Under the Weather

All the seeds in my current flats have germinated now and are off to the races. I have 2 more flats to start, but I’m holding off on those due to our unusually wintery spring. We’ve got 3 inches of snow with a frosting of freezing rain coming this weekend in what’s hopefully a last hurrah.

I’ve had an upper respiratory thing brewing this week. It settled into my lungs yesterday and I could no longer deny it. So I got a double batch of bone broth made last night. I used a bigger variety of root veggies than normal in hopes of extra nutrition. I also added shiitake for extra minerals and b vitamins and nori for extra minerals and iodine.

My green onions are up enough to harvest, so breakfast was spring onion soup and I’m thinking egg drop for lunch. I have some fruit and veggie juice on hand, and green smoothie fixings too. Glad I went the liquids route because my cough already has my throat roughed up. Probably wouldn’t hurt for my diet either…since I’ve been stalled for a while.

Workershare Season 2018

When you find yourself hassling the tomato seedlings because you missed that summery smell

Today was the start of my workershare season! It was below freezing so I checked in with my farmer to see if she still wanted me working in the hoophouses…and she said she lost her helper at the farmers market and to head on over there. So I spent the morning at the market bagging and selling spinach πŸ™‚

Asparagus Prep 2018

We got a 3 day weekend, so I spent it puttering about the house. I finished trimming the fruit trees out front now that brush pickup has started. And I got out to prepare the asparagus bed. It was hoed and layered with compost and straw.

I got a second flat with basil, oregano, kohlrabi, echinacea, anise, borage, thai basil, and nasturtiums going. The tomatoes are getting their true leaves, and last years tomatoes are still going strong…filling my belly with 5 Ingredient Soup this week. I noticed the typo after I’d posted the image everywhere…so I’m standing by it.

I want to get started on the smaller beds for cool weather crops. My facebook history keeps telling me I’ve gotten started earlier in previous years. But the 10 day forecast has a possibility of up to a foot of snow total still lingering, so this will not be one of those years.

And…kitties. Just cuz.

Soil Test 2018

The results of my soil test were posted yesterday. Most of my levels are actually a bit high and the only recommendation was a little nitrogen. It looks like I’ve been doing something right πŸ™‚ Each year I’ve added organic matter (rabbit droppings and bedding and homemade compost for the most part, and some purchased peat and composted manure when those were light), and the occasional all purpose organic fertilizer. One year I noticed my soil was hard and added gypsum for calcium to correct.

My first baby tomato made it’s appearance just this morning and others are starting to follow. I’m doing a mix of Amish Paste, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Hungarian Heart, Striped German and Sungolds this year. This guy happens to be a little Sungold, which are the best cherry tomatoes I’ve ever tasted.

Outside, it hasn’t warmed up much yet outside of a few nicer days. This was actually taken on a day it didn’t get out of the 30’s, but things are juuuuust starting to wake up. Strawberries and elderberries are leafing out, Egyptian walking onions will be ready to start harvesting soon, little chamomiles are sprouting, and the blueberries have big buds

And my weightloss has been stalled for 7 or so weeks now…the 2 vacations being the biggest part in slowing me down πŸ˜€ So I’m doubling down on the diet and exercise! I’ve added a walk each night to start prepping for hiking and backpacking season and meal prep is going on!

Seed Starting 2018

This weekend I started the first of the seeds! Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs are busy getting their head start.

We’ve had a couple days in the 50s now, enough to thaw the ground forΒ  my first soil test! It’ll be hitting the mail tomorrow and I’m interested to see the results. I’ve been growing in this soil for 8 years now, after all.

I had some bad news when my partner resigned, and it doesn’t sound like they are doing a direct or immediate replacement. But I’m trying to focus on enjoying life. I spent half of this week at the waterpark for a little relaxation and I’m still reading like crazy. My time at the farm starts in 2 weeks and my farmer invited me to borrow any books I want, so I’m going to start with some soil health as I know that’s her obsession and it’s what I’d like to focus on next.

February 2018

Things have been wonderfully slow around here. I’ve been spending time working out, cooking, and reading and really enjoying the quiet of the season and my new lack of stress. I just have Miss Judgey here to deal with πŸ˜€

I did my annual seed shopping on Johnny’s website this year. Before I purchased I hit my local stores to see what varieties are now carried locally and got those for less than half the price. The ordered the “special” things I had left on my list, like sun gold tomatoes, some edible flowers, and cut flowers.

I also organized all of my audible, kindle, and physical books so I know exactly what I have in inventory to read yet and consolidated all of my wishlists. I can tell you it’s all going to keep me very busy. But I’ve been reading two books a week so far this year so I’m well on my way.

I even thought to download an audio book for my road trip this week. It was my first year attending MOSES Organic Farming Conference. I enjoyed myself and was impressed by the variety of topics. I did sessions on berries, food safety, weed control, fruit tree grafting, organic dairy, and cut flowers. They even gave you the option of eating all 3 meals there, all organic and delicious so I ate unusually well compared to my usual travel fare.

Their bookstore was amazing and it was very hard not to come home with anything. But I took pictures of ones I was interested in and added 19 books to my wishlist when I got home. I’ll try doing library or kindle versions to keep spending and clutter down. In exciting news, my library even lets you borrow kindle books now through overdrive!

I did come home with some a soil test since I never actually bothered to do one and some wine cap spawn which should be very happy in the mulch below my front yard fruit trees.

Starting 80 Day Obsession

This time of year I usually have a home improvement project planned. I just picked up some laminate flooring to put in the gym to finally finish updating the room. We also had a couple day warmup so I got out into the sunroom to clean up. It’s where I’ve been parking some of the items I’ve decluttered just in case I regretted removing one of them from the house. I also strung up come cafe lights so it’ll be a nice place to hang out come summer. I happened to get my first shipment of Black Rifle Coffee on the same day the lights arrived, which explains the photo.

I’ve lost 4.1 pounds so far this year and tomorrow 80 Day Obsession starts so I’ll be knocking up my workouts a notch. I’m having a lot of fun trying new recipes like this fabulous Chicken Caesar and Pasta Fagioli.

And I’ve started bugeting for a cruise next January so I’ll have a great reward if I’m successful with my year of transformation. I think I’d consider becoming a coach as well.

Looking ahead at 2018

Happy New Year!

Last year I had tried to focus on simplifying my life πŸ™‚ I decluttered and minimized and destressed! I left my old position that had turned into doing 4 peoples jobs and found a lower stress role that pays more πŸ˜‰ I finished my Certificate for Sustainable Food and Farming with a 4.0 and completed a third year as a workershare to make progress towards my farming/homesteading dream. I finally had a chance to visit a water park and found its my happy place and already return trips planned for next year. And…I lost 37 pounds in 5 months to make progress towards my weight loss goal πŸ’ͺ

This year’s goals are already planned!

❀️ Get sunburned on the lazy river
❀️ Go on at least 4 hiking/backpacking trips
❀️ Do at least 4 Beachbody programs
❀️ Put my Bowflex dumbbells to work with a strength training routine
❀️ Read at least 20 books
❀️ Save the first $10,000 towards my dream homestead
❀️ Complete another season as a workershare

On the 15th, I start 80 Day Obsession with a challenge group. I’ve already started doing the diet side, which for Beachbody is Portion Fix. It’s pretty good and focuses on fresh real foods with lots of protein and veggies and lower carbs. I’ll be doing occasional snapshots of my days food for accountability. This one was a Portabello and Goat Cheese Omelet, Turkey Chili, snacks of Peanut Butter Toast, Cottage Cheese and Fruit, and a Caesar with Chicken Enchiladas. It’s actually more calories than I’m used to and can be broken into 4-6 meals, so I’ve been super full.

It’s -8 right now with a -18 windchill so not much is growing. My farmer lost half a hoophouse of carrots because of the extended period of subzero temps which eventually froze the ground, which is a real bummer. My season ended earlier in December this year for the same reason and I’ll be off until April. The only thing I have growing right now are sprouts, and they are in full production and helping with my diet πŸ˜€

Lets get ready to rock this year! I’m looking forward to sharing my food, farming, and homesteading adventures with you again.

School is out!

I spent most of my time this week finishing my research paper on hoophouses for season extension for my class on organic vegetable production.Β  It was submitted today to finish up the class and with that I’ve completed all of the requirements for my Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming!

Now that things are slowing down and I’ve only got two more shifts left at the farm, I’ll have more time! I’ve just started paging through this years seed catalogs and I’m starting A Week of Hard Labor tomorrow so I can play with my weights.

My first batch of sprouts for the season is done! I got pitas and salad fixings this week so I can eat plenty of them. My first experiment with microgreens should be ready to harvest by the time I finish up the sprouts.

Winter Project

At the farm, the winter carrots are now ready to harvest and are gorgeous! This is what I harvested for myself this morning after spending time weeding and thinning beets.

Back home, I rescued my forgotten dry beans from the fence line. The Cherokee Trail of Tears have a fun new pixalated version joining the rest of the plain black beans. I brought in 2 quarts of them, plus just shy of a quart of the Hidatsa Shield.

And I juuuuuust got started on my winter cross stitch project πŸ™‚