Happy New Year!

Thank you 2017 for finally getting here. 2016 was full of Monumental loss for me personally. I just need to use the freshness of this new year to help push through the sadness and bullshit that was 2016. This meme totally sums it up for me:

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But moving on… (I’m sorry if you don’t watch The Walking Dead and don’t understand the meme above… also if you do watch, please don’t spoil the new season for me… We like to wait til it is all over and then watch the whole thing…I only know who died because its impossible to not know if you spend any amount of time on the internet)

  • I’m considering starting onions from seed again this year, any thoughts? I’m only considering because they were quite successful last year, BUT I want to simplify things a bit this time around, and the sets will be so much easier. If I decide  to do it, I need to do it now.
    • If I do start some from seed, I may give Leeks another shot and put them out at the community garden. I’m not wasting my limited space on them here.

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  • I am working on getting a 2017 garden layout post written so I have some plans once spring hits. Because once it starts warming up, I’m going to be out there digging.
  • Someone remind me to try and get some squirrel protection over my strawberries before I lose them to the squirrels again. All the new plants I put in last year should be at peak production this year. Maybe I’ll finally be able to achieve my 100% homemade jam dream. (hopefully the crab apple tree doesn’t get beaten up by an early hail storm again, so we get the natural pectin)
  • Fingers crossed that my chocolate mint survived. Otherwise I’ll be buying that again from the garden center. (Not that I really use it for anything, I just like to stop and smell it every time I walk by it)
    • I’m curious to see if any of my other herbs that I planted in-ground will survive the winter. Any bets?
  • Grow my own Sweetener, 2.0 will be a go if I can buy the Stevia plants again this year. Going for simplicity and planting 87 different plants from seed doesn’t follow that.
  • I might even be able to plant my OWN garlic. If I have some left by the time Spring rolls around… Regardless, I’ll still be putting in some that I buy  (hopefully I can find some in the near future), But I have really been enjoying having a good supply of garlic that I grew myself. I want to have a bit more for next year.

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  • I had decent Habenero crop but I didn’t do anything with them. So I may start some of them again in the very near future. They are slow growing and can use the extra time inside.
    • I’ll also do Cayenne again, but not started as early as the habenero…. and clearly with some squirrel protection. Who would’ve thought that the squirrels would steal hot peppers?!?!
  • On the Tomato front… I am not going to let myself plant 20 different varieties again. But for-sure I will be planting:
    • Sub Arctic Plenty  (They were fantastic and so easy)
    • Tumbler
    • Black Cherry (I didn’t really get to have any of them -Squirrels – so I want to try again)
    • At least one beef-steak type
    • Any Best-friend or Mom requested varieties.
  • I’ve really enjoyed having my own homemade pickles, but since only a handful of them were actually from my own plants, I may skip growing pickling cucumbers this year, and just buy them from the farmers market. I do want to try and grow some eating type cucumbers though, so I may focus my attention on that.

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  • And of course there will be Zucchini
  • And I wont forget Beans this year
  • Or Peas

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Now I just need to plan out where all of this is going to go…

And Maybe I’ll throw some sunflowers in too, because they were really fun. And that is what this year needs to be after last year. And there might be considerations of putting some pumpkins and/or squash at my parents place… We’ll see.

One last thing… I may start putting quick garden videos up again. I’ll let you know here if I actually put effort into my YouTube channel this year.

Mexican Purple Garlic

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I mentioned that back in January, I picked up some Mexican Purple Garlic that was 40% off. I thought I might be able to just plant them outside since our winter has been pretty non-existent this year. However, the ground where they will be going is still frozen solid. If I tired to put them out now, they would probably just rot, (or my squirrel nemesis would steal them) and I wouldn’t get any garlic at all.

So I made some paper pots, and started my garlic inside.

I didn’t find a ton of information about Mexican Purple Garlic online other than confirming it is a hardneck variety; it belongs to the “Purple Stripe sub-group” of the hardnecks; its a little hot, but becomes milder with baking; its skin is silvery with purple stripes; and it is a popular variety in Mexico and Peru.

Apparently, the amount of purple in the garlic, is dependant on the weather. So one year you could have a really deep purple, and the next there would be hardly any. Its all in the hands of Mother Nature.

Since garlic requires a bit of chilly weather in order for it to split into separate cloves and form a bulb of garlic rather than just one large clove (which is what has happened to me in the past when I’ve babied my garlic and started it inside), I stuck these into my fridge. The coolness in my fridge will hopefully be enough to help them form an actual bulb, until I can work the ground enough to get them outside. They should be forming some roots and starting to grow in this time, so that when they do go outside, they can get off to a flying start. Or at least that is my hope.

I made a little video when I sowed these and forgot to take any pictures. But I put the video up on my YouTube Channel. I’m still playing around with my iPhone and editing, and we are still saving up for our dream camera. Hopefully we’ll have it before things really kick off in the garden, so my videos can start getting better.

And maybe this will finally be the year I sow garlic in the Fall like I am supposed to.

 

 

February 2016 Update

 

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This month has been a little crazy. My grandpa turned 85 on the 8th! I got a long weekend away from work and was able to finally make it back home to visit everyone. I haven’t been able to do that for over a year and a half, so it was extra special for me. Some less happy things happened, but I’m going to stick to the positives here.

I got a tiny bit of work done outside. We have been so blessed with almost an entire month of Chinooks. I tried to leave the majority of leaves on the surface of the soil as a bit of protection (for the soil and bugs that call it home) against the temperature changes we get around here. I found some lady bugs again while cleaning, so leaving the leaves there should help them survive until Spring. While the Chinooks bring the warm, they also bring the wind. Most of the ground is still rock hard, and anything that isn’t heavy or secured to something has blown away. Almost everyday I am cleaning up bags that have blown into the yard too.

Continue reading “February 2016 Update”

YouTube Channels I love: How to Make Everything

I know I am like 1000 posts behind on updating anything… But I wanted to write about some of my favourite YouTube channels… I spend a lot of my time watching YouTube while doing things at my desk, and I thought I would spread the love around. I will try and focus mainly on channels that relate to this blog, but I watch a lot of varied content on there, which is the whole beauty of the YouTube community.

Today, I wanted to send you over to How to Make Everything. Its a channel that really speaks to my soul of wanting to do everything myself.

They have a video series on how to make a sandwich. He grew the wheat to make the bread, harvested ocean water and boiled it down to make salt, grew tomatoes lettuce and cucumbers (to make the pickles). And even killed a chicken for the meat. It really makes you sit back and think where seemingly simple things come from, and how much work really goes into it.

So go check it out, and subscribe. It is well worth it.