Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Good Gardener

Garden Joy

I love gardening.
I love it more than sewing, baking and photography. It's a sincere passion. I've even thought about starting a blog called the Good Gardener because there are things I just want to write about. Not that there aren't enough books, blogs, passed on knowledge, heirloom seeds and dirt to write about already, but there is something special about each person's garden and their experience.

I garden because it's imperfect, dirty, wet, hot, cold hard labor.
It's easy and it's hard.
You learn constantly, you will never "know it all".
It's a skill that will never learn in an office.
It's a life cycle and a life style every season, every year.
I love it, I get so excited for it.

Today is planting day for the cool weather starters. It's my first year planting potatoes, onion and garlic. I'm hoping for moderate success on all of them and no potato beetles in the summer.

The Plan Stan

Neighbors kind of laugh at me and think I'm silly for planning out alot of my flower and food crops, but I have to do it because after awhile you forget what bulb you put where or what seed is spouting in the second row behind the corn. Having a notebook of each season also helps me figure out what I hated planting and working with and what thrived.

It's helpful to have a notebook in the winter. I usually don't journal in the summer because, well I'm too busy gardening.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Lineup

A few of my seeds have already arrived and I'm doing my "OMG I NEED TO PLANT NOW!!" dance. It's like clock work. The first real warm day and people are out in droves to the garden centers hauling away wood chipped mulch by the tons and baskets of pansies. And I'm in the yard pulling up crabgrass and making nesting balls for the birds.

I need to get myself to a lumber yard to find a good batch of cedar for my new garden additions this year. I'm growing out my usual space and extending it sideways so I can add more goodness.
In the yard garden:
- sweet corn
- one heirloom tomato variety
- cherry tomato
- sweet peas
- normal peas
- potatoes
- garlic
- onions
- green beans (bush variety)

On the patio:
- maybe one hot pepper variety
- parsley
- cilantro
- radishes
- carrots

I don't typically start any of my seeds indoors, mostly because I don't have much room to do it and I don't think it's necessary as our growing season is perfectly adequate to plant directly into the soil. The only thing holding me back right now is getting the new raised beds prepped in time. I just discovered that my potato and onion sets shipped on Friday (EEK!)

FACT: most local towns and cities that collect leaves in the fall also mulch them for organic compost/mulching materials AND will often delivery it to you for free if you can't pick it up. Leaf compost/ mulch works even better than traditional wood mulch and can be tilled or raked into your soil for added nutrients at the end of the growing season. Trust me it doesn't look tacky, if it did I wouldn't use it. I like my gardens and flower beds to look neat and tidy too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I typically do not speak out about things that are touchy subjects on here. Be it politics, religion, or other heavily opinionated topics. But this one is really getting to me because it affects everyone on Etsy and it's starting impact people's livelihoods and businesses.
It seems for the past few months there's been alot of civil unrest between the forums, sellers and Etsy itself. I'm not really sure what to think, but the less I frequent the forums the more I'm finding out about Etsy outside of the actual site. I shouldn't be getting my information from news sources that aren't "Etsy". I know the privacy issue is not a new issue, but it's still bothersome. What's also bothersome is the way Etsy's CEO is handling the whole mess and coming off sounding like a total db-bag and saying making the feedback private now somehow fixes the whole thing.

Article fro Ars' website

The fact that it's taken several users and a few non-users to go outside of Etsy to make this issue very public in order to get an actual concrete response from admin is beyond me. This should never have happened and it's yet another blow to the Etsy community. It's definitely not what it used to be. Granted your public info on site along with your purchases and feedback is easy enough to make private and several of us do take advantage of that. But the more Etsy gears itself towards this inbred idea of social commerce the harder it will be to keep who you are private. You can not have a social commerce site without wanting to pawn out and sell valuable demographic information to investors and other interests. It's hard not to make the comparison to the Facebook privacy debacle but this is so similar that it's amazing there hasn't been even MORE of an outcry.

As I attempt to grow my business on Etsy it seems that I'm simply getting into more "circles" with less sales. Where will the new blood come from if new buyers don't want to sign up because their purchases will be come easily searchable? And there will be buyers who won't be aware of this and sign-up to buy and possibly have all manner of their buying habits broadcast.

It's natural for a business to want to gather information on it's buying and selling public. You do it to be successful and to grow, but at what cost? Etsy will always be able to take care of itself. It's the people like me who are trying to make a living from handmade that I'm worried about.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Blog Schedule

(mouse from Bubbletime)
I've decided to start blogging twice a week. I'm hoping that by limiting my blogging schedule I'll be able to provide more content that's both fun and interesting. Plus it will help keep me off the computer and doing things I need to be doing, like sewing and gardening and *cough*housework*cough*.
I haven't thought about set days for when I'll post but most likely they'll be posted during the weekday time frame ^_^

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hurry Up Already!

I can not begin to tell you how badly I have Spring Fever. I've had seeds ordered for nearly a month now and my potatoes and onion sets are coming at the end of March. I've been so anxious to get things going that I've pushed myself outdoors to start turning the leaves on top of the flower beds into the soil (it's tedious work that I like to do after it rains) and prepping the garden beds. And while I'm out I've been searching for peeks of daffodils and tulips. My crocuses are all up but haven't quite opened yet. Even the trees are starting to bud. Spring is hovering on the stoop reminding me of just HOW LONG it's been since we've had a sunny day. It'll be here before too long but right now it just feels like it's taking

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Be Stewards of the Earth

(Middleton Place Plantation, Charleston, SC)

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never
alone or weary of life." -Rachel Carson
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