With the frigid winter we all experienced this year, thoughts of Spring are needful. Here on our Tennessee Homestead this week, we have been having a “cold snap”. The cow and her calf are waiting on the warmer weather of spring. They search to no avail for blades of tender grass to nibble on. Moo Moo likes fresh grass far more than dry hay. I would get sick of dry hay, too! The wood stove in our living room is consuming wood blocks by the dozens and we huddle to stay warm these frosty early hours before daybreak. Steaming milk is ushered into our kitchen along with the freshly laid eggs that still carry the warmth of the hen. The kefir jar sits at the side of the wood stove, brewing and we long for our garden. You know the feeling.
The past two years we have not had the fruit of our gardens because we moved right during the most crucial moments of our harvest time. When you are used to having a garden, it is a rude awakening when you find that you have nothing to can up come harvest.
My jars dwindle in the root cellar-each empty jar calls for a filling.
I am so thankful for the prospect of a harvest this year!
We used to own the house we are living in now. When we found out we could rent it, we packed out belongings and headed 700 miles down the road. Upon arrival, we found a property that was so overgrown we could not even see the house!!!! The garden was a veritable jungle of weeds and the pastures looked more like the everglades than pastures. The moment I stepped foot upon the tall grasses that surrounded the property, I was covered in Chiggers! They are not my favorite welcoming committee:(
It was a long process to groom the grounds to where we could see where to put a garden. The Buff Orpington flock of hens and Marilla Moo were turned out to clean up any remaining plants from the previous renters. Later, we cleaned out the brush, many pieces of trash, and tilled up the soil.
Now it is time to plan our garden.
There is something so divine about starting seeds. When you think about the life there hidden within that tiny vessel, you truly know there is a Creative God. I mean, a huge plant comes from one minuscule seed. How could man recreate it?
Man can Genetically Modify a seed, but only God can create the seed from nothing.
We want to start with good seed (Heirloom), and good ground. There is a wonderful parable Jesus taught to us in the bible about sowing seeds…
“Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:3-8
Even in the time of Christ, people understood the importance of good ground and getting a good harvest as the result. In the natural, good ground is ground that is thoroughly tilled. It is full of nutrients. The soil is rich and loamy. The plants will get a good root established.
Soon we will till the garden until it is so fine it is like powder. We will prepare the “Good Ground”. Still, we are dreaming. The thought of spring around the corner and gardening refreshes us. For now, we are starting seeds indoors where it is warm. The kids love making newspaper seed pots. This is a great way to repurpose the old newspaper into a little seed nursery…
- newspaper is biodegradable
- this is an inexpensive way to start seeds
- these pots are easy to make
- and FUN, FUN, FUN for the kids to help with!
Here is a step by step picture instruction and the video from our Homesteading for Beginners Vol. 4 dvd of how to do it yourself…