Potatoes are coming!

Received confirmation today that my tators will ship next week! Yeah! Spring is coming. :)
This year I placed my order with Ronniger Potato Farm in Austin, CO. I'm very excited to give these tubers a try. I'm hoping to have better luck with this time around.
I prepared a plot for planting in early Fall and am hoping this year goes a lot better than last year. Ok - so maybe I was a little hasty last year in digging/dumping my potato bags but I wanted potatoes and I wanted them "now!" so I really have no one to blame but myself for the failed harvests. Alas - yet again my impatient nature reared it's ugly head - well not this year!

I will be planting:
Bliss Triumph (red)
Purple Viking
Purple Majesty
Pink Pearl
Ozette Fingerling



Sweet potatoes

After many fruitless searches on the internet I found very little about when to start rooting my sweet potatoes for slips but plenty of info on how to start rooting my sweet potato slips - so in defiance of the harsh winter weather we've been getting I'm hedging my bets and I decided to start them today. Probably starting them too early but last year I probably started them too late (late March maybe??) Not really sure but I definitely know I didn't do all I could do to get the slips going strong.

In late Fall, year before last ('09), I picked up a couple of Japanese sweet potatoes from a local farmer's market and stored them over the winter and used them to start the slips I put out last summer. Not knowing a damn thing about how to plant, care for and harvest sweet potatoes I'm surprised I got any at all but I did - some big, some small and lots of very sad looking ones. I saved out the very best ones and am using those and a few others I picked up at another farmer's market this year.

 I've got 6 tubers going - two had already started to sprout so I'm hopeful! Right now, at this very moment, they are sitting atop my fridge (the warmest spot I think of without breaking out the seeding table and lights which I've got plans to do this weekend - just not tonite!). Here's to tators!

Crappy crap crap crap!

The snow and the cold has been awful here in the Midwest. Just awful. It's been cold and snowy and just plain miserable and I've been going more than a little stir crazy. I hate being stuck indoors. I want to go out and play with the chickens. I want to go out and dig in the dirt. I want to go outside without my lips cracking and my eyelashes freezing. Yes, yes I sound like a petulant child but dangit I'm sick of being indoors! At least I have my loving other half to keep me warm at night - he's so good at that kind of thing. :)

 It's a crappy picture and it wonderfully captures what was a crappy day!

I need spring. I need spring to come tomorrow. Oh wait - we're getting highs in the 50's this weekend - that's close enough I guess.



I've been dreaming of spring. Melons, cukes, beans, 'mators, peas! They all callin' my name!!!! The seed catalogs have been arriving in a steady stream and I've been pouring over them every free minute I get. I'm ready to back to the pleasure that is the business of growing! I'm raring to go but I'm biding my time - spring will get here soon enough and I've got more planning to do. Reminding myself that patience is a virtue and one best learned if going to garden.
Now, there are exceptions to the patience rule. My propencity toward being impatient on most things will pay off for me in the garden this year. Why is that? Well most folks looked at me a little cross eyed when I said I had already ordered my potatoes and onions for spring (this was back in Oct and Nov). I've only been gardening for 2 seasons - this is my third. I've read more than my fair share of gardening, seed saving and homesteading books and just this past summer, more and more, I began seeing articles in the local papers on gardening and urban homesteading. More gardening and homesteading blogs and FB groups started showing up in my Google searches. It got me thinking that for once I should follow my instincts and just do what felt right so I found what I wanted and ordered it and said to hell with it - worse case I jumped the gun and spent the money sooner than I would have. Well given that more than a few suppliers have already sold out on certain varieties on seed potatoes and onions I think I done pretty good. So HA HA!
Not to sound like a fanatic (although I'd be pleased to be placed in that category with some!) this year I've pledged my money to small scale suppliers with good reputations. I made a point of going organic and natural and bypassing anyone who did not, would not or could not tell me whether or not they were supplying me with non-GMO products. For all the talk about non-GMO there are still way too many suppliers out there who just don't know or care so it was very important to me to give my business to those who do. I'm not sorry I did.
Anyway - the garlic appears to be weathering this crazy ass weather we've been having and doesn't appear to have done any heaving but I've been too much of a scardy cat to do more than take a quick peak under the blanket of straw I put down at planting time. At first I thought I may have gone over board with the mulch but thank gawd I didn't wuss out and skimp because with my luck the cloves would be severely damaged with the highs and lows we've been having.
Both Jackie Brown and Smiles Davis have started laying eggs (12/30). Lucy Liu and Kluck Norris are still holding out on me but I'm not holding out hope - besides, Mother Nature knows what she's doing and all I can do it be patient. :) I've already placed my order for fall for 3 new chicks. My darling husband approved (although maybe just a little begrudgingly) and come this time next year I'll be prepping to move some new lady birds out back. Here's hoping the neighbors stay "cool" with it.  
2011 will be a big year in the Pit. It's my third growing season, the first with chickens and I've got way more going into the ground than the last two years. Gonna be a bumpy ride!

Happy New Year !!!!

Smiles and Jackie decided to drop a few! Five eggs in the last 3 days - life in the Pit will never be the same. :)