Today while picking up a snow-blower (yes, I gave in - we now own a snow blower), the gal at the home improvement store said the potatoes and asparagus tubers would be in stock in two more weeks! Yay! Tony is already planning to build me more potato towers, since they out-produced the tire tower and the grow bag the year we tested them all. This year I wanted to try two or three different varieties, but found out that the All Blue potatoes we grew last time are no longer available. They replaced them with "Magic Molly" instead. I will probably end up picking them up to try just because they're available locally without postage fees. I have also found two varieties in seed catalogs that I want to try. Purple Viking is a potato with purple skin with pink splotches, but white flesh inside. Pinto Gold has a pink skin with yellow splashes. The flavor is said to be "buttery" which would be great for someone like me who desperately misses putting butter, cheese, and sour cream on her baked potatoes (lactose intolerance is no fun). I'm a little taken aback by the cost on them online though. I may skip the Pinto Gold and just go with the Purple Viking and Magic Molly this year. I should (hopefully) get enough to save some back for seed next year.
I spoke to my trusted adviser, whom I frequently bounce ideas around with (she gives the best advice), and she suggested trying to cut sugar out of my diet as well. Sugar can be replaced in recipes by honey, maple syrup (the real stuff, not the high fructose corn syrup crap), or stevia. As it turns out, I happen to have a few stevia seeds. Perhaps I will have to attempt to grow them out. She said you can just dry the leaves out and then grind them up like I do with some of my other herbs, then use it as sugar substitute. For now I will be trying to cut back, but not entirely eliminating sweets. I already try to eat healthy, but I put sugar in my coffee and yes, I make Kool Aid on a daily basis. Seriously, I have five kids and without it they suck through a gallon of apple juice every day - check the price difference between two cups of sugar and two Kool Aid packets versus a gallon of apple juice. Yes, water is healthier, but flavors make it so much easier to drink.
Today the mail brought some concord grape seeds. From what I've read online they have dismal germination rates that can take months, and it can be three or more years before you actually get a harvest - which may not even be a good product because you're dealing with seed-grown versus cutting or grafting. But hey, let's give it a try anyway!
I have 23 containers drying in the bathtub now. I sanitized them yesterday and will drill drainage holes tomorrow. I have so many more seeds I want to get into containers. I always feel like I'm running out of time, but really, as long as the ones that need stratification (cold time) are planted out early, the sensitive plants can wait until April. Still, I'd like to get some more jugs out soon. If nothing else, it clears up the space they're taking up in the kitchen.
I finished the purse for #1 today, and started a purse for #3. Hers will be blue, small, with a flap top with no closure, and a cross-body strap. Simple, but able to hold her phone.
Today we also looked at fencing. I'm going to need a way to keep Josh (the goose) out of the garden. Last fall he chewed off pretty much all of my okra and pepper plants about 2-4 inches up the stem, for no apparent reason. He didn't eat them, just chewed on them until they broke, then, like a lumberjack, just moved on to the next. The problem is that a fence will keep Josh out, but it won't deter Phil, Henrietta, or Big Red (the chickens). So do I get rid of the chickens? Give up on gardening? I don't know. I'm really hoping the chickens will leave the garden alone. Perhaps they will prefer treats from the compost heap when it's warm enough for them to be wandering the yard again. Anyway, fence panels run $15-$30 each, plus the posts and hardware to connect them all. A roll of fencing is $30 for 50 feet, again, plus the cost of posts and such. Tony seems to think it's going to be easier to get the roll and some cheaper posts and then we can move it or add to it as the garden grows over the years.
Oh garden thoughts... My happy place. I'm looking forward to barefoot weather.