Sunday, February 28, 2010

But what about the kids?

Undeniably, I live a busy life. There is always another project to be completed, garden work to be done, dish cloths to be knitted, bread to be baked. I think the one thing people ask me more than any other question is, "What do you do with your kids when you're doing all this?"

Heh. That makes me smile. As though it requires a baby sitter or Baby Einstein to get things done if you've got kids in the house.

Wherever I am, my kids are too. There is almost always something they can be doing, some way their little hands can be involved. If I'm picking peas, there's a toddler at my feet eating as many as she can stuff in her mouth. I can't remember the last time I measured flour by myself for muffins or bread. Little hands work well for crushing tomatoes to be canned, and there's magic to be found in harvesting seeds from a lettuce plant. If I pull the KitchenAid out of it's corner on the counter, two little girls are tying on aprons and pushing chairs to the counter before I have a chance to turn around.

Little girls can do things like grind applesauce; they can turn the crank on a pasta wheel or a nut grinder. They can fold washcloths and put them in drawers.They can put the primer on a piece of furniture:

They can help pot up leggy kohlrabi seedlings:

They can even help Daddy build new raised beds for Mommy:

Keeping it fun involves very little pressure. If they lose interest, encourage some creative or active play nearby.

And taking a break for play time is a must, not just for kiddos, but for Mommies and Daddies too.

As I type, there is a teepee set up in my living room, and there are two little girls inside with a flashlight, back packs, and little cups of dry cereal. They'll be happy there for awhile, camping out mid-day, reading stories and cooking up a plastic gourmet dinner.

Knitting can happen any time, anywhere. I'm often sitting on the floor amid blocks and choo-choo trains churning out a sock while they build a city around me. Sometimes I tell a story while I knit and they play-act it out - even better if they drag out the fancy hats and aprons and shoes from the dress up bin. On one side of my scrapbooking desk I've got a box of un-used photos and scraps of fancy paper, a blank book and glue sticks. Chloe creates scrapbook pages along next to me, and Cora's usually on the other side drawing on the white board easel with dry erase markers.

Our life is a constant dialogue. If they aren't actively participating in my work - and often times they'd rather not - they are nearby enough that we are always talking. Sharing thoughts, telling stories, discussing the benefits of solar power, whatever. Much of our homeschool takes place that way - a discussion while the girls string beads at the table and I work at the counter. We may not be working side by side, but we're still together.

I imagine a lot of kids would consider things like planting a garden, kneading bread, and canning plums "chores". Maybe it's just that no one has told my kids that yet, and they haven't figured it out for themselves, but so far, they just think this stuff is fun.

And if all else fails? Well, then there's Baby Einstein.

Geography of Bliss

I went to an author talk last night. Eric Weiner, the author of Geography of Bliss, was giving a free talk at a local theater. It was really, really great.

I read the book last month - it was better than I was expecting. He travels the world to some of the happiest and unhappiest places, all the while considering what it is both geographically and culturally that makes people feel generally happy. Lots of humor, a decent amount of science, and a satisfying overload of philosophy all mixed together. It was a really great book.

And so I went to his talk, listened to some of his stories and the reasoning behind his book and his methods of "study". Good stuff.

The best part was being in a theater filled with other people, laughing at intelligent jokes, and considering some relatively deep concepts of modern philosophy. I felt like a grown up. That's a luxury in my life, and I basked in it.

The one thing I noticed about Mr. Weiner in talking about his own happiness (for which I kind of get the idea that he's still searching) is that he goes back to "boredom" quite often. He'd live in India if he had to choose one country from his book to spend the rest of his life in. Why? Because you could never be bored in India. There was some reference to boredom in the places he's lived in America, too. Apparently boredom is high on his list of unwanted features in a geographical home.

But isn't boredom inside us? I know plenty of people that would claim to be bored here in my little Western Colorado town. It's not an exciting place, not bustling like some cities. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are bored here. But boredom is a choice, I think. I could be bored... or I could find some satisfying way to fill my time. I just thought it was interesting that boredom seemed to be a central issue for him - I'm not even sure he really realized it as he was speaking.

I don't want to say too much more about the book, in case you have a chance to read it. And I really think that you should. Deb - I found myself thinking about you in particular quite a bit as I read it. It has the potential to change the way you consider yourself, your life, and your surroundings. And it'll make you want to travel.

So reading his book, and listening to him talk, it begs me to ask of you these questions: Are you happy? If you're happy, what makes you that way? Where is your happiest place in the world?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Me? A homesteader?

Every so often, I pick up another book from the library, or I add another blog to my "To Stalk" list, where the main subject is Backyard Homesteading. Living from scratch. Self sufficiency. Hobby farming. I love those subjects. I love to imagine that I could actually be like those people.

As I'm reading through yet another book - Made From Scratch, by Jenna Woginrich - it kind of occurred to me... maybe I already am like those people. Maybe I really am a modern-day homesteader.

I had no idea how many people there were out there that are like me until recently. But now I keep running across blogs, all of these people going back to their roots, trying to undo modern progress and start living from scratch again. And it's making me kind of giddy, thinking that there are enough people doing this that it's become "cool". Maybe I'm not really crazy.

Yes, it's hard work. Our society has become inordinately lazy, depending on Central American slave labor and excessive use of fossil fuels for our food, Chinese slave labor for our clothing, electronic, mind-numbing entertainment, and hormone-injected meat for our tables. Why? Because it's easy.

A year or so ago, I remember lamenting to my husband how unfulfilled, unsatisfied I felt with my life. I'm pretty sure there were tears involved in that talk. Yes, I'm raising two beautiful girls. Yes, I'm a homemaker and that's what I've always wanted. But there was something missing.

This minor obsession that I have with providing for our family has filled my life with purpose. It may not really matter, in the long run and in the whole scheme of things, whether or not we're living authentically when the rest of the world keeps on the same path they're on. But it fills my heart with satisfaction to live this way. I realize this isn't the life for everyone. But it's undeniably the life I was meant to live.

So I'll spend my days canning jars of tomato sauce and picking peas and butchering elk, sewing dresses and knitting warm hats, and teaching my little girls how to read right here in our living room, because it's a darn fulfilling life. I wouldn't trade it for all the easy the world has to offer.

A history lesson for Mom

We made butter today.

I'd love to say that this was a homeschool lesson in history. In fact, I claimed that it was a homeschool lesson in history. But really? I just wanted to make butter. I thought it sounded like fun.

We bought a gallon of non-homogenized whole milk at the health food store. (Non-homogenized means the cream is not mixed into the rest of the milk. It separates and the cream is on top, just like fresh milk would be. To drink it, you'd have to shake it up really well before pouring it.)

We poured off the cream into a pint-sized mason jar, sprinkled in some unrefined organic sea salt, and put the lid on tightly.

And then we rolled it a bit.

And shook it a bit more.

And after about fifteen minutes, we had this:

We strained the buttermilk out, and, hey look! It's butter!

Chloe decided buttermilk is really yummy, and that homemade butter tastes just like store-bought, which means we were successful.

Homemade butter on homemade bread. That makes me smile.

Now if only I had access to half a gallon of cream every week, we could make all of our own butter. I wonder what the city ordinances are for cows...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring's coming!

I can tell that spring is around the corner.

That's garlic sprouting.

I can also tell it was a very, very cold winter, because there are only about a dozen sprouts, as opposed to the 72 cloves I planted. I'm not sure the others will come up at all. I think the -20 degree winter weather terrified them, and maybe turned them into garlicky-mush. We'll see what happens. Fall planting isn't meant for places where it gets to negative twenty degrees. That's why I don't live somewhere that gets to negative twenty degrees... except apparently I do, because Western Colorado forgot that it's supposed to have mild winters.

The sprouts in the house are happy and doing well though.

Now if it would just stop snowing, and if the sun would actually come back out from above the never-ended inversion, and if it could just warm up about twenty more degrees, we could be on our way to gardening bliss. It's a tall order though, and not likely to happen for another few weeks yet.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just smile and nod.

If you have a child, you'll know what I'm talking about. You know when they start in on that really, really involved story about the enormous blue two-headed dragon befriending the sea horse and saving it from the ferocious, sea-horse eating whale by scooping out of the sea with a fish net held in it's mouth and flying off to The Land of Rainbows and letting it go in a cozy little pool of water where they live as best friends happily ever after? And you nod and look really intrigued and say a lot of "Uh huh... oh really? Wow, imagine that. Gosh, that's such a creative story."

It's kind of the same way if you ever have a chance to sit down and chat with a conspiracy theorist for awhile. They go on and on about Bad Guy X and his horrible plan to bring the entire world to a fiery demise. And you nod, and look really intrigued, and say a lot of "Uh huh.... Oh gosh, I never thought of it that way... Oh, really? Well, that sure is a unique way of seeing things... " All the while, of course, you're thinking, "This guy is craaaazy." But you don't say it. You might even ask some great questions, getting him to talk more, share more details of this awful conspiracy he's certain will come to fruition the minute our backs are turned. And then as soon as you leave, you call your best friend and it's, "OMGosh, I just sat and talked to so-and-so and would you believe, he actually thinks... blah blah blah." And you giggle, and gossip, and your friend confirms that Crazy Guy must indeed be a few bricks shy of a load.

I've been there. I've nodded and smiled at both the seven year old and the Conspiracy Theorist. In fact, I'm really a pretty good nodder/smiler.

So in the past few days I've reconnected with extended family members that I haven't seen for several years - pre-motherhood years, mostly. And they read my profile, and look at my pictures, and ask a bit about what I've been doing these past years. "I'm a homeschooling mother," I tell them.

They do a great job of asking really good questions: "What subjects are you studying? Do you do a lot of arts and crafts? How is it keeping a toddler entertained while teaching the older one's lessons?" And so I happily write paragraphs back to them via Facebook messages, telling them all about what we do and how we do it and how much fun it is and, hey, my kid can identify a painting by Cassatt on the wall at the craft store and she's reading at a third grade level!

And then they reply with things like, "Oh? Really? Wow, that's really great. Sounds like you're very creative. I'd never have thought to do that."

It actually took me awhile before I realized that those relatives are probably emailing each other back and forth saying things like, "OMGoodness, I just talked with Julie online would you believe, she's homeschooling!" And they giggle, and gossip, and confirm to one another that I must indeed be a few bricks shy of a load.

I'm the one who's getting nodded at, smiled at. Heh! They think I'm crazy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jane Austen

So I'm reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility... again. I thought if I were reading something I loved, it would make the Never Ending Sweater go along a little quicker. I was wrong. I needed a break - a fun, quick, instant-gratification project to remind me of how nice it really is to actually finish something.

I was flipping through some library knitting books and there it was... fate brought us together. It's called the Jane Austen Dress. Is there anything more fitting? I think not.

And so I casted it on, using some yarn someone gave me a year or more ago. It's the exact shade of my Littlest One's eyes, and so I knew I'd be making a size two. I had no idea what fabric I'd choose for the skirt part until the bodice was finished and I took it with me to the fabric store. I think the yarn and the skirt pair nicely.

{Pattern: Jane Austen Dress from Mason Dixon: Knitting Outside the Lines
Yarn: Paton's Weekender, 1 1/2 balls, light blue 100% cotton, dk weight
Needles: size 4 - changed to get the gauge.}

Hooray for a finished project! It's been too long. And now back to slogging through that sweater....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Notes on preserved food

My tomatoes are gone. I made it seven months without having to buy tomato products. (That doesn't include fresh. I had to start buying fresh tomatoes in November.) Not one package of frozen tomatoes left in the freezer, none in the canned-goods cupboard (except for half a dozen jars of salsa.) I used the rest of the sauce and diced tomatoes in an enormous batch of chili the other night. I'm kind of sad.

On the one hand, I'm impressed that we managed to eat garden tomatoes half way through February. On the other hand, it's at least five more months until another garden-fresh tomato graces our table. I realize now that if I'm to provide all our of tomato products from the garden for a year, I'll need at least another dozen plants (I had twelve last year.) And I don't have one more inch of room, so I might have to give up on that notion... or dig up another section of the back yard.

All that's left from my preserving efforts last summer are four cups of pumpkin puree, a cup of grated zucchini, two meal's worth of pesto, two cups of chopped bell peppers, a pound of stored beets and a handful of pitted sweet cherries. I can see the shelves in my freezer, ever more as we work at eating up all those veggies and all of the meat from the elk.

This past summer's garden and preservation experiment has given me a clearer picture of what I'll need to do in order to really grow the bulk of our food. (i.e. a LOT more work. And space.) I imagine it would take a few years of growing and saving and lots of record keeping to really get a handle on the right amounts of everything. Not sure if I'll ever get that far or not, but it's nice to think about. :o)

Getting Started....

It was a happy mail day today.

My main seed order, from Pine Tree Garden Seeds, came today. Whee!

Being as I lack self control, and I'm so ready to start believing that spring is just around the corner, I planted some cold-crop starts in a flat that will now have to live on my kitchen table for lack of a better place to put it. Broccoli, kohlrabi, spinach and chard - plus cilantro, basil, chives and oregano in pots on the plant stand. I'm not an herb grower - I've never had luck with them, but I refuse to give up!

Happy planting to all! Anyone else getting early crops started?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have this thing about dressing my kids well. I'm pretty sure it's a genetic trait that I inherited from my mother. I always looked like I was ready to be entered into a baby beauty pageant. I had a whole jar full of hair bows to match every outfit, and my mother used mass quantities of mousse to make sure a stray hair never escaped my perfectly symmetrical pigtails.

When we go out, I make sure they are wearing something absolutely adorable, their hair is combed neatly, and that their socks match. (Please note that I say "when we go out". We stay at home four days out of the week, and on those four days, you'd have a hard time telling that my kids aren't homeless.) But when we're out, I dress them very nicely, in hopes that anyone who feels drawn to make immediate judgment will assume that my children are well cared for and loved. Thus, I feel that my parenting is a direct reflection of the way my kids look. Which is probably ridiculous.

Today was library day. And my precious youngest daughter looked like a charming little princess in her flouncy plaid skirt, coordinating shoes and hair bows, and funky little leg warmers. And she proved that it doesn't really matter how a child is dressed at all when she proudly announced in a very non-library voice, "Hey Mom! Me farted. Heh-heh."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heat Wave!

You know you're from Colorado when it's 43 degrees outside and you see people jogging in capris and a tank top, and no one's even wearing a sweater.

Yep, it's a heat wave.

The kids are happy. They played outside for a couple hours today. I couldn't convince Cora to come inside at dinner time. Heck, I couldn't even convince her to stop digging in the dirt long enough to pull her drooping pants up.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines for Little Girls

Valentine's Day isn't a big deal around here, but I like to at least acknowledge it with a little something for each girl.

This year, they're getting these:

Little tin lunch-box style 'treasure boxes', altered to match their bedrooms. Inside each is a stuffed animal and some homemade heart-shaped chocolate candies.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Remember when...

After dinner last night - when it was pitch dark at 6:00, Chloe asked me, "Mom, do you remember a long time ago when we could go outside after dinner and play? And I could watch the sun set while I played on the swings, and it was really pretty?"

Yep, we're ready for spring.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The intestines - a visual aid

We're continuing our study on the human body, with our current focus on the digestive system. Since Anonymous liked the post about our stomach acid experiment, I thought I'd add another post along those lines.

So admittedly, that looks like a blob of string glued to a sheet of construction paper. Okay well, actually, it is a blob of string glued to a sheet of construction paper. But it carries a lesson along with it.

The average small intestine in an adult human is 23 feet long. The large intestine is about 6 feet long. As we were reading those facts in our book, I realized my seven year old barely understands the concepts of one foot and one yard, let alone what 23 feet actually looks like. So we measured it out, using yarn. The red yarn in the picture is 23 feet, the blue is 6 feet. Once we had the yarn measured, we glued it to the paper similar to the way it would be found in a body, with the large intestine sort of going around the "blob" of small intestine.

Alright, so it's not scientific. But it helped her see how long intestines actually are, which really is pretty amazing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A recipe

Because I'm lazy and don't have pictures of the other things I want to blog about, I'm going to give you a Darn Good Recipe that you should definitely try. I originally found it years ago, posted by Julia on AOL's Penny Pinching message board. I've altered it a touch to fit my taste. Love this because you can toss it in the crock pot with hardly any prep and it's ready at dinner time... even if you forget to put it in until noon.

Adobo Beef (or elk, if you happen to have some lying around.)

2 lbs beef or elk steaks, sliced in 1/4" strips
1/2 c. naturally fermented soy sauce (or the regular kind)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper
1 c. water

Put the meat strips into the crock pot. Stir together the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Cook for 6 hours on the crock pot's low setting.

This is a fantastic meat for tacos and burritos.

Tried a new taco-shell technique. My mom always fried corn tortillas in hot oil until about half-way between soft and hard. Instead, I tried laying the corn tortillas on a baking sheet, brushing with olive oil, and baking at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until they reached that same soft/hard stage. Then I dabbed the extra oil off with a paper towel. Still not really healthy, but at least healthier, and almost the same as mom's. :o)

Top the shell with some of the elk/beef, then add some lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, homemade guacamole and homemade salsa, and serve with a side of hot black beans.

Oh, and for the guac:

2 avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 of a lime
sprinkle of chili powder

Mash all ingredients together until creamy and well blended. Refrigerate for an hour to blend flavors.

Okay, so it was more than one recipe. But together, it's fantastic.

Happy Cooking!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Makeup Challenge

I made a deal with myself Thursday night after my shower: I'm going to try to go a week without make up. I did really good with this deal until Friday morning when I looked in the mirror.

I sucked it up though, and I managed. I ran errands all morning without a hint of makeup. I didn't put makeup on when my husband was on his way home, like I do on many days.

And then my mom called and asked if I wanted to go visit my little brother at school. And I thought about how bad I look without makeup, and how he might actually be embarrassed to have to introduce me to friends... and so I gave in. I consoled myself by wearing as little as I could possibly get by with. But in the end? I still failed.

I'm not a girly girl, but I am well aware the wonders a bit of eye liner and foundation can create if used properly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Grocery Day

Is it pathetic that grocery shopping is the highlight of my social life each week? That is to say, I'm outside of these four walls that surround me, and there are people my age milling about. So it's not social. But it *feels social after a week of homeschool and toddler-speak.

I grocery shop once every three weeks, with short trips in between for fresh produce. My most recent goal is to buy only dairy (because we have no cows or chickens) and produce (because it's winter and I can't grow it) and baking/dry goods (until I have a wheat field and a sugar farm, anyway.)

I'm almost succeeding. We're eating almost entirely from scratch, still a lot from the freezer (veggies frozen from last year's garden) and I love the satisfaction in that.

I finally figured out a recipe for ranch dressing that tastes just like the real thing, is healthful - even medicinal - and includes no gmo's or msg or artificial colors and flavors and preservatives and even no dairy. It takes less than five minutes to mix up a batch and I can eat as much as I want without feeling bad about it. And we all know that the only good reason to eat raw vegetables is for the ranch, so this pleases me.

In addition to the ranch, I've concocted a fantastic balsamic dressing that's equally as easy to prepare. One more store-bought convenience food I can scratch off the weekly grocery list because I can make it better and cheaper and healthier from scratch.

Dairy-free ranch dressing:
1/2 c. canned coconut milk (not the sweetened stuff, just plain coconut milk. look in the Asian foods section.)
3/4 c. Vegenaise mayonnaise substitute (made from grapeseed oil)
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients well. Let sit for an hour before serving so flavors mingle. (I use my stick blender for this, it works great.)

Balsamic dressing:

1 c. olive oil
4 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Combine all ingredients except oil in a glass jar. Stirring briskly, pour the oil in as slowly as you can manage, stirring constantly.

The other option is the stick blender or a small food processor - process until the mixture becomes slightly thickened and is rather creamy in texture. I like this more than just stirring.

I don't think I ever even considered salad dressing to be a convenience food until a couple of years ago, and even then I was afraid to try making it myself on any sort of regular basis. But with some practice, it's pretty easy to get used to.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


A friend has managed to convince me of the benefits of glyconutrients. Essentially, they're sugars that are missing from today's average diet - sugars that are only found in fresh fruits and vegetables within days or even hours of them being picked. If we buy our food at a grocery store, these sugars are pretty much completely gone. In so many ways, eating store-bought produce robs us of essential nutrients, and this is just one more way.

So I bought the supplements. And I looked at the ingredients list. I'd just assume get the nutrients from real food instead of a capsule if at all possible.

Some of the things aren't really feasible - I won't be eating an excess of maitake mushrooms, for instance. But one ingredient listed was an old and familiar friend: fenugreek.

Fenugreek is a nursing mother's best friend. If ever one's milk is in short supply, simply swallow a dozen fenugreek capsules each day and soon you'll be overflowing. I've taken it myself while nursing both babes at one time or another.

But fenugreek is good for more than just nursing moms - it's a primary source of mannose and galactose (which are glyconutrients.)

And voila! - fenugreek seeds are found in the local health food store, ready for sprouting and quite tasty on salads and in soups. Just for fun, I decided to try them.

I posted once about growing sprouts - it really is an easy thing to do. Some people invest in fancy seed sprouting equipment, but I manage just fine with mason jars and pantyhose. Seeds are cheap - $3-4 for enough seeds to a few months at least, and that's with eating sprouts nearly every day. They're green and fresh - you can't get much fresher than pulling them out of the jar and putting them in your favorite soup.

If you're not up for fenugreek, there are lots of other sprouting options - our Vitamin Cottage has a whole rack of different seed varieties. Just in case you're as desperate as I am to grow something green, it being winter and all. ;o)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hooray for seed catalogs

It's that time again - time to start thinking about what will be planted in the garden this spring, poring over seed catalogs and websites, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over purple striped pole beans and tomatoes as big as my head.

It's kind of hard, looking out the kitchen windows and seeing a big bare patch of dirt surrounded by three inches of snow and some patches of brown grass, to even imagine the warmth of summer, picking veggies and listening to the girls splash in the pool and throwing the ball for the dog... hard to imagine, but I know it's coming.

I'm glad for the notes I made last fall, thinking about where I'd be rotating crops to, drawing out my 2010 layout on graph paper to be filed away until this month. Now I'm reviewing my plans and placing seed orders. And wishing I had more than the 140 square feet that I have to work with. So many vegetables, so little space!

Among the new experiments this year:
red onions
birdhouse and luffa gourds (thanks Wendy for the inspiration!)
some herbs I've not had success with in the past... but I'm refusing to give up. I want fresh oregano, dammit!
and musk melons, because I like the idea of going outside to pick breakfast out of the garden.

Lots of fun new varieties of things like White Icicle radishes, Dragon Tongue beans, Patisson Jaune et Vert squash... and lots of tried-and-true favorites like Kentucky Wonder pole beans, Mammoth Melting Sugar peas and Bloomsdale spinach.

My seeds are on their way from Baker Creek and Pinetree. I've ordered from Baker Creek several times now and am always thrilled with the service, but Pinetree is popular among the crew at and their prices are much lower so I gave them a shot.

I'm shooting for primarily heirloom varieties this year, but there are a few that are hybrids - sometimes I just need reliability. My cukes, some tomatoes, and peppers will be hybrid - those are things I'm not willing to do without, and heirloom varieties really are much harder to grow and are less dependable... though it must be said that they are much better for us, too. I'll do some heirloom tomatoes too, since they're always the most exciting plant in the garden. I'm happy to report that the seeds we saved from last year's garden - pumpkin, sunflower, lettuce and marigold - all sprouted successfully when we tested them last week, so that means we're going to complete the circle on those four plants. (A silly thing, maybe, but exciting if you're into heirloom gardening.)

Since Andrew built me a cold frame in the fall (which did me no good with the 20-below weather we had shortly after), I'll be able to start seeds as early as Valentine's day - not long now! I bought a day planner specifically for gardening. I marked each day that seeds should be planted, and then I'll mark the days I should expect them to sprout, and expect to harvest. It's never exact, but by mid-June I'll forget entirely when it was that I planted those beets, so the reference is nice. Organized is good when it comes to gardening.

So I suppose that's all I have to report for now. Hopefully in another couple of months I'll be posting photos of the first harvests!

Who else out there is working on garden planning? Feel free to share your favorite tips!