Friday, April 22, 2011

Rain, Rain--GO AWAY!

We've been getting a lot of rain lately. A LOT. So I figured now was a good time to update on progress here. I would love for things to dry up enough for me to plant, but it doesn't look like it will be happening any time soon.

On the seedling front, I have a lot of things coming along nicely. Mr. HH gifted me a soil blocker for my birthday. GREAT PRESENT! I think dampening off is less of an issue with soil blocks because it's so easy to water from below the actual plant. I feel like my seedlings are doing much better with soil blocks than with traditional seedling cell trays.

Tomato Seedlings

I did start a few tomato plants early in an attempt to have a few tomatoes early this year. Right before I started these tomatoes, I stumbled across this website. We ended up asking relatives and friends for 2 liter bottles and made a few of these self watering containers. I love them. They work very well. I'll probably keep saving bottles as I can get them to utilize this system more in the future.

Tomato seedling in a self-watering container

We've decided that this year, we will start utilizing as much of the space here as possible for food production. Now, this means dedicating more of the property to feeding our livestock, so we're moving gardening space up into the fenced back yard. We're referring to it as "yard farming." We've added 3 raised beds (4x12) to the back yard to start. We want to keep adding beds as funds allow.

One of our new raised beds

Remember the old windows I was saving? We're trying to decide the best way to use them. I think we will end up using them to construct actual cold frames, but don't hold me to it. In the picture above, you can see how we experimenting with the frames on the raised beds.


  1. What is a soil blocker? Like the plastic landscaping fabric?

  2. It allows you to make your seed starting medium into blocks for planting. They can be directly planted into the garden without disrupting the roots.

  3. I'm happy to hear a recommendation for the soil blocker. I almost got one last year but talked my self out of it. I think I'll still get one when it's time to start the fall garden.

    Nice blog!

  4. Hello. I enjoyed finding your blog. My husband and I live in Central Indiana. Like you, we also have been on a journey to live a more self-reliable lifestyle (on our little one acre of land). We have a raised bed garden. I grind wheat berries to make homemade, honey-sweetened Whole Wheat bread. Every year, from the tomatoes we grow in our raised beds, we can many jars of home-made organic pizza sauce. Lately I have been seriously wanting to plant some Dwarf Cherry Trees. I have researched Indiana-friendly varieties of cherry trees, but am still uncertain which trees to go with. Wish I could do 2 sweet, 2 tart... but sweet seems risky in zone 5. I was wondering if you ever tried planting cherry trees? If so, what varieties did you choose?

  5. We planted Surefire tart cherry trees from Raintree Nursery. I believe ours are semi-dwarf. We are getting cherries from them already, and they aren't very big. I've heard Mortmorency cherries are nice tart cherries as well. Good luck!