I got my seed starting kits in the mail, so I can start planting seeds this week. I only ordered a small amount of seeds this year, because I ordered a lot last year. I'm trying a few new things, a Korean pepper, a little finger eggplant, and dill. It always sucks that when the cucumbers are ready, but the dill isn't, or vice versa. And it seems like you can only buy the fresh dill (not the little packets), the cucumbers are mostly done. So I will grow my own. I got the kind with the big bouquets.
Mom wants us to take down the deck in the front of the house. It's not made of wood, but some kind of imitation decking. We are going to use it to build a long raised bed, probably 16 feet by 4 feet or 2 8 x 4's. But I want it 3 feet tall, too, and I want to put my strawberries in it, so I can then easily pick while standing. The strawberries are also in a place that gets so much sun they get scorched and no amount of water helps them, they barely stay alive. Plus it hurts my back too much to stay hunched over to pick as many berries as we get, for as many days as we get them.
I'll have to use a lot of dirt, but in the long run it is better for me to be able to continue gardening. I'll hugelkultur a bit and add all the trimmings to the bottom, like the roses and the raspberry and blackberry canes that need to be trimmed. Also the apple tree and blueberry bushes need to be trimmed. And we still have a bunch of compost in the back that can go in.
I'm not sure if we will have enough deck to build a second raised bed or not. Maybe a smaller one. But we can use the balustrades to build the arbor that will make the garden gate. I think we have enough to do two of them, so one into that main garden and one into the smaller garden, and then fence it up. I feel good about being able to recycle so much. There will be some trellises that covered the underside of the deck. We might use that on the outside of the raised bed, just to pretty it up. When we can get away with reusing so much of what we already have, and only adding the cost of screws it is a major win. It might not even take the cost of screws if the deck was put down with screws. If it was put down with nails, that's another story.
We'll be taking down the rabbit shed sometime this summer. We should be able to reuse the plywood on the end walls and the roof, but the floor is not useable at all. We'll have to see on the back wall after a lot of pressure washing. But the 2 x 4's in the walls and ceilings look good and there will be either 2 x 4's or 2 x 6's, I can't remember which, for the foundation. With the cost of wood being what it is, every good piece of lumber is a piece worth saving and reusing.
It'll be a lot of work to be frugal, but the work has to be done anyway, so if it can build more beds, then that is the work we will put it to.
When we run out of the huge side yard and back yard, I'll start eyeing the front yard. There are some narrow places off to the side that we could put a bed or two in. It would be hidden from the road going one direction. and harder to see because of the bushes coming from the other. But it gets 8 hours of sun. And even when we planted zucchini and yellow crookneck squash by the road the one year, no one seemed to steal them, or at least not that I noticed. There was still plenty if they did. Anyway, that and the skinny side yard can't be planted until we do some French drain work to try to keep the basement from flooding during big storms.
It may take a few more years to do what I want to do fully, but by the end I'll have a fully handicapped acessible garden, so if I need to use my walker, I can, and if I end up in a wheelchair one day, I still can garden. We might have to take a layer off one of the planned 3 foot tal beds to do it, but that will still be doable.
I had a setback at physical therapy last week. He tried to put me on a machine I didn't think I was ready for and it ended up hurting my back and hip so badly that I started crying. I won't be doing that machine again. I will insist on it. I had been doing so good up to that week. I was walking without my cane most days of the week. Now I've had to use it even for short distances like the bedroom to the bathroom. It is so frustrating.
I ended up cancelling my next PT appointment on Tuesday, partly because I am still in such pain from the machine, but mostly because DD has bronchpneumonia, which is the worst type of pneumonia you can get and also the most rare, I believe they said. I got my info secondhand because DH took her to the doctor for a car appointment, because we knew her lungs needed to be listened to.. I was too sick to go, but I don't have pneumonia, the flu, or Covid, I was checked for all, but they gave me antibiotics because of how long I've been sick and they do seem to be working. DD can't be left alone and DH has a bunch of meetings that day.
I have to call the doctor tomorrow, because they only gave DD a week of antibiotics and she is not any better and tomorrow is her last day. I worry she'll have to go to the hospital and I won't be able to see her. She does not do well with withdrawal from the family due to her anxiety and one of her illnesses needs her to stay calm or she'll burn through her cortisol and have to take more prednisone and she already has to take so much just to stay alive. In normal times we could have someone with her in shifts during the day, but now they won't let you have visitors at all. Not that I'd be able to go being sick, anyay. So I'm just really worried about her overall and stressing if she has to go in.
Nothing financial has happened since payday. DH worked ten hours of OT last week and is due to work OT this week and the next.
I added some items to mid-term food storage this week. 2 cases of tomato sauce, 1 case of pineapple, and 25 pounds of flour. WE will be freezing that for a bit and putting it into Mylar, sealing it, and into a bucket with a gamma lid. I can't find whole wheat flour anywhere. Costco was so low on everything. No French fries, no frozen broccoli, no pasta. And limits on meats.
We still have over half a steer, part of a lamb, not nearly enough chicken, a bit of turkey, some frozen salmon and spot prawns, but almost no pork in the freezer. What we do have is bacon, one bag of pork chops, and a ham or two, so we'll be okay for a while. Our potatoes are starting to sprout, but we still have about twenty pounds that have not. Potatoes are getting a bit hard to find and there is a 2 bag limit. I do still have some canned, but we won't make it until the next crop is ready. I have some winter squash that we can eat after the potatoes run out, but only four. And there is always rice. We have a lot of that.
I'm not happy with what I am seeing at the grocery stores at all. Prices and quality wise. Stuff that would never have made it onto the produce shelves a couple years ago are now the norm. There are bruises and brown spots and even outright mold. And these are not bargain stores, these are regular stores.
We still haven't had our new freezer come in. I really hope it does before harvest season. I want to be able to freeze strawberries, plum prunes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, and blueberries at the very least. Corn, if we decide to grow it, since it tastes better frozen than canned. But I won't give up room from meat for it.
I'm worried, but I am doing everything I can to be prepared. If things get bad enough they will start limiting food purchases. They're already limiting on chicken and some canned goods, beans, and rice. Who knows what will happen if these things in Ukraine and Taiwan escalate? If we enter into a war, we could see actual rationing again. I want to be stocked enough that it isn't something I have to worry about. I'm generally not this much of a worrywart, but these times they are a changing.