This year’s seed catalogs! Haven’t kept on the mailing lists for the dozen or more I used to get. I do always look around online, but for the hard copy, and the main seed ordering, it’s reduced to two, one main seed supplier and a backup. The more you know, the less you need? I like the sound of that! :)
Tiny farming: Planning
[From 28-Jan-2012] It’s a different winter from day to day. Same picture, new weather: today, a more traditionally winter look, with soft flurries and gentle snow drifts. The weather continues to swing around rather wildly. Indoors, this has been a month of reading, clicking and scrolling through the web, thinking about this year’s plan, burning wood. Not having a real winter is a little disorienting, but I’m starting to notice the days getting longer!
Sometimes the winterscape looks a little strange… We’ve been in a deep freeze for most of the last month (mostly in the -5° to -20° range at night, the days barely higher, with a couple of pleasantly mild exceptions). Today, a little more snow. Need a break to harvest the last of the carrots.
[From 27-Jun-2012] My current seed bank is around 60 Ziploc freezer bags. In alphabetical order. I haven’t been as careful lately with storage conditions as at times in the past, these plastic bins with lids (there is third one with bigger bags of larger seed, like beans and peas) are kept out of sunlight and away from heat. I could do a lot more, but I’m not going for long term storage, and most of the time there seems to be no critical difference in germination time and rate for seed 1-2 years old, which is longest I keep anything in any sort of quantity. Fresh seed may pop up a little quicker, but with the many other variables based mainly on the weather, it all seems to even out by the time harvest day rolls around!
[From 2-Jul-2012] End of the line: what it looks like when your well bottoms out and the water stops flowing. Just like a power failure… We’ve been watching the level in the dug well we’re using, and the refresh rate is pretty dismal. Today, while watering in newly seeded beds, the water finally stopped. After last fall’s failed well drilling, figuring out short and longer term water solution is big here now. The water will come back eventually in this well, but the water table drops as the winter reserves go, and at this point, the well won’t refill high enough or quickly enough to be useful even for seedlings. Water barrels filled from the house well and distributed by watering can is a possible labor-intensive emergency measure. And of course, there is always…rain.
See the growing list of 50 Things I’ve Learned from Tiny Farming:
#38 – Use a pencil: You can find no finer quick-planning and sketching technology than the PENCIL, combined with a crisp sheet of paper, a supporting clipboard, and a quality white eraser. There is a curious kind of commitment only a pencil can bring to the start of something. The impermanence, the erasability, the chance to begin now but make sweeping changes later, is the cool thing. Pencils are perfect for roughing out garden maps, preliminarily filling in tricky forms, and sketching all sorts of construction and fabrication projects, mobile chicken coops to better farm stand shelving (even crudely done, a picture is worth…a lot). Forget digital—lappies, tablets, smartphones, batteries, cables, formats and files—there’s nothing like good old straightforward no-frills paper and pencil (traditional or mechanical) for freeing you up to think!