September 2, 2011

Landreth Seed Co may vanish before our eyes

America's oldest seed company, Landreth Seed Co, could very possibly go out of business at the end of this month. It seems a bit dramatic, right? But it is true. Apparently there have been errors in paperwork and their loan is not able to be extended. This means that they now are in need of $1 million to continue business and pay off this debt.

On days like today, I literally love being a member of such a caring community. I discovered this via Twitter earlier in the morning. Dozens of posts on my page were about a company that I knew very little about giving a description of what is actually happening to them. It is so amazing how many gardeners are banding together to get the word out as far as they can yell it or tweet it. They are trying to sell as many seed catalogs as they can for 2012 in order to attain the funds that they need.
On twitter, you can find many posts by using the #SaveLandreth tag. You can go to the Landreth website and order a Catalog or Seeds. You can also help out by spreading the word via Facebook. Simply invite your friends to the event and they can check it out or ignore if they so choose.

Landreth Seed Company is responsible for introducing many different seeds to the United States. Many varieties of flowers, heirloom tomatoes, and even spinach have been released to the home gardeners thanks to this innovative company. It is a shame we're losing such an important asset in a day and age where it is difficult to find natural, organic vegetable seeds to keep the gardening tradition alive.

Project BDLS: Feeding a local community 1 step at a time

Previously I talked about a project that I've been thinking of lately. The project did not have a name at the time but I think I have since dubbed it Project Big Dreams Little Shoots (or BDLS for short).

The goal is to build a small greenhouse that is affordable and easy to assemble. It has to be easily taken down if needed as I do not own my home. The greenhouse has to effectively use the space I have as well as keep the plants sufficiently warm enough through colder climate.
My options are to use reclaimed items or to purchase cheap affordable building materials.
Seeing as the availability of used building materials is not something that I can easily predict, I think that the smartest approach would be to plan for and budget having to buy 95% new items. In that case, I will not shortchange or doom my own project by assuming I will easily be able to find things that I need. Glass isn't exactly a great choice for something that needs to be temporary, unless I have an easy way to attach that can be easily unattached.

My favorite plan so far that seems to be stable while using inexpensive and few items for construction belongs to West Side Gardener. The site features a hoop house style greenhouse plan along with a list of construction supplies you need to get going. They even state that it can be constructed quickly as well.
Now all that is left is to figure out the total cost of supplies, soil, covering for the greenhouse, perhaps something to ensure it stays warm with insulation of some kind, and then of course fees associated with kickstarted etc.
If anyone has anything they would like to provide in helping with this project, I would absolutely love to have people to work with.  The more the merrier!

For now, my boyfriend found a bag filled with garden stakes that I will use to construct miniature cold-frames. My mother found a roll of clear plastic and I am going to use it to wrap around the stakes so that they will stay warmer now that the weather seems to be cooling down toward fall. I have about ten tomato seedlings and hopefully I can build a suitable environment for them to continue growing happily. These will also be planted with the colder climate loving plants that I have received from friends. The Purple Caped Cauliflower and kale will hopefully like these as their growing environments.
Ultimately my goal is to achieve a suitable area where I will cultivate, grow, and harvesting vegetables mostly of an heirloom variety. These are types that have maintained the same featured throughout history. Usually, they are not grown and sold in typical groceries and many people have never witnessed a purple tomato or a white carrot. I am hoping to feed people while teaching them about vegetable species, different varieties, and if I am lucky and anyone will listen I would love to teach other on how to save seeds from these vegetables to plant their own. My kickstarter project will end when I have finished building the greenhouse (this includes the soil within, however does not include any planting of seeds or growing afterward. Just the construction of the area.)

I hope more people support this independent project. If you think this is of interest to you, please take the 10 seconds it takes to simply tweet this to your followers. If not, thank you so much for reading the inner workings of my brain, and the silly things I convince myself I can do. :P

September 1, 2011

My Favorite Flower! How to easily grow beautiful Cosmos.

I am very excited to share my recently blooming cosmos with you all! Never would I really describe myself as a person into "flower gardening" but recently I have had a bigger interest in the beautiful blooms. They make me feel much more cheerful when I go for a walk in the yard and can spot new ones that were not there the day before!
Cosmos have not necessarily been my favorite flower for ages, not at all. They used to appear very plain and I would not have paid them any mind perhaps a year ago. I tend to look to extravagant colors, lush greens, and a fragrant bloom however these simple petals have won me over!

Cosmos are simple yet lovely.
With these particular flowers, I took a very lazy approach. I bought them simply because when planning to grow a vegetable garden there where many sources that told me I should also have a few flowers to attract bees and pollinating insects to the area. I cleared a small strip of dirt in front of my window and barely covered the seeds with the soil there. I don't believe I even used garden soil, but it looks like it once had a flower bed before we lived here. I watered them from time to time though there were times that I knew I was being neglectful. Often times, the thin bouncy leaves were very wilted and laying flat. Shockingly, they have enough strength to hold themselves up! Since noticing my horrible ways, they have received much more love and attention.

This may be the only Cosmo with 2 flowers.

The Cosmo seeds should be planted a bit after the threat of frost has completely passed. These plants are very sensitive to cold weather and are great to grow as an annual. I sowed mine at the start of June and they are now blooming late August/Early September so planting these a bit earlier is recommended. As long as the weather stays at least somewhat mild they should continue to grow and blossom. In my area of Zone 8 they are great to sow in the ground mid-April.
They should be planted in an area with lots of sun meaning at least 6 hours a day. As I said, I did not prepare the bed for them aside from pulling a few weeds. Cosmos grow very well in poor or normal soil conditions.
Flowers can range from red, white, purple and a combination of all! I've also seen orange. The cosmos blooming in my yard are magenta and light pink, as well as a single light lilac colored one that was nibbled on by snugs.

Word of the day is AGITATED!

Well I foolishly applied for EntreCard again. AGITATED!
That is all they make me feel. I don't understand why they seem to think I'm a spam blog. I'm just tired of it. No one wants to read what I have to say, and they think I'm spam. WHY?!

I'm not a professional writer obviously. Nor am I a pro photographer. But I write about my experiences and my garden. I take the best shots of my plants as I can. I actually think that they suspect I'm using stock photos. NOPE! Those are my vegetables. MY GARDEN.

My name is Lindsay Ann Huestis. I garden. This is my life. If you think I'm spam, more power to you. I am a real life woman with real life opinions. I'm my father's daughter as much as I hate it, and if you piss me off you will feel my wrath.
I am no longer going to attempt to use EntreCard. I gave it a second shot, figured I'd added a good 15 posts with real content. APPARENTLY my life is not real content. If this is the case, I want to sincerely apologize to everyone that spent the time on this blog. OH WAIT, I don't. I want to thank you.

I love every single person that looks at this blog. Be it someone that dislikes me or not. I do not make a single dime from this site. Myfolia is a free gardening tool, I am not affiliated. I am a paid member, they do not pay me. I GIVE THEM money. Amazon, honestly? I have I think a single banner on this entire blog. I don't make money from it, as no one even looks at it. In the whole time I've had this blog, 28 people have clicked the banner. I've gained not a penny from this, as I only make money if you buy something from my store. That no one has looked at. What is the concern?

My passion is helping other people and growing amazing foliage. I love gardening, and I'm trying to find ways to use that to help others in need. Leave it to just about everyone to dislike someone trying to help.