About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hardening off the seedlings...getting ready for planting!

 Its time to start hardening off the plants and getting them ready for the garden!!
The night before last Bryan built me a counter top out on our back deck. He used 2-12 foot treated planks (2"x12") and secured them to the railing, then braced it all up and trimmed it out! It has been nice to have a little extra  counter space...especially nice for the kids to eat outside! This counter has been perfect for bringing the plants outside! Yesterday was their first day outside and we had a slightly overcast day with nice misty rain coming down...and mild wind. All those factors made it perfect for their first day outside! They were only out for about 4 hours and then the hot sun came out and the winds picked up, so I brought them back inside.

The tomatoes are doing fantastic and will be ready to go in the ground in just a week or so!

 We have several varieties of lettuce and they are looking good as well, along with arugula, bok choy, spinach, celery, and a colorful array of peppers and flowers!
Im still trying to get my garden planned exactly how I want it to lay out...I keep changing my mind! The hardest part is the rotation! I dont want to plant my tomatoes all in the same place as last year (for soil reasons), but they worked SO good there last year so I am having a hard time seeing them be as fabulous anywhere else. We are also trying to utilize our beds better! Since our garden is on drip irrigation (which is awesome!!) I have to be careful not to have empty places in the garden that are being watered just because the rest of the bed is being watered. Planning and preparation is crucial. There are also a few plants that I am not planting again (broccoli, carrots, potatoes) and am going to try and focus on larger quantities of the tomatoes, beans, peas, leafy greens, peppers, and onions. This way I can utilize my beds and rotations better and barter my produce with someone who is actually good at growing the stuff that totally fails here :)
I am really excited for this gardening season and can not wait to see my little seedlings in the ground...and on my dinner plate!!!  

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