Watch My Garden Growing

My gardening attempts in a new environment.

Need a farm

or at least an acre of land.

You see, we have been renting over the last 20 years. I have been fortunate that my landlords have allowed me to garden on the property or we’ve lived in areas with community gardens. This apartment in the city has no read landscape and nowhere to have a real garden.

I need my own place. No longer renting. Problem is, I cannot afford to buy what I would like. A farm.

I am looking at small houses with properties. In Richmond, in the city, if I look at what I can afford it is in rougher neighborhoods. If I look at ‘safer’ neighborhoods, I am priced out.


I have tried container gardening but there is no water handy (I have to fill in the kitchen and walk through the apartment to water on the front porch daily to combat the direct sun and heat of summer). With my schedule, my husband is not really helpful in that area. He forgets. If I leave for any time, I come back to dead plants. A raised bed usually comes back to life but containers not so much.

A farm would be great because as I get older I realize I like homemade and I don’t need a lot of ‘stuff’. A good-sized kitchen is needed, a craft/sewing/art room, an office for my husband (gotta’ keep him out of the two prior mentioned rooms), a bedroom, and 2 bathrooms would be awesome! I suppose a living room and a dining room are necessary. I am pretty much a hermit by nature but my husband is an extrovert so I guess we have to have room for other people to visit.

I want to have a couple animals so I can make my own food. HOWEVER, I don’t know that I could actually butcher the animals myself. I want to make my own cheeses, fresh eggs, fresh veg. I also want to be self-sustaining but I need cash. In America, you still need good cash flow even if you have a well and septic system, you gotta have money to build the infrastructure and pay annual taxes. So, I actually need to keep my job.


Oh, and convincing my husband to move out of the city now that he has me here.

The thought of goats and chickens makes my husband stop listening. Also, he needs Internet. As a web developer the thought of living with minimal electricity and high speed internet makes him STOP. He cannot even contemplate it.

Maybe a small hobby farm we can go to on weekends and breaks. This might allow him to come into the light sooner rather than later.

There is one other issue. My daughter. Neither of us are ready for us to be more than two hours away from each other just yet. I know. She’s grown up. She knows it too. However, we are great mother daughter friends. We like hanging out together. Also, once she is married and gives me grand-babies I want to be nearby to help out.

There are a lot of limitations to my dream of living on a farm.

But I am not giving up.








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I tried the container garden

I am not a fan. It is way too labor intensive. With my schedule and weather it was too much. I was watering nearly every day to keep up with the dry weather.

I will try to create an actual garden for next year. Wish me luck!

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No real garden any more

City living and next to zero green space. Hope to change that in a year.

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ATLANTA VEGGIES : Odd Squash Problem: Split Stems

I have seen the same thing already. We have had some extreme temps and high winds. I hope the addition of compost, regular watering, and TLC will make them thrive!

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Make Your Own Ollas

Great idea to focus water on the root systems.

The Suburban Farm

I first read about ollas (pronounced oh-yah) over at Little Homestead in the City. Basically it’s an ancient irrigation method that uses unglazed, porous clay pots buried within the root zones of plants. Water poured into the exposed necks of the pots (or pitchers) naturally seeps into the soil, providing a continuous supply of water to the plants.

I’m intrigued by any method of watering that reduces consumption and is more natural. Ollas seem like the perfect answer, but premade ones can be expensive if you’re using them to irrigate everything.

Then I found a gardener named Matt who posted an excellent how-to for making your own ollas using nothing more than inexpensive terra cotta pots.

I followed Matt’s tutorial, and here’s how it went:


Step 1: acquire pots

This time of year they’re easy to find, and I bought these 15-inch pots for $1 each at Job…

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Second Time Around

Since the eggshell experiment failed, I decided to go with traditional starter trays with 98% success! I am guesstimating the percentage; however, I planted three 72-cell trays and all but 24 cells have fully germinated. 24 out of 216 – you do the math, I don’t really care. 🙂 Oh, and I replanted 12 cells and transplanted the corn to larger cells. So, I guess I have planted 228 and I have partial germination in the 24 cells (I plan to replant once I transplant the other cells into larger containers).

So here they are: (since they are in a window pictures are dark, but you can see the growth)

wpid-img_20150409_072019527_hdr.jpg      Corn babies. wpid-img_20150408_145150079_hdr.jpg wpid-img_20150408_145157417_hdr.jpg         Lettuces, spinach, etc.            wpid-img_20150408_145211753_hdr.jpg


 wpid-img_20150408_145205947_hdr.jpg       24 Hour growth of peas and beans!wpid-img_20150409_072012783.jpg

I purchased clear plastic solo cups to transfer my non-cold resistant plants into to allow them to grow a bit more. My plan is to transplant the cold hardy plants into the garden this weekend. Peas, lettuce, etc can go in the garden bed while the others can get a little more strength while we begin hardening them off during the day. I will probably need to replant the onions, leeks, and chives as they are not looking their best and am not certain they will transplant well. Since I am square foot companion gardening this year I can direct seed in a couple of the squares and transplant what I have. I will thin them out as necessary.

Due to my dirty, rotten, stinking allergies being twice obnoxious this year I am not as ready to plant this year. I will have one bed ready this weekend and possibly have the second moved and filled. One day outside in windy conditions sent me inside for four and one-half.

For more information on square foot gardening:

For companion gardening:

For companion square foot gardening:



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A Dozen Homemade Organic Garden Remedies

Hope Gardens

12 home remedies

Veggie gardens need special care. Vegetable plants are prone to all sorts of disease and fungus. They are highly sought after by pests both big and teeny teeny tiny. A slight negative change in their environment can cause them to stop producing. And we aren’t happy when our veggie garden is just limping along…we want it to thrive!

We also expect our vegetables to be nutritious and safe to eat; and as if that’s not enough, we demand our gardens be harmonious, attractive and a boon to their environment.

This is a lot to ask of our humble garden, but it can be accomplished! Generations of our ancestors have done it, and they’ve done it with less. Maybe we should follow their lead…

You can do it with less by using homemade natural remedies to treat pests and disease. With readily available ingredients, fertilizers too can be mixed up right…

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I have allowed life to lead me by the short hairs

What I mean by that is, I have allowed life to lead me around instead of me leading my life. I have allowed myself to become the whiney, the excuse maker, saying “Woe is me.”

Listening to a sermon lately, I discovered the trials I am facing, the hardships of my existence, are in preparation for the life to come. I had been raised to believe that God’s people were inherently doomed to a life of trials in order to teach us something and/or to make corrections in our lives. I found myself always asking “What am I missing? What do I still need to learn?”
I still think there are things that I am missing and things that I need to learn but now I don’t think that it has anything to do with the trials I’m actually going through. I believe God has better place for us and we have to be strong enough to get there. I’m not talking about physical strength. I’m talking about emotional and spiritual strength.
I also know that I do need to make changes and I need to take control of my life. For example, I had to reschedule the conference from a Friday to a Saturday because the site double booked. I was not given many dates that I could choose to create this conference and because they moved me from a Friday to a Saturday I felt pinned in like I had no choice. when in actuality I could have said let’s do it on a Thursday or let’s do it the following Friday or I could have made other concessions one way or another. I allow the circumstances to dictate who I am and how I behave.
I have decided that I will no longer do that because I feel it harms Who I am spiritually.
As I get older I find that I no longer need to do certain things. My husband accused me of being one of those people who drive in the left hand lane knowing that they’re going to make a left hand turn eventually and refuses to go over the speed limit, and I have discovered that he is right. Actually, I’ve discovered that I don’t care about the little things as much as I used to. I’ll Drive in the left hand lane and I may go 5 miles over the limit but I’m not going to go 10 miles over the limit because someone else didn’t leave the house early enough to get to work on time.
5 meter resolution. Actually I’ve made a couple. I’ve decided that I will no longer attend any sessions held on a Saturday. I’ve decided that I don’t need to be part of 15 committees. I’ve decided that it’s OK for me to get up in the morning exercise eat a good breakfast to go to work and be happy at what I do. I’ve decided that working closer to home is more beneficial to me physically and spiritually then traveling two hours a day to get to a job that makes me crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching I love my student and I even like most of my coworkers and my boss. what I don’t like is the red tape and I know it’s everywhere I don’t like knowing that nepotism is still alive and well I don’t like feeling that I have no control of doing my job. My job is a teacher librarian a library media specialist a librarian whatever you want to call it my job is to explore reading and literature with children and to help growing them a strong love of learning and reading so that they may succeed in life. this is not what I find myself doing however. I’m having to meet requirements that have nothing to do with literature or literacy. It has nothing to do with the love of reading. and I see that some of the practices we have actually cause children to not want to read to not enjoy the written word. And I find that difficult to handle. so I need change I need to be in an area where I can teach a child that a book can open new world a new life time to new experiences to them that reading can take them anywhere.

I am dictating this on my cell phone so I’ll come back later and actually correct my grammar do some editing and make this much more cohesive but I just needed to get my thoughts out this morning as I was listening to this sermon. so instead of allowing life to leave me I’m going to grab life by the short hairs and lead it around for a while. I’m going to enjoy my daughter’s graduation with her master’s degree. I’m going to enjoy spending time with my husband. I’m going to enjoy growing my own food being a healthier person. I’m going to enjoy going to church and being who I am. Who am I? there are so many versions of me that I almost don’t know where to start. first and foremost I’m a child of God. secondly I’m a wife and mother. after that I’m a woman who enjoys the art I enjoy sewing crocheting painting drawing reading obviously and gardening. I enjoyed camping being outside with my husband and enjoying the scenery. I am a little bit of the Earth Mother type. I believe in taking care of the earth and I believe in trying to take care of myself. So after this conference is over and I hand over the reins to my director elect, I plan to take a little step back. Back into Who I am. focus on my religious beliefs my personal beliefs my educational beliefs and work on creating the person I want to be instead of the person life has made me.

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Failed Experiments

Well, I am not impressed with the outcome of my eggshell pots for starting seeds. I cannot tell if the seeds are moist enough and the smell is a bit overwhelming. I must not have gotten all the albumin out of the shells because it smells like rotting eggs and soil around here!

So, I purchased a couple seed starting trays and will restart the seeds – ALL the ones I need in the ground in the next couple of weeks. #roundtwo LOL!

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DIY Garden Enclosure

Looks like a mini garden, cute and sensible for a small area.

Clover and Thyme

DIY Garden EnclosureWhen last I posted on the new garden enclosure, it was still just a base, sitting in our garage. Well, I’m happy to report that the garden enclosure construction is now complete, and so far I’ve planted some onions, peas and mesculin lettuce blend in their new home. 

I was kind of in a quandary over how to best describe the building process, since it was sweet Hubberman that did all the planning and work on this project. Soooo…I asked him to do more work and write up a guest post on the topic! What a guy I’ve got! Take it away…Hubberman!

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