The New Plant Starting Station (AKA the laundry room)

A few weeks ago Mike showed you how you can make your own seed light station and how to make seed flats.  That light station was our first attempt at growing seeds indoors.  The idea was to get a jump on the growing season and avoid having to purchase (those oh so pricey) vegetable plants at the store.  Molly loves flowers but hates the price so she spent a goodly amount of time starting flowers from seeds.

Mike:  The small seed station was a great start but we wanted to have much more going on.

Molly:  It just wasn’t enough space.

Mike:  I ended up building  a makeshift growing station under the large art desk we have in the living room.  I attached some lights to the underside of the desk and we started shoving seed starts underneath.

glowing table » » »

Seed Starting Flats

Back in the day nurseries used wooden trays to start their plants.  Rather than having plastic six packs with a cell for each seedling, seeds were sown in the tray and allowed to germinate.  Soon after the seedlings appeared the plants were separated and replanted into individual pots or transferred to a garden bed.

The idea of using durable reusable trays rather than flimsy disposable plastic pots appealed to me.  I wanted to try it out so I decided to make my own set of planting flats.

Scrap Wood

The scrap wood pile is always a good place to start for a project like this.  I happened to have a pile of short boards that our weird neighbor gave me. (I consulted with Molly and she agrees he totally goes into the ‘weird’ category). » » »

Seed Starting Station

Reading gardening books might be the end of me.  I get tons of ideas and don’t know where to start.  At one point I got smart and decided to start at the beginning:  indoor seed starts. First thing was to build a  light stand.  Then we could grow greens  in the middle of winter without having to finish the greenhouse.

light stand01

A trip to the Re-store yielded a couple of two foot long florescent lamps. » » »

Veggie Seed Saving

It’s that time of year when we pull out the seeds and start some indoor gardening.  Even though we have snow on the ground and currently falling we have to start preparing our garden.

Currently our back garden

Wintertime in our back garden

When we (Mike) expanded our vegetable garden to 460 sq ft last year our intention was two-fold: 1) grow food so we knew where it came from 2) cut back on our grocery expenses.  The issue with the latter is that yes, we can spend less at the grocery store but we can easily see that savings go right into growing our own food.  Over the next few weeks we will share some ways we’ve been learning to keep our costs down.  It takes a little forethought- last year we learned so much we can’t wait to start this year’s garden. » » »

The Blind Chicken- A New Home

If you are just joining us please click on this post to get caught up.

Here’s what we know:

  • She’s figured out how to email us and does so pretty often.
  • She loves her new home.
  • She’s changed her name from the ‘Blind Chicken’ to the shorter but chicer sounding- ‘BC’.  (guess it’s a California thing) » » »

The Blind Chicken in San Diego

If you are just starting with us might we suggest you catch up by reading a little background on the Blind Chicken…go here and here.

The kids left to spend Christmas with their other parents so we’re packing the Blind Chicken up into the car  to take her to her new home in San Diego.

Molly:  My mother-in-law, Cat,  so graciously offered to take the Blind Chicken after visiting us this fall.  When Cat saw that the Blind Chicken was not doing well with all the other chickens in the coop she took pity and offered to take her in.  After years of being top chicken her status had dropped so low her grandbabies  were pecking on her. 

Mike:  We separated her into her own area for her safety but after a lifetime of being with other chickens it seemed a miserable existence.  My dad and step-mom have a very laid back older chicken named Daisy.  It seemed like a good fit. » » »

Tiny the Goat

We’ve been debating the next addition to our mini farm.  When our friend, ‘Goat Girl’, said she needed someone to milk her goat while she was away over Thanksgiving we figured this was a great opportunity to test drive a goat.  We could get our own goat experience without any investment.

Tiny is on the left, her daughter, Mira is on the right

Tiny is on the right, her daughter, Mira is on the left

Molly:  Mike and Goat Girl are good friends so they set it up.  Mike would drive into town every morning, milk the mama goat ‘Tiny’ and keep what he had gathered.

Mike:  I went over several times before they left town to learn how to milk Tiny.  At first I just wasn’t getting it.  This post from Fias Co Farms got me headed in the right direction.

Molly:  I think we were both getting a little worried.  I had figured if you saw a goat in our future I’d go over and learn to milk.  I really didn’t want to do it before then.  The baby goat ‘Mira’ was pregnant.  Goat Girl had mentioned that they newest baby could be ours if we wanted.  The pressure was on! » » »

Worm Farming

We are many things and one of those things is worm farmers.  We don’t eat them or harness them to a wagon to drive us around the yard. PHiSH!  Come now!

Worm farming is dead simple, just the way we like it.  You place worms in an enviroment where they can thrive and feed them.  They eat food scraps from the kitchen, garden leftovers and other organic matter  (like paper!). In return you get worm castings for your garden.

Mike and Molly Worm Farm

Here's our worm farm

» » »

Turkey

We eat turkey but we don’t raise turkeys to eat…………..yet.  We’ve thought about it, considered it, turned the idea over and over but haven’t taken the plunge.

Molly:  Turkeys have a reputation of being mean and I don’t like keeping mean animals around that may or may not jump on you.

Mike:  My cousin Joel who raises a few hundred each year in Maine likes them.  He says they are pretty funny and not aggressive, more curious.

Molly: Yeah but they eat a lot!

Mike: True………..Kind of expensive » » »

Here Duckie Duckie

This may sound harsh but we’ve got to be honest.  Personality gets you far on our spread.

Case in point- we have two cats.  The younger one is obnoxious.  She gets into your lap and then starts biting you.  Not cute little nibbles, big fierce wildcat bites.

Molly: When you come into our home and mention what a pretty cat she is I will ask you if you want to take her home…. I’m not joking! 😕 .  

Then there’s the chickens.   The meat chickens do not have winning personalities.  They are an not endearing breed.  They were bread to eat, sleep and grow muscle.   They don’t clean themselves, they climb over each other in a mad scramble to get at their food and do stupid things like get stuck upside down. » » »