Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Picking Up the Pace

It's February already and the weather is going to be fairly warm for the next couple of weeks so I'm starting to get the garden boxes ready for planting. When the sun is out, it makes me excited to stick my hands in the soil and start planting seeds.  So....

I cleaned out the remaining storage onions and Purple Haze and White Satin carrots in this box.

Will need to rebuild this one... This is the first box we built when we moved here. It has served us well for seven years and needs some new boards.  When we originally put this raised box together, we paid top dollar for the lumber, sighted the edges of each board to make sure they were perfectly straight and constructed a beautifully square box.  This time around, I'm using culled lumber I found at the local hardware store and paid $2.00 per 2" x 10" x 12' piece. Yes there are a few bends and chips in the boards, but hey, when you add soil, water, potential trees falling on it, and then the husband hitting it with the tractor....cheap lumber is a "good thing".

My feral swarm of honey bees didn't survive the winter and I'm sad about that.  I'll start fresh this spring and with a little help from the local beekeeping groups, I hope to have a thriving bee colony that will pollinate my garden and produce some delicious honey this year.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Urban Farm Handbook and Challenge

I just finished scouring my new copy of Urban Farm Handbook by Annette Cottrell over at Sustainable Eats and Joshua McNicoles a seasoned gardener and journalist. They have a written a book that is extremely engaging and makes me want to organize myself to be the best I can be at raising my own foods and supporting agriculture where everyone wins. The information in their book is easy to read and in no way intimidating. After finishing each chapter, I say to myself  "I get it!" and you will too. They have also included many seasonal recipes, producer profiles, and some awesome reference lists.

The best part is that Annette has set up the Urban Farm Handbook Challenge that starts now and runs for 12 months. Each month there is a different challenge activity that is suited to the season (yes! pun intended). Get the book or join the challenge or do both!