I haven’t blogged much in the last month because we have been working hard to get our raised garden beds built and extended onto some new ground. We are effectively trying to double our vegetable garden space despite being limited by the steep topography and shade from all of the woods. Once we are done, we will put in some new beds in a different area of the yard for the herbs and perennial plants. We also had an extended visit from my grandparents and my grandmother came down with shingles while they were here. That sent me into a tizzy of work, trying to get ready with extra food cooked and the chores and gardening done ahead in case the kids caught chicken pox from her. Their 14-day incubation period ended on Wednesday and they show no symptoms, so I assume they did not catch it from her. We will still continue to watch them until this coming Wednesday, just in case. So the last few weeks have been very busy but very productive.
Living in Western NC, our last frost date is mid-April but we don’t put out the warm weather vegetables until Mother’s Day weekend or after. This past weekend was too cool to plant out (under 55 degrees at night) and The Farmer’s Almanac lists today and tomorrow as the favorable days to get the hot weather plants into the ground. So I will spend tomorrow trying to break the new ground and get the grass/weeds up, finish spreading the 15 cubic yards of topsoil into the new raised beds, amending with azomite and greensand and then transplanting the plants out that were hardened off earlier this week.
I will be transplanting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, winter and summer squash, zucchini, lettuces, melons, hibiscus and a good number of herbs. We will also be putting beans, cowpeas, carrots, lettuce and okra into the ground. None of my beets sprouted, so we will try those again later in the year. Once things are transplanted, the weeding, feeding and soil work on a large scale begins. We also have 5 roosters and a few hens to butcher soon and need to get the outside equipment set up for that. Since next Saturday afternoon is taken up with another scheduled activity, I hope we can accomplish culling the flock next Friday and Saturday morning, as Jeff normally gets off in the afternoon on Fridays.
On the personal front, my husband was able to get a new job in April. He was laid off one year ago today. Eleven months of unemployment was very difficult and the downturn in the economy has greatly affected us. I am grateful that the long period of unemployment is over and that God provided Jeff with a job at a company where he is happy and fits in well. The last year was a good opportunity to fine-tune my penny pinching endeavors and it helped me to weed through some strategies that, while they work, they take up too much time in comparison to the money they save to be useful to me on a regular basis.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.