Seeds of change

Good Morning all. I think we have some sunshine in our forecast the next few days! Lets hope so. I have been working outside getting the garden beds ready for planting when we get a break in the weather. I think if we did not have this wind it would seem much nicer out there but when that wind blows the chill in the air from the snow still in the mountains goes right through you. Every morning when I wake up I do hear the birds chirping and that to me is a sign of spring.

I have enclosed some photos of my next great adventure. I will be a distributor of Seed Savers Exchange Heirloom seeds. They are most wonderful seeds and I have been using them for the last 4 years. They are hearty, disease resistant, higher in nutrition, and not cross pollinated or genetically altered. I have a link to their web site on the blog so check them out and let me know if you would like to order some from me, I will have them here in the greenhouse on a rack and ready for sale by mid may so call me or email me anytime and come over and take a look. I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you switch to these seeds. They are $2.75 per package and I will cover the shipping and tax for you!

Have a nice Sunday – happy planting!

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Flowers, Butterflies, and Sunshine

I just spent an amazing weekend in Vegas at the Bellagio- these shots are from their recent butterfly and flower show in the Botanical Gardens there. Anytime you get to Vegas I highly recommend seeing the gardens – I love walking through them but this time was especially uplifting after our long, dark, cold winter. Seeing all the spring flowers popping with color, the scent of lily, honeysuckles, hyacinth, and all the beautiful species of butterflies. It was magic! Then walking outside and feeling some sunshine on your face was perfect.

I did happily return back to our majestic mountains and fresh clean air, with a rejuvenated attitude and a big hope for spring temps and sunshine. Today did not really live up to that expectation, the snow, wind and just plain cold temps made me want to curl up inside all day with a large cup of tea. But then I made my way out to the greenhouse and walked into a happy, warm place full of plants, flowers, herbs and veges growing as if they lived in a warm climate. It lifted my spirits. I think we will have a warming trend coming soon, I know we all need it! Cheers for now.

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Queen “Bee” for a day!

Last week I attended a full day of Bee Keeping Class. It was amazing. These creatures are amazing – all they do is work all the time! This was the first time the hives had been opened all winter so the bees were not that thrilled to come out and see cold weather and no new plants to get pollen from, but we were amazed to peak inside the hives. The bees all crowd into the middle of the hive and survive on their honey stores from the previous summer. When the weather breaks and spring comes they start collecting pollen and making new honey stores and of course fertilizing their queen.

We have our hives assembled and painted and are just patiently awaiting the arrival of our bees in May! I will keep you all updated of my daily life with bees and hopefully will have some honey of my own to show for it this fall! No matter what we are able to harvest I know this is going to be a great learning and growth experience for me.

I will write more later – gotta run and plant some more seeds!

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My friend has published a book!!

Book launch party photo by Greg Yaskot

This was such a great event I attended Wednesday night. My friend Kate Yaskot published a book compiled of the many stories and characters that live in our valley. It is a great read and full of wonderful information about our home. Get out and get a copy of this book you will love it… go to Dark Horse Books or Tony’s Pizza to buy a copy or email me and I will have Kate contact you! I am even featured in the book – a great story about high altitude gardening.

Speaking of high altitude- the spring is not happening the way we might like it! Snow, snow and more snow. It is that really heavy wet snow, so it is not that fun to shovel! But the greenhouse is doing great – everything is sprouting up and it is time to replant the first round of seeds already. Plus it is so nice on a crappy day to walk in there and feel the warmth, smell the soil and see all the green!

I should have some parsley and basil for sale in the next few weeks – I will post when it is available. You can get it from me or at Victor Valley Market throughout the summer months.

Well I am off to Twin Falls for a bee keeping class. I am looking forward to learning more, picking up my new hive boxes and a few other supplies and getting out of the snow for the weekend! I will take some pictures and post them on the site! Also – more exciting news – I will be having some help this summer. .. My intern’s name is Audrey and she will be here mid April! I am really looking forward to having someone here with me to bounce ideas off, help out and increase Green Ideas productivity. Come on spring!!

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Did you see that moon???

Wow – I hope everyone had a chance this weekend to check out that amazing moon. It is the biggest moon we have had in almost 2 decades. I meant to snap a picture to post but I was too interested in just looking at it and enjoying it. So I guess should review our weather of late. It has been mostly cruddy. There has been wind, rain, snow, huge flake snow and luckly some sun. Alot of our ground snow and roof snow is melting so it is an indication of some type of warm weather to follow. How nice is the daylight savings time… It is lighter so much later but I must say I can’t seem to get in the groove of what time it actually is- I am usually late by a few minutes but then you add the hour to that and it is not even funny.

I have been a busy bee in the green house. All the tomatoes are started, 2 kinds of kale started, all the onion seeds (3 varieties), peppers (3 varieties), broccoli (2 varieties), moss roses, zinnia, and a new addition this year brussel sprouts. Many herbs are already up – chamomile, mint, basil, dill, rosemary, sage, cilantro, parsley. It is just looking so good in there to see some life! We are going to try to complete the new greenhouse this weekend. I will post pictures of that one for sure! It is going to be so wonderful- it is a 10×30 hooped greenhouse. By the way, my friend got one last year and tested it up here for the wind, snow and it did great! So I will be selling that size, a smaller size and a larger size – if you want any details or you want to check mine out email me! We also have one bee hive assembled – and I will be painting that this week so spring is in the air here.

Hope everyone is doing well and starting some seeds of their own. Have a happy day.

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Remembering summer…

A little bird on my window

It is on its way I promise! We are seeing signs everyday that summer will indeed return. Our temps have been high 30’s and low 40’s for the last few days. I see the snow turning to sugar snow and melting so that is another sign. It looks like our temps will stay that way most of the week. Today – our first day of daylight savings time- is nice and sunny. I spent yesterday cleaning the greenhouse, making room for new plants and washing all the pots and containers. That is a good tip by the way… try to make time to wash all your terra cotta containers and any plant containers you will be using this year. I make a solution of warm water, some bleach and dish soap. Use a brush or sponge and clean out all the old dirt and debris then rinse and let dry. This just starts your plants out in a new, fresh environment and kills any bacteria or possible infestation left from the previous season.

Today, there will be more seed planting. I have more tomatoes to plant, more onion seeds, and peppers. It is fun to be out there planting again and even more fun to watch the green growth pop out of the dirt!
Our evenings have still been cold and last night we were wanting some ‘comfort food’ so I will post a fast, easy recipe for homemade chicken pot pies! Yum.
Have a good day all, oh I will also add a link to Seed Savers Exchange – if you can try to order some seeds from them, they are keeping the heirloom population alive!
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Winter is still here

Well Morgan was happy with this mornings fresh snow! Me not so much. We have been getting heavy moisture packed snow for the last few days. It is fine – we need the moisture for the summer but I think I speak for most of us we are ready to see some spring! Temps are warmer in the high 20’s at night and high 30’s everyday so that is nice. When the clouds move away the sunshine and blue skies are there and ready to peak their heads out!

I have been planting seeds everyday. Friday’s plantings were German Chamomile that will be used in two of my bath salts. Saturday we stopped at Cal Ranch store in Rexburg. If you have a ranch store nearby take an hour and go stop by. They had all the baby chicks, baby ducks and rabbits out for sale. I spent some quality time looking over the chicks. I was ready to buy them and set up my cages but Ron mentioned maybe I should try one new venture at a time and this years is the bees- yes he is right but next year I think there are some chickens in our future!! We also checked out all the seeds and new gardening gadgets. It is fun and puts you in the mood for spring! They had some great wildflower collections. I got one but I am thinking I need a few more. Prices were good and they carry quality seeds. The majority of my seeds are heirloom from Seed Savers Exchange of which I am a member but I like to try other varieties every year to see if one works better than another. If you are doing this I suggest marking the seeds when you plant them- I use a popsicle stick and I record the seed variety, date planted and supplier of the seed. Then when I plant my the garden record it all in a gardening journal. I draw a picture of the garden and record where I planted each variety of plants. I use that to make notes about what did good where, what I might want to move next year and what produced the best crop. It is also fun to look back on your gardens over the years.

Well I am off – enjoy your sunday and keep thinking Spring!

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Feeling like Spring

Well yesterday turned out much warmer than we expected. It was in the 40’s and sunny- really felt like spring was on its way! Today started out much the same but the winds picked up, the sun went behind the clouds and the dampness rolled in. Still we are all hopefull that we are turning the corner to the nicer weather! I spent some quality time in the greenhouse. Planting some flower seeds, more herbs and cleaning up pots. I saved some seeds from the pot of moss roses in the picture above. They were given to me to look after from a good friend of mine when she moved. I hope to have a nice pot of flowers from those seeds to give back to her this summer in her new house.

It has been a long winter for all of us… take some time to plant a few seeds, place them in a window that gets some sun and see how much better it will make you feel! Enjoy.

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Two fer Tuesday

Growing in the greenhouse

Hey all. I didn’t get to post yesterday so lets review. Weather wise this week looks like alot of the same. Yesterday was high clouds, mid twenties, with some winds picking up in the afternoon. I think we all thought a storm was blowing in but nothing yet. Today is much of the same. Sun is trying to peak thru and temps should reach low 30’s.

These petunias have been growing since last May… they spent the summer outside in a pot and have spent the whole winter in the greenhouse. I think they are happy!

As promised, I have a good recipe for slow cooked Beef Burgundy. We had it sunday night with a salad and some homemade bread- yum! I will get that loaded up on the recipe page- great warm winter meal.

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Sunday’s are great

Walking the dogs at the river

Well it was pretty cold last night zero or maybe a little below. However, today turned out beautiful, clear, cold and sunny all day. Temps about 20 at the high but the sun felt great. We took the dogs for a walk down at the river and they had a blast.

Made some bread, a new stew in the crock pot (after we try it tonight if it is worthy I will load it tomorrow!) and some chimichurri sauce. I am starting a recipe section – it will be the third tab over on my front page. Be sure and check it out. I will load the chimicurri sauce in there today. It is a great sauce to use on steaks, chicken or fish. It is traditionally made with parsley, garlic, lemon, olive oil, vinegar and spices but you can change it up and use mint, cilantro, arugula, basil or oregano. It stores in the fridge for up to a month and adds a great punch of flavor to any dish!!

No real greenhouse work today- watered everything and picked some fresh parsley, sage and thyme! Talk to you tomorrow.

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