Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Jana Franzen's Blog (27)

Grumblings and updatings

Am going to have a much reduced growing area this year, and everything but garlic and raspberries will be in pots or raised beds (made of old friges, bathtubs, etc.) in part because Dad said so and mostly because I was not the world's best gardener even before my entirely too recent heart attack. I'd just got my new chicks, too! Lost one while I was in the hospital. The rest are being happily noisy since midnight is snack time. And I have 2 little ducks this year too. The city sent out a poll… Continue

Added by Jana Franzen on March 3, 2016 at 2:03am — No Comments

Weasels are EVIL

My poor chickens... I had seven lovely little hens, and they were just starting to think about laying again.

Now I've got one hen, who is IN THE HOUSE and staying there, and a lot of feathers...

Added by Jana Franzen on January 19, 2015 at 4:46pm — 2 Comments


Dad helped me get pallets from the co-op, so I've got enough now to cobble together a playhouse. The kid was excited, until he helped nail the pallet that was the wrong size up into what I intend to make into a vertical garden wall. I want a house made out of those bloody things - it will take ages and eons for anything to get it apart once put together! Anyhow, this first one is to determine how difficult it will be to make one for the kid, and what adjustments will need to be made for…


Added by Jana Franzen on May 19, 2014 at 11:59pm — No Comments

Much disappointment reigns

Well, 'tis depressing. Absolutely everything, save the potatoes, not planted in a container before the first part of this month is toast. And in the containers, quite a bit less than expected decided to come up. Two of the four tomato transplants are toast, two of the marigolds, & one of the hostas are toast - one of the geraniums is attempting to not die, but no telling if it will pull through or not.

On the plus side, both the corns, all three of the pumpkins, the…


Added by Jana Franzen on May 15, 2014 at 4:35pm — No Comments

Greenhouse visitation

Went to the school greenhouse this morning. Picked up thyme, oregeno, and parsley. Got some tomatos I have forgotten the name of (I know which two they WEREN'T, which leaves Jet Star and the one I can't remember as the possibilities), and two mystery tomatos that volunteer grew in the recycled dirt the geraniums I chose were planted in. Grabbed some pretty hostas, marigolds,  and coxcombs, too.

You may remember that I told you Mr. Fancher tends to give good deals. That's 2 of…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 26, 2014 at 11:58am — 2 Comments

I'm awake again why?

And then, I decided I would be this awesome doer of stuff type person...


and now I am paying for it. I did finish that section of the yard, however, and most of the second section. It's all short stuff, and I couldn't really tell where I had and hadn't been. Insufficient dandelions there. The last section will probably be done with the much lighter-weight version of that bad boy.

Added by Jana Franzen on April 23, 2014 at 5:33pm — 2 Comments

Chickens & onions & kitties

I am awake. I have been outside doing stuff. This is strange and abnormal due to years upon years of 2nd & 3rd shifts.

So, the chickens. Let them out to run around the yard a bit instead of the two pens they've been alternating in so far. No, the outside pen is not finished. I've still to find a door of the proper size. And screws, because the box of jars they said had screws only contained nails. Know where I can get both. Door will be free. Screws, sadly, must be got at…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 23, 2014 at 10:35am — 1 Comment

Can I?

"Can I clean out the garage gutters, Mommy?"

I let him. He took a box with him to fill one of the planters, filled it, and planted the Alaska peas. So now the pot on top of the chicken house is planted. We both agreed that the two behind the garage are too heavy for us to move, so I'll have to see if the recalcitrant one will put them somewhere more convenient.

Added by Jana Franzen on April 17, 2014 at 5:48pm — No Comments

Live Below the Line 2014, garden progress


I am doing it again this year! Not too sure how much of my garden produce is going to make it into the mix (though pretty sure radishes will be up enough!), but the eggs are a definite ingredient to my meals!

Corn, 3 kinds of pumpkin, and zucchini have just been direct seeded into the new plot. Jasper helped plant the sweet corn.

Added by Jana Franzen on April 15, 2014 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Boners are awesome!

And your mind went straight to the gutter didn't it?

Pat Boner fixes my computers. Chris Boner and his boys tend to do the yardwork once I give up on my children.

Today, Chris and one of his boys, Mason, came over. They finished the tilling for the corn/squash area - along with fixing the cultivator I didn't realize was broken because it's been like that the whole time I've owned it - and cleared 2.5 beds and three of the paths of the sewer project dirt. I had…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 13, 2014 at 4:50pm — 2 Comments

More seeds!

Also, I got 4 more packets of seeds today. Caserta squash, which is apparently some type of zucchini (all hail zuke bread and zuke cake!), curshaw green striped pumpkin, golden beauty corn, and pak choi white stem chinese cabbage. I may actually have to till up a lot more of the yard than I thought, and rearrange some of the planned potted plants that haven't been potted yet.

Did I mention that the fishtank now holds - yes, I did. Okay. Good then. I'm not too sure it's…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 11, 2014 at 9:12pm — 2 Comments

ow ow ow... stupid weather

Okay, when did decrepit kick in? Ow. I managed to till 1.5 of the borders, and had to stop, and just now managed 2.5 rows with the tiller before I couldn't feel my hands or feet, but could DEFINITELY feel my back having kittens. And cows. And possibly a couple of blue whales.

I am trying to get the corn/squash/pumpkin area tilled up before the thunderstorms start Saturday. Whether or not I will go ahead and plant is debatable, because now the weather man tells me it's going to…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 11, 2014 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

I saw green things!

There are green things!

My chives survived, apparently. They're growing nicely. There are radishes and lettuces and some other salady stuffs coming up, and I've flowers already blooming. The established ones, not the ones I planted.

Had to reseed some of the stuff. I dislike thoroughly three days of sun and 70's followed by two inches of snow overnight. Cucumbers are growing. I saw what looks to be okra as well. The rest of 'em are still thinking about…


Added by Jana Franzen on April 8, 2014 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

weekend business

So, Saturday, finally figured out one of the missed calls I got on Wednesday was from Sonic. Apparently, they did not care enough to leave a message, and naturally when I called them, my battery died. My youngest may be right. It might be a good idea to reinvest in a landline, and put my old corded phones back to work. At least they can't die partway through a call! Also, lunch rush is probably a bad time to call a Sonic anyhow. The other number remains an…


Added by Jana Franzen on March 30, 2014 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Requested picture

Okay then. Someone wanted a picture. And clearly, I need to have a discussion with the time/date thing on my camera, since I took this today.

So, to the front is the newest fridge bed, now planted with mini sweet peppers, radishes, argula, and leaf lettuce.

To its right, there are 3 of my larger pots. They are a bit hard to see, as they are…


Added by Jana Franzen on March 15, 2014 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

Things Proceed

Raked and raked a lot of leaves up today and burnt them. The burnt stuff will be divided between compost piles, the new fridge, and the potato towers. Dunno why, but the potatoes love the stuff. I'm sure there is a perfectly good gardening reason, but I don't really care what it is. Hack gardener!

There's been quite a lot of wind and horrifying weather switches. You know, the 72dF one day, the next you've got 2" of snow? Those.  Planted crap anyhow, because this is how I…


Added by Jana Franzen on March 13, 2014 at 9:35pm — 1 Comment

Cataloging complete.

Hm. Well. *contemplates*

The garden plan called for:






giant sunflower


multiple colors of carrot


summer squash

winter squash

yukon gold potato


sugar snap pea

oregon snow pea



acorn squash



Added by Jana Franzen on February 18, 2014 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments


I suppose it is time to catalog what seeds I have and see how they compare to the "garden plan" I assembled. And when the snow goes away and it has dried up some, it will be time to go rake off all the beds and make sure the plan to work around the sewer line will actually work.

Technically, I think I can plant lettuce now. I've heard of people sowing the seeds on top of snow...

And I need to start collecting the supplies I will need to get that one domajiggy…


Added by Jana Franzen on February 16, 2014 at 7:27pm — 1 Comment

Chicken suggestions

Wow, there are a lot of suggestions over to facebook for the birdies! Thanks, guys!

I noticed some of you thought it was weird that I brought them into the bathroom. I have a bad hip that acts up when it feels like it, and have learned to dislike icy patches very intensely because of it. Given the steps and downhill slope to the pen, and the fact the the door must be lifted up and moved over, once it gets cold enough that ice and snow are factors, it is a great deal easier to…


Added by Jana Franzen on December 6, 2013 at 5:21pm — No Comments

Bathroom Barnyard

I'm only kinda kidding. When it gets cold enough to freeze, the critters come in. I've had dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens running around the house at different points, depending on what critters we have.

There aren't any rabbits this year, the cats have the run of the house, the dog is naughty and confined to the kitchen (or a little pen attached to the back porch for out times), and the chickens are divided out between two old rabbit cages and a pet taxi for a very large…


Added by Jana Franzen on December 5, 2013 at 3:46pm — 5 Comments



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