Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Your Milk Is About Ready To Expire -or- Everything Is Smarter, Are We Getting Dumber Or Just Lazy

    While I was scanning late night TV last night I came across a commercial for a "smart" fridge, one that can actually tell you when your milk is about to expire & you can see the contents while shopping so you know what to buy. Everything now syncs with everything else. We can ask Google what the weather is like before leaving the house, operate our furnace & air so when we get home the house temp is just right, get in our houses without using a key, order food without actually talking to a human & buy groceries online & then just pick them up. You see where I am going with this.
   Are we as a society getting so lazy that we cannot & will not do things for ourselves? Has technology taken over? Yes it has.Do list & letter writing exist anymore? What happened to walking outside to see what the weather is in the morning so you know what jacket to wear? Do we have to be connected all the time? It just seems to be getting worse by the day.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Summer Home Schooling

  Busy is an understatement this time of year. 3 different gallons of wine are brewing, garden starts are growing on the porch, yard work started as of today & school for the summer is being planned.
  We do not stop with the schoolwork in the summer months. We do it a little different than most. Our Daughter attends public school & we also home school. We feel she needs the interaction with other's her age, but do not look forward to head lice, snotty noses & the endless request of our time & money. We needed to figure out something that worked for my Husband & myself as well as Chicken Chick. Weekdays during the school year she attends school & we pray she keeps away from the sickness & lice. During the weekends & summer we home school. We started out teaching her at home when she was 3 & it is still our preferred way for her to learn. If we lived closer to town & had friends with kids her age it would be different, but we don't so we had to compromise.
   I have all of my 2nd grade books ordered & on the way, we have art supplies galore & DVD's that will teach as well as entertain. We'll work in a little yoga to relax & each week she & I will go on a field trip of some kind. Of course gardening is a big part of our teaching. Those life skills will someday come in very handy. She likes to stay busy & this way she is learning as well as being occupied. I hope for the day that she can be home schooled year round, but for now this works for us as a family.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Only Two Hens?

Fruits & Vegetables In Hanging Baskets

7 Fruits And Vegetables You Can Grow In Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets aren't just for flowers. Save  garden space.

March 13, 2017

cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket
It’s time to take your container garden off the ground. Growing vegetables and fruits in hanging baskets frees up space in your garden (and on your back porch) so that you can grow even more plants in a small space. Or even if you’re not worried about space, growing food crops in a hanging planter is still a fun way to add visual interest to your garden—who says veggies can’t be as beautiful as flowers?
(No room? No problem! See how you can grow tomatoes in the driveway, dill on the deck, and peppers on the porch with Rodale's Edible Spots & Pots—get your copy now!)
Of course, not every crop can make it in a hanging basket—watermelons are too heavy and corn is far too tall. But there are still plenty of smaller plants that won't break your basket. Maggie Saska, plant production specialist at the Rodale Institute, suggests vining crops whose fruits are light enough to handle the drooping action without breaking off, as well as smaller upright varieties. 
When choosing your basket, go with one that will be able to support the weight of growing vines and produce, as well as water. A basket that hangs from a chain will be a better bet than a basket with a plastic hook, for example.
Prepare the basket just as you would for planting flowers, with a good potting mix. Saska advises applying a slow-release fertilizer or fish emulsion throughout the summer as it can be difficult for produce to get all the nutrients they need in a container. You’ll also have to be vigilant about watering, especially in the height of summer, because soil in hanging baskets dries out quickly. Consider placement of the basket too, based on what type of crop you're growing. Hanging your planter beneath your porch roof likely won't provide enough sunlight for most crops, for example, but a shepherd's hook or your garden fence will work just fine.
Otherwise, growing produce in hanging baskets isn't much different from growing it in pots on the ground! Here are a few crops that will do well way up high.
strawberries growing in hanging basket
Growing strawberries in a hanging basket is no different from growing them in a pot. Small, sweet alpine strawberries are a good variety to choose since they’ll tolerate partial shade, bear fruits all summer, and require little maintenance. Strawberries have shallow roots, so be sure to water frequently to avoid drought-stressed plants. 
Lettuce is an ideal crop for a hanging basket because it’s lightweight and easy to grow. It likes full sun except during the brutal summer months, when a bit of afternoon shade is essential for keeping the leaves from wilting and turning bitter. Consider interplanting it with strawberries, herbs, or even flowers. Or, create one of these awesome salad balls by attaching two coir planters together and planting lettuce seedlings over the entire surface.

cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket
Cherry Tomatoes
Good news: cherry tomatoes are one of the easiest plants for new gardeners to grow and they’re one of the prettiest veggies to plant in a hanging basket. Choose a determinate (bush) variety, such as Tumbling Tom, that will stay compact as it trails down the sides of the basket. Plant one plant per basket since tomatoes are water and nutrient hogs.
Mexican sour gherkins
Mexican Sour Gherkins
As an alternative to growing regular cucumbers, which can weigh down your hanging basket (unless you harvest them when small), try Mexican sour gherkins. These tiny fruits that resemble mini watermelons are similar to cucumbers in taste, though are actually not a member of the cucumber family. They’re great for pickling, salads, cocktails, or even eating by the handful. Place your basket in a sunny spot and watch the magic happen. (For more planting info, check out this handy growing guide.)  
basil growing in hanging basket
You can grow almost any herb in a hanging basket—basilparsleysagerosemarythymelavenderchives, and mint are some good ones to start with. You can even plant several herbs in one basket. Just be sure to plant the tallest varieties in center so as not to shade out others. (You’ll want to check out these tips for growing an organic herb garden on a budget before you get started, too.) 
growing peas
Peas are one the earliest veggies you can harvest each spring. Consider growing them in a hanging basket if you don’t have your garden soil prepped in time for planting—or just because it’ll make a visually appealing addition to your garden. Water daily to make sure they don’t dry out.
growing green beans
String Beans
Like peas, beans will also trail over the sides of the hanging basket, which makes for easy harvesting. Plant them in a hanging basket just as you would in a regular container. Be sure to pick beans as soon as they’re ready so as not to weigh the basket down unnecessarily. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

First Tornado Warning Of The Year

   This last week while I was computer-less we had our first bout of severe weather. Since this has been another strange winter with barely any cold weather & only a dusting of snow it is not surprising. My Bradford Pears have been bloomed out for over a week, already giving out the terrible smell that they have while the flowers are so pretty. The yard could probably use a good mowing  & I did hear someone off in the distance doing it yesterday.
   Since spring seems to be here so early this year I made it a point to make sure that we are ready for storm season. In tornado alley we get get use to the storms & I pretty much wasn't scared until the Joplin, Mo. tornado a few years back. It's less than an hour west of here & after it hit Joplin I watched on radar as it headed this way. My Husband was trying to get home from K.C. & he had to keep stopping to get out of the weather. That was one time I was thankful for cell phones. I could keep him updated on how it was going.
  This week I replaced batteries in all of the flashlights & weather scanner, The "hidey-hole" was cleaned out & stocked. I took inventory of anything we needed to get in case we were without power.
   Hopefully we will never see another storm so violent so close to us, but being prepared is necessary at all times.

For No Other Reason Than It's a Very Cool Picture

   I came across this local picture a few days ago. It is of Galloway, Mo. It is now part of Springfield. Years ago it was a thriving community. There is a beautiful park across the street from this building which is still standing & for many years was a flea market.
As usual, with progress this little town about dried up. It had turned into an antique shopping area & had several eating spots. Then the new highway came in & limited access from one side & alot of the business moved out. Since then a few bars, a Vet, apartments & lots of new homes have been the majority of what is there now.
   There was a bar called Half-A-Hill that us Northside Springfield kids would go to since no matter what your age it wasn't a problem to get in to. There's now a recycling center there. As our cities grow they destroy the outlying areas & before long most of the charm is gone.