A place I will document our journey in living off the land

And we have plants! May 26, 2013

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I went to a local plant sale on Friday. Picked up tomatoes, peppers, broccoli,  cabbage, herbs and flowers. And was given a giant aloe! I am really excited about the aloe, as I have been using it on my face lately, with good results. But I am having a hard time finding aloe in the stores that is just aloe, and felt guilty pulling leaves off my tiny aloe plant. So I will be separating this one up into other pots and hope they all thrive!

If you would like to check out the companion planting list I have decided on using this year, check out this great site:


Got some electric fencing up, hoping to deter little critters (and no, I do not mean my kids! hehe) from coming into the garden. I am going to pick up some bone meal as well, as I have read it is a good deterrent when you sprinkle it around the perimeter of the garden. I will be adding another row or two of the fence once I have gotten it extended to where the corn and squash will be and figure out a gate!


Peppers on the outside row, and tomatoes on the next one. Along with petunias, marigolds and nasturtiums!


Yay for baby tomato plants! These were buried all the way to below the bottom of the row. This should give me a nice root system, which will help with growth. I need another 15-20 plants though.


Broccoli! I have planted some mint with these and more flowers as well, but did that yesterday, after I had taken this picture. I had a LOT of white cabbage moths last year, and lost all of my cabbage and had lots of caterpillars on my broccoli. I am really hoping my companion planting will deter them! I will cover them if necessary though. The chickens LOVED the caterpillar filled cabbage though 🙂 So it wasn’t a total loss.


Cabbage and then the pea rows! I am hoping this works ok, I have not really found many references to cabbage near peas. Fingers crossed!  I planted some sunflowers and lots of nasturtiums with the peas. The cabbage has some mint (you can sort of see it in the middle of the row), along with a petunia and I sprinkled some egg shell on the row. I will be mulching all around the plants as they grow up, but need to wait until all my flower seeds sprout.


I soaked my pea seeds for 24 hours. This is what they look like after that. Its a great way to shorten the germination in the ground and get sprouts a little faster. I will soak the corn and squash seeds as well.


My cat actually loves being in the garden with me. He is a talker, and was talking to me at this point. And that milk jug is holding my crushed egg shell. All of the veggies other than the peas have gotten some sprinkled in the holes before I planted.



I am so excited the garden is coming together! It rained last night, so I need to go make sure everything is doing great! And see how muddy it is, as I have more rows to create and I need to finish planting the peas. I take most of my garden pictures with my phone for now, as I send updates to my husband in ND. Once I get my camera charger back from where I left it in CA, I will get some with my camera 🙂 This works for now, I upload the photos from the app on my phone and come back on the computer to edit and add all my jabber 🙂


Potatoes! May 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — vsscents @ 3:36 pm

The sun was shining and I took full advantage and got my potatoes outside! I think they were ready, as they were trying to grow OUT of the box! Some of them had shoots 10-12″ tall! So I constructed some cages out of chicken wire, and hauled them outside. As the potato plants grow, I will add dirt and straw to the cage, until it is full. This should give me potatoes all through the cage. Potato plants will get tall and produce more with this method, at least, that is what I have been told 🙂


Here, you can see one cage with straw lining the bottom, and the other one with straw, and then a couple inches of dirt on top of it.



The photo above just shows an empty cage. I went ahead and wired the bottoms as well, thinking it would prevent anything from digging INTO the cages.

Now they all have straw!


Here you can see, they are ready for potatoes! I stopped at this point, as it was still a little cool, and let the soil warm up for a bit. We had a plant sale to hit up and some errands, so it was a great place to take a break.


AND I was hoping the garden would dry out a little bit. I put the potatoes in an unmulched area, so it was a tad muddy from last nights rain! I think I should get gardening boots too


In this one, I planted all the potatoes, if you look at the one on the right, you can see where some of the shoots are on the dirt. Since they have not been outside yet, I mulched lightly around them, which is what the photo on the left shows.


Look at me! I can grow inside! 🙂 They were more than ready to be planted!


All planted and watered! I am hoping for lots of potatoes to put in my basement for the fall


Peek a boo baby potato plant ♥ One of the mounds we ended up needing as well! We have 4 potato cages and 3 mounds! With 4 different types of potatoes


I am so excited I am finally able to get things planted! I cannot wait to see how my potato towers/cages do! I did end up having to plant some in a few mounds, so I am hoping I do not lose them to something. I had more seed potatoes than I thought!


Progress! May 21, 2013

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The trip definitely took time from getting the garden more ready, but I have been working on it the past 2 days. I cannot wait to be done with row building!


But I am ready for peppers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and one row of cucumbers. Should be picking plants up this weekend and hopefully get my starts out there.


Back from our trip! May 20, 2013

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We had a GREAT time in California for my sisters wedding and our little vacation on the coast on the way home. I was honored to stand by my sister as she was married and I am so excited for her on this new journey! We took a detour on our way home and stopped multiple times on the California and Oregon coasts. We took the kids to Ocean World in Crescent City and Wild Game Safari in Bandon, OR, where we pet a baby bear! I took so many pictures and we saw a lot of sea life. The kids had a blast and we cannot wait until we can get back!

Now that I am home, its time to get this garden whipped into shape! I am also planning on when I will be ordering a new batch of meat chickens, probably mid June. I have 5 rows in the garden and a short wide one for the carrots. The rototiller we were using died half way through, so it looks like shoveling the rest will be in the works. Thank goodness we were able to plow it with the tractor first! I also started putting up fencing, I plan on using hot wire and chicken wire, and other natural repellent methods to keep the rabbits, deer, antelope and birds out! Lets hope I am successful and do not lose much to them.

I cannot wait to get back into this blog and get to growing food! I hope everyone has had a great May so far! We are finally enjoying SUN and RAIN! The rain is desperately needed for the farmers crops all around us.


Dirt and rakes and straw, oh my! May 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — vsscents @ 7:44 am
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The weather was so nice yesterday, that I started getting the garden rows done! I wanted to put down how I am making my rows this year, so if it works out well, I will remember what I did 😉 I have read quite a bit about using mulch in the garden, and one of the blogs I had read (I found it! Old World Garden Farms) talked about how they mulched the garden and brought dirt in to put on top to make rows. I didn’t want to have to bring in dirt, so we plowed the ground and I am just going to really mulch it. The blog talked about how having straw in the rows is really beneficial to the plants, as it helps contain moisture, gives the roots room to move and it breaks down over time, so it adds nutrients. This sounds great to me! I am also hoping that next year, I will not need to till, since we are doing all of this now! So here is what I am doing:

First, I take my hoe, and make a long trench where my row will be placed. I take handfuls of straw, and fill that trench in.


You can see it filled in here:


I take my rake, and pull dirt from side of the trench to cover the straw


And then I pull dirt from the other side to make the mounded row


Here are two rows done, and I will be putting straw on the paths in between. I am using my rake width as the guide on my row spacing. Its approximately 14″ wide, so I think I will be good. I should be able to easily walk down each row, except maybe in the tomatoes.


And around here, we garden in our PJ’s! My youngest loves to help and so he was getting me straw with the pitchfork.


I cannot wait to see how this helps my garden grow this year! I did not mulch last year and I regretted it. We had SO many weeds that they overtook everything and I spent more time weeding and my plants suffered some. So far, the tilled area isnt really growing any weeds, so I am hopeful that I will not have the same problem, especially since I am going to mulch it heavily. I think I have enough straw haha

ETA: The blog I linked to has a LOT of great gardening information, as well as canning/freezing info! I have enjoyed spending time reading it for sure 🙂


a day of SPRING!! May 2, 2013

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Our weather has been SO up and down the past week! We have had warm and sun, rain, wind, snow, snow, wind, sun UGH! But today, it was just plain gorgeous outside. 63 degrees, no wind, sunny. So, of course, we spent a lot of time out in it, soaking up those glorious rays! Here are a few pictures from our day 🙂

I got myself a hair cut this morning. He used a diffuser on my hair when drying it and WOW look at the curls! My hair has decided it wants to be curly, so if I work it a little, I can make it super cute. Love it!


We live where the antelope play, and I am really excited we have some near our house. I cannot wait until the babies start arriving 🙂


While taking pictures of the antelope, I apparently spooked a pair of these birds. I am not sure what they are? Any ideas, leave me a comment! I am guessing a type of quail or grouse?


I was in the corrals near our house, with my camera luckily! I caught one of the young bulls getting himself a drink of fresh cold water.


And I really think these two pictures of my youngest really show how our day was today 🙂



p.s He got a hair cut too!

I also have gotten the first row in the garden done! We finally got the rototiller back up and running, so hoping by the time we head off to California next week, I will have it fully rowed and ready to be planted when I get home!