Indoor Winter Garden

Let me catch you up.

Last Fall as the garden was dying off, I just did not want to face another Winter buying store bought tomatoes. Let’s face it, they do not compare to a garden picked tomato. I took cuttings from a few of the plants we had left that had not been bitten by jack frost. That was the being of a learning process.

I told my husband, God bless him for loving me enough to let me try anything, I was going to grow tomatoes for us to eat during the Winter. Him being a tomato sandwich lover, was all for it. So I cleaned a small spot out in the laundry room and proudly set up my plants. Well you cannot have a fresh tomato without a green onion. The last fish in the aquarium had just pasted away so that turned into an onion bed. Then one day walking back from feeding the chickens I spotted a cluster of something green growing in a garden bed and went to investigate. Oh my, there about an inch tall were a small cluster of cucumbers from one that had gotten to big and I just left it laying. I gathered up the tiny baby plants and added them to the growing garden in the laundry room. One grow light turned into two, three tomato plants turned into: tomato, onions, cucumbers, celery, chives, pumpkin and hot peppers.

In my head, I saw us having fresh food to eat by at least January. Tomatoes bloomed, a baby cucumber appeared, we watered and fertilized, and we waited. We have not decided if we bought the wrong grow lights or if it was too cool for them. We have not gotten the first veggie from out indoor garden. It was a learning experience and I had fun trying. I am not a quitter and don’t give up easily. Stay tuned for what came next. I was so surprised.

With love in our heart.

I am sure you have read dozens of Christmas stories. My husband and I first Christmas together was a a little different than most. At the time I did not have a job and my husband had just got laid off from Chatham Manufacturing. We were so poor that we barely had enough to eat. There was no way we could spend what little money we had on buying presents.

I wanted so much to give my husband a first Christmas that he would remember. I set out in search of a Christmas tree that would be able to set on the table in the little camping trailer we lived in. At the time, it was all we could afford to rent. I walked around, up and down the dirt road, and finally all I could find was a couple of Charlie Brown trees growing on the side of the road. Come to think of it was probably best I did not find a big tree due to I had taken a bread knife that had a serrated edge to cut the tree down. I don’t recall us owning a saw or ax, so knife it was. I cut down two small pines not as big around as your big toe. They were not over a foot and half tall.

I proudly carried my two trees home and found a can that was big enough to hold the trees, added water so they wouldn’t die, and rocks to hold the trees up. I tied the trees together at just the right space to make them look like they had more branches than they did. I cut cardboard shapes and took old foil and wrapped them and strung up a small string of pop corn. That tree was so pitiful, but we had a Christmas tree. I have heard my husband of 36 years now, tell people about our first Christmas tree many times, always with love in his heart. Merry Christmas my dear husband!

Family Dinner

When the kids were growing up it was a rule that everyone was at the table come dinner time. We ate as a family and enjoyed many conversations. We talked about what happened that day, homework that had to be done, and let’s not forget “eat your veggies, you’re not getting up until you do”.

The kids grew up and it has been my husband and I for several years now. The table became a place to drop anything in your hands as you passed by to the rest of the house. Hubby and I now eat in the living room, watching the news when I have the remote, or a western when he has the remote. I got tired of cleaning the table off and with a small house, space is valuable. The table got replaced with a stereo and treadmill for awhile, then a rocker.

Now we have two grand-babies and another on the way. Family dinner is now on Thursday nights and it has become necessary to have a kitchen table again. I never thought I would get so excited over a table that I know is going to need to be cleaned off every time I turn around, but I am. I miss those times around the table, everyone talking at once. I look forward to hearing about what is going on with the kids and grand kids lives. Watching their expression as they relay the tales of something exciting. This is stuff you can’t get off Facebook, this is family dinner around the table.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Happy Veteran’s Day to my father, my husband’s father, my sister and brother-n-law. Thank you to all of the brave soles that stood up and fought for our freedom. Thank You and may God bless.

Christmas time when hubby was growing up

My husband wrote this a few years back and I am going to share to you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Christmas as a Kid

 “Growing up on a road where just about everyone living on it was family and all were Christian people. I never knew about drinking alcohol or families fighting . We all lived a simple lives, most of our dads worked and moms stayed home and raised us.  We had the Big Elkin Creek and the woods behind Pleasant Hill Church to play in. The all time best part of the year was Christmas.  Granny’s house like many, had a living room only used when company come over to visit. The rest of the time it stayed closed to us kids (we were a messy bunch). Back to Christmas. Granny would get a son in law to go get her a big Cedar tree about 7 feet tall. She would decorate with balls, lights, tinsel and that awesome spray snow. Yes spray snow, she would spray a white foam stuff that imitated snow. She would spray the windows in the corners and sills too. All this made for some of the best smells of my youth. You opened the door on that room and there was that big tree all decorated and the snow. The smell of fresh cut cedar and the snow was so good.  Under the tree were boxes wrapped and all of the grandkids knew what it was. Every year she would charge at the local store boxes of Candy bars(Hershey Chocolate Bars). We all got a box and it took her a year to pay for the presents on Grandpa’s retirement check. We would gather on Christmas Eve and everybody would bring a bowl of food. Oh the food and desserts. Each of my aunts and uncles had their best dishes to bring. Alene’s pies, Peggy’s fruitcake and Christmas candy. Mama was a cooker, she made casseroles. Now there was still Pansy, Lowell, Ivory and Harvey and all their families to add to it with food too.  We would fill the house to the brim. Eat, laugh, and be thankful we had made it another Christmas. Then Granny would open the door to the living room and it all decorated and smelling so good. She would pass out our presents. A box of candy bars “Oh my my” I was happy. A little later on that night we all headed home for bed because you know who came on Christmas Eve “Santa Clause”.   Oh how I miss my years as a kid. “

Winter indoor mini-garden

Every winter we are forced to either eat bland tasting tomatoes or none at all. By November my husband and I are craving one of those summer tomatoes that was growing in the garden that just fits on a slice of bread. Canned tomatoes are great, don’t get me wrong. Nothing better than opening a jar and grabbing a spoon, but not that just picked taste.

So the light bulb goes off in my head and I think “why can I not grow these in the laundry room this winter”? So, what started out as growing a couple of tomatoes plants has turned into three tomato plants, cucumbers, celery, chives, and peppers. One grow light turned into two and I have visions of trying my hand at hydroponic lettuce.

One lesson learned: indoor gardens do not need as much water as out door plants. I found my plants floating in water. Seems my husband and myself were both watering. So we made a deal, he gets to tend to some of the plants and I got to tend the others.

I am noticing what looks like mold growing on the top of the soil. I don’t know how to stop this or the fact that the plants don’t appear to be growing. I am one of those “like to see results” kind of people, and just not getting that with my indoor garden. I think it is to cool in there for the tinder plants. So I thought about putting the chickens heat lamp in there and turn it on for a few hours a day. Not sure that is going to be a good plan, maybe a heating pad to set the plants on. I need to do so more research on this.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Gather Around the Pickle Barrel

I once jokingly told my husband that he could never find another woman that would keep him on his toes like I do. He never knows what project I will take a mind to do from week to week. That is what this website is all about.

I am a country girl through and through. Raised in the foothills of North Carolina by a very loving couple, I grew up tending a garden every year. Was taught how to sew, cook, and always got to help out when there was carpentry work that needed doing.

When my husband and I got married we only had a stereo and lawn chairs to our name. My carpentry skills came in handy often. Every time he would make me mad I would go work out my irritation with a hand saw and hammer. It did not take long before we had a kitchen table. We used that table for several years. I look back on those days with such fondness. That was 36 years ago and love him, our two children and soon to be three grand babies very dearly.

Be sure to come back often to find out what is happening on the farm.