Starting those indoor seeds!

Starting those indoor seeds!

I live in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. We have a fairly mild climate so this creates wonderful vegetable growing conditions! I grew up next to my Grandparents and they were avid gardeners. My Granddad was the veggie gardener so that is where my passion comes from. As soon as I could walk I was out there helping him. My Grandma would tell me stories of me sitting on my stool out on the deck watching for him to appear! I was out there everyday he was. I think being out in nature with him created this great sense of relaxation I get from it. My Granddad was a man of very few words, but he was kind and gentle and patient with me. I will forever treasure my 16 years with him. 
 
With today’s busy lifestyle of running around I find it hard to find hobbies and activities that are truly relaxing in my busy life. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way! This is why I’m trying so hard to get back to the basics, spend more time on our property and truly have quality time with our children. To really spend the time and listen to their little stories and what they are thinking. No one can really do this if we are all running around like crazy people!! Gardening ties into this healthy lifestyle I am creating for my family.
 
So for seeds I use West Coast Seeds based out of the lower mainland.  They are for organic growing and are nongmo. You can find them at almost any local nursery here on Vancouver island. I start my indoor seeds during the last week of March.  This seems to be a good time for me as I live a couple hundred feet off the ocean and it is a bit cooler here with the wind. I know my good friend Kyla usually starts her seeds more in the beginning of March but she is more sheltered from the winds. So really we live 5 minutes away from each other but all these little details seem to matter! Ocean air, wind, sheltered with trees, etc.
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This is my 5th year with a large vegetable garden.  I have tried starting several different vegetable seeds indoors but what works best for me with success rate and transplanting are broccoli, tomatoes and basil.   This year I am also starting sage indoors. I find these plants don’t get too spindly and there for transplant with the best success rate. Everything else I grow starts off beautifully by direct sowing right in the garden, so really, why waste time and money starting them indoors if that is the case!
Broccoli, tomato, sage and basil have to be started indoors though! The soil doesn’t get warm enough to plant most vegetables until May. You can start some before or after May but for the majority of seeds you should wait until then. By starting these seeds indoors you get a couple extra months of growing time so that they can produce long before the first frost around here.  Which is usually in October. 
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The indoor seeds need a proper soil starter mix. It is full of all the right nutrients those little seeds need in order to germinate.  We have our seeds located in the south east window for extra sun. As an added bonus we have a light above them for that extra boost. We water the seeds daily and they usually pop up in 10 or so days.  If a couple seeds don’t germinate, I replant them.
A couple weeks (early May) before the seeds are ready to be planted in the garden you have to harden them off. This means you have to get them ready and use to the outdoors. So we put them outside for a couple hrs each day.  This gets them use to the temperature, wind and sun.
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Once the broccoli is ready to go out in the garden it can go into any open bed. Just watch out for those slugs!
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Tomatoes do not like alot rain or water on their leaves so if it is a really wet spring they might need some sort of cover.
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Basil do best in a cold frame.  This creates a warmer environment for them and also protects them from heavy winds and rain. I have tried panting basil other ways and failed!  Last year I put them in the cold frame and was eating fresh basil till almost November so this is a must! See cold frame below! It is made from a recycled shower door.
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This is just a general guideline to get you started! Please contact me with any questions and I would be happy to answer them!!
Jillian
    
Emalee’s Health Story

Emalee’s Health Story

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Emalee’s dinner! I haven’t mentioned this before because I wanted to check with my step daughter Emalee to make sure she was comfortable with me sharing her health story. She is because she wants other kids to not feel sick and eat yummy tasty foods like she can. Going through this journey with her has 100 % brought me to where I am now. I hope you get a better sense of what Kitty Coleman Natural Bliss is all about!
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Emalee came into my life when she was 4 years old. She wasn’t a very healthy girl when I met her and it broke my heart. I had a 2 yr old, her step brother Kaiden who was healthy. So I knew something was wrong. At 2 years old Emalee developed a severe peanut allergy. She is anaphylaxis  so she has to have an epipen with her.  She also developed asthma around the same time. When I met Emalee when she was 4 she was often sick with a runny nose, tummy aches, rashes, cold sores at least twice a month and dry skin. It was so hard on me seeing one of my children who I loved so much, so unwell. It caused a lot of stress for our family and nothing was going to get in my way to change it. After her little sister Lily was born I decided to take things into my own hands. I slowly cut back the medications she was on. I used alternatives like essential oils for her asthma and even though we ate well we cut out all preservatives and started to make almost everything from scratch. This helped a lot. I used essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus and chamomile in a humidifier every night she was with us. And I never missed a weekend.  And guess what?! It was working! She no longer needed her puffers or other medications. Her symptoms to her seasonal allergies went way down and her skin was softer. But she still got cold sores at least twice a month. I asked Dr after Dr after nurse and it all pointed to a weakened immune system. 1.5 years ago Emalee started to live with us more. The first thing I did was take her to a Naturopath and get an extensive blood test. She even ate dairy for 2 weeks before to see if she was allergic to dairy. Taking her in for that blood test was the best thing I could have ever done for her. I trusted my guts and all the signs and symptoms.  16 different foods came back as true allergies. (And dairy was not one of them!). Meaning her body and immune system reacts against those proteins. Her poor poor body!
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After about a month of avoiding those 16 foods she stopped getting cold sores, her skin became healthier, her eyes brighter, and the biggest change was emotionally. She became a much happier child. Currently, Emalee is super healthy and hardly ever gets sick! If I hadn’t gotten her blood tested and she kept eating these foods the long term results could have been devastating.  Auto immune disease or cancer are a couple of examples. She most likely has a leaky gut. Her guts don’t work the same way as other children. The best thing to do besides avoiding those 16 foods is to take a really good probiotic in the billions to help heal her guts and help with absorption. She will always be sensitive so she should eat organic, non gmo and preservative free foods. This is really how we should all eat.
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Emalee’s health journey was my motivation to create Kitty Coleman Natural Bliss. We want to help you live a healthy allergen-free lifestyle.  To be here for support for other families. And you know, it’s not that hard to avoid those 16 foods. No, she can’t eat out really, but we can sure cook some yummy food at home!!!
I never want Emalee to feel left out so we all live her healthy lifestyle!
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Please use this information to help. Email me at kcnaturalbliss@gmail.com if you have any questions. I would be happy to try and answer them!
Thanks for listening to our story.
~Jillian and Emalee~
Emalee loves anything out in nature including fishing, riding bikes and climbing trees, she loves to dance and sing, loves all animals, she is really curious about life and is always asking questions! She is the best big sister to her little brother Jace and spends hours giving him piggy back rides and pushing him on the swings. She can always manage to make him feel better when he is upset.
Some of foods Emalee is allergic to are; gluten, soy, eggs (Duck and chicken), cranberries,  pineapple,  lentils, green peas, coffee, sesame seeds and chickpeas.