Friday, February 20, 2015

Preparing for Spring

Today's blog post is brought to you by Frigid Winds, Ice-Day-All-Day, and the worst month in the entire calendar, F-youary.

I am a winter baby. I love snow and the whole hermit thing. But I'm going nuts, people. I am missing... you know...walking. I am missing fresh air. I am seriously looking up scenic landscapes to put on my computer's background just so I don't have to stare at white, ice, and snow all day. The pics help. I'm not joking.

Here. Go ahead and soak in these images from April 2014.

Motivating, right?? Feeling warmer yet? I was actually lying on my back, on the ground, when I took that pic of the tree and the sky. On the ground! It's so hard to remember moments like that when I look outside now....

So what better way to thaw an icy mood than with a little spring planning, amiright?

Step 1 of the JenThaw: Figure out what you want.
I am trying to move toward more self-sustainable gardening and eating practices. I want like 400 raised beds, 7 hoophouses, goats, chickens, bees, strawberry gutters, and more compost than anyone could ever possibly need. I had to narrow it down a bit. Just a smidge. Here is the sketch I ended up with.

Step 2 of the JenThaw: Prioritize.
I obviously can't get everything I want. I know, I know. Saddest story you've ever heard. You'll notice three colors on my cute lil' sketch up there. Red means it's on hold until further notice. Orange means we'll get it in 2-3 years. Green means it's a go for this year, baby!

Step 3 of the JenThaw: Grab what you can now.
It's always better to shop in the off-season! Stuff is cheaper and I've found it's easier for me to purchase things little by little than buying everything all at once. That being said, it can get really hard to find off-season stuff in stores. I buy online. Amazon mostly.

This year we're getting chickens. This is a huge, huge deal, people. I honestly can't stop talking about it, that's how excited I am. We already have the little brooder set up, heat lamp tested, thermometer ready to rock...just need to rig up that poultry nipple waterer and lay down some puppy pads and paper towels and we're ready for babies.

Planning ahead means less stress later. At least that's what I tell myself as I add yet another item to my backyard diagram....ha!

Step 4 of the JenThaw: Get ready to plant your food - and go heirloom!
I've been seed shoppin like a mofo. I bought these bad boys last fall during the huge year-end seed sale.

Why buy heirloom? Well, aside from the fact you can use a french-ish accent and be all like "mmmyeeesss theese are my eeehhhhrloom tomatoes"'s also better for the environment. And your family. And agriculture in general. The seeds aren't "more expensive" or "more work." They are just better seeds. You'll get better food. You won't be buying some Monsanto GMO spin-off. Did you know the plants you buy from Home Depot and Lowe's are rarely, if ever, heirloom varieties? Might as well pluck some good ol' GMO tomatoes from the grocery store. Heard a rumor Lowe's is working to fix that. Hope they do...but until then, I'm growing from seed.

Planting really isn't that difficult and no, you don't need to have a green thumb. I actually am known for my inexperience in the plant realm. But even I was able to grow spinach, kale, punkins, carrots, and cucumbers last year in my itty-bitty raised bed. Buy some seeds. Plant some seeds. Eat healthy. Be well.

Step 5 of the JenThaw: Remember flowers, too.
A Facebook friend recently shared this Grow the Rainbow initiative to plant 1 billion wildflowers in an effort to help save honeybee colonies. I bought some of their organic, non-GMO wildflower seedles (seeds rolled into a ball with compost and clay and sprinkled with fun, non-toxic, kid-friendly color) and am so, so excited to get this party started.

I don't always plant flowers, but when I do, I do it for the pollinators.

What are you guys doing to stay warm and positive during these cold winter months? Do you have any spring preparation going on in your house? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading :)



  1. I'm so jealous! I want to plant a garden..but the iguanas...aaaargh! Stay warm!

    1. Thanks girl! Don't need to plant a big, full garden to grow your own food! Container gardens are KEY and can be raised off the ground and moved around if needed!! You can do it!

  2. LOL F-youary is in FULL effect. There's a nasty blizzard out there and my car is 20 minutes away where I had a girls brunch earlier since it wouldn't make it. Thankfully, my friend dropped me off. Woop Woop! Omg you're so cute with your chickens and farm plan! At least a lot of it is in green mode so you are able to do it :) Send me some eggs and tomatoes yo!! :P Have a great one Jennifer! -Iva

    1. HAHA Fyouary is the worst. I am so pumped to see the grass again! And I don't even really like lawns! HAHA Thanks for reading Iva :) Can't wait to take pics of everything and show you my lil peeps and greens!