Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Square Foot Gardening- Lettuce

One reason why I really love the square foot gardening method is.....efficiency. Who would have thought that you can grow 64 heads of lettuce in a 4 foot by 4 foot bed? After a year of broken tillers and hoeing by hand this is good news:).

The picture above is the beginning of a 4 x4 bed that will eventually be planted entirely in lettuce. I tried this a bit skeptically a couple of years ago and it really works. The heads grow such that they are touching and this drowns out any possibility of weeds. Not only is it a much more efficient use of space its pretty too.

Even though we live on twenty acres and space for a garden is not a problem I find that wastefulness is. Our tendency over the years has trended more towards spreading out thus making our work less effective instead of concentrating our resources.

Through the square foot method I've learned that small can be good- especially when it comes to the work of weeding, watering, and planting. By the way, if you have been a traditional gardener and planted by the row method you must read the introduction to this book it is hilarious.

We still plant a few things by the row method, but most of what we plant goes in the the 4 x 4 beds. I find myself continually referring back to his book for tips and planting instructions. There is a wonderful quick resource at the back of the book that give planting instructions and tips listed by each individual plant.

What about you? Are you planning a fall garden?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Encouraging Music, Encouraging Words

One of our favorite on line radio stations is Rejoice Radio- not only is the music beautiful and inspiring, but the comments and challenging words we hear are such an encouragement to our family. We especially like the morning program- "This is the day" and the evening program "Drive Time".

The music is primarily choral in nature (a lot of old hymns), but there is a wonderful variety of songs geared toward the young and old and plenty of short features thrown in for fun. Check out their program guide to see all they offer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Meditation

I Looked Into the Eyes of My Children

by Donna Reish

I looked into the eyes of my children, surprised by what I did see,
For I thought I’d see the face of Jesus, staring back at me.
But instead when I looked into their hearts, what I saw was a big surprise.
For instead I saw me–their mother—reflected in their eyes.

All that I wish I wasn’t; all that I’d like to change,
Was reflected right there in my children—in many different ways.
All the things I wanted them to change; all the things I dislike the most,
Were merely reflections of me–things I should have already known.

I cried to the Lord, “Forgive me, for pressuring them, you see,
To be things that I was not willing—or even able to be.

When I heard an older one say, in a very selfish tone,
“I’ll give you my very best toy, if you’ll only leave me alone.”
I saw manipulation taking place, and suddenly knew where it was learned,
For I, too, can be the very same way—the very way I spurned.

When I saw one of them wanting the best–I thought, “What a selfish child,”
Then saw myself being selfish in just a very short while.
When I heard one of them talking angrily, I couldn’t believe my ears,
Until a few minutes later–my own voice did I hear!

I saw one of them putting frivolities before the things of the Lord,
And then saw me with my magazines, instead of God’s holy Word.

Day after day, God showed me, my children learn what they live,
And before I can help them to change, I must be willing to give–
Yes, give up the things that hold me from being, what God wants me to be,
And willing to be an example–of Jesus—for my children to see.

Now when I see negative character–reflected in my children’s eyes,
I look into the mirror–for it’s no longer such a surprise.
Instead of asking them to change, I ask God to work in me,
And day by day, changes in them take place—and Christ I am able to see.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm Thirsty!!!!

I know when it's hot the best beverage you can drink is water. But, for those times when you need a change from water it's nice to have an option on hand.

I really like to keep seltzer water, carbonated water or some version thereof to make an inexpensive refreshing juice drink. Just about any juice mixed with the carbonated water and served over ice makes a wonderful treat. For some reason the cranberry versions are especially good and if you freeze the juice before mixing it with the water it makes a slushy delight.

Note: I always check the ingredients on the seltzer water some brands contain sodium but, I prefer those that contain carbonated water only.

What beverages do you enjoy on a hot day?