Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beginner Potager Gardener

I've started to plan a garden. I've chosen to take the economical approach and start seedlings of the plants i want to grow indoors, in my basement to be exact. Little did I know how much the cost up front would be. But regardless, i'm thoroughly excited and can't wait to start planting.

I'm going to probably end up planting too many things at first and overwhelm myself but i can't seem to narrow my selection of seeds down any further.
I plan to grow:

a mix of hot peppers
sweet peppers
hybrid tomatoes
cold set tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
lettuce mix
snap peas
garden peas
a selection of herbs

I'm very excited about this but i'm also a bit anxious about the whole thing. Anxiety has crept in b/c well what if the grow light I'm going to invest in doesn't provide enough heat to get the roots established? Or what if I get all the plants established and when i transplant them in the ground, they all die. Crap! Well nontheless I'm going to move forward and if i must i will go to Oakland Nursery and buy new plants, if of course i can come up with more cash hah!

Like I said though I'm very excited as well. The plan for my garden is to not sow traditional rows
of seedlings but instead to create a potager garden or as what some refer to as a square foot garden. Check out this link to see what Wikipedia says about potager gardens...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potager_garden. Make sure you clink on the square foot gardening bullet point and check that out too, it's pretty cool.

I plan to create two 3'x3 'squares and then divide those squares into 9 separate 12"x12" squares. In each 12" square i will plant a vegetable. I'll probably plant my tomatoes in the middle though since i'll have cages and they together will create architecture and thus be aesthetically pleasing.

My 3'x3' squares will be raised beds. I purchased two recycled plastic raised beds that will not deteriorate and can be disassembled and stored away if necessary. I hope to buy two more of these next year if I'm successful this year. I also plan to create two more raised beds with some old bricks and cinder blocks i found in my garage last summer. So when my raised beds are together and the seedlings are planted and hopefully thriving my garden will consist of 4 squares that form a square themselves but there will be a walking path between each bed. The purpose of the walking path is to allow you to weed more easily as well as keep an eye on your plants for rodent or insect infestation.

Jason was going to hit the large home improvement store around the corner this coming saturday and buy the necessary components to build me a grow light or two but with the time it takes to build the light, including the electrical components and install it and then purchasing the bulbs, etc. I decided to just do some research and I managed to find a grow light that seems to be around what we would've spent at the home improvement store and he's grateful for not having to devote time to building those (plus he has a substantial "honey do" list already.)

At any rate, i'm going to try to find some information on potager gardening & square foot gardening and then post it on here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

All the thrifty moms out there...

About 2 weeks ago i overhauled our budget. Jason and i for the last few years have been feeling more and more stressed b/c we just couldn't seem to get our finances together. We've never defaulted on loans or anything like that but instead we are just wooed by many material possessions and i'm often won over by convenience items, anything to make life a little easier.

The last few months though I've had a change of heart about our finances and our responsibilities to our kids. One day it occurred to me that my children will need to go to the dentist and since we don't have dental insurance and I know what it costs Jason and i just to get a periodic cleaning and xray or filling, i panicked.

About a year ago some friends had been telling me about the book The Money Makeover. I bought it and read it and i guess you can say i've been contemplating it the last year. Our church offered a financial workshop a few weekends ago. It was about a 4 hour workshop and i had planned to attend but as the weekend drew nearer the thought of spending 4 hours of my time sitting in a room sounded awful! So instead i allowed the kids to play around me for about 2 or 3 mornings and got all our financial information down on paper and evaluated everything. I then came up with a plan that will have us out of debt in 3 years and have our house paid off in 6 years. This has been a very freeing process to go through.

I am now obsessed with moms who blog about ways to save money. It's encouraging and motivating and i'm finding it fun to see how low i can get the grocery budget. I would love to know how others save money. If you read this and feel so inclined to share...Please Do!


Sometimes i'm so confused about all that needs done in life. I think about how much my kids need from me, just on a practical level...hell! What my marriage requires to be just one notch above hum drum and mediocre and how much i'm required to walk on eggshells around people i love.

Hubby and I are in counseling thank God! It seems we do need help navigating through this time in our life b/c we both feel lost at to how to communicate...er finding time to communicate, how to communicate and what the hell does it look like to "do" this family thing together?? Counseling has been very good albeit painful but nonetheless good.

My kids...i love them dearly. They're so goofy and infuriating and clever etc, etc. I'm grateful for them but sometimes you wouldn't know that. I see how my selfishness affects them and it grieves me. But literally they wake up the next day or from the next nap and it's as if nothing happened. Their little hearts are so big and forgiving.

Being almost 29 weeks pregnant now, i'm not sleeping all that well. I think it's anxiety related but i'm not sure. I tend to be an anxious person in my core and so it wouldn't surprise me if i'm not sleeping b/c of that. There's been a lot of change recently in my life and I'm not fond of that. I do in general enjoy the idea of change but the reality of adjusting to change...no thanks! But that's where my life is at and that is what is being required of me so...

My friend Kristin had her baby. I'm so excited for her and her family. I need to remember to pray for her at this time b/c it's going to be an adjustment for them. I remember that i cried a lot during the last few months of my pregnancy with Nora and after i had her. My tears were mostly b/c i felt guilty for not being able to give Will what i wanted to give him. It took a while for me to adjust and realize, he's okay, i'm okay, we'll be okay. Fortunately, with preparing to have Joseph i'm more at rest with this stuff and I don't think it's going to be as overwhelming. I've had to research ways to keep the other babes busy so i can nurse Joseph and that in itself has relieved a lot of anxiety off my heart. I fortunately too have a close network of friends these days who are nursing or recently stopped that can give me tips and encouragement to battle through the adjustment stage of returning to breastfeeding.

Congratulations Kristin you hang in there Girl!!