Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sumary of 2009 (pumpkins and zucchinis)

I've just posted a new video about what I learned on my first year of actual gardening in the earth. So I might as well share this knowledge here too.
First the pumpkins!
I started them inside the house I think it was in the middle of April. I didn't want the worms to eat my new sprouts so by the time they went in the garden they had a few leaves. The vines grew pretty fast. But by mid June I was starting to despair about the pumpkins actually growing. They had quite a few flowers, both male and female but they kept falling off. I though it was a watering problem...but now that I think of it I just think it was too early and the plant wasn't ready to grow pumpkins. By mid June I self polinated the flowers(it was always rainy and the bees were scarce) and they finally stayed on the vine. I had one pumpkin per plant and they grew really fast and took a LOT of space. Now they are all turning orange and will soon be harvested and brought in the house. They can keep for a long while just at room temperature, if you don't overheat your house. So I will have enough pumpkins for a while.
Now zucchinis!
Well again like the pumpkins I grew them in the house, because of the worms that like sprouts. Like pumpkins they grew fast and easily. They do need a constant moist soil. And you have to watch not to get the leaves wet for long time as they grow mildew pretty easily. With a few plants (6) I had more than I could eat, litterally! They do take some space, the vine doesn't travel as far as a pumpkin but the leaves are pretty big. One plant grew at least 4 feet long and was over 2 feet wide. They started dying down as the nights got colder. But since I build my greenhouses around them they started growing again. I will probably have a few zucchinis before winter =)
So this is mostly what I learned about those two squashes. Next year I'm gonna try some more squashes, buttercup and butternut. So if you have advice on those please do tell. I would really appreciate it =)
Here's the link to my video

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 5

Well today I had the day off. So I started early working around the house. I made myself some pumpkin pie ''mix''. I also made a few videos for my Youtube channel. But.....I went to McDonalds with my sister and she bought me a lunch...but I bought myself a coffee =( but it's sooo good! We were there right in the dinner rush and Oh my God! The craziness of it all. Everyone rushing to eat as fast as they can before returning to evreywhere almost pushing each other. Anyway I was glad to be out of there! I also spent some money on a big bag of chicken compost and a big block of peat moss. I will be fully stocked all winter with so much dirt. And with the coffee it just cost me 25 dollars total. So I wouldn't call today a miss towards my goal.
My video I made this morning

Monday, September 21, 2009

No money day 4

Well today is day four and it's still going ok. Tonite is my Friday night since I'm not working tomorow. And after work I was a little tempted by coffee and fried foods. In the afternoon where I worked the lady had the t.v. on. They kept showing ads for "Tim Hortons" and restaurants. So when I got home I made myself a strong coffee and gathered some more lettuce for a salad. Wich was soooo good! And for the fried food...I made myself fried zucchini slices. They were pretty good especially with my homemade garlic diping sauce. But this post isn't about food. It's more about stepping back. This whole experience is starting to feel like a blessing. Makes me appreciate the smaller things in life. And most importantly working to make what you want. Not to buy but to actually make. For a few months now I was feeling like something wasn't right moneywise. And instead of waiting for me to get accustomed to this, I just stopped everything to do with money. It's harsh but it works. The more time passes the more I see that I had lost this self sufficient feeling I love.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day two...

My second day of not spending money. Going pretty good I must say. But before I start I just want to show the salad I made for supper. All homegrown here. It was the best salad I ever ate =)
Now back to my second day! Well I worked all day and once I finished I was pretty tired. But I didn't feel like a coffee so that didn't bother me. I got home and went into my garden and cut myself lettuce and spinach leaves...oh and cherry tomatoes. My sister had called to see if I wanted to have dinner at her place. But since it would've cost me gas and fries (she wanted me to go get some) I decided against it. So I'd say that so far this weekend I already saved like 10 bucks. Wich is pretty cool. Later on I think I am going to have trouble with one thing . I'm running low on store bought compost and moss for my indoor gardening. We'll it a waste of money if it's for my indoor gardening experiments!?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting back on track

For a few weeks now I've been slacking off as far as saving money goes. Or rather trying not to waste so much of it. Today after work I was relived to find that I didn't have change in my pokets to buy a coffee. That got me thinking about the fact that I had started wasting my money again. Like buying coffees everyday or so. Eating from restaurants and such. Now for most people this would sound normal. And it kinda is. But not if you want to reduce the amount of money you need. So for the next three weeks I am going to try to use as little money as I can. Now I'm not going to take into account my many monthly bills. Just the everyday things.
So far my first day seems to be a succes it's 8;25 p.m. and no money was used today. But we'll see how the three weeks goes because I will need to be a little crative with my food. Because normally I would've gone shopping for groceries next weekend. But we'll see how it goes! I'm actually excited about this. And of course I'll comment on this blog and on Youtube about how it is going =)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I may but you may not...

I may be taking a little homestead break but today I found someone hard at work for me...lady bugs! My prune trees were full of aphids not to long ago. But they ate everyone! The only thing left was a dirty dozen ladybugs and a few ants searchin for their lost friends. Now I hope they will stay here permenantly. And I can't wait to attract the predator of my radish and spinach eating green worms. And now let me ask you a question. Who is you favorite natural helper in your garden? Me it's the lady bug of course!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nothing to report

Today, I took a day off. I woke up, ate a little (left over ribs) then I went to a friend's house. Ate dinner there. Then went to my sis' and ate supper there. There might be a frost tonite....and it blows because usually we have a wonderfull September. And then there..Indian summer (I don't meant no disrespectfull to aboriginal people but that's how we call it..and btw my great great grand mother was aboriginal). But this year it's a cold September! My new cucumbers in the greenhouse still grow....but not as fast as the ones in the house. One of my old cucumber plant I left growing, started growing a new flower on a new vine.....Which is really nice but we'll see what happens with that because it doesn't have a flower of the other sex =S anyway I took a day off from my normal life =)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Should be a sin...

And that is making or buying toilet paper that isn't made of recycled paper. I mean...cutting trees for this?...really?
Am I the only one who find this to be an absolute wrong!?
I don't even know what else to say....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taming the wind

So one thing I never did before a few months ago was drying my clothes in the wind rather than the dryer. I never liked the smell it gives to clothes. Plus the dryer takes all the lint away. But since I am trying to use less and save what is left of the planet, I'm going to tame the wind (unti I built a windmill, then I'll really tame the wind ;). But if like me you're worried about static, use fabric softner. And lint? I put the clothes in the dryer for a tumble of a few minutes without heat and voila! The olny problem for me is the little rack I use (see photo) Now I need to get myself a drying line up. But I don't know where to hang it. I'll add that to my 2010 list =)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As you sow so shall you eat.

A big part of being self sustainable in not only growing your own food but also cooking it. We live in a world where we have the bad habit of buying processed food. We buy it because it's easier and takes less time that we don't have because we are working more to pay for these processed foods. But it's been a month now that I've decided to reduce this trend in my household.-Just for the reccord today, when I was coming home from work I bought myself fries. I didn't feel like cooking dinner...even if I had some of tha wonderful stew left. But as they say, bad habits die hard-. of late I've enjoyed cooking very much. I've started making my own pizzas, bread and jams (some recipes on my youtube page ;) more for fun... ). I've noticed that most food doesn't take that much time to make. It's just planning when and how to do it. Like bread, beside the rising time, it doesn't take that much time to actually make bread. And it comes cheaper than at the store, it can be way more healthier and the taste....well doesn't even compare! When you combine making your own food with using your homegrown start believing in the exsitence of God! =)

Proud parent feeling

This morning as I went to the garden to take a few pictures of my greenhouses for the previous entry...I couldn't stop taking pictures of my vegetables. And looking at those pictures I felt like I wanted to show the rest of the world what I was able to grow on my own. Almost like a parent getting his flip book out of his wallet to show his kids =) So enjoy the fruits of my labor!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Customize your greenhouse !

So tonight I did was I said I would and built my mini greenhouses around my zucchinis. I did have some trouble building the frames since I was alone but I managed. Now I have no idea if it will do anything. But I did leave two zucchinis outside to see differences. I've read that some gardeners extend their gardening season by having raised beds and putting a small hoop greenhouse when the temperature starts dropping. I will of course try this eventually. but I need more time to get more dirt and planks for the raising of the earth. But hey I'm in my first year! So plenty of time left. Here's a link to the video I made of it on Youtube --UPDATE-- When I took the pictures for this entry I noticed that the inside of the greenhouses were singnifically hotter than the exterior. So I supposed they will help after all =)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stretching Summer

Where I live, Summer starts ending in September....sadly. But tomorrow I am going to try to stretch my zucchini's life cycle. I'll build some simple mini greehouses over the plants in the garden. Now I have no idea how I'll do this. In fact I still haven't checked if I have plastic left in the garage. But it will be done tomorrow and I will post about it (probably even a video on Youtube). But in the meantime if you want to stretch Summer for your plants. I heard that to avoid freeze, you can simply put plastic over your plants at night.But you need to take it out in the morning or else they will steam during the day. Still some plants that need lots of heat might stop producing as the tempreture drops. I guess we will see if it's the case for my zucchinis =)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Surprising surprises of surprise

This afternoon I went for a stroll in my garden. Got a few cherry tomatoes that were ripe....looked at the zucchinis....and looked for radishes ready to come out. Instead of my small radishes I found a huge one! After coming out of my amazement I washed it and ate it. I got 5 bites out of it! Which brings me to my point. I love these little surprises in the garden. Like the one I had....or like finding a mature cucumber unoticed before, a "mutant" carrot with 5 legs.
It's as if the earth is giving you a special gift for helping her out (so corny! I know!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gardening as a therapy

I won't lie to most people my job is hard on my mental health. I deal with sick people and from time to time they die. Some days are easier than others, of course, but also..some are harder. But my way of keeping sane is gardening, or when I can't, thinking about it. Mabe it's the greenery, the life growing all around or just the manual labour, but my troubles just fly away. And when I have a perculiar trying day...I just think that I should be working less and less the more food I produce =) So yeah why work more and more and stress until a breakdown!?
You can if you want but I found my way out. Now I just have to work at it =) And when you love what you do it's not really working.


I've been having trouble continuing my blog these past few days....for reasons unknown. But what the heck I'll just write what comes to mind about this crazy adventure! For a while now I've been havesting....on a small scale.But as Fall approaches I'm starting to harvest my usual crop (courgettes, onions, beans) and new ones. Like tomatoes, carrots, radishes, spinach, lettuces....and soon I'll have a pumpkin! I only wish I had planted more tomatoes so I could've canned some for the winter. Well I have something to get exited for next year I guess. I mean...just have another look at the picture to the right. =) How can someone not get excited about all those beautiful, organically grown vegetables! here's a link to my video harvest