Friday, March 13, 2015

Planning for Summer

It's not that I wouldn't be thrilled to have more down time ahead of me.  You know, leisure time for indoor, close to the wood stove projects.  I'd opt for that in a flash, but time seems to keep marching on at double time.  Even up here near the tundra, there's a different feel to the air these days, the snow is melting and there's no denying the fact that spring weather is, indeed, approaching.

And I've got to admit that I'm actually getting eager thinking about gardening once again.  I sat at the kitchen table for a couple of hours this afternoon plotting out what will go where in the raised beds and field garden for the coming season.  I'm still tossing around what to plant in the pumpkin patch this year.  Yeah, I know, you would think I'd plant pumpkins there, but I like to rotate crops so the same thing isn't grown in the same area each year.  I did have pie pumpkins and jack 'o lantern pumpkins in that patch last year so it will be some other crop this year.

 Not a recent picture.  Obviously.

I'll plant the usual vegetables again this year.  Pretty much the same old boring things, but they do keep us in tasty, nutritious food close to year 'round.  Although I'm wanting to go through the pantry and freezers to see exactly what quantities are left at this point, we have yet to run out of any of the vegetables I put by last year.  We're still eating peas, sugar snap peas, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green and yellow beans and squash.  The applesauce and stuffed green peppers are holding out along with frozen blueberries and raspberries.  Sad to say but true, the frozen strawberries are long gone, but we do have ample jam.  Our root cellar still holds apples (although a very few), carrots and potatoes that are in good shape.  Plenty of onions and garlic on a shelf in the basement holding at 52 degrees.  There are even a few heads of cabbage, but the outer leaves are looking a little worse for wear now.  They probably won't keep much longer.


One of the two double rows of strawberries 
I have left.

I have 200 new strawberry plants coming this spring, and I have to decide in which area of the field garden they will be planted.  I have two double rows of old berry plants that are still producing, but they are no longer bearing nearly as much as we need for fresh eating, sharing with friends, making jam and squirreling away in the freezer for smoothies all year long. 

On a topic other than the garden, Papa Pea and I spent this morning sketching out our spring/summer/fall project list.  No doubt about it.  Not enough time for outdoor projects, and way too many projects we still want to get accomplished around this here old place.  Getting them all done now! this summer would be preferable to only being able to accomplish a few of them.  So in an effort to maintain our slight grip on reality, we have to face the fact that isn't going to happen.

We have an A and a B list.  We prioritized the A list and hubby wanted to do the same for the B list, but I, being the old fuddy-duddy-stick-in-the-mud I am, said that we should wait to do that until we had finished all the items on the A list.  Yeah, I know I'm no fun at all.

Tonight, I'm going to sit on the couch, knitting needles in hand and soak up another remaining night of being lazy in front of the open fire.  Spring is certainly coming, but it's not here quite yet.

24 comments:

Tami said...

Your garden picture is a feast for the eyes right now. We're all so hungry for color!

I have to admit that I'm having a slow time getting enthusiastic about the garden. (Probably because I've been sick.)

Can't wait for the "Yea! It's Spring" thrill.

Kristina said...

I'm getting excited too. I'm trying to motivate Hubby too. I keep putting sticky notes around with "root cellar" on it, but I have a feeling it will be next year now. I do have to restock my pickle relish and pickles this year, along with many jars of zucchini salsa.

Lisa said...

So prepared MamaPea. I know what needs done but never make a list. Too scary! I am going to make a better effort on gardening this year I promise.

Nancy po said...

With your long list of to-do things can you get any help? Sometimes an extra pair of hands goes a long way...

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, I love that garden of yours!! We will likely only have a raised bed with maybe a couple of tomato plants, and some lettuce.

Mama Pea said...

Tami - Put your efforts on getting rid of the crud you've been hit with. Then, I'm betting, you'll feel much more like getting into the swing of spring!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - We waited many, many years before finally getting a good root cellar. But it's oh-so-worth-it when you finally have it. I mean, I can't believe we still have edible cabbages down there!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Start posting pictures of your garden from the very beginning. We'll all keep you honest by demanding to see the progression of it! (I LOVE to see pictures of gardens!!)

Mama Pea said...

Nancy po - We're hoping to enlist our carpenter friend to help on some of the projects. It's not that we can't do all the stuff, but we're not professionals and it takes sooo long with one person reading the how-to from the book while the other one of us tries to do it!

Mama Pea said...

Florida Farm Girl - That raised bed with tomatoes and lettuce will be worth it! Mmmm, good!

Sparkless said...

I'm just going to sit on the couch with some tissues and a hot cup of something good for a nasty cold.

DFW said...

I can't wait for Spring, but Summer arrived 1st down here. 86 today. Waaay too warm (hot) for March. No gardening for me this year as it is our busy 2 years (4/2024 - 4/2016). Hope to get a couple of purchased tomato plants & maybe some peppers in the ground. Got to plant my Mom's azaleas tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

My root cellar was finish late last fall. How do you keep your cabbage in the root cellar.

Betty Sue

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Sounds like you had an awesome garden that yielded a great harvest! We are so ready for Spring planting here in Tennessee.

Mark said...

De and I haven't quite finished our garden planning, and have put a little thought into the projects list (thin out the stuff in the barn and get it ready for a meat chicken brooding, fencing to keep chickens in our yard, fencing to keep chickens out of the garden, fruit trees and bushes). It all makes me tired just thinking of it, but its a happy tired. Bring it on!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Oh, darn! Sounds as if you've gotten hit with a bad bug! Take care and get well soon.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Even though you won't be doing a big garden, sounds as though you'll still be using your green thumb and getting your fingers in the dirt! Hope your way-too-warm temps moderate for you!

Mama Pea said...

Alicia - Producing as much of our own food is a really important thing for us. Plus, I LOVE to garden so even though we face some unique challenges way up here in northern Minnesota, I'm always eager to get on with as much early planting as I can wangle. I'm sure you are just about ready to hit it full bore in Tennessee already!

Mama Pea said...

Mark - Ugh, the fencing! Always fencing. We have to do a bit of that this year ourselves. Not a full new fencing project but just some stop gaps to get us safely to next year when we have to invest some $$$ in replacing our 7' high deer fencing. Ugh, again. We'll all be happy tired, for real, in a month or so!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Betty Sue - We had a big (really big) cardboard box which sits on the gravel floor. The cabbage were layered in it in two layers. At first we covered the cabbages with damp towels, but now that the outer leaves are starting to get mold on them we've left the towels off. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. A lady at church said to leave the roots on and hang them over head by the roots.
I will try some both ways.

Betty Sue

Mama Pea said...

Betty Sue - Yes, I've tried hanging them by the roots, too, but not had as good luck as this current way. I'm sure it all depends on the year, the moisture in your root cellar, etc. Good luck whatever you try!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Two lists....A & B!!!! We had one list, and went through the list more than one time to narrow down the mandatory items versus the non mandatory items. We only were able to eliminate two things from the list (non mandatory). Which means we still have our work cut out for us. Hubby and I have noticed as we get older they're a few things we just can't get done fast enough. The old bones ache, and were moving a tad slower.

On a positive note, our fencing is just about finished. We have approximately 2 more feedlot panels to secure and we will be done!

We always recommend putting a list together (or two...like you and your hubby). This way you can see how much work really needs to be done when Spring arrives.

I finally sat down late at night learned how to cast on, and knit. Now I need to learn how to work a pattern (yes, I'm slow as molasses when it comes to working with yarn).

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Sometimes I wonder if the lists are good because it enables us to be more organized or bad in that we see (in black and white) the magnitude of what needs to be done!

Yay for you teaching yourself to knit! As hard as it may seem at first, it really will get much, much easier. Looking forward to your first project!