Saturday, January 29, 2011

SEEDS - Not created equal~

I was at the local Feed store today and to my delight there before me was a rack of garden seeds. I happened to have a 10% off my entire purchase coupon, and I just recently finished my WISH list of seeds for this years garden.  I had gone so far as to price several different suppliers of heirloom seeds in an attempt to spend as little for seeds as I could. So, here I stood.. OH LOOK! There were several varieties I had wanted to order. I quickly put them in my cart, but the packet did not seem to contain a lot, so I put a second packet in my cart. I even happened to learn something from a fellow shopper who shared some wise gardening wisdom with me! OH I LOVE to talk to other gardeners, you can learn so much. Like, why my pickles may have turned out mussy. This was a mystery to me up to this point, and I was going to forgo dill pickle making this year.  It turns out that the burpless cucumbers are, in this womans opinion, not the best for canning. So I asked her what she used and bought those. You see I tried to make dill pickles,.. I was SOOO frustrated when some jars were laced with smushy pickles, and some were fine. I had not thought that the cucumbers I used were some burpless, and some regualr. HMM.
OK, back to my original thought process. I brought my seeds home to log into my excel spread sheet of seeds. (yes I tend to be OCD with my garden records) It was then that I noticed. These seed packets , that were about 1/2 the price of those from other companies online, were containing a lot less seeds! I get annoyed buying toilet paper when all the companies vary thier pack sizes and sheets so to make a nightmare trying to figure out which is ACTUALLY the least expensive. I am aware that yogurt companies made their containers smaller while leaving their prices the same. The same goes with TUNA, have you noticed the cans are now 5 oz not 6? I sure have noticed. But for some strange reason, my brain dissconnected when I saw the seeds and I forgot about that marketing ploy.  So yes I still saved money by not paying to have these seeds shipped. I plan to save a lot of seeds this year, but I am now much more aware of why seeds are cheaper at some locations. The pack size and number of seeds in each packet are less. DUH! Still frustrating though, that the sizes are not at all uniform from company to company.

My head now hurts, so I am putting my seeds away for a few days.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

John 3:16 have you read it lately?

EmToCa farm is our family Homestead. EMmy, TOmmy, and CAmmy are our three children who are learning to run the farm so that they can learn valuable life skills and hopefully earn some college money in the process. As a home school family our farm is our greatest extracurricular experience.  We are very active in our church, 4-H and in our community. Any purchases made through our farm, help to fund new projects and future education. We love to teach others as we learn a skill ourselves. Keep coming back to see what the kids have posted, or what our latest project may be.

Questions are welcomed and will certainly be answered! We hope to offer classes for others to learn gardening, soap making, maple syrup production, and so much more!

How did it all begin you might ask?

If you come over for a visit, you will find we have many bookcases. Over the years Tom and I have read a lot of books and tried many projects. Sometimes we like the outcome, sometimes we admit defeat.  It started years ago when we were driving truck and did not yet have a family. Tom took a coorespondance course while we were driving to learn how to repair small engines. I guess we have always been looking for the next challange to see if we can tackle it. As truck drivers, you end up with down time in the oddest places. We just LOVE to learn new things.
Once we finally settled down, bought a house and began raising a family, I guess we never stopped adding new skills. I began compact gardening in Oakland Nebraska.. I got a LOT of strange comments from neighbors who could not wrap their minds around why anyone would compact garden in the wide open spaces of Nebraska. But it was there that I learned so much about how to spend less time weeding, and more time harvesting and canning. a 4' X8' raised bed garden could turn out an amazing amount of tomatoes, beans and lettuce. (even if all that farmers told me I planted things too close).

Over the years we have aquired many skills. We moved from Nebraska and for many years we rented and could not pursue the things we really wanted to. Now we are in NY and have just enough land to tinker, but not too much to overwhelm us.

Thank you for stopping by, we will be updating as often as we can.

May God bless you and your family!