Seed Swap

I don’t know about you folks, but I always seem to have doubles of some seed packets. Or, I end up having had ordered too much of some seed last year that just didn’t want to grow in my climate. Hello Brussels sprouts. Let’s swap seeds!

Here are the rules:

• We are going to swap via email so if you are not comfortable using your own email address, feel free to use mine (fmicrofarm@gmail.com) with the subject line: “Seed Swap Attn:________”.
• When you have found someone to swap seeds with, simply leave an additional comment on the thread saying that the swap has been completed.
• Seed senders and recipients are responsible for their own swap. Do not send money! If someone is abusing our friendly little swap, let me know immediately.

General swap listing format:

Seeds to Swap:
Looking to Swap For:
Email Address: (you may use fmicrofarm@gmail.com “Seed Swap Attn:_____”)

Summer Book Swap!

Let’s purge our coffee tables, desks, floor, and other flat surfaces of books we have already read and gathered needed information from. Let’s have a book swap!

Here are the rules:

• Swap books in decent shape. If it is damaged beyond the normal wear and tear of reading a book (like water damage), please list it as such.
• Sender is responsible for shipping fees. Be sure to ask the post office for a “book rate” when sending.
• Use the below format for listing books and be sure to list what type of book you are looking for.
• We are going to swap via email so if you are not comfortable using your own email address, feel free to use mine (fmicrofarm@gmail.com) with the subject line: “Book Swap Attn:________”.
• When you have found someone to swap a book with, simply leave an additional comment on the thread saying that the swap has been completed.
• Book senders and receivers are responsible for their own swap. Do not send money! If someone is abusing our friendly little book swap, let me know immediately.
• Have fun and enjoy some new books!

General swap listing format:

Book Title:
Author:
Looking to Swap For:
Shipping From: (list your state or country for shipping estimates)
Email Address: (you may use fmicrofarm@gmail.com “Book Swap Attn:_____”)

P.s. I listed a few wool-related books on our wool community website, New World Wool.

Summertime in the Mountains

Starting Tuesday I will be starting a little summertime book exchange and seed exchange here on the blog. So get those extra fall/winter seeds out and those homesteading books dusted off!

Summer is usually a really busy time for us. This year, however, our garden is much smaller which cuts out a lot of the canning and cooking and weeding I usually do. The garden size is almost disappointing for me this year because I became accustomed to a large space to work in with a tall fence to keep hungry critters out. Now we have just one lonely garden bed surrounded by fencing. It will take until next spring to buy enough fencing to make a space like we have had in previous years, but we’ll get there. The first year somewhere new is always the hardest, isn’t it?

In the meantime, I would like to take the remainder of this year to learn (or rather teach myself) some new skills.

Archery
Our lot is bordered by only two houses and a nice big field… the perfect area to shoot some arrows. I have this ridiculous idea in my head that I’ll be crouched out in the brush or riding horseback hunting hares and deer in my yard like some native. That will never happen, but I do want to learn for the pure fun of it.

Fiddle
I bought a cheap fiddle (violin) on Amazon a year ago and have, admittedly, not played it much. I was teaching myself to play it fairly easily by just downloading some tablature for songs I already know. Tablature is like sheet music for people who can’t “read music”. It is very convienent and is also how I learned to play guitar years ago. No one is going to be playing orchestra or symphony worthy pieces around here, but it would be nice to be able to play more than Home On The Range or Jingle Bells. Yep, just two songs. If I could spend the rest of the year learning to play Orange Blossom Special (the ultimate fiddle song) decently, I would be a happy girl.

Hunt
Hunting has never really been on my radar until recently. Not because I am squeemish about killing animals or even dressing animals. It has just never been an intrest of mine. I am also not to fond of deer meat. But now that I am faced with the possiblilty of needing to process goats at some time in the future, I think that a hunting experience would benefit me; especially considering I have never processed anything larger than a rabbit. Making friends with a hunter seems like a good next step.

Are there any new skills or hobbies you are looking forward to this year?

Ultimate Plant Cage Giveaway Winners!

Watch the video to see if you have won!

Two random winners (blame the kid if you didn’t win this time) were chosen by Cami to receive one Ultimate Plant Cage!
Terri of The Flying Bunny Farm has won a pack of Ultimate Plant Clips. These prizes are sponsored by Global Garden Friends.
Giveaway winners: Please email me (fmicrofarm@gmail.com) with your shipping address.

P.s. The only problem with announcing winners this way is that Cami wants to pull names for the rest of the day…

In the Morning

Well, today is the last day to enter our Ultimate Plant Cage GIVEAWAY sponsored by Global Garden Friends and it is also the last day to submit nominations for Mother Earth News’ Homesteader of the Year (**wink, wink**). So don’t forget and at the very least, enter our giveaway for some garden swag! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning.

This week the weather has been deceivingly warm, but us mountain folk know that it’s just the eye of the storm. You never put your snow boots away before March is over. In fact, it was so warm on Wednesday that I actually had to dig out my tank-top. I think we hit 75*F! Sure, that’s not hot (and we get in the 100’s here) but it is too warm for March weather in the Sierra foothills. Even when I went out to feed the animals this morning I could hear all sorts of birds singing. They must think it’s spring. I didn’t even need my sweatshirt! You know how some mornings in the summer you can just smell the heat coming or even see it in the morning sunlight? I’m not trying to be poetic here… but I have spent a good amount of shady summer mornings in the garden and that’s what this morning feels like. Like slip n’ slides, sprinklers, and sunscreen are just around the corner.

But we have to get through one more inevitable snow storm. I have seen it snow here as late as the first week of June. You just never know.

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So my morning chores have been pretty peaceful lately. I wake up, drag my sleepy butt out of bed, grab two trays of fodder from the rack, and thump down the stairs (hopefully quiet enough that I don’t wake Cami). With a box cutter I cut each fodder slab into eight pieces on the table in the Rabbitry. Each square section is about half a pound, but I have my scale at the ready. Grown ups get one square, Dandelion and her babies get three squares now, the big kids inside get two and a half squares. I double check water bottles and then refill sunflower seeds and hay.

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Today I took all the wooden panels down to allow them more air and then shut the door to keep stray dogs and cats out. Around the corner from the Rabbitry I make my way to the hutch where all the boys are growing out. Those big kids get three squares of fodder, their hay, and since they were nearly out– fresh water. Down the little hill, the chickens get the rest of the fodder and they happily accept it going for the seeds first.

When I make my way back to the porch, I drain the water out of the bucket of barley that soaked over night. The grain is divided into two clean trays and brought inside. At this point I water the whole rack of fodder and drain the tub below if I need to.

My morning chores really only take about twenty minutes since I have them down in perfect order. I pretty much make a circle around the property and once summer does show its face (no such thing as Spring), the circle will be bigger and take a bit longer with the inclusion of garden care and the addition of quail.

Ultimate Plant Cage GIVEAWAY!

Alrighty Frühlingskabine readers! Who is ready for another giveaway? This is a pretty good one.

The kind folks over at Global Garden Friends sent me some swag to pass along to people new to their products… which again, are made in the USA! That is really important to us here at the Frühlingskabine. More support needs to go to American companies and products. And honestly, isn’t it refreshing to see that little American flag at the top of the box? It certainly doesn’t hurt that their garden tools are thoughtful, easy to use, and attractive in the garden. No ugly gardening around here! Until you look over at the compost pile that is.

On to the giveaway…

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Six Reasons to use the Ultimate Plant Cage
* 100% Made in the USA
* First-ever Fully Adjustable Plant Cage
* Opens up your plants and allows light to penetrate from the fruit to the root of your plant
* Branches and Fruit are secured in the UPC – no more falling down
* The Ultimate Plant Cage is the Ultimate Garden Organizing Tool – no more nasty, chaotic, and embarrassing gardens for you
* The Ultimate Plant Cage makes it simple to turn or alternate potted plants WITHOUT damaging them

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Global Garden Friends is also generously offering a 25% off discount for all of you Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm readers! Just type in: Sarah to receive 25% off your order!

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GIVEAWAY CLOSED
Two (2) lucky winners will receive one (1) Ultimate Plant Cage and a couple Ultimate Plant Clips! This giveaway ends March 15th, 2013 at 11:00 pm PDT.

To enter the giveaway: Just leave a comment on this post telling me what you are looking forward to planting in your garden this year. Two winners will be chosen at random. Giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents.