1
Sugar Snap Peas Are Planted!
2
Tomato Seed Planting
3
Start of Garden Season 2013!
4
Irish Potato Candy
5
Presprouting Peas
6
Removing a Carpet Is Hard Work

Sugar Snap Peas Are Planted!

The sugar snap peas are this years first plants to be covered up by soil in the garden.  Yesterday, while shivering in the cold sunlight, we took our pre-sprouted peas and planted them.  It is still cold out, so even though growth might be slow in the beginning for them to emerge, hopefully we will see them big and strong soon.
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This year we are changing things up and are growing them not up the fence, but instead around our gazebo like trellis.
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Here are the peas that we pre-sprouted.
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Nature, isn’t it amazing?  If you haven’t tried presprouting, give it a shot.
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Holes are made with our fingers, then peas are inserted in.
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This year we are trying this pea booster – hopefully it works well.
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So that gets sprinkled in each hole…
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Then we do a little song and dance involving lots of cheering and the words “love” and “grow big” before covering them up with soil.
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Then we get some water that was collected from the rain.. Can I tell you how freezing I am in this picture? My hands felt as red as the water container.
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Then each pea spot gets watered.

Now we wait… hope to see you soon sugar snap peas!

Tomato Seed Planting

Last year we planted the tomatoes and green peppers seeds on March 1.  This year we planted them March 14 (yesterday).  Time is running by quickly here at the moment, and thankfully we realized this 2 weeks late and not 1 month, 2 weeks late.  So yesterday we got out the supplies and planted our tomatoes for the year.  You know the usual characters:
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There’s the roma, sweet aroma, beef, cherry tomatoes.  Then there’s the green bell peppers.
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See the container to the left? ?That’s Burpee’s eco friendly self watering cell seed starting system.  It’s magical. We thought it might have been a gimmick when we bought the bigger cell version for our other seedlings, but those seedlings in it have grown so much bigger than the other seeds not in a self watering system. If you can find this, get it.  It’s great.
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Beautiful soil, get your hands dirty.  I love the feeling.
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I know I say it ALL the time, but these 2 little sees will turn into full blown tomato plants. It amazes me every single time.
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We also are getting the sugar snap peas ready by presprouting them inside.  This always works better for us than planting them directly in the soil as we are never quite sure if they all are growing to sprout or not, and if they don’t you are left with a few that need to be replanted.  With presprouting, you are guaranteed to know they all will grow into plants.   I did a post on presprouting sugar snap peas if you want to read it.
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I would like to give a shot out to my gardening helper, Xanadu Pluto, who climbed into the seed starter box…
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But realized she couldn’t fit all the way and just stayed like this. No shame.  <3

Start of Garden Season 2013!

Today felt like the official start of the garden season.  It was 50 degrees out, we were shoveling soil, taking care of seedlings, building boxes.  I was complaining that my  back hurt.  It’s just like old times, meaning every single year we’ve had our rooftop garden.   Our main goal today was to get the greenhouses rebuilt and if time permitted build a new box to replace one that was falling apart. Not only did we get all that done, but we were able to remove the soil from all the boxes to turn it over and feed it compost.  Woo!  I won’t be able to move tomorrow.
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It was sunny and nice out today.  Since there is so  much empty space on our roof we are able to have lots of room to build.
Garden 2013: commence greenhouse rebuild
First up was the long greenhouse that had some holes in the plastic, so the plastic was ripped off.
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And then replaced.
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Woo! I’m excited too. Greenhouse is built.  The broccoli and cauliflower will probably hang out in here soon enough.
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Then it was the smaller greenhouse.  In this picture it’s off to the left and it was destroyed by the wind.  It had a few holes in it, then suddenly the wind just ripped it apart.
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So we covered that up with some new plastic..
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Then it was all set to protect when the seedlings go under it…
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Speaking of seedlings.  Say hello to them! I will do another post focused on them. :D)
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Then it was time to replace this box.  This has been with us since the beginning of the garden and it’s seen it’s last days.
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So I hulked up and shoveled all the soil out of this box.  My heavens, there is alot of soil in one box!
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Box is now all empty.. time to take it apart.
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Before we put the new box down we built we put sponges down.  This will protect the roof so the wood won’t lay on it.
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New box all filled back up now! High 5. I’m exhausted.
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Then we had to empty every single box to turn over the soil.  This is such hard work.  I almost took a nap.
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This is Mr. Pumpkin who has been with us since October.  He’s finally saying goodbye and needs to be released back into the soil.  We will miss you Pumpkin man who has brought me so much joy every single day seeing him in the kitchen
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So I did the sad honors of cutting him open so we could compost him.
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Isn’t the inside of a pumpkin amazing?
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While Matthew was smashing the pumpkin up I pretended to be the pumpkin and said things in my pumpkin voice such as “Oh don’t hurt me”, “OOO that feels good”, “hehehe that tickles”.  I amuse myself.
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I saved some pumpkins from him.  I will try to grow these.  I like keeping it in the family if possible.
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Then we brought over the compost that has been working it’s magic all winter.
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Oh delicious compost soil that the garden loves.  This will cause big strong plants!
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We worked hard this afternoon.  So hard that by 5PM I already had my Fuel Points goal!
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Excited for the new year of growing..  Happy gardening!

Irish Potato Candy

Irish potato candy is a favorite where I’m from in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.  There used to be a candy store in the mall that sold these that I would crave every time we walked by.  The candy has the sweet smell of cinnamon.  They are best serve chilled, and when you take a bite you will taste the sweetness mixed in with coconut.  Irish potato candy is a magical experience to eat.  As a kid I used to actually think they were made of potatoes, but boy was I wrong.  There is nothing healthy about these, warning.  But they are very good, so have one or two for dessert.  If you make these there is a strong chance you will declare your love for me, so give them a try.

These are easy to make – there is no cooking, just chilling involved.  There is also some mixing involved so you will have some bowls to clean (preferred to clean by mouth first).
Why are they called potato candy?  Because they look like little cute potatoes!  These would be extra cute to make for St Patrick’s Day!
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Hey little beautiful spud.
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And when you take a bite…. just wait!
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Irish Potato Candy

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • few tablespoons of ground cinnamon to roll them in

Instructions

  1. Beat your softened butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until it’s smooth.
  2. Add your powdered sugar and vanilla. Keep beating until this is smooth.
  3. Mix in the coconut, with a spoon or your hands.
  4. Roll into potato shapes with your hands. I like to keep them about 2 inches big.
  5. Roll in cinnamon to make them brown.
  6. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.
  7. Store in a container in refrigerator.
  8. ENJOY!

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Simple ingredients.
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Mix your butter and cream cheese.  It’s a little hard to do, use power.
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Then mix  in vanilla and powdered sugar. Then take a beater and lick it clean.
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Add your coconut.
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Mix it with your hands.  You are going to get dirty.  Totally ok.
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Roll in cinnamon.  Add more as you need it. You will only need 2-3 tablespoons.
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Put your little potatoes on wax paper and chill.
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YUM!

Presprouting Peas

Presprouting is great to do for peas.  By doing this you’re promised that your seeds won’t rot before they sprout under the soil (due to cold temperatures).  It also guarantees that you won’t be wasting your time planting some seeds that might not even sprout at all causing you to wait and fall back in the garden season schedule.

Directions:
Take your pea seeds and dip them in some water to get them wet.
Then take a paper towel and wet it.  Put your peas in the middle of the paper towel and wrap up, like a envelope.
Put in a plastic bag with the top corner vented a little bit.
Leave sit for a few days, soon enough they will sprout. 🙂

Here they are dry:
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In the moist paper towel all wrapped up:
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Sealed up for a few days:
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When you take them out, magic!
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They sprouted!

Then plant them as you regularly would.

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Removing a Carpet Is Hard Work

I am sitting here with a heating pad on my back that wraps all the way around my chest.  I can’t bend down.  This body was not built for manual labor, no way.  Today we continued our series of renovations and removed a carpet we glued down years ago.  Many years later we would regret this when we wanted to remove it.    We are moving things around in our loft, the farmhouse table is going to be in the kitchen area which excites me beyond belief. This hideous carpet has been bugging me for years, so I have been waiting anxiously to get rid of it.   I already bought a new area rug to put in its place but it doesn’t arrive for a few weeks – I can’t wait for it!
Quick process:
This was before we removed the carpet.  We did put the cats away, don’t worry.
Here the cats know something is going on and are spending as much on the carpet as they can. I believe Brother Bear thought this entire carpet was his new area.
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Adhesive remover put all over..
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Carpet all scraped up:
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Area all sanded:
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Area all clean now:
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Didn’t that look easy?
Yeah right.
Full process:

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