Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Country Homemaker Hop- Week 12

Hello Sunshine!

This week has been busy, productive and exciting.  

The greenhouse move was just in time to beat a fantastic snow drop.  We got the backyard's terraced hillside tilled and amended, ready for seeds, seedlings, and one of my upcoming beehives...

I took this picture today.  The snow is still with us... and that's unusual two days after a snow here.   I am sure it will be gone before the weekend, but I like it to linger.  It makes everything so bright.

Check out my new heavy duty shelves.  I was so proud of myself that I got them put together all by myself, but when I rolled them out to the greenhouse door, they were 6" too tall so I had to wait for poor dear Jerry to get home and help me tilt these HEAVY things under the eaves and doorway to get them inside.  Lol.  

We had several days warning about that BIG wet storm so we had plenty of time to prepare and make use of the water.  I layed in fertilizer for the fruit trees, grapes, almonds, and berries and some Dr. Earth for the new terraced beds in back.  We are more than doubling our garden space this year, and that new space will incorporate lots of herbs and bee friendly plants.  I am getting excited about all the possibilities.  

When the storm hit, we were stuck inside.  After about 24 hours, I get some sort of "nesting" disorder and start stripping out and cleaning everything.  The hubby does too.  He usually heads off to his barn/laboratory, but it was just way too cold out there this weekend.  So we worked together and got some long needed "thinning out" done. 

Our home hasn't been this clean and clutter free in a long time.  I attacked the living room, upstairs closets, cabinets, bathrooms, and tile grout, while my hubby Jerry steam cleaned the entire second floor of our home and dusted.

I don't think the floors have ever been brighter either.  He used that experimental batch of homemade laundry detergent that I mixed up a few weeks ago.  The one that includes both a bar of Fels-Naptha and a bar of Zote' per batch.  I call it recipe #2...  since I am still experimenting...

Recipe #2
2 c. borax
2 c. super washing soda
1/4 c. baking soda
1 bar zote'
1 bar fels-naptha

It's pretty potent stuff.  It took out tough automotive stains like grease and transmission fluid  from his jeans last week.   

  Those Victory Garden seedlings are growing so fast I am amazed.  

Adding the vermiculite must really be the key because that's the only thing I changed in the recipe this year and I had germination of several varieties including tomatoes in 2 -3 days WITHOUT heating mats.  

Seriously.  I was a little concerned that they'd all get too leggy before long, but I have 4" pots arriving Friday that they will all be separated into until transplant into the garden.  

I put them all outside in the greenhouse today for the sunshine, but I will pull the seedlings back inside before temps inside get below 69 degrees.  

According to the Victory Gardener, the tiny tender stems should not be hardened off until after they have developed their first set of true leaves.  I have none yet.   Here's a few containers full... 
 cosmic purple carrots...
 vidalia onions
 San Marzano tomato
This is my best little greenhouse helper.  Without this little wire free digital temp gauge, I'd be lost on frosty nights...   What have YOU been up to this week???


  1. The seeds really are coming along!

  2. Your seedlings are looking great! I'm surprised the snow is still lingering around, ours didn't last at all. So, I have been very disappointed with homemade laundry soap, it doesn't get hubby's clothes clean at all. Did you do anything different besides using two bars of soap?

    1. I sent you an e-mail with the recipe above, but I have heard lots of similar feedback. I think that hard water, mineral content, and washing machines influence the success of homemade detergents. They are less harsh on our bodies, and perhaps not as tough on stains as the phosphate based commercial detergents. I love Tide, but I'd like to get away from the strong chemicals in it. I hope you can find one that works for you too.

  3. Everything looks wonderful Heidi! Beautiful job you two!!!
    xo Deb

    1. Thank you Deb. We are sure trying. I still have to master transplanting from these containers... I am crossing my fingers. lol.

  4. Thanks Dolly. We are sure working hard. I am hopeful for a larger harvest than last year.

  5. I love the new background on your blog! Very Springy! Where did you find the Victory Garden clipart? I've been looking for the gardening and canning clipart from the 30's & 40's and haven't come up with anything. We are slightly jealous of your snow, it looks gorgeous!

  6. Tiffany @ No Ordinary HomesteadMarch 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    My friend inroduced his liquid fertilizer couple of weeks ago, hope to share it to you soon. I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I'd love for you to drop by and join in.


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