Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gardening Frustrations!

Well, I took the seeds over to the FIL this past Saturday when I went to pick up the MIL to watch Tay's hockey games. Right off he seemed suprised that I'd bought so much seed. (Though, as I said, except for the beans, I only bought one pkg of each of the varieties that I wanted. And, I'd figured on left-overs to be used in successive years.) Well, on top of that, though, he'd just gone and bought some seeds from the grocery store.... The mass-production seed companies such as those run by Monsanto. Those seed companies that produce GMO seeds, NOT heirloom or open-pollinated types. And, as of Saturday when I was over, FIL had already started a few flats of the seeds he'd bought. *sigh* Well, now it seems he thinks I was planning on planting ALL the seeds I bought, though I specifically said Saturday that I'm NOT. Like the Eggplant. I don't even know if this eggplant variety will grow up here, but it was the most hardy variety, and I'd like to try it. Now FIL is talking about planting a bunch of them. And the Tomatoes and Cukes, as well. *BIG sigh* I told him on Sunday when he was over, as well, that I just want to TRY these varieties at this point, to see how they'll do. I don't expect to really get much of them this summer. Hopefully enough to try, maybe a COUPLE jars of canned sauce for winter. We'll see. (THOUGH, one of the other 'Farmgirls' has grown the Stupice tomatoes for several years and said that they just keep on producing lots & lots of palm-sized tomatoes right through the summer, and that the tomatoes are delish!)

I pointed out specifically what and where I want to plant my tomato & cucumbers this summer, though with so much water in the back yard, I wasn't able to really SHOW him exactly what I want in regards to the little tiered bed I hope to plant alongside the shed. I also need to get my sugar-snap seeds back from him. If he went ahead & bought GMO seeds, I'm gonna keep my heirloom sugar-snaps for myself and plant half the pkg over here this summer. That's ONE plant that I'm pretty sure I can actually save the seeds from, this year. *grin*

I'm actually pretty worried about saving seeds from most of the plants though, now that I've read the backs of a great many of the pkts. It seems that similar varieties have got to be seperated by as little (in some cases) as 500 feet to avoid cross pollination, and as much as 1 mile (in other cases). I don't have even 500 feet of space to put between my varieties of beans, much less the one mile required space between my choice of broccoli and my choice of cabbage. *sigh* So much for me planning on seed-saving.

Last but not least, my concern is that my FIL is going to waste the whole pkgs of seed by just dumping them into the ground, without consideration that these seed pkgs actually contain a guaranteed number of seeds, and these seeds are much more likely to produce than are GMO seeds swept off a mass-production factory-seed-farm. So, if he goes generously sprinkling the lettuce seed across the row, wasting it, we won't have more for next year when I really think we could actually get 2 seasons of plantings from most of these pkgs.

I just feel like I've lost control of what I wanted to do, and somebody else has taken it over. I left a message on the FIL's answering machine just now saying that I'll be over to plant my seedlings on Wednesday (tomorrow), so hopefully he doesn't go planting more than I want of my order of seeds.

Of course, the fact that our back yard is still so full of water also means that I haven't yet got my compost bins set up either. That bucket with my compostables is starting to stink. Oh, and does anybody know if shredded newspaper will suffice in place of grass clippings, while we wait for the first chance to mow the front yard???? I'm kinda thinking shredded newspaper WOULD be an ok option, but I'm wondering if anybody can give me a sure nod or negative head-shake as to that.


Tay's tummy-bug didn't last long at all. She was bright eyed & bushy-tailed the next morning. She never DID puke, but she wound up napping off & on all day on the couch. *sigh* Whatever.

On the subject of home schooling..... We just need to get our butt's in gear and get figured out what we want to do as far as the program.

Wendy, I just cannot see myself, Scott or Tay doing the unschooling thing. Not that I think there's anything WRONG with Unschooling, but none of the three of us is very highly self-motivating. I attended a school, through 4th grade, that had a learn-at-your-own-pace curriculum, but no teachers. It may have been different if there were teachers, but I spent the entire 3 years (second through fourth grades) being such a day-dreamer that Mom would have to tutor me through my lessons every night. If we did unschooling with Tay, I'm afraid she'd NEVER bother to learn any of the stuff that DOES need learning. I'm not going to necessarily push her through everything as quickly as the public schools do (mainly because I think it's a better idea to cover one subject or math idea thoroughly before moving onto the next), but we definitely need a BIT of a push, anyway.

Also, when I say I cannot quit my job, it is not PURELY for financial reasons that I say that. There have definitely been times that it has been financially stupid for me to be working in town. But, for my sanity.... That's what keeps me sane. I LOVE my job, and until such time as I can get a Lib. Assistant position out here at the local branch, I'm not going to quit my job in town to homeschool my kiddo. And I can't reduce my hours at the library in town because then I'd lose my benefits. (And, my medical benefits kick butt, while the benefits available to us through DH's company suck horribly! That IS the only financial area that keeps me from reducing my hours back to "casual" instead of the "part time" hours I work now.) So, I won't be quitting to homeschool the kiddo. We'll have to work her homeschooling around our jobs. That's all there is to it.

There's a local homeschooling program that we've heard of a lot of success with. Several of our friends homeschool their kids through IDEA and have always raved about what a great program it is. Evidently, I'd have to take Tay into town one day a week to take her tests, then the rest of the instruction is done at home with Scott and I, or through online lessons. Again, the folks who've used this program seem to love it. So at this point, that's where we're leaning.


I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed when I think about how very much needs to be done around this place.

  • Our back yard is such a water-world right now that there's no possible way to actually plant yet. Much less to make the planters. We can't even park in our car-ports right now because they're filled with water. One of the first things we're going to have to do is get SOMETHING in the back yard to bring the soil level up a bit. Rather than trying to grow grass when we know we can't just stay off of it, we're seriously considering having some truck-loads of gravel (large-rock gravel) brought in. We'll layer it through-out the back yard. It won't be as pleasant under foot as grass, but it'll provide better drainage, and in the case of the dog's kennel, it'll make it easier to shovel their mess. Besides, we won't have to stay off of it while grass grows. Gravel just seems the better option all around for such a high-traffic area of our property.
  • We need (MUST DO!) to get a new door framed in for the front of the house. This is something that there simply is no arguement about. If nothing else gets done around this place this summer, this is the one thing that MUST get done. Our door is nearly impossible to shut during the winter, and once it is shut, it's nearly impossible to open. And there are such gaps around the door that the drafts are horrible. So, that's the only TRUE necessity that we've got this year.
  • Scott's going to need to put another layer of sealant on the deck before we get much further into summer.
  • We would LIKE to reframe the back entry and get a new solid-core door there as well. As well as screen doors on both front & back.
  • We want to put laminate (well, I'd rather have true hard-wood floor panelling, but...) flooring in the livingroom and both bedrooms, and the computer room. That'll cut down on the amount of vacuuming. *grin & wink*
  • I'd love a new oven-range. Mine came with the house and was put in back in '96, which means it's only 12 years old. But, the elements are all starting to go, and the oven is getting much harder to estimate the temperature on. Of course the ideal would be a wood cook-stove, seeing as peak-oil is meaning higher & higher electric costs, and I'm not comfortable cooking with propane. But, it'll remain electric. Again, though, this is going to be at least a $400 expense, if I get one at all.
  • We need to get new blinds for Tay's bedroom window. Her old blinds are broken beyond repair. And because we can't open them, her window stays covered at all times, which makes for a really dark room. This is really another necessity. (I'd go with JUST curtains, but that means that it's really light in her room all summer, if there aren't blinds to darken things at night.)
  • Last but not least.... The hubby's pressuring me to let him get a new TV. Mind you, our current TV is in good shape, but it's several years old, and it doesn't have digital capabilities. Of course we COULD simply get a couple of the digital boxes (one for livingroom, one for computer room), but that's just not good enough for the hubby. He wants a new TV in the livingroom. *sigh* I'll probably cave on this one, just to get his help in my gardening endeavors.


I saw Geese yesterday!!!!! *BWG* I was letting Jenny & Puck outside for one last potty-break before I left for work, and I heard the honking several minutes before I finally saw the geese. And it was just 4 of them. But there they were!!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!! And then, as my coworker CM and I were standing around outside last night chatting after work, we heard more honking and looked up and saw about 30 of our beautiful "Canadian" Geese heading North. Oooooh, it's LOVELY to see them again!!! That means spring is most definitely here. (Though, FWIW, my dad said that the forcast is predicting nice weather all THIS week, but it's supposed to cool down drastically again next week. *sigh* That will suck if it's true!!!)


Ok, I think that pretty well covers it for today.

Have a Blessed Day!


peppylady said...

I still way to cold to garden here.

Robin said...

Unschooling? I've heard it all now.

Celticspirit said...

Homeschooling....I did it for 5 years when my son was younger. I used The Well Trained Mind Program. It got expensive buying all the books that I needed but I liked it. I loved the way we studied History going from Ancient History up until the present and then it would repeat itself but on a highher level. The Well trained mind is presented as a Christian program but I did not use it that way.
Good luck with your homeschooling!

I think you should just plant the seeds that you want to plant. It's your garden after all. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your gardening endeavors. I'm hoping to be able to plant one myself this year but first I need to know where we are going to be living.

I'm glad to hear that Tay is feeling better.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

You may get the idea from my blog postings that I think that Monsanto and the like are the spawn of the Devil... yup...

Re the compost problem, have you tried cardboard? I use layers of it in our bin and it works well.


PS. 'Unschooling', great, we all need to 'unlearn' some of the things we have been taught, money buys happiness for a start.

PPS. Tell FIL that you will be planting your seeds in HIS garden soon.

barefoot gardener said...

yes, you can use paper for your "dry" material in your compost.

Let's hope blogger doesn't eat this comment, huh?

whimsical brainpan said...

Is there no way you could just be upfront with you FIL and tell him what you told us?

Good luck with the homeschooling decision.

And that is some list you have there!

Connie Peterson said...

If you line your curtains with muslin, it would help darken the room and you could open them when you wanted light. That would help preserve the material as well as help hold in heat (or hold out cold) as well. I hate blinds and got rid of all of them in the house when we moved in. Curtains are so much softer and prettier, in my mind.


Tori_z said...

All I can say is... Good luck with getting everything sorted out.