Monday, December 15, 2014

Planting Time & Winter Flying Moth?!

Our little 3.5-acre nature sanctuary just benefited from the addition of 12 River Birch and 25 Winterberry Holly - two of our favorite woodies that will grow appreciably in our lifetime and provide abundant food to wildlife. Just a few days ago, mid-30s and light snow made for a good planting day,

but who knew it would also make for suitable weather for a moth to fly around? I marveled at this cold blooded, delicate creature that didn't mind the cool breeze or cloudy sky and actually found the ability to fly and, in fact, seemed to be purposefully flying from here to there and around again. Wow. I think this moth is one of the Operophtera. 

According to Kent McFarland of the Audubon Guides: "Flying and crawling in the cold was probably a great adaptation to a powerful natural selection force, predation. By late October a large percentage of insectivorous birds have migrated south and bats have migrated or hibernated for the winter. With fewer predators comes great success."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Soap & Salve For Sale!

Hey gift givers! I have soap and salve for sale.  Here's the scoop: Soap - Patchouli Ylang Ylang, Orange Clove, Rosemary Eucalyptus, Peppermint Tea Tree (SOLD OUT), Lemongrass Ginger (SOLD OUT), Geranium Bergamot, Fire (spicy scented with patchouli, bergamot, cassia, clove bud and ginger). I also have lavender salve and patchouli salve. Soap bars are $4.75 each and the salve is $9.50 for 2 oz $5 for 1 oz., $3 for 1/2 oz. I have most of these items on Etsy, but not all. You can just message me what you want and I can calculate shipping if necessary, etc. Thanks so much for your interest and support!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Let There Be Light & the Beginning of Something

Handy Steve salvaged windows from a dumpster-destined-four-season-room and installed three so far in our green barn. He trimmed them out in salvaged barn wood and wow, the improvement is dramatic!

He is also creating us a space to propagate wildflowers illuminated by all this new light. It's brilliantly bright! The space is so enjoyable to work in and will be even more cozy once we install the salvaged wood stove sitting off in the corner. The amount of stuff available for free and in perfectly good condition is everywhere, if you just want to look. It's a fun game and so good for the planet.

We are working on organizing this space so that we can put all those pots in the boxes to use! We collected an entire bin of wildflower seeds this summer and fall that we are propagating for planting and for sale.

We want to stay away from peat since it's mined from bogs (destroys wetlands) and are giving potting soil with coir (from coconut husks) a go.

It looks like something is happening here, doesn't it? (Expect much more on that particular topic in future posts!)

Here's what is planted so far. There are many, many, many more to go. The nice thing about propagating wildflower seeds is that they are adapted to this climate and all they need is to set outside so they will stratify in their own preferred ways. A certain period of rain, freezing and thawing enables seeds to break dormancy when the conditions favor growing in the spring. Easy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Garlic, Snug in the Ground

The wind may be howling outdoors, but we rest easy knowing our garlic is in the ground, the kale and chard are covered and the garden chores are mostly complete. (Not to mention a stocked root cellar and freezers and plenty of wood for the woodstove. We won't starve or freeze this winter!)

We saved our own garlic seed this year from seed previously purchased from Seed Savers Exchange. It's so cool to have a closed loop on several of our crops. Garlic in Ohio does best when tucked in to the soil by mid-Nov. or so then covered with a heavy mulch.

It looks as though nothing is happening here yet, but we know those little bulbs are starting to send down roots and if the temperatures don't plummet too far too quickly, we may see some green shoots before the deep winter freeze.

Just thinking of growing roots makes our hearts a little warmer! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We hope you enjoy great company, delicious food and some time outdoors.

With hearts full of gratitude for this one and amazing life, the common milkweed duo - J&S