Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

I am an ordinary woman, with an amazing family, serving an awesome God.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gardening in Winter

Its January. Deep in the heart of winter. At least here on the plains of Wyoming.
I don't really care, mind you, cause it gives me time to get some inside projects done. I hate being indoors during the gorgeous WY summers, so I prefer to do everything possible during the darker, colder months of winter.
I also love gardening. Its my top hobby, I guess. And right about now I start receiving all the fabulous seed catalogs in the mail, and the drooling starts! Well, this year I have a secret weapon to combat the garden itch that I get about this time every year: Winter sowing.
Yep. You heard me.I planted seeds! In January! I know, sounds crazy - but hear me out....
I read about people in all parts of the States, sowing seeds in little plastic containers in the dead of winter, and letting them sit in the elements till Spring. They get frozen. thawed. snowed on, rained on, frozen, thawed, etc...and one day in spring the teensy plants decide its Time, and they start to grow. By the time its warm enough to buy and plant transplants from the local greenhouse, the winter sown seedlings are rough and tough and already hardened off to the local temps. set them in the garden, and Wah-lah!
I thought it sounded a little too good to be true, but it appeals to me on several levels.
1. No starting seeds indoors. ( I really have no success with that. plus I hate it.)
2. No need to buy expensive seedlings in the spring.                                          
3. I can buy whatever variety that I so desire, and plant it, minus starting seeds. (see #1)
I had some leftover seeds in the freezer from last year. No wait. Make that from 2 years ago. Anyways. I decided there was nothing to lose by planting some old seeds. If they come up - good deal! And if they don't - no big loss.
So yesterday, January 30th - I bundled up my daughter and we went out to the greenhouse. (Am I lucky to have a greenhouse or what?!?)
 She quickly decided that it was fun to get her hands dirty - yay! I want all my kids to learn to enjoy playing with plants. Its good for the soul. :)
I had saved some strawberry containers this winter. They are perfect - they have a clear lid with holes for light, air and moisture. They also have holes in the bottom. (drainage)
Lucia filled them for me. I will note here that I had bought some topsoil on sale last fall for .50 per bag. I suppose potting soil may be better, but I usually deal with what I have.
Lucia filling the containers with dirt.
When I left to go grab my camera - she got a little over-zealous with the pea seeds. :)

I marked the bottom of the containers with a permanent marker - so i would know what was planted in each one. But Miss Lucia got hold of a few, so I will probably have a few mystery plants! That's OK.
I put 2 inches or so of soil in the bottom of the container, and sprinkled seeds over the top. Then sprinkle a bit more soil over the seeds, and you're done!
 A few of my finished containers.

I set them outside where they can be snowed/rained/sunshine on. I am very curious as to what will happen. I will try to remember to update you all. If you want to learn more about winter sowing, go here: It is very detailed with pictures, etc. I don't necessarily follow all the rules. I just threw some seeds in some dirt, and we'll see what happens. I like to garden like that. :)
Have a nice winter, everyone! I must get back to my sewing...

Monday, January 16, 2012

My new hobby.

OK. When I said I would tell you what my new hobby was, I really DID mean soon. But life happened. Again. Funny how that keeps happening. I have my plans, but then life changes things up on me. I wish Life would let me know in advance on some of these things.
Never mind.

My new hobby.

I recently bought a cinch kit. I am going to learn to make cinches. You know - those straps that go under the horse's belly, to hold the saddle on? So the poor cowboy doesn't go flying off? OK. Just wanted to make sure you know what they are.

I had wanted to have the first one made by now. But I ran into a small snag. I need a frame to stretch it o n, and so far, it hasn't been forthcoming. We are talking with a friend about making one for me, otherwise My Cowboy may have to try to make one.

I am gonna be making traditional cinchas. Mohair. Beautiful, artful, (costly) mohair.
Mohair comes from the angora goat - that weird curly-haired creature from my last post. I am so excited to start! I watched the whole training dvd about twice. So, once I get a frame, expect me to be weaving cinchas, photographing cinchas, and blogging cinchas.

I have no other news. I have too much news, so rather than try to play catchup, I shall just write what I want, when I want. like I always do.