The Weekly Digs #6

Last Saturday we had a thunderstorm followed by wind gusts of 50mph. A power pole about a mile from our home snapped in half, leaving live power lines scattered across the road. We were without power for seven hours while they repaired it.

My kids proclaimed they wanted to have the power go out every night so that we could eat dinner on the grill and by candlelight. I have to admit, it was pretty magical. Our refrigerator food made it through ok but I was most worried about our new baby chicks having no heat lamp in our cold basement. We had our fire going so we brought them upstairs with us and they were warm!

In other news, we had a friend let us borrow their incubator and some fertilized eggs to hatch. It’s good we are trying for more chicks since we lost another chicken this week. I was outside and a big white dog came onto our property. I saw her coming and tried to chase her away but she was fast. I couldn’t catch her before she killed one of the chickens. Now we are down to only 6 egg laying hens.

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My grow space was a bit more crowded this week. I’ve been hardening off the spinach, lettuce, kale, and onions but had to bring them in because of all the high winds we’ve had.

New Seeds Started Indoors:

I started 72 tomato plants.

Varieties: Roma, Martino’s Roma (36 plants of just romas!), Matt’s Wild Cherry, Black Cherry, Egg Yolk, Sungold, cherokee purple, kelloggs breakfast, Purple Russian, Pantano Romanesco, and Bing Cherry tomato.

I seeded zinnias.

Varieties: Meteor (my favorite!) and Purple Prince

I also seeded a whole tray of Sweet Basil and some Wild Zaatar Oregano.

Oh and a story about my tomato seedlings. I ordered 8 heat mats from a big box store and received them Friday just in time to start my tomato seedlings. I got them all plugged in, checked an made sure they were working then went to bed. Later in the day on Saturday, I went over to check on my seedlings and they were scorching hot. I used our thermometer to check the heat of the tray and it read 119º F. Then I checked my soil. They were all from 95-100ºF.

I have a few seedling heat mats already but the ones I like got discontinued so I tried these new ones. They are only suppose to be 70-85ºF. I immediately put them back in the box to return. I was so worried my seedlings may have died but just yesterday a few popped up and today several more. Whew!

I just ordered another seedling mat, this time with a temperature control just in case.

Harvests from this week:

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This is almost the last of the kale. I made sweet potatoes with white beans and kale for dinner that night. All vegetables came from the garden in the last year!

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I saw some carrot sprouts popping up in my garden. I was sure I picked all the carrots months ago. It was a happy surprise to find them!

I’ve got my netting all up for peas. I didn’t put them yet because its been to rainy and wet.

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New Blackberries came this week. They are Prime Ark Freedom 10 plants. I wasn’t expecting them to be have leaves already so I had to harden them off. I’m hoping to get them in the ground this weekend.