I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
On The Grow

I started my pepper plants in mid-February and my tomatoes and basil in mid-March. I start three small cells of each variety and then choose to transfer to peat pots the two seedlings of each variety that look the strongest. I also only put 2 seeds in each cell to try and save seed. This year I easily had seeds packed for 2008 germinate. (I believe the oldest seed to ever be grown was found in an Egyptian tomb and was a few thousand years old - seeds really do want to do their job even if they are "old"!).

This year I am growing from seed ten tomato varieties, 4 pepper varieties and two of basil, all open-pollenated and heirloom.


Black Cherry
White Currant
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
Paul Robeson
Green Zebra
Dad's Sunsets
Golden Sunray
Brandywine (which I always intend to give up on but can't seem to let go of)


Thai Hot
Patio Red Marconi
Baby Belles



We are also planning on growing several things directly from seed in the garden beds which include Kentucky Wonder beans, Charentais melons (on a trellis, we'll see how it goes!), 4 kinds of carrots, 2 types of radish and lots of chard.

A couple years ago I posted about the construction of our raised beds in our previous house. We plan to make similar beds this time around too, but probably longer in length with a slightly narrower width. At the time we were following Square Foot Gardening to the letter but after a couple seasons of trial and error I really do believe that plants need more room, that intensive planting affects crop production and that tomatoes especially need way more room than the method directs. They need more air circulation in their leaves to stay healthy and free of diseases and their roots need to be able to dig down deeper than 6 inches. I hope to have four beds that are 3x8 instead of 4x4 squares. We'll see what Bob can figure out.




jaydeestamping said...

Rach - i love the byline for this blog... a journey towards simplicity is something I strive for. Heirloom tomatoes - now you are making my mouth water. I can't wait for our market to open. One of our local sellers dries their heirlooms at the end of summer. The slices are what I reach for when I have sweet craving, they are absolutely delicious. They also add a tremendous richness of flavor to tomato sauces for pasta.
Have a fabulous day - I'm so pleased I found both of your sites.

Jess said...

Jaydee, not that it matters, but Rachael and I share this blog (and my mother posts about once a year!) and so far this year she hasn't posted her gardening plans over here. Probably because she is 9 months pregnant and has no time!

Glad you found our blog over here, it gets updated fairly irregularly but I have been trying to keep it going in the last few months.


plumcrazytreehugger said... lovely to see a fellow heirloom grower. :)

plumcrazytreehugger said...

Thanks for your comment! That is what this world needs more of- simply cummunication.
i happened upon your blog by chance- you were on the blog list of a blog that was on a friend's blog! it all by clicking on "nature" under the interests section...
well, you didn't ask for a rant..
*thanks for droping by GetOutside.

Follow Your Bliss is truly an inspiration!

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