Garden Confessions

DSC_0097True confessions – I have not yet started a single seed for this season.

That’s right. Here it is the second week of March and there isn’t any sign of potting soil, seed pots or grow lights.

Nada.

Nothing.

And what’s worse – I haven’t even ordered my seeds yet.

Nope.

Not even one.

Last year’s garden was such a dismal, wet disaster that it’s hard to think about starting again.

I worked so hard and got so little in return.

A year ago I was filled with hope and expectation – it was going to be the best garden year ever!

But rain and more rain and even more rain drowned most of the vegetables and my excitement.

The weeds and bugs took care of the rest.

Nope, not gonna do it again.

But it feels like spring.

The sun is shining.

The temperatures are climbing and the warm breezes are stirring something deep inside.

You know… it’s not too late to start peppers and tomatoes…

…they are forecasting an early spring…

…and I can’t harvest what I don’t plant.

Besides, what would summer be without fresh from the garden veggies?

Okay – where’s my Baker Creek Seed Catalog?

I hope the tam jalapeno seeds haven’t sold out yet!

Do I still have potting soil?

Maybe there’s a flicker of hope in this gardener’s heart after all.

 

First of the Garden Produce

Would you believe that we had fresh kale and lettuce from the garden already?!

That’s right – on March 31 – which is officially the earliest we have ever eaten from the garden – we had our first salad.

lettuceI was going to publish this yesterday – but then I realized that some of you might think it was a hoax because of April Fool’s Day.

But believe me- this is no joke.

So how did we get to a harvest so quickly when this is the time most people are just getting things planted?

Remember back last fall when I happened to mention in a post that Buddy and I transplanted some late cabbage, broccoli, kale and lettuce into a thrown together cold frame of cement blocks and old windows?

broccoliWe had hoped to harvest fresh veggies into the winter – but that didn’t work so well. Everything stopped growing, some even looked dead, so I called the experiment a mistake and forgot about it.

But then the weather warmed up this spring and some of those plants perked right up and started to grow!

it was a miracle!

cabbage

And now, for the first time ever – instead of playing catch up with my Amish neighbors –  I’m ahead of them!

Never mind that I had to start last October and it was kind of an accident.

Hey – I win is a win!

And fresh veggies the last day of March is most definitively a win!

Before the Grass Comes In

IMG_2168I’ve discovered that there is a new season on the farm – one that our city cousins don’t necessarily encounter.

I call it “Before the grass comes in.”

This season happens directly after the snow melts and before the grass greens up and starts growing – which signifies the start of the spring busy season.

I know the season has arrived when I hear  –

“Those varmint cedar trees need to be picked up and burned before the grass comes in.”

“I’ve got to get that baler fixed before the grass comes in.”

“Those locust trees down by the pond should be taken care of before the grass comes in.”

“I really should burn the ditches before the grass comes in.”

“There’s lots of brush and thorns to clean up from that last snow storm before the grass comes in.”

With each added minute of daylight as spring approaches, the list gets longer and my husband gets busier.

And I will admit that he’s not the only one with a list.

I know that as soon as the grass turns green all indoor projects will be put on hold until the ground freezes next fall.

There’s a shower that needs to be fixed, a quilt that needs to be finished and a basement that we’ve been slowly working on all winter.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if these projects sit undone. It’s hard to get motivated to work inside when the sun is shining and the temperatures are climbing!

After all – the grass is greening up!

Sowing Seeds

I’ve been sowing seeds this week.

Hundreds of seeds.

Seed

Tiny little bits of black, white, or brown.

Tomato, pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage.

The first of thousands of seeds that I will sow this season – beans, corn, radishes, lettuce, kale….the list goes on and on.

Not every seed will grow.

Seed flats

Of the ones that do – not every one will produce.

Some will be eaten by varmints, ravished by bugs or destroyed by weather.

But still I sow, knowing that some will grow and flourish and bear much fruit.

I sow in faith, believing that in these tiny seeds there is a potential for an abundant harvest.

Tomatos

These aren’t the only seeds we sow in life.

Everyday I have the opportunity to sow seeds of kindness, of love, of grace. Seeds that could have eternal impact. Seeds that could change lives. Seeds that could bring the gospel to hurt and needy people.

Not every seed will sprout.

Not every seed will grow.

But still – I must sow knowing that some will grow and flourish and bear much fruit.

And I must have faith, believing that in each seed of kindness, each seed of love, each seed of grace, there is a potential for an abundant harvest.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Crepes

DSC_0004The work load increases on the farm as the weather warms up.

The hours of daylight in the evening after school and work are the busiest, making it hard for the family to sit down for a meal.

One of my favorite meals for nights like these are crepes.

What’s a crepe? It’s a fancy word for a thin pancake that acts like a tortilla shell.

The batter can be mixed up in advance.  Then I stand at the stove and fry up fresh crepes to serve the troops as they file in from gardening, mowing, fixing fence, or bringing in the laundry.

For fillings I’ll set out whatever I can find in the fridge – left-over meat, cheese, rice, beans, lettuce, veggies. You can be creative with this and use up those bits of left-overs.  It’s always first come – first served on crepe night.

When they’ve had their fill of savory crepes – they can move on the sweet ones. I use the same batter but we fill it with fruit or pudding.

Combinations like strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar are favorites here.  Chocolate pudding and whipped cream is yummy, too! No pudding? Just throw some chocolate chips on your whipped cream and wrap it up!

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Place the batter in the fridge for 1 hour. (You can skip this step – but the batter may tear some when you try to flip the crepes.  If I’m in a hurry – I just cook them since my crew doesn’t really care how they look!)

Heat a small non- stick pan. Add some butter and pour a spoonful of batter in the middle of the pan. Swirl it around to coat the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds and flip carefully with a spatula. Cook another 30 seconds and serve hot to hungry family members!

If you have batter left when the troops are fed, it can either be refrigerated for a few days to use later, or you can fry up the extra crepes and keep them in the fridge up to a week or the freezer up to a month.

Enjoy!