Garden Start

walking onion seat


The garden is taking shape.  The walking onions and garlic have set the pace, giving the semblance of organization in my haphazard plans.



Tomato seedlings and pepper seedlings are doing well indoors and are nearly ready to move to the sun porch for a few weeks of hardening off before I plant them.





Part of my haphazard approach was to allow the lettuce to go to seed in a few locations.  The result is a nice start of lettuce growing in both the self watering tub and in the garden proper.

Additionally, parsley and cilantro were allowed to self seed and are growing wonderfully.  The cilantro was quite prolific and will do a great job of providing ground cover as I await further growth of the peas and carrots.

Grapevines have surprised me with lovely new buds of growth, as cosmos volunteers abound.  The asparagus was also a nice surprise regrowth, although only two of my plants have emerged.

I ignored the water trough planter, so very nearly killed the strawberries.  There are a few stragglers growing quite well, but greatly reduced from the fabulous growth the past few years.

Herbs are doing well again, and the hyssop has flourished, with several new lavender plants taking hold as well.

I took a closer look at the yard footprint and will be able to create a space just for corn and squash – asking Hubby to till up the space so that I can smother it with straw for this year.

That’s the scoop with the garden so far.

Happy Spring!



Garden Thoughts

Gearing up for Spring, and dreaming of gardens and growing and harvest, reality comes crashing in and sets the tone.  That reality washed over me as I posted my recent activity in my garden journal.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to track what I plant and when and how it progresses, with notes to mark target dates, spacing and sunlight needs.  I use a new sheet for each garden year, copying the previous year and revising it to start the new season.

garden plot

Plot of garden spaces and containers, showing the sunlight by color

Distracted from this progress by a newly discovered idea, I had been engrossed in creating a garden plot on a separate sheet in the workbook and forgot to start my new tab.  Last night, I copied the tab – realizing that I was copying from the previously noted season of… 2011.

garden journal

Chart of plants and their needs with planting dates and progress notes, color coding left over from 2011

I’ve had a rough couple of years, and I was very aware of that fact.  I just hadn’t realized how drastically it had affected my garden plans until last night.

The past few months have been busy with bursts of organization, purging, and planning.  Activities that had been lacking for the most part during these years evidenced as missed tabs on my garden journal.

I was stirring last year, laying down a plot for a permanent garden, plotting about how to attract beneficial insects, and setting down ideas for permanent plants.  It’s time now.  Time to sink some roots.  Time to take hold of the time I have available and figure out how to do things I need to do.

Time to start gettin’ busy.




Our Favorite White Chili



My favorite version:  when I use oregano and onion and garlic fresh from the garden, home-cooked beans, and pasture-fed chicken roasted at home.

Football Soup – White Chili

  •  1 T Olive oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • ¼ t cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 – 4 oz cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 ½ t dry oregano, crumbled
  • 6 c chicken broth
  • 3 – 16 oz cans great northern beans, undrained
  • 4 c cooked chicken, chopped or cubed
  • 3 c grated Monterey jack cheese
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high; add onions and sauté for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat.
  5. Add the cooked chicken and cheese and stir until the cheese melts.




This soup freezes quite well!  Simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat when ready to serve.