This year has been super cold so far! Now is the time to start planting your earliest vegetables – like peas. Also tomatoes, if you’re going to start them indoors… I’ve already started my bulbs and plan to start my peas here in the very near future. Broccoli is another plant to start soon!
I purchase and donate items for the local veteran’s home and to send to the military on a quarterly basis. I already did this earlier in March, but if you would like to join me, please feel free to purchase using the links below. I am an affiliate with Christianbook.com and the money I earn through these links will go towards similar book and toiletry purchases and donations in the future. Thank you!
|Leaving Your Family Behind: Preparing for Military Deployment
By Robert Green / New Growth Press
|Reuniting After Military Deployment: Help for the Transition
By Robert Green / New Growth Press
Your excitement at the prospect of reunion is tempered with anxiety. You have heard the stories of divorce, discouragement, and depression. Will your account be any different?
In Reuniting after Military Deployment: Help for the Transition, Rob Green assures you that successful reunification is possible because of the help found in Jesus Christ. Green offers practical advice for seeking to understand your spouse’s struggles, reevaluating schedules and responsibilities, and using your new family time with purpose. By taking steps to intentionally transition out of “deployment mode” and back into the unity God has given you as husband and wife, you can rebuild a family that is stronger than ever.
|Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended
By Lina Abujamra / Moody Publishers
In Thrive, Lina AbuJamra – who has been single for over 40 years – will show you how you can make a difference with your life right now instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen to you. If you’re ready to figure out what God has to say about singleness instead of relying on your own feelings and conclusions, this book is for you.
Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended by Lina Abujamra – this one is my personal favorite…
In regards to toiletries, I usually buy large containers of shampoo and body wash to donate to the nearest veteran’s home because this will set them over for awhile; and I have purchased travel containers for shampoo along with the large bottles to be sent overseas before.
I have purchased clothing before; particularly socks and underwear for both men and women in different sizes and varieties.
Are you ready to get going for this year? I am! This has been a benefit of the pandemic – more time to plant, care for a garden and have homegrown food and herbs.
I have already put out my first crops (plant seeds every two weeks so they mature sequentially & don’t die all at once). It extends the time you can eat from your garden. I started with peas, broccoli, beets and carrots. The problem is, I’m pretty sure my beets and carrots were eaten by local wildlife – so I have started some in a pot at home with hopes of getting something. The carrots are small right now but I’m still waiting on the beets. I also split my peppermint into multiple starts. The main stem in each has died, but there are little sprouts showing up at the base in each starter pot…
The earthworms I purchased last year have been doing their job. I have plenty of compost at home! It’s fantastic…
What are you planting? Have a delightful day!
Merry Christmas! I hope today is wonderful for you!
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it were amazed about the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” – Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)
If you live in a warm area, then this isn’t as relevant for you; but for those of us with a distinct winter season – now is the time you may be cleaning up your garden. I’ve already pulled all my dying plants (although I do have a sole broccoli plant that is growing). I chopped up and scattered the garden waste (dead plants) on my plot. I also have a cover crop, which I anticipate will spread and fix the soil. I just have to be cautious that it does not escape the plot (and it has started to spread outside the grow box a couple of times).
I developed symptoms recently; I don’t think I am infected. While I wait for test results to confirm whether I have contracted COVID, I have to wait at home and cannot go to my garden. I do have a small houseplant in my room though, and some herbs and winter starts in the garage. If you have to abandon your plot, we may still have a bit of time this year and you may be able to finish after quarantining for 14 days. I’m going to go back to my broccoli after quarantine is over. It is a plant that does OK in the cold; and we are having a mild winter so far…
I just received a link to some wonderful varieties of daffodils, tulips & other bulbs that can be planted in the winter. They are lovely…
It is possible to plant some vegetables at home. I have started some tomatoes in my garage this year for next season, and it is possible to start broccoli & carrots now if you haven’t planted them yet – especially if you are growing on a small scale indoors or in front of your house.
Yesterday, I brought my large pots inside (one has blooms and very late watermelon). I also started some winter veggies such as peas (I am planning to add those to the large pot with my yucca plant). I also seeded some carrots alongside my tiny fall tomato sprouts. My plan is to overwinter these starts and repot them outside in spring 2021 when the temperature increases again. Last time, the leaves of the tomatoes turned purple but the plants did not die. Tomatoes are actually perennials, although the majority of people plant them as annuals. Bring any tomato plants that you want to overwinter indoors (i.e. garage, shed, greenhouse) before there is frost. A light frost will kill your tomato plant.
I have been drying and saving some heirloom seeds as well. This was possible because I was already growing heirloom plants before the pandemic began and I have heirloom seeds from previous years – they can be difficult to find in stores. My local garden center introduces seeds for the next year in December; this is when I would recommend buying them and storing them in your refrigerator. A good site that multiple successful gardeners have recommended is Johnny Seeds.
Today, while I was walking, realized I can make my own row cover by sewing together used dryer sheets. This is very simple. They are a similar thickness. I tried covering 2 squash sprouts this past spring; both plants produced vegetables later on along with a few fruit plants at home (cantaloupe, watermelon and zucchini). I have gotten no zucchini this year, but I do have one watermelon. Next year, I may try seeding earlier because this could help.
In order to make your own row cover, sew dryer sheets together in rows and then sew the rows together. I tried sewing a large square all at once so that I could create a double layer of dryer sheets to try to protect against frost; but this took a lot of time and may not be necessary. If you want a double layer, you may have enough dryer sheets from your laundry that you can sew two sheets, or wrap one sheet around a cage twice.
I’ve been told it looks like ghost… if nothing else, it is appropriate fall decor.
In some parts of the USA recently, it has been hot. Depending on your personal preference, this may mean you have perfect days to work outside, or you want to know what you should do to avoid the heat!
It is possible to avoid the heat by doing as much work as possible as early as possible in the day. This may mean getting up a bit earlier to garden or start outdoor chores (such as feeding horses, pulling weeds, planting vegetable starts, etc.). If you’re like me & you are OK with the heat, just make sure you have plenty to drink!
I am getting ready to make purchases again to send to Operation Gratitude. Please use the link below…
|The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines|
By Cate Lineberry / Back Bay Books
In November 1943, an Army Air Force flight with 26 nurses and medics on board crash-landed in Nazi-controlled Albania. For months they prayed desperately to be rescued while hiding with villagers. This harrowing, real-life tale tells of their group’s division, exhausting journey through mountains and to the British at the coast, and their recovery. 304 pages, indexed, softcover.
The last title I listed just became available recently. I find it particularly relevant right now; as all medical personnel, both inside and outside of the military, are taking a lot risks right now to save lives.
As the election approaches… we will also be fighting frost in our gardens. It will kill some plants and others (like broccoli) will continue to survive for awhile. Adding a row cover helps prolong the season, even for tomatoes, as long as you either have one for each plant, or a big enough sheet to cover them all.
I found this article at Garden.org to be very informative…
One way to provide food for your family for the foreseeable future is to save seeds when you grow at home. Some plants, such as lettuce, will self-seed; it is easy to harvest these seeds. You need to place a bag over the blooms to harvest seeds. This is really only suggested though, for plants that self-pollinate and do not produce male and female blooms. It is also recommended that two varieties are not grown too close together so that your heirloom seeds will not be contaminated with pollen from other kinds of vegetables (i.e. no cross-pollination between Best Boy Tomatoes and Beefsteak Tomatoes or between grape and pear tomatoes). Cross-pollination like this can encourage plant disease like blossom drop.
Plan early and place Ziploc bags over your blooms if you would like to harvest your seeds. You can easily remove the bag for a while each day or each time you visit your garden to give the bees some time to visit. Personally, I’ve found that row covers help with this also, but it isn’t as reliable as Ziploc bags over each bloom.
If you’ve never thought about saving your seeds before, now is as good a time as any to start. Time in the garden producing food can be especially important as our nation faces coronavirus; a battle with no real end in site. Even with a vaccine, we will not know how effective it really is for a while. In the meantime, producing food at home can be both productive and very positive.
It is something possible for everyone, including people with disabilities, the elderly and parents with kids. You can track how quickly plants grow, or conduct science experiments by comparing how well starts grow in different soils – i.e. a plant in the shade vs. a plant in the bright sun. This can vary depending on the plant. Some plants (i.e. spider plants & aloe vera) can prefer shade/indoor climates.