Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flowerpot Garden

Here's a closeup of the flowerpot container gardens I made for the patio makeover! Since planting, the flowers have really started to "pop" and are looking gorgeous! Especially the Begonias! I'll have to post an update soon!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our New Patio!

As I posted on our family blog, we just did a mini backyard makeover. I focused on the patio. You can ready the entire makeover story here. So I'll just give you the before & after shots!



What do you think?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Are you thinking of organic gardening? (We are!)

I have lots to say on our switch to organic lawn care and gardening. But before I develop some posts on this matter, there is an article you should read. Be careful what kind of "organic compost" products you buy. As it turns out, some of these products contain processed human sewage.

Which in itself isn't necessarily always bad but when you consider that medications like Prozac and other harmful materials get dumped in people's toilets, a giant compost of collective human sewage is a really bad idea.

Read the article here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Making Room

Guess what we did on Earth Day? Cut down trees. Okay so we aren't really "Earth Day" people anyway but I thought it was kinda humorous! We are making room for more sunshine for our gardens, and also the root system of this behemoth was just sucking the life out of our lawn.

We also cut down the scraggly pine that was in the front yard because, let's face it - it was an eyesore and way too close to power lines.

I'm hoping that in addition to making room for more sun, we're also making room for a deck with a gazebo and patio furniture... maybe a fire pit!

I have big plans for this summer! Too bad most of them involve my husband doing the work. Is there a Fairy Garden Mother around?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Painting a Garden

Take thy plastic spade,

It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,

They are thy colours.

~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

I love the idea that a gardener is like a painter - they choose their plants and placement as carefully as any artist weilding a brush. They "paint" with dirt, and plants, and rocks and spades, and rakes. And both artist and gardener use their hands to make beauty.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is a CSA?

Sometimes, because I've done so much research on it, and participated in one, I forget that other people don't even know about CSAs. Or what they are.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, it's a system whereby you purchase a "share" of a farm at the beginning of the growing season (usually mid-winter or early spring, or even the year before! Some CSAs fill up really early!). What you're doing is investing in that farm's future. Your share money allows the farmer to purchase seeds and equipment in advance of the farming year.

Then, during the growing season, your CSA entitles you to weekly "share" of the farm produce. Each CSA runs differently. Some farms require a work committment along with the payment. Other farms do not.

We belonged to the Holcomb Farm CSA in Granby, CT for several years. They grow organically, which we love. We would get about 20 weeks of "share pickup." We were given a cloth grocery bag that we could fill up each week with our choice of the farm produce. The Holcomb CSA was especially value-added because they had a huge Pick-Your-Own crop that was in addition to the share bag.

As the season goes on, different kinds of produce are available. In June, there's lots of lettuce greens, radishes, maybe some spring onions... July brings the squash, cucumbers, beets, and more. August is a good month because you have a large variety of produce. September and October bring the squashes, pumpkins...

What's great about a CSA is that you get your food directly from the source. You can often pick what you want for your share (some farms create share boxes where the produce is pre-selected). And you can get to know the farm and their farming practices first hand.

Are there drawbacks to a CSA? Sure - if the farm does not produce well, your produce pick up is reduced - or you might just have less of a selection. Because you're getting only in-season foods, you might eat the same kinds of veggies a few weeks in a row. And of course, you have to drive to your pick up location every week, sometimes at a certain time.

But overall, if you research and find the best value CSA in your area (some farms offer fewer weeks or smaller bags) you can get a really good deal and really great food!

Have you ever belonged to a CSA? Do you have more questions about how they work?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm thinking summer...

...it's gotta be somewhere under all these 30 inches of snow. I am looking forward to getting the jogging stroller back out of hiding, walks in the park, and hopefully entertaining a little toddler! I've already started to think about what outdoor toys my son might like this summer. Will he want a pool again (the last one broke!), a sandbox, slide, or maybe a wooden swing set?

I have fond memories of hanging off our swingset when I was little... I've been browsing through CSNStores.com to see what kind of play toys might work for a 14-20 month old this summer. I'll be reviewing a product from them soon - not sure what I'll decide on (I COULD use some winter boots if this snow doesn't stop coming down!). But I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, check out CSN for yourself!

Help me out - What is/was your child's favorite outdoor play toy or game around age 1-2?