I am seeing signs of Spring here is Mississippi...
the weather is bright and sunny
the temperature is 71 degrees (yippee)
the Peach tree we planted last year is full of little pink buds about to bloom
my blueberry bushes are showing signs of life
the bulbs are pushing up their stems and leaves
the weeds are vibrant and healthy in the yard (till we get rid of them)
clothes are hanging on the clothes line & drying
Greg has grilled us dinner 2 weekends in a row (thanks bunches Honey)
we are nearing the end of some of our school books (Amen!)
the days are getting longer
the pool looks inviting but its still way too cold
I am anxious to start planting the garden boxes this year. Greg built me a new box for my cucumbers that is huge (5' x 5'). We will have lots of cucumbers for relish and pickles this year. I planted 1/3 of one of my boxes with peas today and mulched it with pinestraw. I've never done peas before but wanted to try. The plus...they can be planted early because they are hardy plants. We will see what happens. I am going to plant another 1/3 of the box next week and the last 1/3 the following week. Going to try the succession planting I have read so much about this winter. We also want to start our vegetable seeds for the rest of the garden. I read how you can make your own little containers for seeds by cutting toilet paper rolls in 1/4's or 1/3's and sitting them in a shallow container. Then you fill with potting soil and plant a seed in each one. When the weather is right, you can transplant the little plant, tube and all into the garden. So lots of garden experiments and fun this year.
I've also been exploring dehydrating food. I've done bags and bags of onions and chipped them up in the food processor to use for cooking. They are a much stronger flavor than the dehydrated onions you buy in the grocery store. Then I decided to try dehydrating carrots. I cleaned, peeled and sliced them and layed them on the trays and let the machine dry them. They shrivel up when dried. Then I put them in a Mason jar and forgot I had them...till last week. Greg loves split pea soup and it calls for carrots but I was out. Then I remembered the jar in the cabinet. I dumped them in a bowl and poured boiling water over them and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then I added them to the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot and let them cook. It turned out great and the carrots looked and tasted fresh. Greg was impressed when I told him they were dehydrated. So, today I am dehydrating more carrots. Also, I am going to venture into more items. These seem to keep great in the dark cabinet and re-hydrate well. And these dehydrated items will come in handy with cooking and could contribute to less "emergency" grocery store runs.
The Home & Garden Show is this weekend, downtown, and we are going. Looking forward to seeing the goodies and getting ideas for our outdoor kitchen and other projects.