing to see who made it through the winter. We did a little dance the day we saw a few sprouts busting through the soil. Amazing! Seed-saving actually works. Just look at those little shoots comin’ up. Now all we have to do is take a deep breath and plant a few – just a few – of the others. 

How are your garden plans coming along?

 Enjoy your home,

About Laura

We are one little family and we're on a mission: we want to discover our hometown and share the treasures with you! Just think of all the tractor-pulls, restaurants, farm stands, mom-and-pop shops, and local attractions that we'll enjoy together. We hope that our discoveries and ideas strengthen your family and our hometown Penns Valley, Pennsylvania.
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6 Responses to Time to Talk Gardening

  1. Pingback: We Welcome 75 Chickens | PennsValleyFamily.com

  2. Erin H. says:

    Hey Laura!
    Do you like putting up your garden harvest? Personally, that’s my favorite part, though I struggle to find the time for it and have so. much. more. to. learn. I’m hoping to have a small garden this year, too, with a nice anti-rabbit fence around it, so some of my beans will actually make it past having more than 4 leaves. We’ll see!

    • Laura says:

      Hi, Erin. I actually do like putting up the harvest and have learned so much since we’ve moved to the farm. (You’re right: there is always so much MORE to learn!) I guess I just need a year off since I canned SO many tomatoes and, as it turns out, none of our children like tomato-anything. True story. So, the effort seemed a little bit wasted until they acquire a taste for canned veggies. They enjoy the frozen beans, peas, and corn that I harvested, so I’ll do that again. And they love our homemade applesauce. This year, I think we’re going to focus on the foods we’ll eat fresh and I’ll freeze any remaining. Maybe I’ll miss the steam-filled kitchen by next year and the kids will have acquired the sophisticated taste for a diced tomato or two. 🙂

      • Erin H. says:

        Oh, I hear you: our kids and my husband don’t like anything green or with tomatoes. Kinda limits dinner options when my son stoutly suggests, “Mom, maybe we can have tomato sauce (for the noodles) without the tomatoes?” *facepalm*

        But I enjoy it, tremendously, and love lining our pantry with neat rows of jars. Having a tiny freezer is really encouraging me to try my hand at finding ways to preserve things for the pantry; up next: pressure canning chicken stock. Once I get that down, I’m going to feel like a magician when I can pull out our own soup from the pantry with no defrosting necessary. 🙂

      • Erin H. says:

        And, this is my super tip for chicken stock: I save all kinds of vegetable ends and peels in a large ziploc bag in our freezer (carrot peel, carrot tops/bottoms, celerey cast offs, onion skins and trimmings, stray herbs like parsley, rosemary, thyme, green pepper odds and ends) until it’s time to make up the next pot. Then, in addition to all of the usual ingredients, I also use all of those frozen, lovely tidbits for extra flavors, instead of having wasted them.

        Of course, in the summertime, I just throw kitchen waste on the compost pile. 🙂

        • Laura says:

          Once you get that pressure-canning-chicken-stock, I will know who to call when I’m sick! I love homemade chicken soup. And GREAT tip for stock. Maybe I’ll do that along the way. We usually toss all of our scraps to our Layers, but who says they should get ALL of the good stuff?