...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


seed excitement... and growing your own CSA!

I never tire of the promise of seeds...

I get such a surge of excitement when they arrive in the mail.
It's an ex-seed-ingly amazing feeling...!

I went through all of my seed stock to get ready for this growing season.

I love to line up my seed packets
and sometimes I even shake them gently
like I used to do with my Christmas presents under the tree.
Seed packets are definitely like little presents!
Some of the seeds here I managed to save from vegetables I grew last year,
but most are still things I ordered from seed catalogs.

Who can resist those seed catalogs?
I can't.

In the words of Dorcas Lane,
"They are my one weakness..."

(But those of you who have seen the BBC period drama Lark Rise to Candleford
know that oh so many things are her weakness, and alas, the same is true for me.)

In the short time I've been gardening,
I've managed to get a little more economical in my seed purchases.

I've discovered that Fedco is the way to go for most things.
If there's something special that I want
(usually prompted by my forays through glossy photo catalogs
with luscious descriptions...)
then I go elsewhere, but always looking for the best prices.
 This year I managed to get all of my extra special selections
from Baker's Creek and Botanical Interests.

All in all
I think I did a better job of prioritizing my seed purchases this year...
(it's definite progress for me, the Queen of the Overkill.)

For our edible gardens,
I'm only growing things that I know I will be happy to eat a LOT of.

Things that we'll want to gobble down,
stain our fingers with, 
eating until we can't eat any more.

For me, that eliminates certain things:
like radishes, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, salsify
kohlrabi, sunchokes, chard, celeriac, okra, and some other random things.
(Things that, in all honesty, if they went extinct I really wouldn't miss.)

But it means growing lots of just about everything else!
I figure the more I love the taste of something,
the more happily I will  keep checking on them, and give them what they want to grow.

We're embarking on new territory this year.
This year is the first year that we haven't signed up for a CSA membership.

We're planning to grow our own veggie CSA...!
(and I'm working on plans for fruit, too!)
I know our learning curve will be steep, 
but it's an adventure I've always wanted to try.
For those of you wondering what is more economical...
Buying a CSA is DEFINITELY more economical 
than trying to grow all of your own stuff!
But when you grow it yourself, 
you know exactly what went into it,
you worked (so hard!) for it,
and you can eat it fresh in the sun, 
when nutrients and flavor are most flush.
But really, keep supporting your local farmers!
Their hourly wage when it's all said and done
is like not even $1.00/hr.
 They do it because they love it and they believe in it.
I'm growing our own for the same reasons.
If gardening weren't my therapy,
I would scrap this whole idea in a flash.


Spring is officially here
and I'm already a little behind my seed-starting schedule...!

If you live in Zone 5,
and your last average frost date is around May 14th... 
Here's an approximate timeline for starting seeds indoors:

onions and peppers:  week of March 2nd
tomatoes:                   week of March16th
   herbs:                        week of March 23rd
cauli/broc/cabbage:   week of April 1st
watermelon:              week of April 6th
brussel sprouts:         week of June 1st

I've never grown onions from seed before, but here goes!
I decided to try New York Early and Clear Dawn.

Stay tuned for what's shaping up to be a long season
 full of the highs and lows and lessons
of growing your own!


it's live bird cam time again!

Big Red and Ezra are back again this spring...
and Big Red just laid an egg yesterday!


Grieg's Lyric pieces and Norwegian Songs and Dances

I've been armchair-traveling to Norway lately.

And of all of the things I've been exploring,
I've really enjoyed learning about and listening to Edvard Grieg's music.
I love his Lyriske Stykker (Lyric Pieces).

After listening to many different renditions, 
I stumbled upon Eva Knardahl.

Here you can listen to the entire collection.
Her playing has a joyfulness and vibrance to it that most others are lacking,
even if perhaps they're more technically correct...  

You can also listen to Eva playing the Norske Flokeviser og Danser
(Norwegian Folk Songs and Dances):