Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow, Snow and more Snow.

We haven't had much to post about due to the massive amounts of snow we had here. With the harsh winds we had to continually plow the driveway just to get back to the house. The animals did not leave the barn for two weeks. They walked out on the patio of the barn and just stood there and looked out. Today, for the first time in weeks all of the animals plus the chickens ventured out into the pasture.

The maple syrup adventure continues to be a learning process. We had some of the sap spoil and some of the syrup had too much of a smokey flavor. The sap is still running so we will continue to experiment.

We must have very good air in the house, the tomato plants are growing very quickly.

Now Mike has the idea to compete in the Shippensburg Fair with some of his giant pumpkins. we will have to plant them by the end of next week to have it ready for the fair at the end of July. We will see how that works out.
Here are some snow pictures:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Does our house have bad air?

Mike was doing his research on gardening, veggie plants, and whatnot and came across a gardening book from 1954, The Homeowners' Complete Garden Handbook by John Hayes Melady. It suggested that you start your tomato plants indoors in January, to make sure that your house is a suitable place to start seeds. So we planted some saved seeds from a friend's heirloom Stuffing Tomato, some Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, Genovese - an Italian Heirloom, and Orange Amana another heirloom variety.

So far, there are sprouts of each. We are using organic prepared potting soil, not that it matters it was what we had on hand, and they are under the light for 12 hours. It is just a regular florescent light, not a heat lamp. We are excited that it worked and ready to get the other plants started this spring!!!!

The benefit of doing this not only saves you a ton of money, time and effort if your house is not suitable, but also should yield a nice bunch of early tomatoes.

Our Maple syrup adventure yielded us a shot glass full of smokey maple syrup/water. We have several more gallons to process, which I think will work out better the next boiling day, because we have a better understanding of what's going on.

BUT now our buckets are under snow.

So on our snow day we are obsessing over our giant pumpkin books and seeds that arrived in the mail on Friday. Our seeds came from a pumpkin that was over 1600 pounds!!! Our goal is an 800 pounder. Oh the pie we will make.