I have been a little sore with the spring weather but I got all the shopping done! I’m stocking up on as much beef at good prices before the midwest flood loses start to affect the price of beef. Plus with the Easter holiday things like Prime Rib/Rib eye steaks are a good price under $5.00 per pound. My guess is this is a “loss leader” at most grocery stores at this price. I’m seeing the beef costs starting to spike at Cash and Carry Food service store so I think rising beef costs will start hitting the grocery stores around mid May or Memorial day weekend. While I have focused on beef, it looks like pork might also see a rise in price. Though there is a quicker turn around in raising a pig compared to raising a steer, stocking up on low cost pork might be a good idea this Spring/early Summer. Albertson’s was out of the chicken thighs at $.77 per pound but I got a rain check to get some family paks later this week.
Mom and I used her Senior discount at the local farm store to add a few more bags of the steer manure/compost mix for the raised beds. I added a few starter plant to get in the ground this week. I got a 4 pak of broccoli and cauliflower to plant this week along with some Sweet globe cherry tomatoes that did not sprout as well from out saved seeds.
My hope is the broccoli and cauliflower starts will put out a good early crop this spring and not bolt right away as it is still cool this spring. I know that planting those crops in late May or early June cause the them to bolt fast in the heat of a SW Idaho summer.
Update on my starts: Overall I’m pleased with the progress of most of the seeds. I did have some of the older seeds not produce but I sort of expected that to happen. I have moved the starter pak to the south facing window and we will see if any of the non-sprouting seeds decide to sprout. The new starts will get a bit of sun and hopefully put on new growth. My little Kitchen herbs have done darn good and I only have a couple of the little “jiffy” pods that have no sprouts. Overall, for my first serious try at starter plants I have about a 60-80% sprout rate which is good considering some of the seeds I used are 4-7 years old and were not stored in optimal conditions. FYI: one of the best tools I found for starting seeds is a wooden Kebab skewer. The skewer works great for poking the potting soil to place the seed and the rounded end is great to push the soil over the seeds. While I have bought some plant stakes for my raised beds I think I’ll mark the skewers for the correct seed depth and then place the skewers to mark were my plants are in my raised beds to better differentiate between garden plants and any new weeds.
Weeding the garden has been one of my weak points as I don’t know what my garden plants look like in the early stages of growth. Hopefully with the skewers and perhaps a toothpick besides each starting plant/seed I can do a better job weeding out weeds and not my garden plants.
I’m going to try using straw as a mulch again but only in my berry planter pots. When I first tried straw as a mulch I did not consider how little of it broke down over the winter and tried to Roto-till it into the garden soil. What I’m doing this year is adding straw in bunches but removing it to weed and using it as protective cover. Most of the straw will be removed from the pots before the soil is worked. My little electric rototiller does not cut straw and tilling straw just become a big wad of straw around the dirt cutting wheels/tines. It was great today that Mom brought over a bag of straw to fill up the berry planter pots/beds. Good news the berry plant pots are looking much better with the addition of new soil/compost and a bit of water.
The shop now looks like Home depot vomited garden products in it! I want to get one more 10 bag load of mulch while the prices are so low. It is a little problematic as having all the garden materials in the shop make it darn difficult to move the old box springs and mattress to removed to the trash area pick up point. Some way I’ll make it happen because getting rid of these things will give me more room to work in the shop.
The old Chinese curse of “May you live in interesting times”. Seems to be in full affect. We are not the first to see things change and we won’t be the last. It is not all bad. We can buy little 15-60 watt fold able solar panels for under $50.00-$100.00. While social networks usually sucks they can be great for getting out info early in a disaster.
Don’t get downhearted because life does not work out as you think it should work. Life just is…and you can take that as positive or negative. Idaho seems to be going all California retard politically. But you have power about how you live and vote. Will it make a difference? I have no idea, but I know doing nothing is a surrender to the “Powers That Be”.