la salle county, illinois

hello and happy march 1st!

richard grew these birdhouse gourds  a couple of seasons ago and we made them into homes for our feathered friends last winter. i really appreciate how utilitarian growing and using this particular gourd can be. we didn’t get too fancy by painting them, although,  i think a coat of  some sort of weatherproofing  might be a good idea. however, i don’t think i would be able to put them in the compost heap if they were treated with some sort of paint or  varnish. the birds moved in last spring and seem to like them very much and that gives me a good feeling.

we are starting to work on a 3 bin composting system made from standard wooden skids which we have on hand. large amounts of compost are essential for a healthy, fertile, soil and plants. along with the compost bins we have also set up a simple cold frame made from bales of straw and old single pane windows that were laying idle in the attic. i have planted various lettuces and some spinach as well. of course, i’ve got the elusive (for me anyway) corn salad in there as part of my desire to learn how to best make that delicious herb grow.

peace,

julayne

Winter’s Retreat

February 27, 2012


la salle county, illinois

greetings!

i thought i would post one more of my snow pics. what a difference a few days makes! the snow is gone and i’ve been busy happily spreading beautiful horse manure on the garden. this is a busy and exciting time for gardeners. i enjoy preparing the garden in the spring. last fall i read  the gardening memoir grow the good life by michelle owens. i truly enjoyed it and was definitely inspired by her gardening experiences. i’m always so interested in learning from those who have boldly gone feet first into gardening and are not afraid to admit all of the crazy mistakes they’ve made so that the rest of  us may learn. thank you michelle!

A late winter poem courtesy of  www.poertyfoundation.org

Hunger Moon

BY JANE COOPER

The last full moon of February
stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position
until now, in the small hours, across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me, not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun of silence.
I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.
Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.
peace,
julayne

Asparagus Patch

February 24, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i know i’ve mentioned in several of my posts that we’ve seen very little snow this winter. i can now actually say that we did receive snow today in the early morning hours. snow this time of year reminds me of the book sugar snow by laura ingalls wilder ; one of a series of early little house books i read to my daughter sierra when she was a preschooler. thinking that this snow might not stick around too long, i grabbed my camera and went  out this morning to take a few photos; it was nice to have the snow to brighten up the landscape. i have to admit i was getting a little frustrated with our winter palette of brown, brown, and more brown.

it’s hard to believe that we will be noticing asparagus spears poking up out of the ground soon by the looks of our patch in the photo. i’m starting to get very excited about spring and the upcoming gardening season. so far the seeds we have started are in various forms of germination and i’m looking through seed catalogs to round out garden plans for this year. i’m very anxious to try an heirloom winter squash called  delicata. also, richard has promised me a spot for a kitchen herb garden right outside the door. i’m such a lucky gal :0).

have a great weekend!

peace,

julayne

Perspective

February 21, 2012


vermillion river, la salle county, illinois

hello!

i took this photo earlier this winter while hiking along the vermillion river. i guess that my natural curiosity got the better of me and i had to bend down and look into the hollow log. not an unusual thing for me to do. looking at the world from a different perspective from time to time can be healthy  in that it may spark creativity or unique thoughts; your own personal way of thinking outside the box.

peace,

julayne

The Best Day Ever Part 2

February 19, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i just couldn’t help but post one more eagle photo. i’m so thrilled over my good fortune.

peace,

julayne

The Best Day Ever

February 17, 2012


la salle county, illinois

oh happy day!  my first eagle photo!

on our way home from town this morning richard and i spotted this beauty on the back road in a pasture. he (or she?) seemed to be a little bit off the beaten path , for an wintering eagle anyway, as i think they tend to stay near the river. we stopped to admire him for just a moment and then zoomed home to grab the camera. when we returned , he was still there. what a thrill!

whatever the reason this beautiful creature was brought to our neck of the woods, i’ll be forever grateful :).

have a great weekend!

peace,

julayne

Hidden Door

February 16, 2012


la salle county, illinois

there are a couple of barns bordering the back of our property, and as i was wondering around this past weekend with my camera i noticed, for the first time, this door. the barns are now just used as storage for large equipment, but i wonder what this door was used for back in more productive times? who used it?

richard and i have been busy starting pepper seeds and tomato seeds. unless we start receiving large amounts of rain, i think we should be able to get the spring garden put in very early this year. last year the spring garden was very successful planted in march. tomorrow the weather is predicted to be sunny and high of 51! if it’s not too muddy, i’d like to sow some lettuce seed. i’ve tried for years without much success to grow corn salad (also known as mache). it’s very tasty  but only thrives in very cool conditions (so i have read). i did plant some last fall to overwinter in the garden, and thought since we have had such a mild winter i might have had some pop up, but so far, no. i haven’t given up and have some more seeds ready to sow this spring.

if you have a powerful blender or smoothie machine a great way to get your greens is to make a green smoothie; a staple for raw vegans. it’s like springtime in a glass:

handful of spinach, kale, chard, arugala or any tender green that you favor or have on hand

1 banana

1 apple

1 orange

you could also add grapes, blueberries, pineapple or any other fruit you might like or have on hand

water or fruit juice. just enough to get it moving around. a few ice cubes if you want.

whirl away and enjoy! an excellent end of winter tonic :).

peace,

julayne