Earth Box Bounty & Camping

Extremely productive bell peppers in an Earth Box

Extremely productive bell peppers in an Earth Box

Patio tomatoes in Earth Box

Patio tomatoes in Earth Box

I would never have believed how much lettuce we are getting from 3 Earth Boxes.  The danger is that it will bolt before we can use it.  I’ll be taking several bags on our camping trip, and expect several of the new heads that are growing on cut-off stalks to be ready when we get home.

And I haven’t even started on the romaine.

Little Gem lettuce has small heads that are the perfect size for a salad for two.  Note top left where a head was harvested and is growing a new head.

Little Gem lettuce has small heads that are the perfect size for a salad for two. Note top left where a head was harvested and is growing a new head.

I have two patio tomatoes in one Earth Box and two bell peppers in another.  They are both loaded.  So I am getting my garden fix this year without even having a garden!

We are planning to leave tomorrow for a week camping on the GA/SC border.  It will be hot and humid, but it will be hot and humid at home and I’d rather be on a big lake than at home.

The lettuce plant in the rear is one that regenerated from a stalk that was harvested earlier.

The lettuce plant in the rear is one that regenerated from a stalk that was harvested earlier.

Plenty of rain is predicted, so the little veggies should be fine while we are gone.

P.S.  Just wanted to add that I have used NO pesticides on these plants.  They are so healthy that they are naturally insect repellent.

The romaine will be ready soon.

The romaine will be ready soon.

Reveling in Spring!

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

It’s planting time!

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

I haven’t had a garden the past couple of years, and this year the urge is irresistible.  I’m starting with a micro garden in Earth Boxes.  Later I’ll get the raised beds cleaned up, reinstall the irrigation system, and plant them, too.

I also got pink caladiums and pink and white oriental lilies planted in a 3′ x 3′ planter.  Almost everything I plant has to be in raised beds as our ground is solid clay and white quartz rocks.

The trip to Coleman Lake tamed the cabin fever monster, so now we are back to our original travel plan for this year.  Camp within an hour of home for a week once a month and get all of our bills except the mortgage paid off in October!

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

We are planning to meet up with friend Peggy for 3 days in late April at a state park in NE Georgia.

I’m planning to get the Casita washed and shined next week as Peggy has never seen it.  🙂

I have lots more planting to do.  The seeds I started a few weeks ago should be ready to go into the ground next week.

This is the most heady, glorious season of the year!

Wild crabapple blossom

Wild crabapple blossom

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

 

 

 

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring.  Maybe this fall I'll remember to divide it.  :)

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring. Maybe this fall I’ll remember to divide it. 🙂

 

The square foot gardens-to-be

The square foot gardens-to-be

 

No Woods Walk Today — & About Veggies

When I got so excited yesterday about the prospect of hunting winter mushrooms today, I forgot that it was going to rain before the cold front moved in tonight.  Today is a dreary, soggy day that it would be no fun to venture out in.  So I’m staying inside and working on my afghan.

Taco salad low carb dinner

Taco salad low carb dinner

A friend commented in my blog yesterday about my low carb diet.  Apparently most people believe that you cut out veggies when you low carb.  Nothing could be further from the truth — at least the version of the diet that I do.  I actually eat a lot more veggies now than I did when I was not low carbing.  Sometimes I even have a small salad with breakfast!

The only things I’ve cut out on this level of the diet are grains, potatoes and high starch vegetables like lima beans and corn, along with high-carb fruits.  Low glycemic fruits like blueberries and strawberries are definitely welcome.

The starchier foods can, of course, be added in again in moderate amounts as I get closer to my goal if I can tolerate them without gaining again.  I doubt I will ever be able to eat a lot of them.

Pork chop strips & bok choy stir fry with salad

Pork chop strips & bok choy stir fry with salad

I have only been on the diet since December 22.  Already my blood glucose levels have dropped to NORMAL.  My blood pressure was running around 145/90 and now it is down.  It was 130/80 this morning.

Cholesterol usually spikes horribly the first 3-4 months on a low carb diet, but then there is an inexplicable (to medical science) normalization of cholesterol levels beginning at around 6 months, even when pre-lowcarb levels were in the sky-high ranges.

Eating healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, etc. is highly encouraged on my diet.

I am by nature a slow loser, and I’m a senior female, so my weight loss will be slow.  But I am already reveling in the increased energy and feelings of well being that my low carb diet is giving me!

And I am having NO FOOD CRAVINGS!  Just feeling happy and satisfied!

Chickens, Abandoned Crafts & Nostalgia

Abandoned chicken enclosure

I’ve been in a strange space lately.  Remembering when I had chickens and how much I enjoyed them.  At one time I raised araucana bantams, and later I had Rhode Island Red bantams.

The araucanas were beautiful.  One hen was a special pet.  I loved to take treats to her and hand feed her.  She so looked forward to my visiting the chicken house.  And we loved their blue, turquoise and green eggs.

Three of the roosters were really mean and would attack us.  They ended up in the stew pot.  😀  The rest behaved themselves pretty well.

And incubating and raising chicks was such a delight.

Some of my Rhode Island Red bantams. I lost my araucana photos in a computer crash.

I wasn’t quite as attached to the Rhode Island Reds.  They were sweet chickens, but they were more ordinary looking than the araucanas.  They did lay nice home-style looking brown eggs.   There was one rooster we called Little Red.  He followed us around the yard like a puppy and we got a big kick out of him.

I also had showpiece square foot gardens and canned and dehydrated most of the vegetables we ate.  Also had pretty flower gardens.

But then I got the camping and traveling bug.  At first we used automatic feeders and waterers for the chickens.  But we couldn’t stay gone longer than a week.  So I gave the chickens to friends so we could stay gone for weeks if we wanted to.

My gardens didn’t do well when we took off for two or three weeks in the gardening season.  So I gradually lost interest in them.

But lately I have felt nostalgic about my chickens and my gardens.

A couple of pieces of sterling silver jewelry that I did a LONG time ago.

I don’t want to tie myself down so that we can’t take off whenever we get the urge now.  And I can’t get enthused about serious gardening again.  But I kind of miss my life that felt content and fulfilled with such mundane, close-to-the-earth pursuits.

While I was looking for photos of araucanas (that I never found) I ran across some other photos of crafts that I used to do.  Also found some photos that reminded me of how much I used to love primitive camping, primitive skills, wild edible foods study, and a host of things that I used to do but don’t do anymore.

An arrangement I made using a weathered piece of wild cherry wood that Dad cut for me.

A raised rose coverlet that I crocheted

Maybe I need to re-evaluate my priorities.  🙂

Baby chicks that I incubated

I got so tickled when this chicken jumped inside the feeder where the motherlode of feed was!

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