Monday, January 31, 2011

Dip toes and then jump!

Ok- I'm in it now! That is my quest for the country life! Last week I made a few calls about signing Princess Bear (PB) up for FFA or 4-H. The closest FFA chapter is about an hour and a half from here so that just isn't going to work. There are several 4-H chapters here in town so we're going with that. The February meeting is distributing Valentine cards at a nursing home but no meeting afterwards so that didn't seem like the best time to take PB. Instead we're waiting for the March meeting. That meeting is taking place at our local Hy Vee which is a fairly new store (it opened last summer) and for whatever reason it is one of PB's favorite places to go. The meeting is a tour of the store and then an actual meeting afterwards. She's looking very forward to it. She'll be in a group called Cloverbuds which is for 5-7 year olds. The leader also told me that 8 years old and up always have to present a project at the County fair every summer. We talked about the possibility that PB might have a difficult time at the fair because of the heat and she said that is no problem whatsoever. Instead PB can go to the local extension office here in Peoria and present her project there. I'm just very glad that PB is getting some more socialization. I originally looked for a Brownies troop but for some reason that just never seems to take off at her school.

Then I decided to take the plunge myself and sign up at Farmers Only which is an online sight to find someone else who is also interested in a country lifestyle. I'd never heard of this site before and then heard about it twice in a pretty small time frame. What the heck- it can't make my social life any less busy!

I also signed up for 2 plots at our community garden. Our garden here at home isn't quite as big as I'd like and there isn't room for any other gardening spots around the house. The plots are 4' x 8' and cost $10 for the summer. So I figure a $20 investment isn't a bad idea for uping my growing space by almost 50%. I'm planning on using one of the plots for tomatoes only. I'm going to be a canning fool I tell you! Think of all the tomato juice, salsa, ketchup, chili and pasta sauce I can put by for the winter! I'm so excited! I'm going to do a lot of beans, peas and carrots in the other space with maybe some beets because PB loves munching on beet stalks with ranch dressing. I was pickig out my blueberry bushes last night. I'm planning on getting somewhere between 6-8 semi sized blueberry bushes. That way they can be grown in containers around the backyard even if I manage to get a swimming pool for PB this summer, G-d willing! I'm also thinking about a couple of dwarf apricot and nectarine trees for the patio. We have 2 apple trees so we're going to have lots of great fruit hopefully. I also really really REALLY want a strawberry pyramid. Have you seen these? They're so cool. Its a circular, tiered strawberry garden that has space for 50 strawberry plants in a 6' circle! You can take a look HERE. You can purchase a netting set to go over it to keep pesky birds out of your garden! Man do I want one of these!!! PB would be so happy being able to pick her own strawberries and blueberries. The only other berry she likes is raspberry & I don't have the space or ability to deal with canes right now.

So, that is what is happening here. Now we're just getting ready to hunker down for the foot of snow that we're supposed to get between now and Wednesday- oh yah! NOT!

1 comment:

Jen on the Edge said...

We have blueberry bushes and it's so nice to go outside to get fresh berries for breakfast. They need to be covered with nets as soon as the blooms fall off or else the birds will eat the emerging berries.

Strawberries are easy too, but they need to be netted or else the squirrels will eat them.

I'm going to build a pergola-like structure this spring over my blueberry bushes so that I can put one large net over them all instead of individual nets over the bushes.

It's hard to believe that I'll be planting peas in just a few weeks.