Get A Plan to Grow Better

2015! And thank you Lord for it! 
Not that 2014 was a total train wreck but lets just say it is in the rear view so time to move on and make stuff better. After all, that's what life is about, right? ...making stuff better? 

I stopped blogging just before Thanksgiving to give myself some ponder time on not what is, but what should be. I have come to learn that if you only see your influences in the colors of today and not beyond today your dreams grow dim. And for me, dim dreams mean no lovely gardens where my hands meet the sacred soil, no hot ovens where my nutritional desires meet flour, eggs, and a tad bit of sugar, and most terrifying... no ART, which is where the creative forces of love are literally hidden in my soul. My family and my creator deserve better from me, thus I rested. 

You know what they say. To everything there is a season, my friend. And my season for rest is now ovaaaaa! It's a new year, a new blessing, and a new challenge. I submit to you, as well as to myself, make this year the best you can possibly make it by planning your best, working your best, and loving your best.  Notice I didn't say making the most money you can make? hmmm...that's because I have been there and done that. It was not my best year! Just sayin'!

Your ideas of how to go about making things better may be different than mine,and that's cool.  But I will share my plans and if anything here seems to hit a "good idea" spot with you, here it is, take it as your own. Oh, and this is literally the grow season. Like, real food grow season.  I have plans to grow other things in my life better in 2015 too. Some of those I may post too, others I probably won't. But I'll let ya know when they are up for grabs.  


Grow MORE: 

I will double my gardens this growing season. That means more beds, more soil, more seeds, more water, more time fighting bad insects in my soil and cultivating the good ones that fight like warriors for my Dirt Kingdom! I actually already had this on my list for 2015 and laid out the beds at the end of last summer. Jay tilled up the soil and put up the frames. I will fill them with topsoil and add compost about mid March. The first picture below is my 2014 grow space.  The second one is our new grow space for 2015.  I am beyond excited! 

Last year I planted heirloom seeds from Seed Savers. I purchased their seeds from Southbranch Nursery, a carrier of these wonderful seeds in my town.  So if you are in the Middle Tennessee area check out Southbranch for your seeds as well as other organic materials. You can also order directly from the exchange group.  Even better yet, if you like to curl up with gardening magazines, you should order Seed Saver's Exchange's beautiful and insightful catalog. I absolutely adore this catalog! 

I will most definitely be planted deeper with this organization this year. Seed Saver's Exchange Mission Statement is spot on when it comes to sharing my ethics in seed preservation and food cultivation. By all means, check them out! 

Harvest MORE: 
With a bigger garden area comes a bigger harvest. ( hopefully) The thing I am looking forward to is sharing the harvest. Are you also growing your food organically? If so, let's hook up and swap shop! That seems like such fun. But for now we will keep it simple and stick to tomatoes as the cash crop. (No I won't sell my maters in 2015.  I just share with family and friends.) 

Speaking of sharing... I shared a lot of pizza and spaghetti sauce last year.  This year I am hoping to yield enough tomatoes to be able to share even more sauce.  I love to make sauce! Here is a chart of what you will find in my saucy beds in 2015.  I had almost as much fun making my Circle of Sauce chart as I do making sauce! BAM! 

Oh, just for the record...I will grow basil with my tomatoes, but my oregano and thyme will be in the herb bed.  

Preserve BETTER:
Speaking of preserving...In 2014 I officially hit the "over the hill" mark by societies standards in this country. (Pj, What are you thinking? Why did you just let that old cat out of the bag?!) Anyway, last year was spent mourning my youth. This year, screw that! It is what it is folks! Embrace your years with thankfulness and move on! And yes, it actually did take all year of not looking one day younger to arrive at this conclusion about my 2014 birthday. Oh, well. 

The other, and actually progressive preservation ideas I had last year was learning to preserve our food by canning.  Jay and I canned mostly tomatoes and sauces. They turned out okay. Not great, but usable.  The pickles is where we miserably failed. Yup...wasted. What a shame. 

This year we will plan our canning better by learning more about the process before blindly murdering an entire crop of delicious cucumbers for the sake of pretty pint jars filled with mushy tasteless pickles. We have begun expanding our knowledge here, with this incredibly informative book that was gifted to me by my beautiful daughter, Sarah. 

Yep, I'm pretty sure this baby gonna be my canning bible. You can pick it up at a good price at Amazon

2015 shall hopefully bring to us a real pressure canner. We are in the planning stages still of exactly which to purchase as we have noticed you can spend as much as you would like to spend on a pressure canner. There is the challenge, my friend. We would like a good pressure canner to call our very own, but can't trade the farm for it. So, please share ALL YOU KNOW about pressure canners and their price variances with me! I am all ears! Summer will be here soon enough and this no pressure canner situation needs to be remedied by then. So PLEASE let me know your suggestions!

This is not where we plan to stop forward progress in our yearly planning agenda, but it is where I will stop this blog for today. It pretty much covers the 2015 plan for the growing season around here. It seems like a good start to me. I hope it is. If it is not I am sure you will let me know. And that is okay.  We are always open for suggestions! Life is such a learning curve, ain't it? 

Happy New Year Folks! 
Plan to FLIP MORE DIRT this year!,  

OH! If you want a good PIZZA SAUCE RECIPE, check out this one!   It's easy, fast, and really yummy! 

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