Lemon Juice in the Morning…

We are so blessed to have these gorgeous fruits available full of Vitamin C…


Thelma in her fabulous West Coast Garden is growing lemons and limes. I haven’t been brave enough to do that yet, but maybe this year I’ll give it a try. 🙂

Did you know that there are tons of health benefits from drinking lemon juice first thing in the morning.

Our blogger friend puppiesinparadise wrote a post recently giving 20 reasons to drink the juice of half a lemon in a cup of water in the morning.

Here’s another great article on Food Matters about the benefits of drinking warm lemon water.

Off and on for the last 30 years I have taken half a lemon in water in the morning, but with some recent health issues with my teeth and gums, I’ve been getting more serious about making sure I do this every morning.


And don’t forget to include some yummy oranges and grapefruits and limes in your day. 🙂

We had some ice and snow last night…first time since November… The cardinals are enjoying their breakfast this morning, while I’m eating mine…



I’ve already ordered my seeds from The Natural Gardening Company. Remember I won a $100 gift certificate from them for growing the first ripe Oxheart Tomato last year. So I have a good head start on my garden this year, already been planting in the greenhouse and preparing the garden beds. Are you all ready for spring???


Oxheart Tomato Experiment

I posted about this experiment last January while I was shopping for seeds.  The Natural Gardening Company wants to discover which part of the country has the best tomato growing climate, so they asked gardeners to try planting the heirloom seeds of the Oxheart Tomato, planting on April 4th and transplanting on May 9th.

Today I chose my largest plant…

oxheart tomato

and transplanted it into my garden…

oxheart tomato2

They actually have a camera focused on theirs to record the growth… The Tomato Cam

I was two days late planting my seeds because we had so much going on and I forgot, but I think my little plant is looking pretty good. I totally expected theirs to be twice as big as mine.

Starting from Scratch…

That’s what it feels like this year. Everything died in the hoop house during the frigid December freezes, and I’ve had a cold/flu for a month, so I haven’t felt like doing anything, but I’m better and things are getting rolling around here…thanks to my gardener daughter Anna. 🙂

She roto-tilled in the clover cover crop on this new plot near the hoop house…


And planted these seeds from the Natural Gardening Company


Lettuces, spinach, chard, bok choi, beets… can’t wait!!!  I thought the seed prices were very reasonable. We’ll see how they perform.

I soaked the beet seeds overnight. Something that was suggested on the seed packet that I’ve never done before, but according to them it will boost the germination.


While Anna did all the hard work, I busied myself starting seeds in flats…

3I have several different heirloom tomato varieties that I bought at a Farmer’s Market in Holland, Michigan, and saved the seeds, and I have my special Down to Earth Digs seeds bought from Stacey on Etsy


Last year we began to convert our large back yard into something productive, a large strawberry bed with 2 fruit trees.  We had a pretty good harvest of strawberries, and an overwhelming abundance of  cucumbers that I planted under the baby trees. Now we’ve added a new garden space in our back yard. You can see it  in the distance…


It really feels a lot like starting all over again from scratch, and everything looks so brown and drab and dreary.

Thank you to Tera, who bought me the beautiful Freesia featured at the top of the post. 🙂 How bright and beautiful, a reminder that soon, very soon there will be color in our gardens again.

Oh…and I did keep the rooster, and I’m calling him Darcy. Thanks to vuchickens for the great suggestion. 😉

Joy Comes in the Morning

I am so glad I have chickens!!!  My morning is just overflowing with joy…It is 19 degrees outside with an inch of snow covering the landscape. Who would venture out into this??? Me…little old me…because I have to take care of the chickens. And I got to see the sun coming up over the horizon lighting up the snow in millions of  glistening diamonds. And then I saw it…diamonds falling from the sky, brilliant tiny crystals swept by the wind and lit up by the rising sun. Absolutely glorious and all I could think of was a resounding Hallelujah…

Joy … my almost 3 year old grandson spent the night with us a week ago. He slept upstairs in my daughter’s room, and of course they were the first ones up in the morning. She brought him downstairs and stoked up the fire in the woodstove and cuddled with him on the couch watching the fire, and he said with childlike joy, ” It’s a beautiful day! Look at the blue sky! I am your friend!”

Then I wandered sleepily out of  my room ready for my morning coffee, and he ran up to me arms outstretched, so excited, “Moka*, come see the fire!!!” Joy in the morning…we need more joy in the morning. We need more joy all the time! Childlike joy!

*He calls me Moka… a great name for me Mom/Karin  and it doesn’t confuse me with the other grandmas. 🙂

So, who doesn’t love seed catalogs?  I received one in the mail the other day I had never seen before, and they are doing a unique thing that I thought I would share…

The Natural Gardening Company


They are doing a test of one of their tomatoes, the Oxheart tomato, to discover which part of the country has the best tomato growing climate. Whoever has the first ripe Oxheart tomato will receive a $100 gift certificate. I might just try this… You’ll love the catalog and you can get one online here.


I also want to share, in case anyone is not following her, Down To Earth Digs is featured in Country Garden magazine this month, and her beautiful garden is on the cover! I’m so excited for Stacey!!!