Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Trusting God

I have worked for the past few years to draw closer to God, to keep Him in every little part of my life, to acknowledge Him in all things. Sometimes I feel like I'm bothering our Lord constantly with all the little things in my life, that He's busy with important matters, that I'm perhaps being selfish to want Him to make all my decisions, even in the smallest detail of my day to day life. Is it selfish of me to shrug off responsibility for all that I do and ask the Lord to do everything, decide everything for me? He knows the outcome already and is certainly more capable of making decisions than I.

Sometimes I become afraid to make any decisions without giving all to Him first. Sometimes I even ask His guidance when deciding what to make for dinner or, sometimes, what to wear when it's important, like a job interview. Is this asking too much of Him. Who am I to expect Him to carry me so much? - but I need Him to. My own decisions are always the wrong ones.

I know that if I give it all to Him first and it doesn't work out, that it wasn't suppose to. This is always my thinking, that He has control and all things work together for good, no matter what happens. It relieves me of any responsibility and stops me from worrying and stressing about life. Is this an escape from responsibility, a cop out or is it faith? Sometimes I wonder, but I keep asking Him, anyway. I am much happier letting Him have the control, so that's the path I will continue to take.

When in doubt I just claim His word, give Him my all and "pray without ceasing".

But again, sometimes I get busy and forget to do so. I trust that He will guide me even when I don't ask.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Baking Winter Squash

We baked our 50+ lb Hopi black squash today. It's the largest squash I have ever grown! Hubby cut it into 16 pieces, each weighing between 1200 and 1500g each.  I knew it was a 50 pounder! 

We wrapped each piece in foil and are baking it today. We can't get it all in the oven at one time, it's so large! 

It lasted a long time and wasn't beginning to go yet. I might have lasted through Feb. We still have another, smaller one that hasn't ripened to full orange yet. I'm sure that one will be good for another month or so, maybe longer. 

I added the knife for size comparison. This squash is a dark, bright orange. Does it have more beta carotene maybe? That would be a big plus. :) 

We love it. We eat it as a cooked veggie with just a pinch of salt and butter. Delicious! It makes great pies, muffins, cookies, loaf and cake squares too! 

This is the longest I have kept one. I think the difference is that this year, I kept it at room temperature instead of in the root cellar. It was dryer and warmer on our dining room floor all winter. 

We go through a lot of squash in a year! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bringing in Your Plants

Autumn is just around the corner! It's September now. The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. It's time to bring the houseplants back inside.

Trays for the plants have always been a concern for me. I bring in a lot of geraniums and so forth from the garden and start many plants indoors early in the spring. This year I am going to use boot trays under the plants! It's an idea that just came to me while shopping at Home Depot today. I bought this one there. It's the only thing I could find that is big enough for this pot but it works perfectly. I can add other pots to the tray as well and use them in front of the patio doors too! I love the idea! It will solve a lt of problems for me.

I planted most of my plants directly into the garden in June this year, so will have those to dig up and plant into pots with fresh soil shortly. I will have to look carefully to make sure there are no earthworms, earwigs or other insects coming in with them.

I'm buying more boot trays today!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cannas from Seed

I have successfully grown canna lilies from seed for a few years now and am always on the lookout for more canna seed. I love cannas! They are so tropical looking and perfect for filling in holes anywhere! 

Dwarf Yellow
This past winter I started many different canna seeds that I received in a trade. The above pic is a few that I grew from those seed. Some turned out to be large flowering dwarf yellow ones, very nice! One tall peach, beautiful! Several tall with very small yellow flowers but large tropical leaves and, so far, one dwarf gold colour. I will put the ones with small flowers together in bare spots in the new large flowerbed at the front. The nicer ones will go into the courtyard, the pond and various pots. 

I have developed a technique that usually works well. Canna seeds have a coating that has to be opened to allow water to enter and germinate the seeds. This is not so easy to do. Many seeds need scarification (as this is called) but cannas are particularly difficult. The first year I tried several different methods but the only one that worked for me was using a rasp in the drill on high speed and holding the seed to it with a pair of needle nose pliers. This year I have a whet stone that I used with success. 

The seed only needs a very small and very shallow opening in the black coat to germinate. I don't want to harm the seed inside or it will not grow. After this step, I soak them overnight in warm water before planting. If done correctly, they will germinate in about 2-3 weeks in warm temps in potting soil indoors. Many that I have started in this manner in Jan-Feb have grown to bloom in the same season, even in Ontario, especially the dwarf varieties which don't need a long growing season. 

One Peach Canna
Growing cannas from seed is very rewarding! I like all the tender bulbs that go into cold storage for the winter. I can put them where I need them in the spring, filling in holes and covering dying daffodil leaves as they age. Dahlias are another favourite for the same reasons. 

This coming winter I want to grow more cannas. I would love to trade for canna seeds that are not yellow. I have only yellow cannas now. I would like some with red leaves and some with fancy striped leaves and some with large red flowers. If you have seeds from these varieties and would like to trade, please contact me. My seed list will be on my exchange page at Gardenweb, after I have had a chance to update it this fall.