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So what has been going on the business world of Ellipsis? Well to be honest, lots of catching up mostly. 

Life has been more than hectic. There was a little bit there where I had three part time jobs, this was not conducive to running a business from home. I’ve acquired and sold quite a lot of books, but I am very behind on adding books to the various sites where I sell them. I have about 7 more boxes to add and I am currently hovering at just under 1,000 books for sale on Alibris. 

Many of the books I have yet to list online are vintage or antiquarian and need to photographed and listed on Ebay or Etsy or both! 

Yes I am now on Ebay! I am not consistently listing, but it is much easier than it was a few years ago when I tried it. It also seems to be less expensive, but maybe it’s that I have more money to throw around. Ebay is great for books/DVDs that I cannot list on Alibris. I am also selling non-media items that I am taking a commission on selling for clients. 

As far as jams and jellies go, I have been experimenting as time allows. I made a GingerGinger Peach White Tea Jam Peach White Tea Jam that is the bomb and I also made a classic Concord Grape that turned out quite nicely. In a week, I will be setting up a craft show. My aim is to sell out of the Winter Jams before Spring jumps into full bloom and I am drowning in violet blossoms. 

I am so excited about the garden this year! I dug the smaller bed into a larger bed about 8 feet longer. I bought fencing supplies to keep the rabbits (and my very rabbit like pug) out of the garden and I also bought tomato cages! I know it’s probably silly, but now that I have tomato cages I feel like a real gardener. Staking them up last year just did not work. They just kept falling down. Some of my cherry tomatoes were so full of tomatoes that the bamboo stakes they were tied to actually cracked and broke! Now this year they will be all caged and professional looking.

My compost also turned out gorgeous and a second bin is coming along nicely. I have seedlings all ready to go out and I’m planning a trip to the nursery soon. 

All in all, the business is doing great. I have 300 wedding favors (herbal teas) to package and ship out very soon (pictures will be coming). I am making money instead of loosing it, always a good sign. 

This is my third year of starting seeds indoors. There are a few things I have learned.

1. It’s pretty hit or miss. Germination is a funny thing. It only happens under the right circumstances and some seeds are going to be duds. Even with brand new seeds there are bound to be some duds. So I’ve stopped getting discouraged when there are some in my batch that don’t germinate. I just plant another seed.

2. There are stages to planting. Most seed packets will say to plant the seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeds before the last frost. Well what does that mean exactly? Since in Illinois the last frost is going to be sometime probably in April or even early May then that would mean the seeds should be started in March right? Well not exactly. There are crops like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, and leeks that like cold weather. So in order to have them in the Spring and early Summer, they need to be started indoors in January or in late July-ish to have a Fall/Winter crop. I am getting ready to plant herbs and strawberries now so they will be ready by the early Summer for planting outdoors. Then once my early Sping seeds are germinated and sitting in the sun I plant the mid to late Summer seeds, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and ground cherries.Such crops take less time to grow big enough to be transplanted outside so I start them last in late February.

Seeds started for the Spring3. Lastly, I will admit I still haven’t quite figured out what needs water when and how often. To me this is the most difficult part of growing plants. I find that some seeds are find just coming up in mildly damp soil with no covering, but then other seeds even of the same plant type will need to be covered in a humid tent to come up. I’ve taken to planting all the seeds putting them in the window with a heat mat and seeing what will come up into the open air. Then after about a week and a half, I put all the germinated little seedlings in a really sunny spot and I wet down all the still not germinated seeds and cover them with a clear lid and then I get some more seedlings.

I guess some seeds just need more babying that others

Most of all: OBSERVE. There are patterns in nature and we are trying to cheat it by getting a headstart. If we pay close enough attention we can mimick those patterns which will lead to better gardens!

There is a lot of progress happening here at Ellipsis! Take a look at the radishes. I planted a mix of them including a “watermelon radish” variety that are white on the outside and red on the inside. Can’t wait to make some radish relish with them.

Radishes in the Ground

Also an eggplant is almost ready to pick. Not sure what to do with this yet.

Eggplant

In other news, the greenhouse is up! I haven’t put anything in it yet, but I have big plans for camelia sinensis plants in my near future. Tea here I come!

Greenhouse

I’m still working out what the sort of near future holds for Ellipsis. Books are continually being added to the Alibris site at ellipsis.alibrisstore.com and working on a business plan, but it’s hard when I’m not sure where I’m going to be even months from now.

But I will continue to keep calm and carry on doing what I can as I go.

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