Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Garden Seeds & that Natural Stuff

Last year my garden really started to come together especially with the picket fence that created the boundaries of the garden. It was quite the investment but its something that I have always wanted to do. Last year also gave me the chance to see what grew well or not well in the raised beds and to see what grew well or not well when sowed directly in the ground.

This year I wanted to try some new things in the garden in addition to the basic staples of the garden.

From Livingston Seed Co. I am going to try Cannonball Gourds, I think these should be too fun for Autumn decorations. Then I bought Yellow Scallop Bush Squash because it is an heirloom and I thought it might be fun to try just like the Eight Ball Squash which can be harvested 3 to 6 inches. It is suppose to be good steamed, fried, or baked and is perfect for small gardens or large containers as it grows in a bush habit. I also picked up some Spaghetti squash to grow again.

On Thursday my parents and I took a shopping drive down to Amish Country. We stopped in at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron. They have been remodeling it and adding lots of new goodies. Just so happened that they are carrying Seed Saver Exchange seeds!!! So I was excited to see Green Tomato Seeds.....hopefully I can grow these! Then because I am on a Squash kick this year, I bought a blue squash seed called "Queensland Blue". But my true excitement was finding Broomcorn seeds!!!! My mom and I fell in love with this Broomcorn at a Fall craft show 2 years ago so Mom and I are going to pray we can grow our own for this Fall. It is truly a beautiful decoration in Autumn.

When it comes to shopping for cooking ingredients, I love going to Amish Country because they have some unique stuff and it is much cheaper than the suburban grocery stores. At the one store, they started carrying some really unique flours for cooking. I purchased these 2 varieties.

They are carrying many varieties of flours so I am going to have to try each one eventually;)
I am making strides to going more natural in some of my food habits; however I have yet to come across organic Coke so until then I will have to drink that classic stuff;)

This year I am going to get on a strict regiment of worming the animals. Last year I had a tough round with tape worms so instead of relying completely on products like Valbozen, I am going natural with Diatomaceous Earth. I have tried it before but was not diligent with it. One of my friends who is an herbalist religiously uses it and swears by it. The Amish Elevator that I go to to get all of my feed carrys it which is great because it can be very expensive to buy it in the catalogs. I can get it at the Elevator in a 50 lbs bag for $22.00. I hope that I can get a good crop of pumpkins also to add in as a wormer in the Fall also.

So Springbreak is just moving along.....beautiful weather up until today and tomorrow is suppose to be in the low low 40's with a dusting of that white stuff. Its been nice to be home and hang out with my barn friends and in less than 2.5 months summer break will be rolling in something that I truly look forward to!


Spring Lake Farm said...

I love the picket fence around your garden. It is very charming!


Garrett808 said...

I LOVE DE. Cynthia got me hooked on it for the sheep as a natural dewormer. I leave it out free choice for them, I also mix it with charcoal and something called dynamin, and keep that blend out as well free choice. DE is not the tastiest thing to eat, so I also put in their 'mash' that I feed during lambing, and in the alfalfa pellets when I feed those during the winter. I love it.

It also helps to keep mites and lice off of your poultry if when you clean your coop next time, clean the nest boxes and floors and then sprinkle it heavily into the boxes and floor and into the cracks and crevices. NO more problems with those buggers either!

Deb said...

You are going to have an awesome garden :) I'm going to try the yellow scallop bush squash this year. A customer asked for it specifically and said it's yummy. I love the broom corn also but have never tried raising it. I'll be watching yours :)
I have to place my seed order!

I wish Amish country were closer - finding DE here is difficult. I'd love to work it into my deworming program and I'd like to feed more kelp but the shipping makes it expensive.

Glad your enjoying spring break :)

Mim said...

I'm with Deb you are so fortunate to have the Amish living so close. You come home with some of the greatest finds when you visit the Amish.

kristi said...

Hi Spring Lake Farm!
Thanks for stopping by and visiting! I am off to see your blog too!

Thanks for the DE advice with the chickens!

good to hear from you! The place I get my feed also has kelp...I was thinking of trying that too! Perhaps I should load up and make a trip to your place this summer....:)

Thanks for stopping in! I do so enjoy my little Amish trips and those little finds! Its those fun things that makes me smile;)

Barb said...

I see you have Seed Saver Seeds. Their place is a couple of hours from lovely. Just wanted to suggest their Black From Tula tomato seeds. Scrumptious, lovely, sweet tomatoes. My favorite-to-date ,but alas my chickens discovered them last year in the garden and I think I harvested two,(2), TWO un-pecked tomatoes. Apparently, their favorite as well. This year I will plant them in a secret place.

Kim said...

I have large bags of DE, but I haven't used them religiously either. I dewormed, as a precaution, our sheep, chickens and dogs with this once, but I haven't followed up with it. I found a formula online for deworming animals, but I wasn't sure if source was reliable. Can you tell me if your herbalist friend has formulas she uses successfully on critters? Thanks.

kristi said...

Thank you for stopping by! i will have to check out those tomatoes as I have only gotten the green ones....those chickens are quite the characters I have discovered!

Check out Lisa's blog. She just started it so drop her a note. She is a wealth of info for herbal treatment with the animals. Her site is

Kim said...

Kristi, thanks for follow-up. I'll check out Lisa's blog.

By the way, Garrett808, I have read and heard from a local dairy goat farmer, that leaving DE out free choice can cause lung problems due to it's powder fine consistency. They say it needs to be wet down or adhered to moist food, etc. I'm not a know-it-all by any means, but I just wanted to be sure you were aware of this possibility. Maybe you have info. that disputes this theory? As for poultry house, I do the same thing in mine. It's great stuff, isn't it? :)

Tammy said...

Hi Kristi,
It's an exciting time of the year isn't it? A little overwhelming at times though, with everything needing to be done 'now'. The broom corn is very easy to grow. Just plant it in a similar location you would regular corn (although don't plant it next to it as it could cross pollinate), and let er grow. I used to grow it years ago, as someone gave me a seeds. It really is beautiful stuff. Hmm...maybe I should plant some this year too.