Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Hoe of My Heart

We've all seen them, those articles on "The 10 best Tools in Your Tool Shed" or "The 5 Tools No Gardener Can Live Without" or something like that.  Tools are very personal things to me so these titles make me cringe when I see them.  A few of us are lucky enough to have a tool that are family heirlooms passed down by parents or grand parents...tools we learned to garden with  These tools are the kind that stand the test of time being made of quality material, bearing the patina of a life of service on their handles and faces but still strong.  I have a tool like that...a sweet diminutive time tested tool that has been around for more than half a century, my heart-hoe.
Oh my little heart-hoe, so many memories are sown in the furrows you created.
I have this rich memory of my father leaning on the handle of the heart-hoe standing above me as I knelt on the ground with my hands in the warm soil of the garden planting corn, radish, carrot, beans and more.  I remember Dad running it through the freshly tilled garden soil along side the bright white cotton string my mother had tied to wooden stakes at either end of the garden bed to mark each row, creating the straight furrows that would receive the seed we were planting.  These are sweet memories that flood in at the first sight of this very special tool and as I take her in my own hands and run her in the warm soil along the strings that are strung tight between the wooden stakes in my own garden my heart and mind are filled with those days in the family garden.

I would not give up my little heart-hoe for love nor money for the memories yes, but also because its a great tool.  The smaller head is perfect for getting in between plants, because it is rather light weight I can use it for longer periods of time than other heavier tools so weeding becomes less of a drag.  The original hardwood handle which was smooth as silk from the years of use broke a couple years ago and my husband (bless him) decided to put a "real" handle on it.

Being a "guy" he used the "more is better" theory of fixing things and what I ended up with was a larger, heavier, shovel handle on my sweet little hoe instead of the smaller but still sturdy straight hoe handle that used to. I blanched when I saw it and was actually offended because he had turned it into a "dude tool"  It was like putting boxing gloves on a ballerina!!!  It was huge, too heavy and made it hard to use the hoe.  Of course my mind immediately thought "What was he thinking?" and the first words out of my mouth were less than kind.  He had of course done more than just put an ill-fitting handle on the hoe, he had offended its memory.  I think I'm going to get a new handle for her this year, a proper handle and just chalk this whole thing up as another chapter in her history.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Impending Bloom and Hope

We have all had more than our fill of disaster news of late,  I know I have.  It is such a grief to me to feel so utterly helpless when there is such great need as there is in the world and though I know our minds go straight to Japan, it is not just there but everywhere.  My heart cannot bear to look at it constantly.  If I did I would fall into despair without remedy.

First buds of warm sunny yellow peeking out on Primula veris

I was thankful to be out working in my garden today, to even have a garden, to be able to clean up things and see the new growth at my feet.  As I picked up the last of the garden duff I looked around and was overwhelmed by how even a flower bud is a messenger of hope, that life will go on, that there is yet beauty to be seen.
Pulmonaria longifolia, hope in breathtaking blue

I love that God saw fit to give us seasons to remind us that life does go on, that nothing lasts forever and that things only truly last just for a season and that he gave us impending blooms, a small thing with a big message.
Pure white Andromeda and bright ruby buds Ribes ranguineum a hope-filled contrast of colors
Rosemary, the herb of remembrance, bears her blooms of hope in soft pail blue

It doesn't matter if one is in a disaster zone or not there are still signs of hope when spring arrives.  If we can tear our eyes away from the dispairing scenes before us long enough and look around we will find them...small messages of hope sometimes surprising us from the crevice of a rock, as they lay on branches of a tree or on the ground at our feet.

I pray these little glimpses will be that sweet reminder of the mercy of the seasons and especially this season of hope.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomatoes In Milk Jugs? Seriously?

I hate paying the retail prices for plants I can grow myself don't you?  What was that you say?  You don't know how to grow plants so you always buy your tomatoes?  Well I hope this post will change your mind.  You don't need a greenhouse, you don't need lights or heating mats or other costly stuff to grow your own tomatoes.  If you have empty plastic milk jugs, some duct tape and some potting soil...oh and the seeds of course, you can grow tomatoes at yourself.

First the seeds....here are my tomato varieties this year...Gardeners Delight Cherry Tomatoes, Ananas Noire, Cuore Di Bue and Japanese Black Trifele...oh and Pineapple ground cherries.  I am total a sucker for yummy sounding descriptions and beautiful rich colored photos I have a hard time settling on varieties because they always come out with new ones.  I hope this works...now where are those milk jugs.  Oh and if something goes wrong and this doesn't you'll get the advantage of learning from my experience without any of the pain.

Seed packets at the ready.

Backstory:  When I first heard about this method of growing tomatoes from my good friends Barb and Don who live across the Columbia River and at a higher elevation from us I was very curious and actually sort of skeptical.  They've done this for years and told me it produces the stalkiest, hardiest plants they have ever had.  I was like the rest of us who have been used to traditional greenhouse grown tomatoes or those grown in the kitchen window with the lanky spindly stems and was a little suspicious but last year gave it a try for the first time.  It didn't make much sense to me until I remembered what I had read in "Four Season's Harvest" by Eliott Coleman about how they grew peppers and remembered what I had seen in the greenhouses while working for a plant grower.

A pepper plant that does not have some breeze blowing across its will have a weak stem.  Wow...just like our muscles need exercise!  That was so cool!  The cooler weather keeps the plant from growing too quickly too and makes the cells in the plant tougher and less like the skin of a baby which is exactly what those plants grown in green houses are and why they need to be hardened off.  They are a bunch of greenhouse coddled babies.

I am not one who enjoys coddling my garden so I was seriously hooked into trying this method out.  Last year I did it for the first time with great success.  Even the cooler than normal summer didn't stop my super duper tomatoes and they all grew very well.  Those stems were really buff!  I'd never seen stems that strong.

Buff Baby!  Lookin' good!

Instructions:  Grab those milk jugs and follow along.

I use a good sharp serrated knife instead of a hot knife...no fumes.

Cut triangular holes in each of the three shoulders of the jug and then cut 4 of the same in the bottom for drainage.
The next step is to cut around the middle so you have a way to get those plants out...OOPS!  What have a done!?!
OOPSIE!   I cut it all the way off.

Well...thank God for duct tape is all I can say.

A note to self...Do not cut!

That's more like it.

After cutting them all I filled the bottoms of each with regular potting soil leaving about 1" space to the top so there was enough room for a top coat of seedling mix that will go over the seeds.

Seedling mix is not as heavy as potting soil and easier for seeds to sprout through.

Seeds sown, containers marked and watered in.

I put a plant tag in each container with the variety name on it and then mark on the outside of each container what is inside so I don't have to open them up to see which is which.  Be sure to use a UV stable marker when you do this.

Now its time to close the sides with duct tape.  (The next time I buy a roll of this stuff I'll get it in colors I think...we have enough gray around this time of year.)

Love that duct tape!

So I repaired my boo boo on the one container with duct tape, taped the top and bottoms closed and set them on a large jellyroll pan up on the freezer where the warmth will help germinate the seeds more quickly.

Warm and cozy, now to wait.

Once they start to germinate they get to go outside on the front porch in the sunshine.  The only other thing I'm going to need is one of those clear plastic tubs but that part comes later on. Stay tuned!

Oh and while you are waiting head on over to "Thanks for Today" where they are once again doing the "Gardener's Sustainable Living Project" and enter to win one of several prizes. Gardener's Sustainable Living Project 2011

Winter Sown update #2 They all sprouted!

Oh I am so happy I just had to show you!  I am twittering like a momma bird over her babies today.
The winter sown seeds I sowed a few weeks ago have all sprouted.  These were sown back on February 17th and it has been a cool and very wet March here so it took a bit more time than normal.  The little tubs have had no cover though I did have to bring them inside for one night because temps in the 20s.  Otherwise they have sat happily on the front porch just minding their own business and doin' their thing.

Usually a bit erratic to germinate, even the Parsley looks good 
This will make a lot of dinners
YIPEE!  Even those leeks I paid too much money for have sprouted!
I'm saved from the shame!  They sprouted!
Red Russian and Dwarf Scotch Kale is doing great.  I'll have some plants to share.
Endives are not doing as well yet as I had hoped...but there are a few babies.
Bok Choy and Brussel Sprouts lookin good! (yummy)
Florence Fennel just crashed through the soil surface and is growing really fast!  WOOT!
It's time to get busy and prepare their beds and thankfully our weather is not going to be as wet as it has been.  They grow fast at this stage and won't have the luxury of winter's pace from here on.  The thing I want to avoid is a lot of tangled roots so transplanting will be easier.

Oh by the way...my tomatoes are sown in their milk jugs too.  I'll be posting on those very soon!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Seed Tape Project 101

Have you ever made seed tapes.  They are so handy and a great project to do with children.  But really for me, to be honest here, seed sowing is not one of my favorite garden chores.  Because of this I'm always looking for ways to make this necessary chore quicker and less painful. Part of the reason has to do with a truth that you youngsters will discover sooner than you probably want to which is that the older one gets the further away that that ground down there is.  Even with raised beds it can get wearing on the body...all that bending over the beds to be sure all the seeds are sown just right.

Carrot seeds are not very fun to sow because they are so stinkin' small.
Some seeds are rediculously hard to sow without getting way too many in the hole...like carrot seed.  It is teensie weensie and just when you think you are only sticking a couple of seeds in that hole..oops...there go five!  Ugh...I hate wasting seed.  Seed tapes are a great away to solve both of these problems at once.  Oh what are seed tapes you ask?  Keep reading and I'll show you...their pretty darn cool!

You will need:
  • Flour and water...to make a paste like thick paint
  • A paint brush
  • Strips of toilet paper(TP) or black and white newspaper in measured lengths (mine are 2' and 4' long)
  • A yard stick or ruler (Mine is a 4' long metal ruler I found at a thrift store)
  • Tweezers (needle point type work best)
  • Seeds...carrots, lettuce or other smaller seeds are good for this method...even flower seeds!
  • A place work and a place to lay the strips to dry.

First blend the flour and water paste together until most of the lumps are out of it.

Gee, lets make paper mache'!

Lay out your strips of paper next to the ruler.

You have got to get one of these rulers!  They are so cool!
Fold the TP in half before adding paste (you don't need to do this with newspaper)

Just a thin layer will do

With the paint brush paint the flour paste down the center of the paper. We're not making pancakes here so be sure you don't slobber the paste on the paper too thick.  A nice even layer to hold the folded sides of the paper together when you press them down over the seed.  

Spacing seeds every 2 inches.

Place seeds at proper spacing on the pasted portion of the paper using the ruler as your guide

Folding again and pressing over the seeds to stick them in place.

Once all your seeds are placed on the strip of paper, fold it over length wise and gently press down to seal the sides together.

Once you have it all pressed down you can set it aside to dry on a countertop or other surface that the damp strips won't harm.

Clothes drying racks...another favorite thing.
A couple of hours after I had finished my seed tapes I needed my dining room table for dinner so I moved them to the clothes rack.  If you want to do this you just need to be sure they are about half dry before hanging them up.  I suppose you could use one of those mesh sweater racks that are designed for flat drying clothes too.

When the strips are completely dry just roll them up and store them until its time to plant them.  Oh don't forget to mark those seed tape rolls so you know what they are or you will forget.  Trust me.

There you have it...how to make seed tapes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spuds Stories from Portland

Getting back into posting has been a little difficult after all that has happened in Japan.  It reminds me a lot of how I felt after my father passed away...like slogging through mud, my arms and legs heavy with grief.  I'm too empathetic for my own good sometimes.  In an effort to counter all the grief I was experiencing I turned off the television, shut down the laptop and decided to go to the nursery and get potatoes for our garden; after all, life goes on.

It felt good to be stepping away from the reports for a while and even driving to the nursery was cathartic.  As I pulled into the nursery I could feel my spirits lift like I had just come out of a dark tunnel.  When I got out of the car I took a deep breath of air, the fragrance filled my head and it was so refreshing.  The day was cool and a little wet but not bad.  Perfect for shopping.  I headed back to the building where the spuds are kept.

Good ol' grocery store Russets spuds (bored)
As I looked at the varieties I was amazed at how every year there seems to be more and more types of potatoes.  How are we ever supposed to know what will grow best in our area if they keep giving us new choices.  This isn't like buy clothes...well maybe it is because it seems whenever I find a style and brand of jeans that fits they stop making them and have a new style that doesn't.  I think its fine to do the fashion thing with perennials and annuals but not with my food please!  I want to know that those words on the signs and in catalogs are true and time tested so I can be assured me they will do as promised. 

People are always asking me why I even grow pototoes since they are not expensive to buy in the store.  I have two reasons, first I get bored easily with my food so I'm always being enticed by gourmet potatoes.  The second reason I grow them is I'm too frugal to spend the money they want for gourmet spuds no matter how bored I am!  Why spend outrageous amounts of money on potatoes when I can grow piles of gourmet tubers at home and save a bundle!  At least that's what I've tried to do.  Not that the past years growing gourmet potatoes have been awful or anything...OK I'm lying; two years ago it was awful.

Two years ago the slugs or whatever it was decided the "Buffet Open" sign was out in my gourmet potato patch.  The Swedish Fingerling potatoes that I had planted came with high hopes from those high recommendations I had heard everywhere.  Well, in my garden they didn't do well at all and then with the critters helping themselves to MY gourmet potatoes it almost made me wanna cry.  "Hey those are mine!" I remember shouting down at the sorry harvest of half eaten bits of spuds I had just dug.  It was pitiful and I felt pitiful.  Where were the loads of spuds the nursery signs said they were going to produce or everyone else had said there would be for that matter?  They sure weren't where showing up in my garden.  I did more muttering and sputter over spuds that year, I almost hated the idea of even spading up one more hill...it was really painful.  Oh, by the way there were no tunnels so I knew it wasn't the rodents.  Eventually I had to dig the rest and the row gave us only 3 or 4 meals of those dreamed about fingerlings...what a disappointment.  Unfortunately that wasn't to be the only potato disappointment that year though.

German Butterball potatoes, usually a stellar performer in our area only provided moderate yields but their flavor was fabulous and left me wanting more.  Then there was the red potato I can't remember the name of.  It was so watery and nondescript in flavor that even my starch addicted hubby refused to eat it!  It was just bleh...no character and all water.  It was a little better raw than cooked and even at that it left you not not wanting another bite.  Why do they even sell such a variety of potato? As luck would have it this was the potato that did really well and the darn critters didn't nibble on it once.  Seems they somehow knew better...ah swell!

This year I am working on being more practical and not going too gourmet after trying too many new fanciful veggies and being somewhat disappointed by their produce.  I want see if I can improve my luck.  So today while its raining outside I'm counting out my newly purchased potato seed and find myself recounting fond...er...funny memories as I go about figuring how much room my spuds will take up.  My method this year is a bit backwards but I just wasn't at my best this week and who could blame me with world being turned upside down.  But the boxes on my floor in front of me with Norkota Russets, Yukon Gold and Romanze potatoes with eyes beginning to sprout all promise a new season in the garden and I have hope.  I'm hoping there will be some room left for some German Butterballs too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winter Sown Seeds Update

So a few weeks ago I started some vegetable seeds in recycled milk jugs and butter tubs.  Winter sowing is one of those ways gardeners keep from going completely insane when its snowing outside and winter seems like it will never end.  Its a great way to get a nice early start on early season veggies too and save a bundle by growing your own.  I have instructions on how I use the milk jugs in my previous post.

So today it was a spring-like mid 50 degrees kind of day with high clouds and no wind...oh joy!  A perfect day to play outside in the garden.  Me I grabbed my camera to get these photos to share with you on the progress of my veggie babies.

Probably about 10 days to transplant
Endive germination is slower than I had expected.
Bok Choy getting its roots under it.
 These tubs have been outside all but one night when it dipped below 20 degrees.  They were placed on top of our freezer where its a bit warmer to get them to start germinating.  As soon as one seed sprouted, out they all went onto the front porch where they get the sun most all day.

Ruby and Green Streaks Mustard...oh yummy!
This is a little disappointing, nothing up yet. 
The other swiss chard variety doing good
These better grow.  They were pricey seeds.
Dependable collards are doing fabulously
And I found a fly to ID while I was shooting the pictures.
It won't be long and it will be time to sow the tomato seeds in these milk jugs...that is another blog post so stay tuned.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © 2011 by Patty Hicks
All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All reviews must include author's name and a link back to this blog.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cutting Away The Deadwood

A small sampling of my collected past
It’s a hard and good thing to look at what one has and realize when its time to let things go. To come to that point where you get it, that what you have collected, maybe things you used to enjoy using or owning are somehow keeping you from moving forward.  You can no longer look at them the way you once did because you see them from a completely different perspective.  You see them like anchors that keep you lashed to your past, hindrances that keep you from moving into your future.  If you hold onto them you know you will be held back from growing, from achieving tomorrow’s provision and blessing.  It is a season of surrender, of giving up and letting go of what is familiar to the future you know you are supposed to take hold of.

Class outlines and information I used to glean from and collect.

That is where I am right now.  I am digging through file drawers of paper, looking at every piece, remembering and releasing.  Life is not static and my circumstances and God’s work in providing a new path for my future have called me to let it go and move on.  It feels odd how cathartic this is for me as I wade through things; there is a kind of lightness I feel in my heart, an unburdening from thinking about these things.  My mind not focused on what I “used to use” or thought I would use.  There is a freedom from feeling I have to go in that old direction and from the feeling of failure that I didn't complete some goal. There is also a sweetness in the remembering as I touch pages of my words, pictures of my past.  It’s amazing how much I’d forgotten I’d kept and I found myself in tears more than once.  Sometimes the tears were from happiness, sometimes because it was a little harder than what I thought it would be to let go.  I press on.

A portion of the memorabilia pile...heartwood.
In spite of how I may feel, I know I have to dig out from under yesterday to realize my tomorrow.  I long for new growth more than the familiarity and keeping of the past.  This is why I persevere in the process.  I am not looking to accomplish it all with one giant effort but bit by bit like doing restorative pruning on an old apple tree.  First remove the dead wood, then remove congestion and finally prune for fruiting.

Our Quince tree in its restorative pruning process will produce better fruit for us this year.

It takes time to prune like this, on a tree it takes a few years to bring restoration. For me in this process it will be a few months, maybe even a year before I begin to see that fruit I’m looking for.  I’m thankful for this understanding.  My files of collected information and ideas, class outlines and memorabilia could not have been conquered in one session.  It took two times going through them just to get them down to something that looked to be manageable.

All that stuff boiled down...now to manage this well.
This job will not complete until I have set up my systems to keep myself organized and discipline myself to working this new system so it serves me in the future and doesn't turn into another anchor.  That will be the interesting part. Creating something useful and manageable in light of who I am and how I work.  Its funny how we think we know who we are and how we work and how different that is from reality when we really begin to dig in…that is if we are being truly honest about what we are looking at and dealing with.

I’m a dreamer, I’m a designer, I’m an artist and these collected ideas are like candy to me, fodder for future projects. Some people pack rat stuff, real tangible things like figurines or toys or dishes or cook books…me I love to collect ideas and information.  The challenge…to ask myself why I want to keep any of it and be brutally honest.  I think I’m doing pretty well so far.

I can see my own weaknesses as I go through the piles of files and papers in front of me.  “What was I thinking?  Why did I feel I had to keep this stuff?” I laugh out loud. Granted, there is a lot more online today than there ever was on paper back when I began to file ideas away.  I can already see possible problems that might arise if I'm not careful however I really like things on paper better than digital files; the whole organic nature of it, the feel, the smell and its easier for me to read and edit off of a piece of paper than on my computer.  I “loved” revisiting information and ideas I “collected”, things that inspired me, that fed my creative soul and my inner nerd…emphasis on past tense here is important as that is in part what brought the congestion.  My weaknesses are revealed and I can breath.

The past is what it was and I'm moving on

As I dug through the mountain of my collection one thing that made me laugh was how my tastes in styles have changed.  It really brought home how much I needed to clean out that dead wood.  Another thing was how even that information I had used to teach with had changed too.  It was one of those “looking into a time capsule” moments for me and it hit me like a brick…I’m living in the now, not the then.

The work I did in college, my papers, my weed collection (yes I had a weed collection, they are plants after all), all the notes…those were really difficult to part with because of all I had invested them.  Actually husband was not helping at all here either and wanted me to keep the binder with my vast weed collection as a family heirloom!  With that, I decided it would be the first things to go.  I didn’t want to start calling my work an heirloom as I knew it wasn’t that beautiful.  Thankfully my college papers are digitally filed so no need to keep the hard copies with the teacher's notes…and if something happens to the computer and I lose it all I won’t die, nor will anyone else.  Life goes on.  There are other things I’d rather be remembered for.  I don’t want to be remembered for how smart I am but how I loved and helped to make other’s lives better and for how much I love my Savior.

To stay or go into the future, the choice is yours

Where I thought I was going back then no longer matters, I have to listen to where God is telling me I am going today and I don’t want to live in the time capsule of the past so out it goes.  So far I have recycled nearly one whole 60 gallon roll-cart from my past.  I’m still scratching my head at how out of hand things had gotten and I’m not all that disorganized. I just never went back often enough to prune out old wood, thus the congestion.

Pruning for fruit is where the heart is really dealt with.  We love the memories of the past and what is attached to those memories like the branches of a tree that gave us such lovely fruit in years past.  For myself it was and probably will continue to be anything to do with gardening.  I love learning about plants, I love teaching about plants, I love propagating plants, digging in the soil and the beauty I’ve worked to create.  This is indeed the most difficult of all this pruning process.  These old branches must be pruned though and they will always have a presence in my future but my focus will be more balanced and the struggle for good fruit less difficult as long as this pruning is maintained.

I am ready for that blade to be laid to this branch of my life that is so integrally attached to my heart.  It is the most important part of this process because strikes at the heart of the crossroads in my life.  My letting go or holding on will affect the future.  God has something new for me and I want to go with Him, not lag behind in my past.  I’m not exactly sure what exactly that looks like yet but I know that nothing surrendered, nothing experienced and no mistakes made are ever lost in God’s economy.  He uses all things for good in the lives of His children.  This knowledge has helped me to do this with freedom and without fear.  My heart is filled with expectation and hope instead of fear and anxiety.

Meeting the future with an expectant heart

As I begin to walk into this new future God has for me I will have to look at the heart of why I am choosing to keep something.  If I do chose to keep it I will need to remind myself that at some point in the future, I will need to let it go.  I’m hoping for the discipline to keep the creativity flowing and not bogged down by past notions like I’ve been feeling this past couple of years. Besides, there is only so much information I will ever really use in my lifetime and often these ideas are just that and nothing more.  They hold no tangible use nor intrinsic value and if there are enough of them just end up being that anchor tied around my leg that holds me to the past.  Time to cut the rope and move on with my life.

So its time to get real here.  My tack, at least for this season, is that I don’t keep anything I’m not currently working on until I get a clear view of where I’m to be heading.  One foot in front of the other with care and purpose.  I’ve discovered that collecting good ideas can bury the view of the path one is supposed to be taking causing one to veer off from it or at least muddy it up real good and causing us to not move with the freedom God desires in our lives.  These collections can stall creativity by keeping the mind focused on the collected things instead of allowing free flowing ideas and new creativity.  I cannot count the number if good ideas I threw out when I filled that roll cart...and they were good ideas back when I collected then.  But I don’t want to settle just for good ideas, I want the best ideas, those that God will prosper, those that will bless others and those that will leave the kind of legacy I want to leave behind.  So out with the old and congestion and lay that blade where You must God, I'm ready for my future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Late Winter Notes

So winter is fighting for its last breath here in the Pacific Northwest.  I'm so over winter this year.  Its a good thing I have other things to hold my attention.  Family birthdays, planning the veggie garden, winter sowing, purging piles of papers and getting ready to sell off books and magazine collections so I can move forward with less baggage.
My first report in Birds and Blooms Magazine...I'm stoked!

Speaking of moving forward, today is the official kickoff of the Birds and Blooms Blog that I am helping to populate.  Its a part of my newish gig with Birds and Blooms Magazine as the NW Regional Reporter.  There five of us from all over the United States who are populating the blog and some great posts up already as we had some time to play with our new writing toy so come on over and check it out.  Birds and Blooms Blog

I'll be blogging at least 2 to 3 times a week about birds, gardening and some DIY projects.  I've already posted one on how to make a tin can planter that I think is pretty sweet.  Leave a comment and let us know what you think.  We'd like to hear your questions too if you have any so don't be shy.  We'll do our best to answer them too.

I'll still be blogging here...who knows maybe a little bit more regularly now.  There's always something to blog about.

Happy Gardening!