Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

I am DONE participating in Winter!

Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 4:48 PM
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  • Since we are talking Spring, when do we want to start up Weed'em and Reap? I've had three people ask about it this week so the itch is getting stronger.

    I went to a nice dinner meeting of the Bedford County Farmer's Market committee last night and found out some new efforts to step up marketing and market gardening activity in general.

    Have you been to the New and Improved page for Bedford County on the UT Extension website? If you have not been there in a while, here is the link. https://extension.tennessee.edu/bedford/Pages/default.aspx

    John, Finis and Whitney were reviewing the new pages, categories and even a blog coming this year. It appears to be a great resource for us in Bedford County and will be a great marketing tool for the Farmer's Market.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 25, 2015, at 5:02 PM
  • Too funny... Yes you read my mind....No more winter!!!!

    -- Posted by haybar on Wed, Feb 25, 2015, at 6:09 PM
  • I was given the green light to lift a little more weight, so I brought in some wood to create a signal fire for Spring. Sure don't want it getting lost.

    Tonight is supposed to be a warm 29 degrees so I will wait until tomorrow so I don't overheat anything. The next two nights should be just right for a signal fire.

    I am told that our second hill is slightly higher than Horse Mountain and used to be used for signal fires during the War. Nothing like staying with tradition.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 25, 2015, at 6:43 PM
  • Whew! Spring could not have come any sooner for me. I woke up this morning around three and noticed that my central heat/air changed over to cooling all by itself. Intuitive!

    Luckily my heart doctor said I could pick up more than 10 pounds now so I fired up the chain saw last night to grab a few more Spring logs for my Spring furnace before the white flakes of Spring arrived.

    Deb asked why I did not burn the rest of the kindling last week when I ran out of wood. Something in the back of my mind said DON'T, even though I had to no main wood to burn. It was just enough to star my Spring fire.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 5:43 AM
  • What are you hoping to accomplish with your Signal Fire, Steve ?

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 8:52 AM
  • He's signaling the Spring gods with that fire Palindrome, I'm waiting on the dance to start, I've pulled out my hula skirt to join in! The sooner Spring peeps it little head out, the quicker I can put my strawberries, tomato, and peppers in the ground.

    My peppers are starting to break ground in the pod trays though...that reminds me, I gotta stop at Lowes and get another pod tray and fertilizer if they've gotten their spring planting stuff in. I've not even gotten my tomato seeds in dirt yet!

    Oh well, guess my Spring lazies have started as well...Let's dance!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 9:29 AM
  • I'll dance to that !

    Lowe's Shelbyville should have the planting supplies in by now. I got mine in Tullahoma.......They were building their Signal Fire early.

    My goal today is to start tomatoes while the beef stew is simmering.Do you think it will be the last one of the season? My, My.....Have you filled up your first tray already ? You are going to have to rent a garden, Chefgrape.

    Time to get muddy.............

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 9:53 AM
  • Spring was covering everything this morning. The signal fire must have worked, because it came from the South instead of the North. Is it a sign of bad faith to go out in my fleece levis, instead of my shorts?

    -- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 9:59 AM
  • Fleece Levis sound about right. Don't want to catch a cold while welcoming Spring. :-)

    This Spring's white does not bother me as much as last week's Winter Gray with shiny topping. Boy, when the sun comes out it is downright cheerful.

    Darn, I was in town yesterday at the Co-Op and forgot all about the wintergreen fertilizer. Sounds like a good excuse (reason) to make another trip in. They might have some interested seeds in the racks.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 10:37 AM
  • Hey, that's an idea, Co-Op, I might run(walk, my running days are kaput!) thru there myself. Any tips on strawberry growing...they will be first and in front with tomatoes(2 rows this time) back against the wall again..peppers in the middle and a squash somewhere off in there.

    Palindrome, I got my first tray full of peppers and a few test flowers that will go in pots if they make it...so far the poppies and snapdragons have hair size sprigs coming up a little and the jalapeno's have popped their little heads thru. this new tray I'm after today will all be tomato and a few radish and beets..."that will be all she wrote" for me, so to speak.

    No more room left!...I have to choose a squash, I have a feeling it will totally take over my little space, so I'm thinking I'll stick it in a corner and pray they don't mow it...I'll have to make a sign "Watch for trailing squash" I reckon!

    I'm getting antsy and the squirrels frisky...It's the second time this week they have drained the bird feeder in about an hour, geez, I just filled it!...I need an Elmer Fudd shotgun! Spring is showing signs of getting here, for sure!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 1:18 PM
  • The central Heat has done its' last heating. Used to be central heat & air but the air left about 4 years ago. Guess it is time to get both back again, but that cool air will spoil us this summer.

    Maybe the heart attack has something to do with it but I am going from growing NO lettuce to growing four different types this year. Seeding them tonight. I even got a head lettuce which I have NEVER had success with here in Tennessee, but the optimism of Spring get the better of me.

    The seeds look so much like grass that the cats are all standing around looking on with glazed eyes. They've tortured our indoor plants (and us) about as far as they/we can go, so I should plant some grass but as soon as I grow it and uncover it, it will be gone so.....

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 4:23 PM
  • My daughter and her family have been getting fabulous lettuces in their CSA boxes that I got them for Christmas. Those lettuces are crisp and robust.....They are grown in a hoop house. I don't really know if I want to put the time into another lettuce failure ....They have never performed for me in Tennessee either. Perhaps if I had a cold frame.

    This week I got a huge head of Curly Endive at Kroger which is actually Chicory. I isn't blanched ( which I prefer ) but with the French Creamy Vinaigrette I made it has been a very enjoyable Winter salad. Perhaps tomorrow I will have it for lunch with bacon dressing and a poached egg...........I do have some Frisee/Endive seeds .... I will join you, Steve, seed those, and hope for the best. The thing with lettuce in the warmer climate is that it has to be grown very fast....In rich soil....And I have not been very successful at that.

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 8:12 PM
  • I'm going to start the lettuce inside, move it to the greenhouse after it breaks the surface, then transplant to a grow cup after the first true leaves, then in the cold-frame a week later.

    Some I will do in the winter sown style with gallon milk jugs and only transplant once to a tub garden. Later I am going to start some for the aquaponics experiment.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 26, 2015, at 9:42 PM
  • Good idea, Steve, on the Winter sown lettuce........I will plant a couple of those and see what they do

    Another problem with having to plant in pots is that there are never enough pots...soil...room in the sun, etc. But winter sown gallon jugs will help with that..... That way they can get moved to the cooler shade when it gets hot here...........That would be the second day of Spring..............

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Fri, Feb 27, 2015, at 8:54 AM
  • Seriously, Spring lasts about as long as you can say the word. Maybe that is another reason for me to push Spring now. LOL

    I may create a shade hoop tunnel with some spun polyester. If I move the lettuce closer to the woods the deer may just be forced to break our agreement and I sure don't have that agreement with the rabbits.

    Speaking of rabbits, the dogs and I tried to save one from some predator late this afternoon. It was screaming big time and we charged the woods to chase off whatever had hold of it. Don't know if we succeeded, but had to try.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 2, 2015, at 7:53 PM
  • Rabbits scream ?

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Mar 3, 2015, at 8:53 AM
  • -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 3, 2015, at 10:01 AM
  • We have had a rabbit or two and have never heard a scream......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Mar 3, 2015, at 5:18 PM
  • Ours never did either but we never grabbed it like a fix, coyote or hawk would. Not sure why the one in the video was screaming but I've heard it a number of times while in the wild.

    Not a sound I like since I know the rabbit is more than likely in the grips of a predator.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 3, 2015, at 9:02 PM
  • I'd be squealing too if a prey bird grabbed a hold of me!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Mar 4, 2015, at 1:08 PM
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