Sunday, March 29, 2015

Creating Again

I might have taught Abby to gently curse last week. We were walking to school in the snow, in -18, a day after putting our winter pants and boots away. "Surely," I thought, "that is the end of winter this time." We all felt so frustrated that there was only one thing we felt like doing: slamming the forces responsible. "Friggin Mother Nature!" Abby and I called out on our walk to school. "Yeah, why are you making it winter after spring was supposed to start?" she asked. We smiled, having aired our grievances, made the best of it, and walked to school united in our disdain for this prolonged winter.

Go fish, mama.
I heard someone say recently (OK, it was Liz Gilbert, I've been binge-watching her YouTube clips again) that if a creative mind is not actively creating, it is probably destroying something. Food for thought, I chewed on that. It's subtle, but true, for me. I haven't been doing much creating lately, and left idle, my mind began to find other ways to keep occupied. I was on FB way too much looking at linked articles I really didn't need to read, I got kind of cranky with those around me, I destroyed my creating side with my consuming, destructive side. Thankfully, I recognized this. Back to creating: spring cleaning, a painting, short story pieces, and our edible garden.

Last year's go at growing our own herbs and tomatoes was fun, fruitful and frugal. (Boo-ya for alliteration on that one!) This year, we have plans to put in a raised bed (our tomato plants in containers kept blowing over on windy days last year), and use our tall planters for potatoes and yams. The potatoes and yams have sprouted legs already, so hopefully we'll have some good shoots to work with when it's warm enough to plant them outside. This is super easy, by the way-- I highly encourage trying it! Each potato should yield me about 25-30 potatoes come fall, based on the height of my planters.

I used a Pinterest-provided tutorial to make my own seed planters out of newspapers. When it's time to harden my seedlings off and plants them in beds, I can keep the roots undisturbed by planting right into the wet soil, as the newspaper will decompose. 

As with last year, we bought our heirloom seeds from a local seed catalog. We have now planted seeds for two kind of tomatoes that date back to the early days of the Experimental Farm (Rideau and Carlton tomatoes), King of the North bell peppers (that lend themselves to our climate), broccoli, marigolds (to keep pests away from the tomatoes, and they are pretty!), white sage and Italian basil. We also planted zucchini, but those seeds aren't heirloom.  

We planted a raspberry bush in the fall from cuttings in my mom's backyard, and I keep dropping hints that I'd love a blueberry bush for Mother's Day. I have also hit up our local Second Cup coffee shop with empty coffee tins they generously filled with used coffee grinds, which I will work into the soil come spring (they're in the freezer, for now). Between all of those efforts, I am sure we'll have a ton of homegrown produce to eat and share. The cost of seeds, starter soil and trays has been under $30. This year, we'll be spending money to have the raised beds built and filled with soil, but from here on out, I hope to have a relatively low-cost operation for edible gardening each year. Mama like.  

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