Creating A Year Round Garden With Limited Space

img_20160929_083304My daughter and I repotted our zucchini’s, and our tomatoes today. We moved them into the space where they are going to live this winter, into the frame, that was about to become a greenhouse.

For the moment we don’t have much space to garden, but we are experimenting with different ways to make the most out of the space we have. We live in California, in the Sacramento Valley, and this is an excellent area for gardening. It’s zone 9, and you can grow almost anything here. As long as you water your plants, of course. The drought, and the hot temperatures during the summer require that you remember your garden every day. On the other hand the winters are mild.

We grew the majority of our food this past summer. As summer came to an end, both me and my daughter wanted more. We didn’t want our garden project to end here. So we decided to build a  greenhouse. We actually ended up building two. One for our winter vegetables, and one for some of our container fruit trees that needs extra protection during the winter. We finished both greenhouses today.

 

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They are standing next to each other, and look exactly the same.

 

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This is the greenhouse dedicated to our vegetables, and kitchen herbs. Several of the neighbors have actually asked me if I am growing marijuana. I am not. Only vegetables here.

The temperatures are starting to cool off, but we’re still in the middle-upper 80’s, and my container trees can live outside a little longer. I’m going to wait until my fig trees let go of their leaves, before putting them in the green house. They are going to share the greenhouse with my olive trees, (and a variety of some very young, just planted citrus trees.) Fig trees, and olive trees grow grow perfectly well if planted outside here. It’s because they are planted in containers, that I have to protect them this winter. I have nowhere to plant them outside, right now. They can live, and even bear fruit, while growing in containers, for several years. I have mine in 15 gallon smart pots. Eventually I will have more space for fruit trees, and then they will be planted in the ground. It feels great to be able to have a garden, and fruit trees, even with a limited space. I’ve lived on many places, and gardening is slightly (or a lot,) different on every place. I find that the best way to succeed is to talk to, and if possible even work with some local farmers, to see what works in the area. I’ve been very busy doing that this summer. It’s a learning process that I really enjoy! If I can do it, so can you!

I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

/Maria

The White Horse

White Arabian Horse Photograph by Maria Jansson

My mom never taught me to be waiting for some prince on a white horse to swipe me off my feet. – Tyra Banks

 

My mom didn’t teach me that either, something I am very grateful for. She did tell me that every single person living on this planet is responsible for their own happiness. It took me along time to fully understand what she meant.

I’ve always been mesmerized by white horses, that’s a different story. They are the image of fairytales and magic to me. My very first horse was a white horse (not the beautiful horse in the photo.) His name was Draumur. He was an Icelandic Horse. I saved 10 years to be able to purchase him. He was my childhood dream, that become reality when I was in my early 20’s. I have a photo of Draumur, from the night I got him, in my office. I look at Draumur every time I need a reminder that everything is possible, if you are willing to pay the price, work towards your dream without giving up. This single photo puts me in a positive, winning state of mind. It works independently without caring about the challenges that comes and goes in my every day life. This photo helps me to choose to react to situations that comes up, in a way that takes me closer to my goals.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. – Epictetus

Right now my dreams are about a homestead on a few acres. Well, it’s not just a dream, it’s a goal, that I am working towards every day. Do you have a dream that you are working towards right now? I would love to hear about it!

Yours,

Maria

PS. The horse in the photo is a senior Arabian/Mustang Cross named Diamond. He was standing up to his knees in deep mud when I first met him, 5 years ago. He had been standing there for 6 months. After some rehabilitation he became a wonderful, happy ranch horse. I think his happy state of mind shines through the photo. What do you think?

Green Dreams

My daughter and I had so much fun this summer, growing the majority of our food ourselves, that we decided that this is something we want to continue doing this winter. Even though we don’t have a real homestead yet.

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We built a sturdy frame for a greenhouse today. It was an interesting project to build a 15x7x7 greenhouse frame with a 4 year old as your partner. I believe that building the frame was the hardest work, and that covering it with greenhouse film is going to be easier now that we already have the structure. It’s still hot here (it was 95 Fahrenheit today,) I’m going to wait to finish the greenhouse until we expect lower temperatures. I feel good about having this part done. Some of my plants need to go into the greenhouse quickly when the temperatures are starting to fall.

I am very excited about the direction this is going. It brings me great pleasure to grow our food. Next summer we will hopefully have some fruit as well. My daughter is most excited about the 6 olive trees that we recently added to our container tree collection. I’ve planted all my fruit/nut trees in 15 gallon smart pots. Almost all, one exception. One of the plum trees are way too big for a 15 gallon pot, and I purchased a HUGE pot for that tree (you can see that one pot that are different, to the left in the photo.) I can not move that pot myself, now when the tree is in it! I like 15 gallon pots, because I can move them myself. The smart pots weighs almost nothing. I’m excited to see how my fruit trees like them. Do you have any experience of growing fruit trees in containers that you would like to share with a newbie like me? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Yours,

Maria

Edge

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I have seen things so beautiful they have brought tears to my eyes. Yet none of them can match the gracefulness and beauty of a horse running free.

– Author Unknown

 

The weekly photo challenge at The Daily Post is Edge. My entry shows mustangs galloping towards a series of sharp mountain peaks. There was a storm coming in the day I took this photo. Even though I was wearing a wind jacket, the wind was “eating my bones”. I could barely feel my fingers. The horses were so beautiful, and kept playing in the wind. I couldn’t convince myself that leaving was a good idea. I stayed for several hours, just watching their Joie The Vivre. It was a large group of younger mustangs, and it was obvious that they were having fun. Their playful spirit was a big contrast to the somewhat hostile landscape.

This week, share your own interpretation of “edge.” Take a photo from an actual edge, like a balcony, a window, or a seaside bluff (wherever you are, stay safe!). Focus on a sharp angle or object, or show us the outer margins of a building, a face, or a book. I look forward to seeing your photos!

 

Available as wall canvas in full color. It’s never to early to start thinking about christmas! Your image gets printed onto one of our premium canvases and then stretched on a wooden frame of 1.5″ x 1.5″ stretcher bars (gallery wrap) or 5/8″ x 5/8″ stretcher bars (museum wrap). Your canvas print will be delivered to you “ready to hang” with pre-attached hanging wire, mounting hooks, and nails. You will see prices, and what the different alternatives look like when you click on the photo. 50% of the profits from all my photos of mustangs are donated back towards non-profits, actively working to give our wild horses a future. By purchasing wall art featuring wild horses from my gallery, you are actually giving a double gift!

 

Love & Light, Always

Maria