Can It Forward: Blueberry Butter + a Ball Canning Giveaway

Can It Forward: Blueberry Butter + a Ball Canning Giveaway

Can It Forward, Blueberry Butter, + a Ball Canning Giveaway

Grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable, because today’s post is jam-packed (pun intended) with some seriously good stuff:  A celebration of canning? (check)  Local organic blueberries? (check) A must-can recipe? (check) New products from Ball Canning and a giveaway? (check and double check!)

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Adventures in Container Gardening

Adventures in Container Gardening

Adventures in Container Gardening

The last few weeks our impending move has been all-consuming.  Between closing on the new house and getting everything in order for the inspection and appraisal of our current house (not to mention all the packing and cleaning and painting), there hasn’t been much time for anything else—but then again, even if I did have a little more time, there really isn’t a lot of gardening that I can do under my current circumstances.

So what is a gardener (temporarily) without a garden to do?  Try her hand at container gardening, of course!

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Garden Interrupted

Garden Interrupted

raspberry buds

As usual, spring has ushered in a flurry of activity around here.  The raspberry canes have been trimmed back and the new shoots transplanted back into the boundaries of the garden.  The strawberry patch has been cleared of grass and leaves.  Fresh mulch and compost have been spread.  The gardens have been uncovered and cleaned up. Things are looking sharp!

But as routine as the list of spring chores may seem, things are a little different around here this spring.

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Spring Has Sprung

Spring Has Sprung

raspberry cane

Somehow, the month of March completely slipped through my fingers.  The past month has been a big blur of baby milestones, holiday celebrations, and some pretty big (potentially life- and garden-altering) decisions, and it all happened in the blink of an eye.  One minute there was snow on the ground, the next minute it was 60 degrees and there are green things popping up all over the garden.

I figure there is no better way to jump back into things than to share a few updates of how spring is progressing in the garden:

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5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [+ How to Avoid Them]

5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [+ How to Avoid Them]

5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [ + How to Avoid Them]

It’s that time of year again!  Seed starting season is here, and with it comes all the excitement and anticipation of getting down to the business of growing your garden.  It is the time of year that gardeners look forward to big ambitions, high energy, and endless optimism as an entire season of possibilities await our green thumbs and dirty fingernails–that is, until something doesn’t go exactly as planned.  When things go awry, seed starting season can also bring disappointment and frustration.

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Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

When it comes to plant markers for seed starting, I usually favor more practical solutions.  I need something quick, easy, water resistant, reusable (or at least recyclable), and bonus points if it still looks kind of cool.  My go-to aluminum plant markers hit all of the marks, but sometimes you just need to set practicality aside and indulge in something a little more creative–like when you’re coming off a long week that included a family funeral, an out of town husband, and a serious case of spring fever.  When this happens, the desire for something fun, festive, and colorful is far more convincing than any practical argument I might normally make.

And in this case, these sweet flag plant markers hit all the marks, brightening up my latest round of seed starting.

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Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

It was a quiet week on the blog last week, in part because a certain 9 month old just up and changed her sleep schedule.  Great for us because we get to sleep in a little later in the morning; we just have to re-calibrate the rest of our routine (including my writing time) as well!

It may have been quiet around here, but things were actually quite busy last week on the garden front.  I managed to finalize my seed order (always a feat in itself!), Kate and I made a trip to the garden center to pick up compost and coco coir bricks for seed starting, and I finally processed the heirloom fish peppers I dried last fall.

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Weekend Project: How to Make Seed Paper

Weekend Project: How to Make Seed Paper

How to Make Seed Paper

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know that I love to give seed packets as valentines, and over the years I have shared my blank seed packet template as well as printable seed packets for that very purpose.  This year I thought I would mix it up a bit and make plantable seed paper.

This is a great project not only for Valentine’s Day, but for other occasions when you want to share the love of gardening.  Start to finish, it does take some time (mostly dry time), but is an easy, fun project for a winter weekend day.  All you need is some recycled paper, a packet of seed (or the equivalent of saved seed or your own custom blend), a blender, and your creativity!

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