Saturday, December 31, 2011

15 days

In just 15 days we need to start some our seeds inside. Hopefully we will have some frost covers in place so we can start some of them right in their beds! We're looking at either putting some brick or some sort of covering to keep the grass and weeds from coming up in the paths. I think that was one of our biggest problems last year, other than the bugs, heat, and hardly any rain that is! ;-)
I'm sure we will figure out how to get this rolling here this year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

25 days

25 days until we start seeds!!

We're SO excited to start the 2012 gardening season! We have big plans for this year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Planning for 2012

So, as I said yesterday. we are in the planning stages for the spring. We learned last year that deciding in April that you want to start a garden with no planning whatsoever isn't the best idea. We learned a lot!!

Last year, almost our entire garden was a bust. We got a few peppers, which were hot peppers that we got from our neighbors. Unfortunately, the only one who LIKES hot peppers is Sam. Most of them went to waste, and it was a terrible shame. We also got a few of the white cucumbers, but, we forgot to save any seed from them. (oops!) We did get quite a few beans tho! Monk decided that he really likes the beans from the garden a lot better than the ones that we get from a can. None of the carrots or onions came up. We got quite a few tomatoes. A few watermelon were had, but they were small at best and then the bugs got them. The pumpkins were attacked by vine borers and didn't make it. :-( And despite our best efforts, our corn didn't make it either. It was REALLY hot and dry here this past year, so, I'm hoping that this next year will be much better!!

This year we are trying Broccoli, onions, eggplant (maybe Monk will like it if we grow it ourselves... LOL), tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beans, corn, cucumbers, watermelon, pumpkins, cauliflower, peppers, and some celery, basil, parsley, cilantro in containers. I also want to plant some "beneficial flowers" in pots in my garden as well. We're busy trying to shred a bunch of papers and newspapers for the beds this next year. I'm not opposed to weeding, but, having the paper in there not only makes it almost impossible for the weeds to get thru, it helps keep the moisture in the ground REALLY well!

We're really hoping that we will be able to put in a coop in late winter/early spring and get some chickens for our back yard. I've come up with a pretty good design for a coop, and I know how I want to make the run and everything. I'm just a bit worried about how the dogs are going to react to them being in the back yard considering they bark at the neighbors Guinea hens whenever they get out. I think I may have to get some type of electric fence or something to keep them away. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them. I may have to place the coop on the outside of the fence behind the mulberry bush. If we go that route, we will have to put pad locks on all the doors and such so the neighborhood kids can't let them out.

We've still got some time tho, so all of these plans are still brewing, except for the garden, those are what we will be planting! So, I've got a little over a month left to get all of my beds worked and "wintered" (which probably should have been done at the end of the season....) before I get to start working on new plants! So exciting!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


So, as of right now, Ivy Hill Farm is a small garden in our side yard, but we have big plans for Ivy Hill!

I'm Jacque, my husband is Sam and we have 2 kids Monk and Buggy (not their real names). We plan on turning Ivy Hill into a 15-20 acre mostly self sustaining farm in the next few years!

Of course, Sam has just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and is going to be going to school hopefully in the fall of 2012. We live in the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, Jacksonville to be more exact, but will probably move to Raleigh or Charlotte after he graduates. We want to stay south, and Raleigh is about as far north as I want to go, despite being born and raised in Ohio!

Right now we're in the planning stages of our 2012 garden. We currently have 6 raised beds, one of which is dedicated to strawberries. We plan on adding 3 more beds this spring. Last year we planted blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and mulberries. The year before that we planted 2 apple trees and a pear tree. We got fruit from all 3 trees this year, but had to pull all of it off early because of Hurricane Irene.

This year, I'm hoping that I can get some large pots in the garden and get some flowers in there to attract some bees and beneficial insects. Last year we had quite a time trying to keep all the bad bugs off of our veggies!

For now, there won't be a whole lot of updating that we can do, but, I will surely update as soon as we get something to update for! :-)

We look forward to a prosperous season in 2012, and we hope that you will be back to share in our adventures of being more sustainable!

~ Jacque