Summer in Winter

One brave Black-eyed Susan

Looking around in the yard, I discovered a lone Black-eyed Susan blooming in the flower bed. Botanical name Rudbeckia hirta, it is surprising to see this in late fall. Such rugged resilience makes my think of the resilience many people have, even when they had a not so good upbringing. It reminds me to keep on keeping on, even when times are hard.

Wildlife Entertainment

Feed we purchase for wildlife

We like to help the wildlife by giving them some food. In return, they give us great times of entertainment. For example, we put dried corn out for the squirrels. It is enjoyable to watch them race around with corn, looking for places to save it for later. Sometimes we also have larger birds pecking at it. The birds and squirrels havn’t always gotten along when they both want it at the same time, and will try to chase each other off. Another time the squirrel has climbed up the pole for the bird seed, and it has us in stiches laughing, while we watch the squirrel hang on for dear life with the feeder swinging back and forth. Here are some pictures of our feeders.

Corn for the squirrels, and the Stellar Jay birds too!
Bird feeders
Peanut hider.

I hide peanuts inside of this ceramic art. I enjoy watching the squirrels, and larger birds, poke their heads in to get the peanuts.

I’m hoping I can get some pictures of the wildlife to post them on my blog for you to enjoy.


Beets and carrots.

I have had some of the beets that were left to overwinter. They can take some frost, and hold up better in the ground, than if picked, and put in the refrigerator. I recently tried beet greens, and found them enjoyable with a little apple cider vinegar on after cooking. Here is an excerpt from a website on “10 incredible heath benefits of beet greens”.

“Kale, spinach, and chard have gained a lot of attention in the last few years; however, beet greens deserve love too. Beet greens are high in nutritional value and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. There are so many amazing benefits to eating more beet greens. Plus – beet greens are so versatile, they can be eaten numerous ways, such as raw in smoothies, sautéed as a side dish, or steamed in soups”.

I am still excited to try no till gardening this year. I have grown a cover crop of mixed plants, and when it is about five weeks before planting, I will put a silage tarp over the garden, and wait for decomposition to happen. Then when it is time, all I have to do is take the tarp off and plant! The sun will have also warmed the soil more under the tarp, which will have sprouted some of the weed seeds that won’t live, because the tarp is on top of them blocking the sunlight.

Cover Crop

I am ordering seeds from and heirloom seed catalog this year. That way, I can save some of my own seeds for the next year. Heirloom plants are also supposed to have more taste, and nutrition than hybrid plants. Look for a future posting in the spring for the planting.

Last year I planted way too much lettuce. We seemed to enjoy the spinich more than the lettuce, and spinich you can also save in the freezer for later. Try that with lettuce, and you will have mush.

Strawberry Plants

The strawberry plants are looking a little worse for wear. I have some left over beauty bark that I think I will top the soil in the container with. It will help insulate it from any freezing weather we get.


This artichoke will be coming on it’s third year in the garden, and it hasn’t fruited yet. I’m hoping this coming year to get some home grown artichoke. I’ll give it some extra care this spring, and see what happens.

Yarn Fun

I’ve got two projects going now. One; I’m finishing a sweater project I got from “We Are Knitters” a Hackney cardigan. All the pieces are finshed, and I’m working on puting them together. It used the Moss stitch to create the pattern on the sweater. The moss stitch is basically alternating purl and knit stitches in a row, and each row would be started with a knit or purl according the pattern.

Hackney Cardigan. Pattern and yarn from We Are Knitters.

I have also been workning on repairing a hat I made a few years ago. The hat itself was fine, it was missing a pom pom. I replaced both pom pom’s, and then noticed one of the I cords was breaking. So I have made two new I cord’s. I’m thinking of making new pom pom’s too again. My daughter-in-law gave me some of her handspun yarn to do this with. Looks like a good match.

Fair Isle hat I made a few years ago.

In this time of planning for the spring, let us work to be ready this spring to take off and grow.

Here is a warning of not being idle from Thessalonians 3:6-10

6. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8. nor did we eat anone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Next time I am tempted to be lazy, I will think on this.



Published by Grandma

I have a certificate in horticulture, and am a master gardener with my county extension agency. I also spin yarn from fiber, knit, crochet, sew, and cross stitch, as well as cook, bake, and preserve foods using freezing, canning, and pickling methods.

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