My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Grow for Hay, Movie Review Blog and Christina Cooks

We're in the process of placing a special order for seed that we can plant in a couple of small "pastures" - just 8 x 20 plots. Maybe bigger. We haven't worked it all out yet. Will order next week from a local farm supply store.

We'll seed these in early Spring (in just a few weeks) and grow until mid-summer. A scythe or who knows what will help us cut it down, then we'll dry and put away for winter where it won't mold or get eaten before it's time. Then we'll grow it out again and let the goaties munch it all towards mid/late Fall.

They won't be allowed to eat it to the ground, tho. Most of what we'll plant is perennial, so it will grow up one more time and hopefully go to seed. That will mean more for the next year.

RABBIT: Pasture seed for Hay
(cut for Bunnies then browse ONCE for goats then allow to seed for next year. Do not rotate as some of these are perennials):
60% alfalfa
20% timothy or teff
10% orchardgrass
10% red clover

GOAT: Pasture seed for Hay
(cut for Goats , allow to regrow, goats to browse, then allow to grow and re-seed. Do not rotate as some of these are perennials):
30% orchardgrass
30% bluegrass
20% alfalfa
10% red clover
5% yarrow
5% amaranth

Assuming we let these go to seed each year, we will only need to buy seed just this first year (2010). While we usually advocate rotating crops, the best way to eliminate the need to buy seed for "hay" is to let it re-seed. These two "hay" crops are the only "fields" we plan on NOT rotating.

Again, it's our plan to be self-reliant. That means not needing to buy seed every year.

We are not under the illusion that our small plots will provide enough hay for our critters for an entire Winter and most of Spring, but it will help.

= = = =

Starting seeds tomorrow... lots of tomatoes, a couple of bell peppers, some cabbage and broccoli. Came across a neat way to do it.... at the end of last season, I had bought a lot of those peat pellets. The ones you add warm water to and they expand. I've prepared quart-sized baggies with how many seeds and of what (5 purple russian tomato, 4 broccoli, etc.). Rehydrate the peat pellets, and sow seeds. Place in baggies. Zip up tight and place in warm area (but not in sun). Check on regularly and add water as needed. When sprouts appear, open bag and place in sunny window, watering more often.

For the $2 Garden Challenge:
I haven't learned how to make newspaper "pots" yet but will use the Kid's empty yogurt containers and some dirt from the yard. I'll place a couple of the rabbits poo-pellets in the bottom before adding the dirt (they don't need to compost first). I think I'll put the yogurt cups in baggies as well, to help keep the "soil" moist to help the germination. These yogurt pots are what I'll use to start the seeds for the $2 Garden. Might not get to these seeds tomorrow, as we're kinda still buried in snow here. Might be next week.

I'll try to remember to take pictures or video of the Kid and I starting seeds tomorrow.

= = = =

One more comment added at 6:40 a.m.: I was just watching "Christina Cooks" on PBS. I like watching her cooking show because she does things a little more healthy than other cooking shows. Two things bug me about it: (1) Way too much salt, justified by saying it adds depth of flavor, especially added after each new ingredient. I have high blood pressure, and very rarely use any salt. It's not just her show... I can't think of any cooking show that doesn't add a liberal amount of salt to most every dish. (2) What is the deal with that Jon Michaels guy singing during each episode? It doesn't have anything to do with cooking, and yes, it passes the time when she's doing something mundane but still... I usually turn the channel when he starts, and also usually forget to go back to the show.

= = = =

Now... my Kid wants to start a blog of his own, doing reviews of movies. It's his passion, not that we let him watch a lot of movies. He has lots of movie/video guides, and has practically memorized the books. An absolute fanatic about the rating system. He wants to write about movies, what they are rated, his thoughts about them and such. (I've told him he has to be careful to not copy the reviews in the movie guide books.) He also wants to write about movies he HASN'T seen, perhaps inviting his readers to give their own reviews.

The Kid wants to call his blog "Mark Twain Cinema", but that name is already taken by an actual cinema. Why Mark Twain? Because he's was my grandmother's uncle (she was a Clemens), and we're quite proud of being related.

I plan to give the Kid writing and creativity grades on his blog, to meet school curriculum requirements. He's excited about this but we're stumped on the name. Something catchy, that hopefully includes "Mark Twain". A little help, please?


Bellen said...

Have an extra pane of glass or plexiglass? Put your yoghurt cups in an appropriate shape, top with the glass, instant greenhouse.

Vikki said...

Bell: Good idea. We don't have any but I'll keep my eyes peeled! V

Marcia Moir said...

Hi Vikki...How about Huck Finn Cinema...or Samuel Clemens Review...I would vote for Huck Finn Cinema...sound like something a boy would be the author of...Marcy

SuzyGil said...

Oh dear, in my part of the country, those baggies are quite expensive. We don't even use them in our kitchen! Did you find a really good "deal" on baggies so that they can be included in the $2.00 garden challenge?

Vikki said...

Suzy: Since I use them here anyway, I didn't count them in the $2. I get them pretty cheaply at the dollar store. I'm considering the $2 as what I need to spend to buy supplies for the garden, but not including what I already have at home.

I had considered using a cardboard egg carton, tearing the section off when it was ready, or one of my other plastic containers.

Marcia: I mentioned your idea to the Kid and he's thinking now "Tom and Huck Movie Guide". When I pointed out that he's only one person, he said he likes both of the characters! I told him to give it more thought. Thanks for this line of thinking.


Anonymous said...

I live in Aurora CO and have had some great tomato years and some bad ones. Last year I only planted heirloom tomatoes and must have over fertilized because I had huge plants that I couldn't keep from overgrowing and many very small tomatoes. Would love advice from anyone planting heirloom seeds. I'm going to plant some this week that I got last year from the high altitude seed place in Arizona. Glad I found this site.

Vikki and the Kid said...

Horace: I plant almost exclusively heirloom tomatoes. Last year was a horrible year for tomatoes... all over Colorado. Almost everyone I talked to agreed with this. Don't over-fertilize ... maybe twice during the entire season. Go on and start your seeds indoors now, and don't transplant them outside until Memorial Day or so. Be sure to stake them, and check regularly for hornworms. If you're planting corn, make sure there is lots of plants and space in between corn and tomatoes because the hornworm that likes one, also likes the other.

Hope this helps. Keep reading! Vikki

Anonymous said...

How about "Mark Twain's Greatgrandson's Cinema"?

Vikki and the Kid said...

Anon on 3/31: The Kid settled on "Twain Movie Guide" but after we got it all set up, got cold feet. He's concerned people won't want to read what he has to say. Very shy young man who stutters. We're working on these things. Vikki