Grow Your Own Free Strawberry Plants

June is the month strawberries are at their peak here. Everyone goes strawberry crazy! There are plenty of u-pick farms nearby but I have my own strawberry patch in the garden. Since strawberry plants become less productive over time I’m going to propagate new plants so I’ll go on having thriving plants and fresh strawberries. Imagine doing this with your plants to grow your own free strawberry plants.

Grow your own free strawberry plants

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Restoring My Neglected Flower Beds

As part of my Goals and Challenges for 2017 I wanted to get the flower beds back into shape. Sadly a lot of the perennials I had planted were mistakenly uprooted when Mr. Comfortable “weeded” for me a couple of years ago. Other plants just came to the end of their lives. Now it’s time for me to begin restoring my neglected flower beds. I hope you can use some of the tricks I’m using to help your flower gardens!

Restoring my neglected flower beds

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Edible Landscaping

When we still owned our farm we not only had an amazing garden and livestock but an abundance of wild edible plants growing on the land. Since my spinal cord injury the idea of wrestling a 130 lb. lamb makes me cringe but I still want to use the land we have to expand the sources of food I grow. And edible landscaping can be very attractive.

Edible Landscaping

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Make Meals Healthier with Herbs

Herbs grow in my garden in summer and on my windowsills in winter. I can’t imagine cooking without herbs. From the delicately flavored to the really robust, herbs can elevate a dish from the everyday to the sublime. But it’s not just taste that you should consider when deciding to use herbs. Learn a few of the favorite herbs I use to make meals healthier with herbs.

Make meals healthier with herbs

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Making Your Own Worm Farm

I admit, in most ways, I’m not a fan of worms. When we go fishing I still prefer my son baits my hook . And if I see a worm on the surface of a street I get the shudders. But in my vegetable garden I’m thrilled to see lots of these wonderful creatures in the soil. Making your own worm farm is easy and inexpensive!

Making Your Own Worm Farm

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Get Ready for Garden Season

Every year in the late summer I swear I’m not going to garden the next season. And every winter around this time I get really excited about the vegetable garden I’m going to have in the spring. It may seem early to even think about gardening but, by the time I order seeds, have them delivered, and get them going strong it will be time to put many things into the garden.

It really is time to get ready for garden season!

When I am wearing out from the work of gardening and preserving my crop I forget that I love being outside in my garden. I need to remind myself about the reasons I have a vegetable garden. And, with the sleet and general cloudiness we’ve had for the last few days the idea of being outside under a warm sun certainly sounds great!

I depend heavily on the vegetable garden for our produce.

Not only do I want to save money but I also want to know I’m getting non-GMO produce. I also want to buy heirloom seeds because I try to save as many seeds as possible from one season so I can plant them the next. Another money saver!

Since I want to feed Mr. Comfortable as well as I can as he recovers I’ve been researching different crops. An example is Amaranth. The seeds are about 13% protein which is higher than most other grains. And I can use the leaves in salads, stir-fry, mix it with spaghetti sauce, and even put it in meatloaf! Amaranth Edible Red Leaf heirloom seeds are my choice for my try-out of Amaranth.

I’m also planning some other new crops:

Artichoke – Ahh, the leaves dipped in clarified butter!
Baby Greens Apple Blossom Swiss chard Blend – The young leaves are great in salads, steamed, added to soups, stews, and lasagna. They even go well in omelets.

If you’ve read my recipes you know I love green beans. Last year I tried bush beans and I think I’m going to go that way again. Mr. C likes them better than pole beans; I think because bush beans aren’t flat. He’s a guy. What can I say? I also want to plant some purple pole beans just because they’re purple!

I’m hoping to expand the garden so I can have a separate area just for herbs. There are so many culinary and medicinal herbs but I just don’t have room right now to grow everything I want. I’ll have to get Pete to help me do the work but first I have to talk Mr. C into letting me “steal” the space from the dogs!

This coming season I’m going to grow a lot more peas. We’ve now eaten all the peas I’d frozen from the garden and it’s only January! And there’s something so calming about shelling peas. Maybe it’s just me but I find it very relaxing.

I grow both hot pepper and bell peppers and I want to try purple bell peppers along with the usual green, red, and yellow. They are purple on the outside with a lime green inside. And don’t worry about your family worrying about purple peppers. They turn green when cooked. And of course I must have my banana peppers!

Even if I have to grow a lot of things (like potatoes) in pots again I’m going to concentrate on root vegetables. Another summer project is fixing up the root cellar! It is my dream not to have to buy potatoes, carrots, or onions because my root cellar is so full of them!

I can’t wait to get my new seeds and start planting because so much requires starting the seeds 8 – 10 weeks before the last frost and some things will be planted directly in the garden even before the last frost! I really need to get moving because, believe it or not, it’s time to get ready for garden season!

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Micro greens

It got cold here suddenly. Our unseasonably warm November turned into a wet, cold December with no warning. I want summer back! But since I can never actually concentrate hard enough to change the weather I’ve decided to grow more micro greens. I first wrote about these delicious, healthy little greens back in May when everyone was thinking about gardening but you can grow them indoors all year!

Micro greens are the first true leaves produced from a seedling, often in fewer than 14 days. These greens are young and only reach about 1-3 inches in height. Left to grow, they’ll turn into the full size, mature leafy greens you already know. But you may be eating micro greens without knowing it already. Many restaurants are using them and even commercially packaged salad mixes often have micro greens tucked in. And they’re healthy!

Learn about growing healthy, delicious micro greens at home!

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