Update from the Homestead: Composting and Seeds

Hello again everyone!

I’ve been taking some time off from blogging to deal with bronchitis, but I’ve still managed to get some homestead projects done.

We had a brief reprieve from snow and freezing weather, so I built our compost bin. I used a 30 gallon, opaque Rubbermaid container, drilled holes in all the sides, bottom, and lid for air circulation, and placed it at the side of the house near where the garden will be. I’ve been composting all our kitchen scraps and coffee grounds. I had no idea so much went to waste! It feels good to find another purpose for all of it.

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Me building the compost bin in my pajamas.

I also ordered half our seeds from Baker Heirloom Seeds (Rareseeds). The peppers and tomatoes were must-haves so that I can start them indoors soon. Hopefully, they’ll be ready to transplant to containers by the time the rest of our garden is planted.

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The peppers include four kinds of hot peppers we wanted to try:

  • Chocolate Habanero
  • Cayenne Long Thin
  • Chinese 5-Color
  • Pablano

And one kind of sweet pepper:

  • Horizon Bell

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Two kinds of tomatoes:

  • Tappy’s Heritage
  • Roma

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I also ordered broccoli, cauliflower, and iceberg lettuce. Iceberg isn’t my absolute favorite, but I was overwhelmed by the selection of lettuce their catalog offered, so I went simple and ordered the one I know we’ll get the most use out of.

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As a free gift, they sent a packet of these pretty flowers, called Love-in-a-Mist. I’m looking forward to planting these too!

How have you been preparing your homestead for spring? Have you ordered any seeds yet?

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My First Seed Catalog Came in the Mail!

rare seed catalog homestead

My seed catalog came on Wednesday!

Having never planted a garden before, I wasn’t sure who to order from, so I got a couple different ones. This one is the only one that has arrived so far. It’s from Rare Seeds. I chose rare seeds because they’re non-GMO and because it was a company I had heard of.

I started going through today and wish-listing things with a big black marker, like I used to do with the JC Penny Christmas catalog as a kid.

Oh my goodness, I have never seen such an array of vegetables! Just looking through this catalog makes me hungry.

I had no clue that there were upwards of 20 kinds of carrots or that tomatoes came in colors other than red, that watermelons mostly don’t look like what I buy at the grocery store and that there are more types of beans than I could probably ever taste!

It’s a bit overwhelming. I have never heard of half these varieties, so I’m going by the descriptions of looks and tastes, as well as pictures, to decide what I might want to grow.

I’m still waiting on a few other catalogs, to compare prices and varieties, but I sort of feel like, if it’s our first year planting, there’s nothing wrong with trying a little of this and that to see what we like.

Even Big Bee–the veggie hater–is glancing through the pages, at least to pick out hot peppers that sound good.

Have you started planning your garden? Who do you order seeds from? What’s on your wishlist this year?