Saturday, May 5, 2018

Getting Off The Grid - May Means Planting Time

When the calendar reads "May" it seems that mother nature also reads it and the cold just disappears! And much to my delight. The blue skies and birds singing, flowers blooming and fresh green tree leaves making a shade for the coming heat.

This week is when I will plant a section of the garden, I did get a few rows plowed before the tiller decided to quit. Its okay I will get my uncle to fix it or just buy another one.

The Homestead :

Planting time!  I managed to get a few rows plowed and then in went the spring greens, I am hoping to have a wonderful crop so that I might get more home canned to last the summer. 

I have more tomato plants outside on the deck hardening off, the bell peppers and the eggplants have taken well to their new homes.

I have several different stages planted, from adult and ready to be in the dirt to just sowed seed. I am trying my best to learn how to garden year round, and harvest the foods I eat regular, not just what is in season.

To get an assortment of vegetable seeds at a reasonable price click here 

The Garden :

2018 tomato plants set out in March.

I will also include the flower beds that are harboring very early tomato plants. I picked a hand full this week, though they are not huge they still made a pretty tasty salad. 

2018 spearmint

Below the tomato plants the spearmint has came out and is thriving. The nice thing about mint is that it comes back each year and spreads. Plant once and enjoy forever! Want to start your own?  click here 

I did pick a mess of kale before mowing over the garden.

The stockpile :

Today I am making vegetable soup since I had ran out, perfect day to use up all the vegetables in the fridge and some of last years garden put away.

I had potatoes, green beans and carrots in the fridge that needed to be used, I added celery and onions. From the freezer I tossed in a couple handfuls of okra from last fall.
I used my own home canned tomatoes and I added corn but it was from a tin can, all I had left.

Last week I managed to home can the kale that I had picked, I got six nicely packed pints and I know there will be a good mess left before the bugs and the sun gets to it.

The Learning :
This past week I went out for a walk in the woods, with the dogs, and I was checking out the trees and the new leaves. Since I have bought the maple tapping kit and book from Amazon I want to make sure that I learn what trees I can tap for sugar making, or as I call it making maple syrup. For that kit click  here   It seems to be a simple process I just want to make sure I have the right trees for the best tasting syrup.

Since there are so many trees with the same type of leaves it is hard know which is which so for that problem I solved it with the book about trees! It has the exact leaf so I will not be confused. For the book I found to be the best click here.  

The  sweet gum tree looks so much like the maples that I had to really study the leaves, the southern maple has a few more little ruffles, this pretty new leaf came in all colors, whereas the sweet gum leaf gas straight lines to each pointed end. It is a very small new tree but now that I know it is indeed a maple I will pamper it and look for more, I would enjoy making my own syrup.  

Another book I have went back to time and time again is the do it yourself book, this book shows you have to build things you thought you never could, it give every detail to make a chicken coop to a cold bed frame to a green house. click here to see this book, it will not disappoint! 

Since I want to raise food year round I have to learn more about how to do this, its not as simple as I had thought, so I bought another book and this one is fabulous! It explains which plants likes the cooler weather and the plants that want it hot, it also gives in detail house to make many cold frames or tunnels, food year round! Click here and see what I am talking about. 

So there, those are the nest books to learn by, having them in hand means you can go back to them over and over when you have a question. 

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

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  1. Weather is crazy here hot one day cold the next but my plants are actually coming u[

    1. That is wonderful! I look forward to photos of them too.

  2. What a great start Andria! We just put some plants in today, we are so far behind since having the flu and bronchitis since February! I don't usually have good luck with tomaotoes but tried a few again.

    1. I know how you feel, I had that flu in December and relapsed in January. I hope you are well.

  3. I think it's the sweet gum trees that I confuse with maples also! I have a really hard time identifying sugar maples and it's a skill I want to build.

    1. I did the same thing. That is why I have the tree book, got the leaves.

  4. Weather still not warm enough to plant here :( - love the syrup idea - keep us posted!

    1. I will do! I am looking forward to YOU warming up.

  5. Nice one! Love those Amazon links!

    1. Thank you, I am trying to sell something :D