Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Starting Seeds and Preparing for Spring

 
This week on our homestead we planted English peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and leeks in the garden. Now our last frost date isn't until the end of April. In the greenhouse, I started my herbs, peppers and tomatoes. Am I nuts to think the cold won't kill them? Not really. I far too aware I'm farther north than my previous gardening experience.

Now I could have gone out and spent a small fortune on those seed pots but the Cockeyed Homestead is a shoe string operation. My seed starting pots are made out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls. If more are needed, there are plenty of free newspapers available. FYI (for your information) we also use toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint and dipped in paraffin for fire starter in the wood stove, and also use them for rabbit treat toys. We recycle as much as we can. In fact, it takes us two months to fill three 32-gallon trash cans. Even my empty one liter bottles of tonic water are saved. But I digress.

For frost protection
It's almost the end of February. It will take a few weeks to grow the seeds big enough to transplant from the greenhouse.The plants outside can be covered with sheets to protect them from an overnight frost. Our daytime temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. We even hit the 70 this week. Or for really tender plants, my empty tonic water bottles protect them. We simply cut the bottoms off and place them over the plant in the afternoon before a frost. During the summer, a small hole is drilled into the top and they are inverted as a slow drip watering system for the plants. The water goes where it is needed most...the roots. As an alternative, I can replace the water with either worm, compost, or rabbit poo tea for a slow release fertilizer. If slower release is
For summer drip waterers
needed, a quick trip to my local dollar store for a supply of sponges. Two sponges pack will net twenty sponge inserts in the caps to slow the dispersal down. For a buck and some change for tax, it's a good deal.

Two liter bottles work better, but we don't buy two liter sodas opting for aluminum cans instead. Recycle centers actually pay you to recycle these. Everyone can use a few extra bucks back, right?

I take tonic water for the quinine to help with my nocturnal leg cramps. There is nothing like waking from a deep sleep by Charlie horses. Before the tonic water, I was awakened a couple times a night with these.

Planting, setting seeds, grooming angora and Jersey Woolies has dominated the week. Fifty English peas, ten pounds of russet and red potatoes, forty leeks, onions, and garlic cloves all in the ground. Ten bell peppers, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, ten types of lettuces and spinach, fifteen assorted herbs, and thirty tomato seeds are snug in their pots in the greenhouse just germinating and growing for spring.

How has your week been?

"Y'all have a blessed day."

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