Monday, April 8, 2013

Things Are Popping Up All Over!

Thanks to the Prairie Homestead and their Barn Hop, I realized that I haven't posted here in a little over a week. Well, that must be taken care of. I have done some cooking (the sweet potato pancakes were fantastic!) and quite a bit of yard work and gardening. Yes, I feel that those two are separate things. 
When I do yard work it is often a lot more work and effort than seems to show. How do you explain that it took work to pull out all of those roots and cut back all of those branches when there is only a little thing to show.

This is what happens when you get lazy

Here is a little tree that decided to live in my old garden bed where I plan to plant the "Three Sisters" soon. This is what happens when you get sick and not take care of things for a couple of years. This too shall pass though and I will just funnel all the pain into chopping that bugger right out of the ground. 

Perfectly straight and flexible twigs
Another thing that had been being neglected were the stumps we had left after cutting down a bunch of trees. I really hated having them cut down, but some were ruining the neighbor's fences, one was actually hollow inside, and the pear tree was just too old and alone to bear fruit anymore. With all the shoots it had been (and still is) shooting up from the roots, it is likely that it was also dying and thus threatening to fall on my house. BUT, cutting them down is why I can plant as much as I can now since my yard isn't completely in shadows. This branches I cut back from the stump next to my beds are perfectly straight, so I will be using them as trellises. Straight, green and flexible. Perfect.
One of the rhubarb crowns
I love rhubarb very much. There was a plant here when I moved in over 17 years ago, and it is unlikely that the residents planted it there as the back yard was not really cared for until the house was redone. This is one of the crowns I took from the original plant. I only managed to harvest two crowns from it though. If I tried to separate the others I would have risked the ones I did rescue.
Now, my blueberry plants:
Brand new blueberry bushes. I know, they look like sticks. 
This is the first time that I have planted blueberries. I foolishly ordered them before checking out how to grow the. My family had them at one of our houses in New England, so hey, how hard could it be? Well, the soil needs to have a low PH (high acid) in order to  for the bushes to fruit, and that can take a while to really set in. Since I had these in the house and no time to wait for the soil additions to make the site a proper host for the plants, I decided to put them in containers with a nice soil mix and an organic addition that will lower the PH of the soil. I do not expect for these bushes to stay in the containers forever, but they should last long enough for me to properly prepare a site for them. I am so excited!
Most perennial fruit don't really bear fruit the first year after transplanting, so I really wanted to be certain I got started as soon as I could. Now, let's hope that they make it long enough to settle in to their new homes.
Strawberries! Right at the center bottom is the baby strawberry plant.
Speaking of fruits, here are my strawberry plants! Yeah, they are pretty tiny, but they were planted towards the end of Fall, so this is great. One of them even sent out a runner that rooted already! I believe that I am supposed to discourage that the first year, and I did cut it off from the rest of the plant to keep it from sucking all of the energy out of it, but there is is, all rooted and seemingly happy. Well, in so far as a plant can emote.
Fall planted Swiss Chard and some persistent spinach
This will never cease to amaze me. On a lark, late into the Fall, I decided to grow some late season rainbow Swiss chard and spinach. I was perfectly happy with the two meals I got from the planting, and while I knew I was wasting some, I left the rest to overwinter. Every once in awhile I would check on them over the winter when the snow would clear from the clear dome I had over them and every time I would just stand there in wonder that they made it while my rosemary up and died. This is what was left. First greens of the year to munch on, though I have read that they might be bitter from growing so long. 
Week...? I don't know, but these are my tomatoes, still kicking!
Almost all of the seedlings in my house are doing really well. My lufa plants are not germinating well, but I finally have a couple of sprouts out of the nine I planted. I am so happy I started those indoors, or I would have been very disappointed.

So, that is all that is going on at the Inbetween Homestead right now. I have been making some mixes like a baking mix and cake mixes as well as a new brownie mix I am going to try. My husband gets overwhelmed with long recipes, so this sort of thing lets him bake with less stress when I am at work or school.


  1. I love overwintering! we just got our first harvest already by it, and it makes for interesting spring green.

  2. We got a full meal out of it too! I didn't over winter on purpose, I just never got to finish harvesting before the snow fell, so I left them. Live and learn, because there will be a lot of overwintering this year. :)