Garden planning… oy.

The weather has been amazing lately. There’s nothing like a good Michigan winter to put me in a properly grateful place once the first 50 degree day comes around. I swear, those first few days are therapeutic for me, and I can’t seem to find anything wrong with the world. We’ve spent most of this week outside, and Vera is definitely a girl after my own heart. She can’t get enough! All she wants to do is play in the mud and go to the park. I love my little girl. You know, it’s clear to me that you get the kids you are supposed to get, and this little one is definitely mine. 

Vera was jumping up and down in the mud, and loving it. Pure glee, I tell you. I wish I had remembered to document the mud smeared on each cheek by the end of the afternoon. Must be why her skin is so lovely- fresh spring mud masks! Anyway, I anticipate more beautiful, sunny, filthy-muddy days in the near future. What am I talking about? She’s got dirt smeared on her face and hands right now…

She’s been completely attached to this strawberry hat, too. She tends to pick a favorite and go with it for a while, but this hat she’s been wearing for the past three days- in the house and out. She actually wanted to sleep in it the night before last. She woke up this morning, and in a panicked sleepy voice, said "Hat! My stwaaabewy hat!"  

Oh also, under all that snow there (which is melted today) is an entire winter’s worth of dog poo… how lovely. I wonder who’ll end up tackling that job this spring… yikes! We might have to draw for it.

I took the opportunity to repot most of my plants. They were all growing out of their containers, and they seem so much happier now. I split plants and gave a couple to my sister. It just feels good to have my hands in the dirt again, and to nurture a little life after a long winter. 🙂

Today I set up outside again (it’s nearly 60 degrees!!!) to start some more seeds. Vera and my niece were playing happily in the yard, getting muddy of course, and I filled the old egg cartons with seed starting mix and sprinkled it all with water. Then… I stared. I started to do a little math in my head, to try to figure out how many of this and how many of that we need. Then it all flew out my head just as quickly as it came. I stopped myself after too long and realized I need to do a little more planning now. I’m at the stage where I actually have to take a look at the amount of space I have, take rotation into consideration, and just do a little more urban farming research. I’ll start the seeds tomorrow or this weekend. 
I really want to be able to store enough food for the whole year (with the exception of meat, grain, and dairy). So far, we’re doing great with last year’s haul. I can’t believe it’s already March. We’re really low on veggies now, but we still have tomatoes (thanks to our dear friend who let me raid her garden after she was through with it- I think I canned an extra 20 quarts!). This year I’d like to stretch the veggies until June, and have all those tomatoes come from our yard. Can it be done? I think it can.

The other day I had a moment where I was really happy that we eat mostly seasonally. You appreciate so much more! I dug out a quart of some cream of asparagus soup that I made in June, and we heated it up for dinner last week. It was AMAZING. There is nothing like fresh, seasonal asparagus. I’m glad I froze this soup, because it seemed to maintain its integrity, even 9 months later. This is nothing like canned cream of asparagus soup, and out of season asparagus pales in comparison. I can’t even explain it. It’s just way better. WAY better. I can’t wait to fill up on it again this June. Anyway, next to the soup is some homemade sourdough with cream cheese and my tomato skin tapenade (made from leftover tomato skins and seeds from the canning process last summer. I love it, and I’ll never toss away those skins again). 

I guess I’m just feeling spring. It’s good.

Quote of the day:
"It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"  ~Mark Twain

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (13)

  1. pagangoat

    Another lovely post. Glad your weather is starting to turn springlike. We’re having the opposite here, it’s gone from warm and dry to cold and wet…but I don’t mind:)

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Hey, how’s the sourdough going?

      Reply
      1. pagangoat

        well, I haven’t started it yet. I’m kind of worried about catching wild yeast here, because the kitchen isn’t mine, and often isn’t extremely clean…so I was thinking of buying a starter, but haven’t had the chance yet. I’ve just been making regular yeast bread so far:)

        Reply
  2. poppleshatesyou

    I so miss appreciating warm weather, San Diego does make me appreciate warm weather at all.

    I always pick favorite clothes and go with it for as long as i can. That stwabewy hat is sooo cute!!

    You are inspiring!

    That soup looks deeeelicious!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, isn’t San Diego pretty much the same year round? Well at least you have Michigan blood, that’s a good thing I think. 😉

      Reply
      1. poppleshatesyou

        Woops that should have been *doesn’t! SD has a bit of a rainy season (some years) and then its nice, and nice somemore and then it’s just hot and miserable for awhile.

        I think having Michigan blood is a good thing too! 😀

        Reply
    2. Gracie (Post author)

      I really love this icon, too. 🙂

      Reply
  3. purerandomness

    Oh Vera, she makes me smile.
    Also, we have just as much doggie poo in our yard as you do! I am NOT looking forward to picking all that mushy, nasty stuff up. LOTS of soap and scrubbing hands afterward. 🙂 This weekend, it must be done!

    Cream of asparagus sounds yummy and I know what you mean about out-of-season asparagus (or even that grown under artificial lights in a greenhouse).

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh Olive! I’m not getting nearly enough Olive lately…

      Reply
      1. purerandomness

        Olive has been neglected a lot this winter. We’re getting better about going on walks with her, especially now that the weather’s warming up.

        Reply
  4. ladyfaith3

    Aw she’s so cute! jabin did the same thing yesterday when we went outside. She began exploring the MUD…I am very happy to see mud, I prefere it to all the snow we had it’s nice to really see the signs of spring 🙂

    I love your food posts. I am no where near as natural as you but my thinking on food has changed a lot in the past few years. I NEVER buy convienience foods, I consider foods I can’t make myself convinient. I have never made pasta sauce from real tomatos for example so it’s nice to have them from the store and animals I didn’t tend myself or slaughter are in the freezer. Mostly this is what “from scratch” means to most people but I have been thinking of it differently. I didn’t grind, grow, raise, or plant my food…it could be “scratchier” LOL
    Even still I had a very satisfying breakfast of shredded wheat, fresh strawberries, and bluberries just looking at it made me feel good! 🙂 I love your idea to keep the tomato parts and use them that’s very frugal and looks tasty!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Hahah “scratchier”! I love it! We could all get a little scratchier, IMO. It’s definitely a process, and doesn’t come naturally in this culture. I don’t grind grain, or tend animals (yet), and I’ve never killed something I ate (unless you count fish). You actually have to really make an effort to have a relationship with your food, that’s for sure. I think any effort made in this area is a good thing, and it sounds like you’re doing really wonderfully! You should do a food post! I’d love to see it. 🙂

      Reply
      1. ladyfaith3

        I like the idea of food posts but it seems like when I start something I just have to do a million different things and can’t really get the whole thing together. I will give it a try maybe tomorrow when I have one less little one under foot. I have an idea for it and it could be very enjoyable…Jorri wants to make blueberry pancakes so I could post on that and our dinner process for fun 🙂

        Reply

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