peas

It’s hard to believe I’ve already started sowing seeds outdoors.  The past four days we’ve had 80 degree weather… and it’s March.  It’s been hotter here in Iowa than in Southern California.  Unbelievable.

Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve already started in the garden considering I’m due to have my third child in 2 1/2 months.

I was planning on keeping things simple this year.  Some spring veg at my home gardens and starting some seeds to have tomatoes, peppers and eggplants later in the summer.

Well, some things have changed a bit because of this little lady.

lisa_watering

That’s my baby sister and she and her husband have a love of gardening as well.  Every year we start seeds together and talk about our plans for the season.

This year, my sister’s plans involved a farmers market.  I got so excited at the thought of selling something, anything, at a farmers market that I jumped on board with her.

So this year we’re trying something new.  Something we’re calling Shades of Green.

We’ll be starting SMALL to learn the ropes of what it takes to sell at a farmers market.

We plan on selling plant starts, small amounts of produce and herbs, baked goods (organic and naturally sweetened), and homemade natural products.

I’m not sure how much time I’ll be able to invest once the baby is born so for now I’m helping in the labor of getting seeds started and garden areas cleaned, amended and sowed.

Let me tell you, it feels great to be outside in the dirt!

diana_belly

We took full advantage of this past weekend and amended a few garden areas, set up beds for herbs, sowed peas, onions, and carrots.

My sister has a new greenhouse for seed starting while Gabe set me up a new makeshift hoop house (from the old chicken tractor) at home so I don’t have to trek to my mom and dad’s to tend to my own seedlings.  Next year, he’s going to build me a large hoop house at home ;) (Yeah, my husband is pretty awesome!)

gabe_hoophouse

At the same time I personally set up a new area at home for strawberries, cleaned up the backyard and am thrilled to see the signs of Spring popping up all over the place.

chives

Chives, bleeding hearts, mint, chamomile, lavendar, and the return of tons of new raspberry canes that I’ll need to clear out and transplant.

As much work as it takes to clean up in Spring and get things into shape for summer, it’s my favorite time and season of the year.

Photos from this past Spring cleaning and gardening weekend

carl_xavier

 

I have to say, I just LOVE having boys!  I can’t believe how hard these little boys worked and how much they LOVED it!

nehe_digging

 

Future Organic Farmers of America!

boys_poop

 

diana_chamomile

 

nehe_watering

 

xavier_watering

 

chamomile

 

Seedlings Nehemiah and I started.

seedlings

 

seeds_hoophouse

 

My beautiful bubba, Boaz.  The raw food/real food diet is really making amazing changes in him.  Isn’t he beautiful?!

boaz

 

In order to keep my sanity, the chickens are now locked in their coop and run for most of the day.  I’m allowing them 2 hours of free range time during the evening right before they head back in to sleep. It’s working out great.

chickens

 

So, have you started in the garden this year or have any advice to share on selling at a farmers market?  Please share in the comments below :)


18 Responses to Let the Gardening Season Begin!

  1. Exciting news!

    I have reluctantly started some seeds outside and admired the fruit trees already blossoming. I’m very anxious that a late frost will kill it all.

    I too will be participating in a farmer’s market this year, though by selling a good friend’s seedlings, produce, and mushrooms. I can’t wait to talk food every Saturday morning with market shoppers!
    Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) recently posted..Spring Events in Columbus 2012

  2. Kate says:

    We started this year’s garden at the beginning of the month with carrots, early peas, and beets. I’m planning on starting radishes and lettuces today, now that the forecast has said we’ll be expecting 75+ temps for a good while! I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew – our little man will be here in June.

    Beautiful GSD, Boaz! Love the name. :)
    Kate recently posted..Never buy yogurt again.

  3. Amy Ridge says:

    Exciting! At the downtown DM farmers market? Also, did you decide if you’re going to host the IRL gathering?

  4. Good luck at the market! I sold at our small town fm two summer’s ago. I will say it is a LOT of work, but rewarding at the same time. My recommendations are: a variety of products and lots of them, shade (tent or umbrella), and samples of the food you are selling. People love to taste test before they buy.

    Question – on your strawberry patch? I have old landscaping on one side of our house, that I’ve always dreamed on putting strawberries in. What kind of soil do they work best in? Right now it’s weeds and some small rocks:(
    Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats recently posted..Veggie Cream Cheese Spread

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Thanks for the feedback Ally! I’m excited to see how we do and like it.

      as far as strawberries, they like soil that is well drained and sandy. However, they did well for me at the community garden in pretty much clay. It did slope so the drainage was good. I’d say add some soil, compost and plant. See how they do ;D

  5. Ro Mu says:

    For your raised beds last year at your folk’s place and in the community garden, how did you prepare your soil? Your plants did so well there. I’m planning to do square foot gardening but the soil mixture (vermiculite:peat moss:compost) is very pricy to make. I’m looking for cheaper options.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      At both areas, It’s taken me about 3 good years of amending. I started by adding quite a bit of good quality soil. Year by year, in the Spring, I add manure and compost. At my parents home, I do make my own compost mostly out of leaves. At the community garden, the city gives us compost and manure to add. So it does take some patience, but worth it ;)

  6. Dana says:

    I live in West Des Moines and just found your blog. Wasn’t the weather great this past week! I planted 2 cherry trees and spinach and carrots. Can’t wait to hear about your progress with the farmer’s market idea!

  7. AndiP says:

    Hey Diana! What all are you growing to sell this year and at which Farmer’s Market will you be selling?
    Thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Hey Andi! We’ll be selling tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce, radishes, eggplants, cucumbers… most vegetables. Small quantities but we do have quite a variety we’re starting. As far as the market, we’re going to be selling in Ames. We’re not sure yet if it’s the Main Street or Downtown Market. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. sonia says:

    Hi Diana, The
    The pictures of the garden are looking nice. Have a wonderful week ahead. Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

  9. Susan says:

    Oh my goodness! Boaz is beautiful! I just want to give him a big hug! Isn’t it amazing what real food does for them? Recently we had to take one of our dogs to the local Petco to have his license renewed. As we stood in line with him, people would ask what shampoo we used on him because his coat was so shiny. My husband and I laughed because he hadn’t had a bath since last summer! When I told people its not the shampoo, but his diet, they either looked confused or intrigued. Some inquired what we feed him, but would immediately remark that they don’t have the time or money for that. One told me that with her $300 phone in one hand and a $5 coffee in the other while she explained that her “baby” has special skin needs. Whatever. Funny thing is, as we stood in line with 20 other dogs, every single one of them had dull, lifeless coats. And I’m sure gross teeth, too!

    Give Boaz a snuggle for me!! :)

  10. Nadia says:

    Hi Diana,

    I guess my website could be A little bit of Russia in Iowa :). I am in the QC area. This is my second year gardening and I am very much still learning the ropes since we put in the garden very late last year since we did raised beds. I was wondering what you planted already, any good sites for IA as far as what and when to plant. Congrats and good luck on your pregnancy!

  11. Texan says:

    We are in full swing garden mode here! I am out the door now to plant more! Planted all day yesterday as well. I got 70 tomatoes in yesterday and some seeds! I just get so excited when this time of year arrives!

    Your dogs are gorgeous.
    Texan recently posted..Shop is open :O) and flooding!

  12. Your garden looks great! Makes me wish I had a green thumb! :)
    Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet recently posted..Caribbean Oven-Fried Chicken

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