Saturday, March 9, 2019

Seed Starting

Well, this is the scene I see looking out the window today.  With a forecast of more rain/sleet/snow, I am focusing on seed starting.  Along with ordering seeds, this is the next best step to starting a garden--1. work inside.  2.  get dirt on my hands.  3.  see new green life.  

To begin, I decide which seeds I want to start.  Celery needs an early start prior to transplanting in garden.  I like trying a new vegetable each year and this year is celery.  I hope it turns out better than the okra (2017) and egg plant (2018). 

I prepare the Pro Mix Ultimate Organic Mix which is approved by our organic certification.  I add water and stir with my hands to a moist consistency and fill the cells. 

Upon researching celery seed germination, I soaked the seeds in water for at least 24 hours.  Now I see these tiny seeds in the water and am wondering how am I going to pick these seeds and drop them in the cells.  I found a white plastic spoon, added more water to the seeds, and fished two to three seeds on the spoon and dropped seeds and water into each cell. The hard part was keeping track of which cell I dropped the previous seeds into. I was told I am a woman with patience and I guess I used all that patience to start celery seeds.  Once I had 3 varieties (ParCel Cutting, Redventure, and Tall Utah) in 216 cells, I placed the plastic covered trays on our old fashioned water radiators (in place of heating pads) to germinate. I made sure the cells remained moist.  After 7 days, the celery began sprouting.  Then the trays were placed under florescent T5 6500K lights.The first picture was taken March 2. The second picture taken March 9.

Ben really likes his tomato plants.  So the two of us decide what varieties to get started.  I separate the cherries from the slicers. Each packet gets a letter which is much easier to write on the tags then the entire name. Can you imagine the nightmares I have if I can't find the cheat cheat sheet?

Tomatoes are much easier to seed then celery and I put two seeds in each cell.  I find that tomatoes are easy to transplant into bigger pots and separating the two plants does no harm to either. The tomatoes were seeded on February 22 and began sprouting on February 26. 

                                      Photos respectively March 2 and March 9.

I also started 4x4 cells of leeks (King Richard and Tadorna).  The Tadorna germination not as good as King Richard and one cell was reseeded to King Richard. 

Photos respectively March 2 and March 9.

Peppers were seeded on February 24 and are slowly making their way into the world.  Lettuce and Kale were seeded this past week and will post more on them in the near future.  

Even though the snow and wind are blowing outside, I have springtime in the house and watching the seeds transform before my eyes.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Garlic Sprouted!

Looking at this chart, I should be the healthiest person around.  What is the old saying --an apple a day, keeps the doctor away? According to this chart, it should be-- eating a clove a day, will keep all germs away.  (Maybe people, too).

At my house, we keep a small bowl of cloves ready to peel.

It is a good idea to eat a clove or two each evening.  More often if you feel a scratchy throat or cough starting.  

Keeping the garlic cloves on the table will cause it to sprout.  The little green sprout can be bitter but just like any other sprout it contains even more nutrients than the "seed".  I prefer not to eat the raw sprout and cut the clove in half and easily remove the sprout and toss in compost bucket. When cooking, I chop up the entire clove sprout and all.

There are so many ways to benefit from eating raw garlic and many herbal recipes to find on the internet.  

With this winter weather, I wonder when our garlic will be sprouting in the garden.  
Picture taken on November 16, 2018.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Where's the sun?

Where is the sun?

Is it only me or has anyone else noticed the lack of sunshine?  There were several events to take note of.  Did you happen to see the eclipse of the moon? I was disappointed it wasn't as red as I had envisioned, but still a spectacular sight. 

Then there was the record breaking cold with the polar vortex of -50 wind chill. I don't ever remember the mail delivery halted state wide.  I do remember when I was wearing the hat of a dairy farmer and it was soooo cold, the drinking cups froze in the barn and the manure spreader had to be hauled off to Schraufnagel to thaw up.  Now those were the days! The farmers that I know are a dedicated group of workers not only to create a livelihood but to care for the animals.  I miss my cows but not on these wintry days. 

God has blessed me in many ways and I have worn many hats.  One of the best ones is Grandma.  So when I feel any seasonal affective disorder set in, I think of a funny story told by the grand kids.  And of course, dreaming of working in the flower garden again this spring.

Photo of moon: NASA Ames Research Center / Brian Day

Thursday, January 31, 2019

How Many Seeds?

When it gets too cold to work outside, I look forward to the seed catalogs coming in the mail.  These seed catalogs open a new world of dreaming about the perfect garden-- no weeds, the best weather, the most produce, and...well back to reality.  Selecting the seeds for 2019 is one of many steps to plan for the gardens.

  • Do an inventory of all seeds from 2018 and estimate amount of each.
  • Type a list of all seeds (Name, amount of seeds, days to maturity, company, comments)
  • Estimate how many seeds will be needed per 100' row.
  • Estimate how many 100' rows of each type of seed will have to be seeded to grow enough produce to meet demand.
  • Make a list of types and amounts of seeds needed.
Now the fun part.
  • Go through each catalog to find the type of seed needed.
  • Be sure seed is certified organic.
  • Write down in column form the price of each from each catalog to compare prices.
  • Determine the best choice and go on line and set up cart to order.
  • Place orders.
  • Wait with anticipation (like a kid at Christmas) for seeds to come in mail.
  • Once seeds arrive add to typed inventory seed list.  
  • File seeds to await spring/summer planting.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Calendula. What is that?

Calendula is an herb but simulating a daisy with vibrant orange and yellow petals with green leaves and stem. It may also be known as pot marigold or garden marigold, a native of Southern Europe, Egypt, Caribbean, and the region between Canary Islands to Iran. 


A view of Calendula's from our garden
Dehydrating Calendula 

Calendula is a wonderful healing and medicinal herb used in various recipes. You won't believe how many ways Calendula can be utilized! However, it is recommended to use caution or not to use it while pregnant, breast feeding, or if you have an allergy to chamomile, ragweed, asters.
  • It is edible. Chopped petals can add some flavor and color to your salad, cake, sandwich, cheese, sauces, soups, and butter.
    • Flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery, pleasantly mild and vegetable sweet.
  • Healing wounds and skin irritations. It has an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It can heal:
    • bruises, scrapes, athlete's foot, yeast infections, diaper rashes, and believe it or not, it can help minimize stretch marks and scarring. Ladies, you might want to try this!
  • Sore throat, sores or inflammations in mouth or throat.
  • Incorporate Calendula into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, topical oils.
  • Dried flower for tea and infused oils.
  • Pest repellent against aphids, eelworms, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles.

Step outside of your comfort level and experiment with Calendula. We are currently selling fresh, certified organic Calendula for $5 per pound. 

We are also selling poppies and bachelor buttons! 

Contact us for some beautiful certified organics flowers that have many uses!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Certified Organic Garlic coming soon!

Garlic. One of the world's healthiest foods. 

If you don't believe me, feel free to read up on it for yourself: Medical Uses and Benefits

It's almost time for fresh organic garlic from our fields! We originally planted one clove of garlic by hand in October. Since then, we've been busy planning and prepping an area to hang garlic. This weekend, we were busy in the fields harvesting it. Unfortunately, it is not ready for sales yet as it needs to hang dry for a few weeks. 

This year, we will have 4-5 varieties of garlic available: Amish, Chesnok, Romanian, and Music, possibly Purple Stripe. Garlic does have many uses:  preventing health problems, cooking, or fighting werewolves or vampires along with many more. Whatever your purpose is, we will have garlic ready for you soon! For other uses, please refer to: 12 uses for garlic. If you are interested in pre-ordering, please contact us or visit our Facebook page Country Blossoms Organics LLC

If you are unsure how to cook with garlic, here are a few tips and recipes: Garlic Do's and Don'tsGarlic Tips, and Garlic recipes.

The drying process may take anywhere from 3-4 weeks.

Most of our garlic is starting to dry. Only one more variety to hang.

Monday, April 6, 2015


8 Hives at CBO

Today, Nicholas Thill from Honey Grove Apiaries, LLC stopped by with some beehives that will be housed at Country Blossoms Organics. We hope that having these hives on our farm will be beneficial to the bees and to our crops. We are very excited to support Honey Grove Apiaries, LLC in their mission to supply the community with their delicious, local honey, and we are equally excited for our plants to benefit from the bees!

Just a reminder that Country Blossoms Organics LLC will be a vendor at the upcoming Lomira Farmer's Market. Opening day of the market will be on Saturday, June 13th, and will run each Saturday morning until October 10th from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM. If you are interested in participating in this year's farmer's market, we will be having a vendor meeting on Saturday, April 18th at 10:30 AM in the community room of the Lomira Municipal Building. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jenny at