2012 Garden Photo Gallery

Some of our last herbs coming in
for the season..!

Concord Grape Harvest:
151.50 pounds!

Total Garlic planted:

Garden Tour
Wild Edibles-
Permanent backyard residents

In Memorium:
Garden Fatalities

Garden Helps
useful information for the
home gardener


2012 Garden
Line Up:

Red Tide Lettuce,
Champion Collards,
Peppers (Yellow,
Chocolate, Purple),
Copra Onions,
St. John's Wort, Peppermint,
Summer Savory, Broad Leafed Sorrel,
Curly Parsley, Ventura Celery,
Ace Peppers,

Beedy's Kale, Red Russian Kale, Happy Rich Asian Greens, Sylvestra Arugula,
Arugula Roquette,
Prize Pac Choi, Sugar Snap Beans,
Mammouth Melthing Snow Peas, Indy Gold Wax Beans, Romaine Green Lettuce,
Tres Fine Endive,
Choggia Beet, Bull's Blood Beet, Touchtone Golden Beet, Cylindrical Beet,
Early Wonder Tall Beet

Peach Tomatoes
Sungold, Jay,
Portugese Borchette,
Glacier, Cherokee Purple



2010 in review:
Apricot trees
Plum trees
Wild Edibles

Our last beet harvest...late November!
weather was balmy and bright as I dug these last
treasures from the ground!

Garden Log 2012
Notes and quotes from The Living Way
backyard farmer

It was a dark, damp day, but I went outside to
gather in the last of our garden: a basket of
fresh parsley and a few small bundles of Thyme.
I looked around to see if anything else was still
alive, but all had succumbed to the recent cold.
Having picked the last morsels of food, I came
inside and officially declared that the garden
was now DONE, 'put to bed,' as it were. Despite
many ups and downs, it was a good year, filled
with many blessings. Now the garden (and the
gardener!) will take a rest! Thank you, YHVH!

There was not much to do out in the garden today,
but I felt to take advantage of the warm, agreeable
weather by fixing the compost pile. I added more
of our kitchen scraps to the pile and then decided
to put a new cover on the bin. For the sake of
convenience, I grabbed an extra lumber tarp that
was still floating around the garden and took off
the old tarp on the compost bin, replacing it with
the newer one. It looked much better and will be
a better cover for the winter. As much as possible,
I like to care for our garden and yard. I know that
we are yet a neighborhood eyesore, but at least
we eat very well!

What a bright, balmy day today! The
unseasonable warm temperatures have been
a big blessing for several days, allowing me to
finish up much-needed garden work. Today I
picked the last of our kale varieties. Though
some of the leaves were very small, they are
still good eating. I must admit that I am a die-hard
when it comes to utilizing everything that is edible.
I believe that it is part of being a good steward of
the land. I also picked a large basket of assorted
herbs before going into the house: the last of our
oregano, winter savory, Marjoram, and a little sage. What a treat!

Late this afternoon I hurried out to the garden to
pull the last of our leeks. There were about a
dozen in all. Despite the cold, they looked good
under the row cover. The ground was still soft
as I spage-forked them up and out into a large
pail to travel into the house. We will put these
beauties to good use soon!

It was balmy and bright today, another welcomed
window of glorious weather. I swept out more of
the barn basement and took my garden cart up
to the upper barn for its winter run, i.e. bringing
firewood into the kitchen. The cart is a happy
helper, saving my back/legs from strain. I also
put some of out Jerusalem Artichokes into sand
for winter storage.

What a beautiful day! Temperatures were balmy
and the sky was bright. After lunch I went out to
finish cleaning up for winter: composting, replanting
herbs for their indoor hibernation, bringing my rain
water inside for the winter, and doing general pick-
up around the yard. I was thankful for the window
of weather that allowed me to do these last minute,
necessary 'touches' that are part of 'putting the
garden to bed.' I also swept out the under barn.

The day was bright and happy again, but I did
not have time to do much outside. I did more
composting and cleaning up: moving debris off
the garden and picking up assundries in the yard.
At night I am still covering our remaining edibles.

It was another gloriously balmy day, one that is
just right for being outdoors. A crew of about two
dozen young people came from our local junior
high school as volunteers to put some of our
firewood in the barn. It was a fun experience and
much appreciated. The young people did a great
job! While they carried wood, I dug horseradish
root...not an easy job, but I was able to pull out
some huge roots! These medicinals will find their
way into healthy tonics as well as soups. Later in
the afternoon I did more composting. Because of
cooler temps at night, I am covering our remaining
crops: kale, beets, leeks, and herbs. So far, so good!

This morning I harvested our kale, nettles, parsley,
and beets so that I could juice them! I brought
two large baskets of live goodies into the house
to wash (see photo above). Then I pulled out our
Hurom juicer and began my work. Around 1PM I
finished. Fresh juice was ready! We drank it with
joy and thanks- giving. Juice does not get any
better than this... direct from the farm, so to speak!
After enjoying my juice, I then headed outside to
tackle gardenwork.

It was sunny and warm today, so I took advantage
of the friendly afternoon by mulching the garlic. I
raked the straw off of last year's rows and covered
nearly two long rows. Then I broke into a new bale
of straw to cover two more rows. There was
enough old straw on the ground to cover the last
row. I was happy to be thrifty and use it, since a
bale of new straw now costs $9.50. At that price,
I will gladly recycle. Late this afternoon, I finished
putting the garlic to bed. It looks great, and I hope
it sleeps well! See you in the spring..! Frost was a
possibility tonight, so before going in the house,
I covered the remaining herbs, kale, parsley, and

Today I finished planting our garlic. This is the
latest that I have ever planted it, but it feels right.
The weather is truly cooperating. Once again, YHVH
made a window for me to plant. I mounded up another
row and then planted more Red Russian. In the last
row I planted Phillips Heirloom, a 'new' old Maine
variety that is being resurrected. We look forward
to seeing how we like them. I also dug up more
leeks and harvested kale/herbs today. Thankfully
the garden is still yielding delicious edibles.

More garlic went into the ground today. In the
morning, I went out and mounded up two more
rows; then this afternoon I planted 84 Red Russian
bulbs. What a thrill! My grand finale in the garden
today was digging our first harvest of Jerusalem
Artichokes. Wow! It is a bountiful harvest this

It was time to finally begin planting the garlic! I
was able to plant 100 Red German bulbs in record
time! I did so by using a good-sized dowel to
punch the holes deep into the ground before
plopping in the bulb. It was a glorious day to
enjoy planting the garlic. Thank you, YHVH!

Today I began the process of planting our garlic.
The first job is to prepare the rows. I use the spade
fork to loosen/turn up the soil, then I round it up in
rows. I made two rows today. That was enough. It
is hard work for this light-weight backyard farmer!


It was another beautiful day, so I kept at my work
of clearing the garden. A friend came to help with
the task. She picked up all the dead tomatoes on
the ground as well as piles of weeds. It was a big
help. I gifted her with some herbs and nettles
before she went home.

The weather was once again beautifully warm and
bright, so I continued clearing the garden in the
afternoon. More tomato plants were pulled up
and more 'garden leftovers' found: many new shoots
of Lemon Balm parked themselves in the large plot.
I let them be, prefering to harvest them along. Their
refreshing fragrance was an added joy as I worked
along. I also weeded other parts of the garden and
brought in more herbs. Our Salad Burnette looked
the best yet. I harvested a generous handful for
the our salads and soups.

Wow! It was a glorious day today...bright sun and blue skies. Early afternoon I marched out to tackle clearing
the garden. Talls weeds were everywhere (ugh!), but
there was a bright note: due to a week of nearly solid
rain, the weeds pulled out effortlessly! What a boon!
With zest and enthusiasm I began to 'speed weed,'
extricating the many unwanteds and throwing them onto
a debris pile. I worked most of the afternoon bidding
a fond farewell to weed population and happily
discovering plants that were still food. It is always fun
to find stray candidates for eating. Today I found
a few Bok Choi stalks that were still sporting edible
leaves. There was also a lone arugula plant that begged
picking. What could I say? Into the house it went, along
with other herbs that I found. Later in the day I pulled
several of our leeks...nice-looking, handsome ones
they were. Afterall, they must live up to their name,
King Richard! I also unearthed (due to weeding)
several onions that had escaped harvest at least two
months ago. They were a happy surprise, also!
Nearly all the tomato plants left the garden today.
It was a big job, but I did it!

It rained heavily (again) in the night, but thankfully
the sky cleared by morning. Though the ground
was sopping wet, I marched out into the garden
to pick a few treasures: various kale varieties,
herbs, and a very few tomatoes. Everything looked
happy after the rain, shimmering with delight as the
sun shone on watered leaves. I looked at our sage
(which decided to be a bush this year) and felt
that I had better harvest it before a frost captures
it. So, I went to work on clipping the steams, some
of which were at least a foot long. The leaves were
stout and plentiful. I have never seen/grown such
beautiful sage. The harvest filled a large basket
as headed inside to be washed and later air-dried.
We will savor the sage during the winter as a fond
reminder of our 2012 garden.

Later this afternoon I headed out to harvest more
grapes. The sun was still bright and I took my small
garden cart for the trek to the school's football field
so that I could access the grapes that had grown
over the fence. Though there was a game in progress, I proudly marched with my cart and began
my own 'sport.' Thankfully the grapes had survived
the recent rains fairly well. The only damage I could
see was related to hornets that obviously had been
enjoying the purple beauties as much as we. However, I did not mind sharing them, since there
were so many. In about an hour I had picked 22.5
pounds. I considered it a good haul!

The rain subsided this morning, so I went out
into the garden to see what was growing around.
A quick survey was encouraging: kale varieties
still going strong, Indy Gold Wax Beans still
producing, Kentucky Pole Beans still sporting
many pods, leeks and scallions looking good,
a few tomatoes holding on, Kohlrabi growing
larger, herbs in good shape, grapes gorgeous,
nettles happy everywhere, Red Amaranth so
tall that they are bowing down, lovage up and
running again, Jerusalem Artichokes still blooming
and heading toward a record crop, beets looking
great, and a few stray Golden Delicious apples
that look almost good enough to eat! I filled
baskets of assorted live wonders and marched
into the house to begin food preparations.
Shopping in the backyard is such fun!


Heavy rain!

The rain finally stopped enough to go outside
and do some gardening. I picked more grapes
plus herbs and assorted greens. For the most
part, I am wading through the garden as the
'weeds' and assorted brush have long taken
over. Suffice to say, finding food is a unique
venture. Thankfully our kale is finally growing
well as are the leeks and scallions. Some herbs
seem to be taking off as well. Overall, we still
have a goodly supply of backyard edibles!

It was a weekend of heavy rain. I thought that
it would never stop!

It rained today, so gardening was put on hold.

Today I began our grape harvest at the lower
end of the garden. I had to climb onto the compost
pile in order to reach the grapes, most of which
were draped on the fence. Other clusters happily
found their way up into the branches of our lilac
bush. What fun it was to pick these purple beauties!
As I pulled them from the vines, their fragrance
was breath-taking! After only a short time, I had
a large basketful, weighing just over ten pounds!
In the evening we washed and picked over the
harvest and then blended the grapes for fruit
leathers, filling a dehydrator. What a thrill!

It is difficult to keep up with myself inside and
out. Because of abundant rains last month,
gardening has been difficult. I harvest between
the rain drops, being thankful for ripening tomatoes,
herbs, beans, and peppers. For the most part,
however, this year's garden has been the worst that
I have experienced. Many locals report the same.
Dry followed by wet weather shocked most crops,
stunting, if not destroying their growth. Sometimes
I walk around the plants and mourn the losses: no
zucchini, summer squash, Happy Rich Asian Greens,
and cucumbers. Our kale and beets struggled all
summer but with the cooler weather are now
coming to life.

A couple of weeks ago I dug up our garlic. Due to
rainy weather, I had to harvest them 'overdone, '
i.e. when some of the bulbs were starting to split.
It was disappointing, but at least we have good-sized
garlic and plenty of it. Suffice to say, we love our

Our tomatoes are ripening surprisingly well. We
are enjoying many Sungolds, Zebras, and Peach
(my favorites!). We also have some red cherries,
Brandywines, and new to us are Jaspers- a large
cherry that looks similar to a Cherokee Purple. They
are abundant and excellent tasting.

Our herbs are happy, happy! Our sage plant has
out-done itself. It has become more like a bush!
The herbs make such a wonderful addition to our
salads and soups. We are drying many of our herbs
to use in the winter. Though not as good as fresh,
at least they are better than store-bought ones.

With the fall season coming on, I have been
carefully watching our grapes. What a surprise!
The July rains have plumped them up pretty.
Soon they will be ready to harvest. In one way
I a look forward to picking them, but at the same
time I shudder to think how I will accomplish this
humungus task! The vines, along with underbrush,
have grown considerably. It will be a herculean task
to reach the vines plus great skill to extricate the
grapes from the tangle of vines. I can not imagine
how many pounds of grapes are on the vines this
year! I may need to solicit pickers. Any volunteers?
Free samples included!

8/10, 11
Rain today! Beautiful rain for two days...soft-falling,
misty, periods of heavier downpours. Thank you,

For several weeks I have needed to start a new
compost bin, but due to limited (or perhaps the
right) time, I have been putting it off. Today it
happened. I was up early and went out to tackle
the job. Thankfully it was an easy do. I dug out the
remaining compost from Bin #1 and strategically
placed it around the garden, blessing certain plants
that I felt needed an extra boost. Once the bin was
cleared out, I made a bed with the left over straw.
Next I cut all our oregano that was going to seed
(my, but it was TALL!) and carefully laid it on top of
the straw. What a great way to start a new compost
pile. Now it was ready to receive all the kitchen
scraps. I gladly emptied bag upon bags of
accumulated 'rottens' on top of the new
straw/oregano bed. What a thrill. The job went
quickly and easily in the morning cool. Now the bin
is ready for action. Hooray! Later in the day I picked
more St. John's Wort flowers to make massage oil.
It is a slow, tedious task, but an important one,
since the massage oil is a precious medicinal.

This morning I ventured outside while it was cool and
quickly laid out the remainder of the straw mulch.
Though it did not go far, at least it will help protect
some of the plants. Overall, the garden is looking
wonderfully verdant and productive. Tomato plants
are blossoming, the peas are 'pea-ing' well, and the
greens are growing tall. Our herbs continue to be
extra beautiful this year. I guess the spring/summer
deluges have made the difference.

Wow! What a thrill. Our blackberries are ripe!
I discovered them today on one of my tours through
the backyard. We may have a small plot of land, but
there is a lot happening on it. The abundant rains
have turned our yard into a veritable green paradise.
This morning I picked more herbs and greens.
Suffice to say, we are eating very well!

After much anticipation, I went out in the
garden this morning for the great 'unveiling,' i.e.
taking the row cover off of our assorted greens.
As I 'lifted the veil' I was supremely surprised/happy
to find that our two Arugula varieties, Prize Pac Choi,
Tatsoi, Beedy's Kale, Collards, Red Russian Kale,
and Sea Kale were growing tall! Wow. What a thrill.
Bringing these greens to maturity requires diligence
so that they can survive flea beetle attacks. The only
way to protect them is to seal them under row covers.
I have learned this fact the hard way. Now I am
resigned to undertaking the extra work in order to
gain the prize: gorgeous green favorites. I treated
myself to random harvesting of the taller stems
and then gladly 'put them back to bed.' That I
finally was able to grow Sea Kale is a great blessing
to me. I look forward to tasting this exotic variety.
I am told that it is a perennial, so we will see. If so,
I will be glad to welcome it back each year!

Today was another day of working the garden
here and there. I topped off the day by staring
to harvest our St. John's Wort flowers so that
we can make our annual supply of massage oil.
The oil is a wonder for aching muscles. We have
several St. John Wort plants now growing in the
garden, many of which have shown up on their
own. Evidently they love our backyard and that
suits me!

Everyday that the sun shines and I am able, I am
out in the garden weeding, planted some late
arrivals, and harvesting greens and beautiful
herbs. It is a blessing to see the garden growing
so well. I have never seen the backyard so
verdant and vibrant.

Though the garden has been wet due to all the
recent rain, I went out to weed. The ground was
so moist that I was able to 'speed weed' which
pleased me immensely. Many weeds were
extricated in record time. Hooray!

No gardening again today, because of rain, rain,
and more rain!

More rain today! I like rain, but not this much!

No gardening today due to HEAVY rain!

What a beautiful morning! Eagerly I made my way
out to the garden early to plant more seedlings
and look at the greens which are growing under
the row cover. Upon lifting the row cover, I was
glad to see the Arugula, Pac Choy, and Tatsoi
doing well. Then I lifted the other side of the 'veil'
to check the Beedy's Camden Kale, Happy Rich,
and Champion Collards. So far so good! Soon
I will need to thin them out, but for now I tucked
them 'back in bed.' I planted the rest of the celery
and then replanted our beets that were drowned in
the last, great Maine Monsoon: Chioggia and Bull's
Blood. Later I seeded some Cocozelle Squash
in one of our piles of antique manure. Before
coming in for lunch, I picked the ripe strawberries:
four beauties with more on the way.

It was a gray, overcast, cold morning which was
not inspiring for garden work, though perfect
weather for planting seedlings. Since we were
juicing today, I postponed working in the garden
until later in the day. Instead, I picked a large
basket full of fresh herbs and nettles. What
a trill to have such lovely greens!

After lunch, I dug holes for the tomato seedlings
and late this afternoon I nestled them into the
ground. I am running out of room, so the plants
are closer together than usual. Hopefully they
will get along and produce well!

The rain began to subside today. What a relief!
We prayed that our garden would not drown.
When there was a break in the downpours, I
went outside to survey the yard. It appeared that
all was well, in fact some seeds were starting to
poke up through the soil. The rains did cause the
pole beans to jump up higher as well as our greens,
onions, and herbs. Despite the prolonged deluge,
our strawberries continue to ripen, though one large
beauty had been eaten by a giant slug. Not nice.

Heavier rain!

Heavy rain


Pole beans are up, strawberries are ripening and
the garden is growing happy! What a thrill. I continue
to weed and plant. Today I seeded some Chioggia
beets and weeded our newly-up Beedy's Kale and
Happy Rich. The collard seedlings are holding well.
Our Sugar Snap Peas are sprouting.

It was a grey day today, thus perfect for working
outside in the garden. I planted beets in our upper
garden plot near the house: Touchtone Golden
Beets, Bulls Blood, Cylindrical, and Egyptian Flat
(should be interesting!!) plus my favorite green-
Tres Fine Marchiette. We will watch them grow
from our dining room window!

It was a semi 'early-up-and-out' for me today.
The morning was overcast and somewhat cool
which encouraged garden work. I took advantage
of the weather by planting and moving 'antique manure' around. Into the ground went seeds of Mammouth Melting Snow Peas before the skies turned dark
with accompanied showers. Further gardening was
adjourned until after lunch, when the sun came out.
I continued my prep work as I broadcasted some
powdered lime in order to sweeten the soil. Another
day I will add more soil amendments. My grand
finale for the day was planting some long-wanted
Indy Gold Wax Beans plus some pelleted Green Romaine Lettuce. Hopefully the pelleted variety
will behave better, since historically lettuce does
not grow well for me from seed. Stay tuned for
the report!

Today I was up early and went out to the garden
to harvest oregano and lovage for market. I happily
bagged twenty one bunches of oregano and nine
bunches of lovage for later delivery to Crown of
Maine Organic CoOperative. In my own small way,
I am happy to be part of the Maine 'flow of food!'

I also tackled the peas, going under the barn to pull
out our pea fence. Thankfully, pounding in the stakes
and installing the fence was quick and easy. After
manuring the ground, I planted a generous amount
of Sugar Snap Peas.

It was a bright, sunny day today...a great day to
garden. I was out early to start planting. Into the
ground went our new pepper seedlings. I also
prepared the soil for the celery seedlings and
pulled a few weeds. It seems that they are every-
where! I also emptied compost and then checked
to see if one of our older bins was ready to use.
Wow! What a thrill! I peeked under the straw
cover to find gorgeous, rich compost!! I was
delighted. I quickly put it to work around the
herbs. I'm sure they will be very happy.

Late this afternoon I planted our celery seedlings
and our new Greek Oregano, a gift from our friends
at 'Roots and Shoots' greenhouses. Once the plants
were snugged in the ground, I gave them a hefty
dose of newly-ripe compost. It was then time to
call it a day!

Today I finished the heavyily weeded area in
our upper garden. Wow. What a thrill to have it
cleaned up! I then planted the parsley seedlings
and worked some of the herb beds. Earlier
this morning I harvested a huge basket of
nettles to use in my new 'Nettle 'Nola' (grain-ola)
plus dehydrate for making our own powdered
'wild greens.' I also transplanted our St. John's
Wort that had found a home in a stray five-gallon
bucket in the backyard. I placed it with its siblings
in the lower herb garden. They should be happy
together. All in all, life on the farm is fun!

At the Farmers' Market yesterday we bought
some seedlings: Curly Parsley, Ventura Celery,
and three types of peppers (yellow, chocolate,
and purple) plus some King Richard Leeks. I
love the King Richards! I planted them today
and will tackle the other seedlings another day.
I am still weeding (!) and preparing the soil,
using more of the 'antique' horse manure left
over from last year.

Mornings I am up early to continue the exercise of
weeding. It is a time of quiet contemplation as I
engage the soil and talk to YHVH. Doing so, makes
the work light as well as profitable. I have nearly
cleared the whole garden so that I can proceed
with planting. While working, I was blessed with the
visitation of several birds, butterflies, and bees.
Their presence is a good sign, considering that
many parts of the country are strangely lacking
these normal visitors.

A few days of rain helped to boost life in the
garden. Most of our herbs are coming on strong.
I continue to 'speed weed' when possible, pulling
up ugly "Switch Grass" and assorted unwanteds.
Many dandelions had to go. However, I saved the
roots! Daily I am bringing in large buckets of
'dandy' roots to wash and dehydrate. A few have
also found their way into our smoothies and soups.
What fun!

It was a bright, sunny day today, so I headed out
outside to start some serious gardening. I weeded
plus planted. Into the ground went seeds of Beedy's
Kale, Red Russian Kale, Arugula (Roquette and Sylvester), Tatsoi, and Pac Choi. I also planted our
new Champion Collards seedlings. Once all was
in the ground, I sealed them in under a row cover
to eliminate flea beetle fallout. The extra work (ugh!)
is worth the effort. Later in the day I harvested some
assorted herbs. Our stinging nettles are picture-
perfect...very happy to grow underneath the lilac
bushes and near the compost piles plus other
areas of the yard. Suffice to say, we have more than
an ample supply of these nutritious 'wilds.'

It rained most of the week! Heavy downpours
literally dampened the gardening spirit. Between
storms, I picked happy herbs and friendly nettles.
The nettles are growing quickly...like weeds! I
am bringing in baskets full to eat and dehydrate.

It was a beautiful, sunny day today. I celebrated
the break in the weather by harvesting some
herbs and doing a little work in the garden. More
birds are arriving in our yard daily. Today I was
delighted to see Robins, Goldfinches, and female
Cardinals. Each day when I'm out in the yard, I
am serenaded by the coo-ing of resident Mourning

Today I surveyed the yard to see what was up
(literally!). I was pleased to see that our Jerusalem
artichokes are now surfacing. I also discovered
that our one and only Live Forever is back. I
picked a stem for lunch. On my rounds, I saw
that many young Queen Ann's Lace (Wild Carrot)
are growing well. I dug a few plants and happily
brought them in for juicing today. What a great
juice it was: many greens (nettles, wild carrot,
lovage, oregano, parsley, lemon balm, dandelion,
beet greens) plus carrots, and celery. We
savored our 'gourmet juice' with great satisfaction.
Wild is wonderful!

Rainy days are keeping me inside. Hopefully
the rains will subside, so that I can start planting.

As time allows, I go out in the garden and work
around: composting, uncovering our herbs,
weeding, and generally welcoming back our
plants! I was happy to see several bees plus
a monarch butterfly today! What a treat!

I brought in our first harvest of nettles today!
We used them in a delicious, green smoothie!
I was delighted to see some female Cardinals

Today was a day of weeding. Assorted unwanteds
were cleared out! I also harvested our first dandelions
and pulled up some fresh garlic 'left-overs' from last
year. How exciting and how good!

A beautiful, sunny day today. I decided to finish
tackling the blackberry growth along the fence,
pulling out suckers and trimming back the main
stalks. It was a bit of a tussle but well worth the
effort, since it curbed the on-going blackberry
invasion of our garden. I also cleared/trimmed/
raked the Jerusalem Artichoke bed. There is
no sign of the 'chokes' yet. Historically they are
'late arrivals' to our garden party!

Our plum trees are blooming. What a
glorious sight!

Beautiful day today! I ventured out to poke
around the garden for awhile.

The weather is so beautiful that I have been
working in the garden here and there for several
days. Compost, clean up, and winter recovery
work. It is an on-going job but a happy one!

Wow! What a beautiful day! A burst of warmth
greeted me as I ventured out this morning to
hang out a load of wash (#2 for the season.) I
glanced out over the yard but decided to refrain
from 'going gardening' until later in the day.

We celebrated the warm by eating our lunch
outside (#1 for the season.) By now the sun was
high and temps were into the 70's. We relished
in the warm as we ate another one of our Super
Soups and topped it off with a home-made nut
pate. Suffice to say, we eat well at The Living
Way! As much as possible, we make the effort
to be ultimately healthy!

After lunch I launched into my gardening gear:
trimming the dead growth from our patches of
mint and oregano. While doing so, I noticed
leaves of green peeking out of some of our
mulched herbs. Curious, I pulled back some of
the straw and found bright green stems of marjoram
hiding. I was intrigued if not thrilled. I considered
pulling off the protective mulch but was hesitant
since we still may have cooler days. Besides, the
marjoram was yet 'sealed' with a layer of ice. Hence,
I decided not to distrub the natural process. Soon
enough it will be time to uncover these beauties.
In the meantime, we welcome seeing them again!

The spring soil was wet enough that I found myself
weeding furiously. Customarily-tenacious weeds
pulled up effortlessly. Such ease of operation led
to a herculean job done in less than a half hour.
Piles of uprooted 'unwanteds' (some of my favorites)
dot the garden, waiting pick-up for the refuse pile.
Tomorrow is another day.

Warm and sun drew me outside today to survey
the garden. Suffice to say, there is a lot of work to
do! Remnants of last year's growings sit, stand, and
lie on the ground, waiting attention. As a vote of
confidence, I broke off some dead stems and
marched them to the refuse pile. I also raked some
of the lower herb garden and surrounds. Reclaiming
the garden appears like a daunting task at this point.
We will pray for help!

As I gazed at the garden, our next door neighbor
greeted me in friendly fashion. They survived the
winter well with a pellet stove, being glad to pull
back on heating oil. There is no question about it.
Thrift is in. Our neighbor also allowed that they were
planning on having a small garden this year. This
is a decided departure for them, since they profess
to be SADers. Maybe they are converting. We will
keep praying for them!

Good news: our nettles are coming to life! They
are sporting tiny green leaves. I welcomed them
back with enthusiasm!

It was an overcast day with misting rain as we headed
to Clinton to pick up our FedCo Seeds order. This annual pilgrimage is one that we make with great
delight. Laid back and unpretentious, FedCo boasts
some of the best organic seeds, trees, and tubers
in the world. What a thrill to have all of this in our own
backyard! Familiar faces greeted us as we stepped
through the warehouse door. Much to our surprise,
the place was strangely quiet. We had missed the
crowd by a few hours. So much for capturing eager
seed buyers in action or chance-meetings with local
farmer friends. We resigned ourselves to strolling
the aisles in leisure, solo style, taking time to poke
through certain piles of seed packets in a 'spur-
of-the-moment' fashion. Casually we tossed in
(organic) Indy Gold Rush Wax Beans, Kentucky
Wonder Pole Beans, Multicolored Pole Beans, and
Early Wonder Tall Top Beets.