Friday, February 29, 2008


No, it's not us that are moving (sigh!)...but this blog is. I've decided to switch my blog over to WordPress, and I've also decided to change the name as there just so happens to be a Meadowlark Farm about 2 hours away from me. Who knew? The new site is still under a bit of construction, but it's ready enough for the switch. Here's the address:

Please update your bookmarks and I'll have a feed and email subscription available soon.

If you were interested in the knitting aspect, I've put that on a blog of its own (along with some other topics, too!). Here's the address for that one:

Hope to see you all over at the new sites!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Growing Challenge: A Magic Valley County Almanac/Gardening Journal

(Can click on all pics for closer view.)

OK, so I haven't even finished the book A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and I'm using a play on the words for my title. A co-worker on the B.U.R.P team I worked on in the summer of 2005 for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality gave it to me; and what I did read of it, was wonderful...beautiful. (I hope to start it again and finish it this year, though I haven't been reading as many books I'd like to lately. I'm currently - finally - reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv which has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time.) I started my own Almanac in March of 2005, and after reading that bit of Leopold's, I was inspired to fill up my little notebook with all my observations on weather, plants, gardening, bird sightings, and the like from my natural surroundings. But, if you know my record, you could probably guess that my entries were sporadic and rare. Nonetheless, I continue to scribble in it now and then.

One of my favorite uses for this spiral-bound book is writing down the bird sightings I see around my home. (I have a separate field journal for nature seen outside of my home range). I especially love when these bird sightings occur with my little boy at my side. He enjoys watching birds perching on branches or flying through the air; and I have no doubt he'll enjoy all the aspects gardening has to offer.

Currently, I am using my notebook to write down my findings on growing vegetables, crop rotations, green manures, and all that wonderful play-in-the-dirt gardening goodness. I've also been making lists of the veggies I'm hoping to plant - and that has been all sorts of mouth-watering fun. I plan to include all of my successes (and undoubtedly failures) of this seasons growing adventures in there as well. Such a handy little book of white.

Another favorite thing for me is to look at the previous year (granted I wrote anything) and compare it to the current year and season. This is interesting for bulb appearances, buds on tree branches, the arrival of certain birds, when it was sunny, and what the temps were.

I love lists. I love to write. I love to fill up the blank pages of notebooks.

What notebooks are you filling up with the moments of your life?

© Meadowlark Farms 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sunny Vacation!

Picture taken in FL: December 2006

Looks like I'll be leaving for Gainesville, Florida tomorrow! Just decided today, bought the tickets, and away we go! I'm very excited, a bit anxiety ridden, and can't wait to be in the warm Florida sun! Will post when I return next week.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ribbed Progress

I've made some progress on my ribbed scarf. And since this picture was taken a few days ago, I'm a lot further now.

Here's a close-up. I can't believe I'm even letting you get this close. Just don't get too critical - I know there are mistakes. I have picked up dropped stiches with my handy little crotchet hook though (I actually found that to be kind of fun, like walking it up a little ladder. You too? No. OK, it's just me.) I even took out a few rows when a hole was found a bit further down. That, on the other hand, was no fun at all - except for the pulling of the yarn part. I didn't like that I couldn't manage to get a smaller needle in down to where I wanted to rip to, because I wasn't sure which piece of yarn was my stitch at the beginning of the row. So I just decided to carefully as I could pull out to where I wanted to stop, but then both of my end stitches dropped down an extra row. I was able to fix one side by re-pearling it, but the other side I couldn't figure out because the edge is different than a drop stitch in the middle. I just let that stitch be a bit longer and said to heck with it, I'd learn that piece of information the next time it comes up - hopefully not just a few rows later.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Growing Challenge: Seeds Galore

My journey through seed catalogues is proving to be quite a long process. I have only just recently decided which ones I am going to order from (Territorial Seed Company & Victory Seed Company). While growing up, I remember seeing Johnny's and Cooks laying on a couch or counter where my mom had been purusing through them. When we lived out on my Grandpa's farm, out on the Salmon Tract, my mom planted a big vegetable garden full of peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, and the like. It was the best thing ever to snap those green pea pods off the vine and pull the string back to reveal the sweetest little tasty morsels, perfect for eating right there on the spot. My mom now lives in town and though the space is limited, she still grows a few edibles - tomatoes, peas, carrots, and herbs, among a few other things. So, when my husband and I were living in the first house we owned, I too planted some vegetables - tomatoes and peppers. I bought them as plants at a nursery and a few from a grocery store. At the time, I knew little about growing vegetables, let alone things such as heirlooms, and making my soil healthy. I just stuck them in the ground and watered them sporadically. The tomatoes did fine, but weren't delicious and the bell peppers tasted like pea pods. Our soil was very poor. It had previously been farmland that had probably been planted over and over with alfalfa, and had been fallow for a while as well. (Every year alfalfa would grow up through our grass, and man those roots go deep!) The next year, I didn't plant anything - and haven't planted anything since. I looked through catalogues every year, and circled what I wanted, but just never made the order. I'm ready again to plant an edible garden. Now I have more motivators, more focus, and much more knowlledge on the subject (but still learning!).

So now that I have my catalogue of choice, I need to figure out what varieties I am going to grow. I truly have to be careful, because my personality tells me to get everything that appeals to my easily stimulated senses, but I know better and realize I need to pace myself in order to have a better chance at success. I am more than thrilled as I think about all the veggies and fruits we'll be feasting on - local and grown by us. And my son, who will be two in March, is going to have the best time digging in the dirt! Dreaming up a bit of summer and spring during these cold filled months certainly helps a little towards getting through the winter. A little.

Of course I will be growing organic produce (I wouldn't have it any other way!), and am glad to be a part of the Victory Garden Drive put together by the inspiring Pattie of Foodshed Planet.

I've also joined The Growing Challenge sponsored by Melinda and Matt at Elements in Time, which I am equally excited about!

Here's looking forward to digging in the dirt! Now what to plant?...

© Meadowlark Farms 2008