ways to grow

Oh the Ways You Can Grow: Trash-to-Treasure Style

springSPRINGspringSpringSPRINGspringSPRINGGGG

Welcome to my near-constant inner dialogue this time of year. Living deep in the woods of Appalachia has made me acutely aware of the changing seasons in a way that no other life experience has. A little surprising, because in my memory I’ve never worked a job that wasn’t predominately physically active and outdoors. The minor exception was my college job of working in the campus dining hall, but even then my preferred shift was “night crew”; a position¬†that allowed me to work largely unsupervised and outdoors behind the kitchen cleaning floor mats. Suffice it to say I take advantage of any chance to play outside. Especially with plants and animals. Most working summers of my life have been spent landscaping, but the best ones have been spent farming. Having complete ownership of a vegetative plant from one end of its life cycle to another is a thrilling endeavor; one I believe I could devote my entire life to mastering.

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diy

DIY Seed Starting Table from Recycled Materials

One advantage of being snowed on the mountain for the past few days was that Ian had lots of time to work on some homestead improvement projects. First on his list was making the garden shed usable for me to start seeds in a few weeks by building a seed starting table.

Yes, we could have bought a folding table from Walmart very cheaply, but where’s the sustainable living spirit in that? Besides, Ian had so much fun reclaiming the old chicken coop on the property a few months ago that he was eager to start another construction project, but with the goal of only only using found materials already on the property. We didn’t want to spend a dime.

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seeds

Seed Selection for the Homestead Garden

The weather here has certainly taken a turn, which has been a welcome reminder that it is actually winter out here…meaning that spring is only weeks away.¬†

garden
The current wintering garden

And with spring comes work in the the very first garden I have been independently responsible for. Garden prep is a little behind right now as I could easily be starting some seeds indoors right now if I had my game together. Newsflash: I don’t. Not yet. But I’m on my way, and in the next few weeks I will be starting seeds both indoors and in our tiny garden shed. I’m very excited for the entire process to begin, so below is the culmination of a weekend’s work: my shopping list of garden seeds.

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