Wednesday, February 13, 2013

PTO and Go Time!

We've had a couple warmer days around warmer, I mean, slightly above freezing and no snow on the ground. These temps, after a few months of Mother Nature being so vicious, make people get the itch for Spring. Mother Nature is tempting us to dig our dirt and plant our seeds, but we all know in our hearts that she likely has that one last brutal storm waiting for us (hoping I'm wrong on that one, but she always seems to come through). So what are things we can do to prepare, to give us the feeling that we are working on our Spring, without putting our precious seeds in any risk???

We finger through Lehman's catalogs, talking about what fruit trees we want to add to our yard (cherry? meyer lemon?...), sorting through our seed packets (we received our last order of seeds, in no time at all), wondering if we should have enough, do we want to try something else, we prepare the people around us for when we will likely be unavailable for a bit.
I recently sent my employer a list of days that I will likely not be "coming in" to work (I put that in quotes because 90% of the time, I work from home)...the PTO request went a little something like this...

2/14/13 – Volunteer 1/2 day, Kiss a Llama Event for Heifer International
2/22/13 - Leaving around 3:30 or 4 PM – Having a trainer come and help train our Border Collie
3/1/13 - Leaving around 2 PM – Cora has an ENT appoint, for tonsil consult.
4/17/13 – This is a tentative date – our honeybees are schedule to arrive this day; however, it has not been confirmed. I will likely need the day in order to get them pick up and settled into their new home.
Week of April 9-11 – During this week, our baby chicks are scheduled to arrive. I need to be on standby to get the chicks from the post office and settled here
After that, my boss reached out to tell me how much he cracked up at my request and thanked me for the most unique PTO request that he'd ever received. LOL
As for new things in the garden - we are growing artichokes, birdhouse gourds and luffa gourds - it'll be neat to see if the grow and how they develop. While growing tomatoes isn't new to us, growing some 40-60 tomato plants at one time is very new and we are hoping that we'll have a nice variety of tomatoes to be able to can for use throughout the non-growing season.
Something else new...we are hoping to get some supplies for tapping our maple tree this year. I know that it won't amount to much, but it'd be fun to see what we are able to get. Not to mentioned it would be great to have multiple sources of sugars on the property (honey, maple and maybe sugar beets? eventually). A local State Park, just a few miles down the road, is hosting a Maple Syrup Festival and we are hoping to learn a few tricks of the trade. 
Over the next couple of days, we'll be putting asparagus in the seed start planters. We are putting a table in the basement with a daylight grow light, since it is still too cold to put them outside. Our set up is simple, just the way I like it. :-) We'll be breaking up garlic cloves and putting them straight into the ground - a task we should have done last October (but I didn't realize until now that I built my calendar - from the last post) - however, since we are still in the cool weather zone, I think we are OK. At least I'm willing to try it out and see what we get.
Our garlic cloves, waiting to grow.
Our neat things we are doing around here...
Growing celery, from a cut celery base. Who woulda thunk you could do that??
Exploring "Narnia" - the wooded area near our house. The kids found, what looks like remnants of an old barn? There is a rock and concrete foundation and tin roof material. We found old bottles, piece of broken pottery, an old chain etc. just neat, exploration type things.
I usually get such great inspiration from old gardening books...I think I'll take a pass on this one though that suggests I grow my seeds on top of a radiator, on top of a sheet of asbestos. Mmmm...Asbestos!
Alright team, it's almost Go Time! Are YOU ready?


  1. Great Post Shelby. I would have loved to have seen you bosses face with that request but i guess he should know YOU by now. Gosh your list is long. Glad you have many willing helpers around you to get all that done. Dont you wish you could just take a month off. I've never eaten artichoke. Love asparagus. You are lucky to have some land to do all this. I guess all that yearning for land has come to pass. We are the opposite, of course, and im thinking about winter crops but ive still got mountains of tomatoes on the vine and stuff so i have to wait till they finish. No room for more beds. Cheers

  2. Looks like we're getting a better start on this year than we did last year! I'm so excited to get things growing and looking good, not to mention warmer weather! I Love you!

    1. Good lord, i didnt see Mark's name and i thought you were coming onto me Shelby, not that i dont think you are adorable and if i was batting for the other side well..... LOL