IN battle
We are fighting off the ant hills that are trying to infest our beet beds...

The solution: little plastic soldiers in our trenches!

That ought to scare them away!


hot pepper teas
I just read on a site that a good way to repel insects is with tea that contains hot peppers.
Does anybody know anything about that? Also, any other natural insect repellents that can be made at home?

I was also thinking about planting my nasturtiums in planters, and just putting them between my other plants to deter pests. I heard that nasturtiums are really good for that.

Any advice is appreciated...

This sad and gloomy day...
Looking outside right now makes me want to cry...

Yesterday we were FINALLY able to plant outside and build our fence all before a storm came in. Officially, the things we have in the ground now are:
Onions, Asparagus, Carrots, Beets, Radishes, Mixed Lettuce, Rhubarb and Pumpkin.

My fear is that our onion plants, which are only mere 2 inch sprouts, are going to wash away, and all of the seeds we put in will be gone! It is raining so much, and has been raining since 8pm yesterday, and isn't supposed to stop until tomorrow night!


I guess that was a little dramatic, but its how I truly feel.

Does anybody know what I should do protection wise in this situation? It's really not safe to be out in an open field right now, so I guess I will just have to wait and hope for the best. For all I know, this will be great for the plants, and when I get there, they will be blooming and prosperous!

Still waiting for tomato seeds to germinate. I don't know why I am being so impatient. We only planted then on April 2nd and it's only been four days! I'm panicking for nothing! Maybe its because I love tomatoes so much, that I have such high concern for them all the time. I'm not really sure.

We're also still waiting on basil, purple basil, oregano, sage, and nasturtium. I'm also not quite sure how long those take to germinate, but I'm sure they will be fine.

On a better note, we officially have lots and lots of Ancho and Orange Bell Pepper sprouts that are doing quite well! Along with our eggplant, rosemary, and broccoli! Unfortunately, we have kind of given up on our Habanero peppers. They just don't seem to be sprouting at all. We thought they would because we did a little digging and found a few seeds with the tiniest little things coming out of them, but its been a long time, and still nothing. I guess you just can't win them all.

Water Spigots are finally working on our plot so now we don't have to carry jugs and jugs of water back and forth every time we go there. I have a warning for everyone, I don't care how brave you are...WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!!!
I have the worst possible burn lines you could imagine. Farmers tans don't have anything on me! I learned  my lesson, and never again will I garden without sunscreen.

Anyway, I am going to go, and leave you with one question, and if anyone has advice, please comment:
How easy is it for seeds to be washed away in severe thunder storms?


Hour Glass Farm! Grand Opening?
Today went well. Very labor intensive putting the chicken wire up but we made it through. Does anyone know how to make the fence more stable? besides using more stakes.It was a beautiful day, 75 (or more) degrees and full sun. What seemed to be a wonderful day, soon turned into....... a day, in the garden.

It all began when those heavy dark clouds, started moving in our direction. My aunt had informed me of the upcoming thunderstorm, but these clouds were hours away from being dangerous. Enjoying our time spent in the garden, we did not realize how powerful and hot the sun really was until the damage had been done. I should have let ashley look and see if there was any sunscreen at the slevin (7eleven). Everything went well in the garden. We collected some "hobo" onions. Which are the onions from last year growing again. We transplanted the onion I previously had planted in front of my building this winter. We transplanted our itty bitty baby onions, and planted the cold weather seeds. We planted the white pumpkin, carrot, lettuce, beet, and raddish seeds, along with the asparagus and rhubarb bulbs. I am so excited! but very concerned. Because. It just stopped hailing and thundering and storming very intensely. I was forced into running through the horrible beating from ice balls ranging in size from lemon heads to golf balls.. WELTS CENTRAL! my point being, I hope the baby onions are ok we may have transplanted them too early. They were really tiny. Oh gosh. I hope someone isnt out to get me from above. I dont dig that as much as I dig soil! laughter. But seriously that wouldnt be cool.
I took some great pictures today that I will probably post tomorrow, but right now I wanna eat my delicious, hot, fudgy, freshly baked brownies. That I baked in a bundt pan because that was all I had. I will inform my possible readers of the outcome. Cheers, until next time.
-Mel Chèrie

Our plan...our unsuccessful plan
Our plan yesterday was to plant our cool weather crops outside. Things like Lettuce, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Beets and Carrots. Our onion seedlings aren't strong enough yet to put outside, and we have to put our fence up today beforehand so that rabbits don't eat them.

Anyway, we drove to our plot, loosened up our soil, and were just about to plant when of course, the water spigots weren't up and running!!! So now we decided that we are going back today with jugs and jugs of water so that we can successfully plant everything that we intended to.

We strategically mapped out our land with a grid plot, and analyzed foot by foot, where everything should go. I think some of our plants may have to go into our parents back yards. That's fine with me cause then I can get my mom to water sometimes, and I can go and see my puppies more often.

When we got to the plot we proceeded to twine off our little space, and mark with twigs where to plant everything. Sadly, although we couldn't start yesterday, we will begin today by actually fencing off our land, and finally get the ball rolling.

Does anyone know how soon is too soon to plant onion seedlings?

Also, do bunnies chew through plastic fencing? Am I better off with metal?

Still waiting for tomatoes and herbs to sprout their seeds, but its only been a couple of days, so I'm not worried. Still just one Ancho Pepper sprout...only time will tell.


the situation that arose on tomato day.
so yesterday we planted the tomaters, and that just went swimmingly. except for the wind blowing over the tray with the peat pellets, luckily only one was taken by the wind.. we soon realized, upon the commencement of sowing, that there was a missing packet of seeds!.  from my balcony, we searched high and low and no seed packet was found. WE HAD TO TAKE ACTION. we went downstairs, and scanned the ground underneath the balcony but still nothing. i decided to use my mad detective skills. factoring in the direction that the wind blew, from the angle of the seeds original resting place; led me right to the purple tomato seed packet entangled in a bush. "HUZUH!" WE EXCLAIMED IN JOY. we had found our seeds.
Ashley = Watson
Mel Chèrie = Holmes
so continuing on with the day. everything is looking beautiful and green. i was peering in and realized...
THE ANCHO PEPPERS ARE GROWING. more like ancho pepper, because only one seed has germinated as of yet. but nonetheless still wonderful. viewing our ancho pepper seedling we got excited/ worried about the habañero peppers. so we started poking in the soil to see:
1. if we planted in all the pockets of the egg crate
2. if there was anything going on with the seeds at all
we dug up a few and found nothing, not even seeds, and then i came across one. sadness lay beside my fingertip. a seed that that did not germinate. ashley found another and upon first glance we had uncovered another disappointment. with a closer eye she gazed upon the sadness resting on her fingertip. to both of our surprise, it had sprouted a very tiny root. i really hope this means good things. would soil firmness have a great effect on root growth? we gently placed our baby habañero back into its cradle, and tucked it under a nice 1/4 in. of dirt.
our leggy broccoli broccoli seems to be doing better since we moved it into a larger cup. we also buried it deeper hoping this will stunt the legginess? we also plucked a few of the hopless sprouts out, and why should we waste some good baby broccoli.
that is right i ate my own baby. my baby broccoli, THAT I RAISED FROM A SEED! and it was delicious. after an awful experience of trying a green unripe tomato when i was a child, i didn't know what to expect. but to my surprise, it tasted like broccoli. ashley at it too. we are both like kronos. 
cheers until next time,
mel chèrie

Our Actual Tomato fooling this time
We are officially doing our tomato seeds today, for real. Sadly, it was not meant to be yesterday, and I fell asleep on the couch talking in my half sleep, and I think I may have said something about lawyers...

Anyway, were going to get more organic soil, and get to work, because we have a lot to do. Also, I believe we will go over to our wonderful little plot and check out the soil and maybe put out our plants that grow well in cool weather...
lettuce, beets varieties, french breakfast raddishes, carrots...

I just need to say that I am tickled pink by this whole process! The best day was when our first sprouts came up, and I felt like a woman who is trying to get pregnant, and saw a picture of my developing embryo.

Our broccoli seems to be doing a little better. There are a few that wont stop flopping over, so they may be duds, but most of them are up and at em. I believe the way you do it is when you transplant, you take the strongest couple of sprouts, and get rid of the weaker ones...anybody know anything about this?

Great news! We finally have Orange Bell Pepper Sprouts! Just when we thought that they weren't going to blossom, yesterday we saw little peek-a-boos of green coils. Were still waiting for our Ancho peppers and our Habenero peppers, but as I have observed, when you dont have bottom heat under pepper seeds, they take a little longer to germinate.

I really hope if there is someone out there reading this that you are enjoying it, and maybe even taking an interest in vegetable gardening yourself. It saves you A LOT of money consdering how organic produce from the strore can be pricey, and it allows you to know exactly what is going into your food. When you buy this stuff from the store, you dont know what is sprayed on it, or what it has been genetically modified with. Did you know that they are trying to splice tomatoes with fish DNA to make it less perishable?! Your tomatoes would be no longer vegetarian! Thats why I think it is not only a fun and special learning experience to grow your own produce, but it allows you to have food that is completely safe for you and your family.

Sorry, that was my little rant about that. For those of you who know me, I could go on about food safety, and GMO's and horrible pesticieds all will never happen on here again, I promise. I can also talk about recipes on worlds end, so if you want any good ones for whatever you are growing in your garden, let me know!

Anyway, off to the shower, and then a busy day of awesomeness!
Dont forget to check out our scrapbook, we uploaded some photos! If you can't look at them yet, we are working on figuring out how to post them in our actual entries. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO DO THAT?!?!?!

More later.....   <3

conclusion to the tomato fiasco.
Well, we realized that when we had all of our supplies ready to plant our tomato seeds, that we had run out of soil! So now we have to do our seeds tomorrow. However, we were still able to plant our purple basil, sweet basil, oregano and sage. WOW are oregano seeds tiny!
 Anyway, i guess another trip is in store for tomorrow.
The pictures I had promised are being posted as we speak. Melissa is more computer/blog savvy than I am so shes going to help me upload pictures.
Until Tomorrow.....

-Ashley and Melissa

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Tomato Seed Day!
Well, today is the day when we germinate our tomato seeds. I couldnt be more excited because who doesn't love to grow tomatoes? I love the simple smell of the leaves. Ive been rumaging through my moms house, looking for more containers to plant in, in order to continue being cheap, and I found that I was quite successful. I have probably 10 new pots that I can use for transplanting!
I believe we are also going to be germinating our sweet and purple basil, and oregano. Its so warm out today, that maybe we can even go out to our plot and plant our beets, raddishes and carrots. I know this sounds like a lot of foliage, but we've got a pretty big plot, and what ever doesn't fit in our humble space will be put into my mothers backyard, and we are also going to sell some of our seedlings.
Also, some other great news! We have now begun to spot new sprouts from our eggplant and rosemary seeds! They're only little niblets right now, but that was last night, so Im sure that they are slightly bigger today. I'll see when I get over to Melissa's.
Sad story, our broccoli sprouts seem to be sort of leggy...any advice? Considering how new this blog is, im not expecting any. However, I heard if you transplant them and bury them lower in the dirt, that should help. That last thing we want are some floosy broccoli that are out there flaunting their long legs, waiting for some other not so leggy broccoli to take them away.
Its a gorgeous day here in suburban Chicago, and many people know how amazing those first true days of spring weather are here. I want to frolic, and lay outside, but I'll just drive with my windows down. Well anyway, off to Home Depot for some PEAT CUPS and POTTING SOIL!


The Beginning
So heres the start of it all.
We rented out a space that is 20x20. We wanted to go the most natural route possible, so we deided to start from organic seeds in organic soil. I began our process in January by collecting empty egg cartons, salad boxes, and any empty containers to use for planting. We like to go cheap, as in spending almost no money.
We began germinating our seeds on March 24th, a day early here in suburban Chicago, because I was going out of town for the weekend.
The seeds we planted so far are as follows:
Ancho Peppers
Habenero Peppers
Purple Podded Pole Beans
Long Red Florence Onions
Orange Bell Peppers

We were a bit worried after we had strategically planted our first set of seeds. We put them each into little divets in our egg flats and watered them accordingly. After I left, Melissa poked holes in the bottom of our flats, and put addiional flats underneath them for better drainage. For a while we were scared that nothing would germinate. BUT, our worries were settled, when a few days later, BROCCOLI SPROUTS! What was odd is that usually broccoli takes 10-12 days to germinate, and it only took ours about four. Then, when we thought that nothing else was going to germinate, a few days later, ONION SPROUTS! I umped for joy when Mel called me. I was supposed to be sitting at the table during Passover seder, but I was honestly more excited that we had more of what we are calling, our babies!

We also built a make-shift green house, by taking cardboard and egg carton strips, gluing them together, posting wooden sticks in the corners, attaching more cardboard and wood, and then covering the top with clear plastic. What was funny is that we didnt have to buy ANY of it, Mel had all of these things in her apartment! Were gunna use it to keep in moisture, but at the same time, not steaming out seeds.

Anyway, I will try to upload a couple of pictures I took on my phone. There will be more to come, so watch out for our progress! If you have any advice for us, please post. On April 1st, we will be germinating our Heirloom Tomato Seeds!



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