Harvesting and planting on a Monday night

We had a light frost on Sunday evening, so I decided it was time to start bringing in most of the pumpkins and gourds!

I am absolutely proud of the huge Dickinson pumpkins that I grew this year! All 98 pounds of them! Plus, the birds helped to clean up the garden while I was working!

Beautiful colored pumpkins!
Ducks and chickens cleaning the garden!

We also were able to get more squash and a few more gourds out of the garden! Plus a few dried beans too!

Delicata squash
Scarlet runner beans
Birdhouse gourds
Spinner gourds
Egg gourds and a few jalapeños

Since the weather was so nice, I decided I better get the garlic in the ground too! And yes, there was a lot of compost added to the soil!

I saved lots of garlic for planting!
Lots of compost for the garlic!
Gorgeous strawberry blonde calendula

It turned out to be one great Monday night! If only winter went as fast as summer! Keep blooming! 🌸💚

September 2019 Goals Update

Goals are meant to be crushed, right?! That’s exactly what I’m trying to do as a mom, teacher and organic gardener. But, I don’t feel like I have been focused enough on these goals. So, I’m going to be working harder in October!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** When momma feels up for it, we will quilt it!**

2. Keep doing good for our community.

We had a big book exchange in honor of my sister for her birthday! It was nice to see so many people utilizing the library!

3. Can and save money on our groceries: We are still harvesting a good bit from the garden! (Especially cherry tomatoes, peppers and cucamelons!) So, not much preserving, but at least produce is still good coming in!

Purple potatoes!

4. Use that camper some more!: In September I spent some time on Tylerton Island (Smith Island) and learned all about the Chesapeake Bay and met lots of locals!

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

Sunrise paddling!
Smith Island Cake!
That little dot is a baby crab!

5. Compost!: We are still getting some food scraps dropped off. Plus, we compost everything that we can here! We will be taking in pumpkins, corn stalks and leaves in months to come!

Composting on the island!

Our compost is looking good!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library has been having more guests, since the garden cart has been out so much!

7. Grow some new plants: The ground cherries are still growing well! Now the Hawaiian peppers are taking off and I’m harvesting some gourds. In the garden, the Mexican sunflowers are a great nectar and pollen source!

Hawaiian peppers
Egg gourds
Mexican sunflowers

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. That swing set was reassembled by a friend for her adorable twins. We are still harvesting zucchini, purple tomatillos, green beans, carrots, luffas and peppers too!

The after!

Luffa gourd growing!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 4. Bag 3 was thrown out while I was out of town and the Mr. doesn’t take pictures of our garbage. 😆

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-It happened! We have a monarch waystation! That habitat is being loved and used by so many pollinators! We are still finding caterpillars out there. We have released over 150 and I have sent in our data for all of our tagged monarchs!

Pollinator garden in late September!

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he has been learning lessons on time management! Between long practices, not getting back until late on school nights and lots of homework, he’s still getting his work finished.

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– We decided to use the money made from the garden cart to go towards the teen going to Disney with band. We are slowly making a little bit at a time! (We should be having a few more garden cart sales this year!)

September was filled with lots of fun events, and this whole teacher of the year thing is such an honor! I’m already planning out what I’m going to accomplish this year in my classroom! I hope that your completing your goals and thinking about 2020!!

Keep blooming friends!!

Visiting Tylerton Island and learning about the Chesapeake Bay

The past few days I went on one memorable adventure. Since I was chosen as a teacher of the year, we were given a trip to Smith Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay! I walked away with a great group of new friends and a fire in my soul to make the world a better place.

Such a beautiful little town with amazing people!
A baby blue crab that we found combing grasses in the Bay!
We have a lesson with a local and she taught us how to make a Smith Island cake!
Sunrise canoeing in the bay!
We caught crabs!
I found a beekeeper on the island!
I got to pull in the rake that we used on the seas grass!
Kiss the fish before you set the trap!
My napkin for the couple days!
We found a pomegranate tree!
The compost bin in the kitchen
The compost bin outdoors!
I loved this sink setup!

The facility that is run by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was beautifully green. There was a compost bin, recycling and the kitchen that was so efficiently green. I can’t say thank you enough to the people who made this happen. I am one happy greenie and I can’t wait to share with my students! Students learn even better when they can tell that you are passionate about certain topics, and they will definitely see my love come out when I talk about the bay from now on!

Yard to pollinator garden!

Just 2 years ago I got a slightly crazy idea. I threw it by the Mr. because he’s really good at telling me when my idea is a little too much. My idea was to cover all of the grass by the garage with cardboard and wood chips. Then, take that area and turn it into a bunch of flowers; therefore, turn it into a pollinator garden!

Here’s the area as just a grass patch:

Next up was the part that made me wonder if I made a bad choice. Turns out that just wood chips isn’t a great look!

But, I planted out what I could (mainly seeds) and slowly the area was starting to show some small blooms and green plants!

By the end of the first season, I had lots of ideas for next summer. Overall, I thought it looked pretty great though! And, I also was able to have this area registered as a certified wildlife habitat!

Over the winter I started more plants from seed, and I was excited to see that lots of flowers came back up the next season!

We were able create lots of nectar and pollen sources for the bees and butterflies!

Cosmos
Bee on bee balm

Sulphur cosmos

After giving the planted milkweed a second year to grow, we also had this area certified as a monarch waystation. And I don’t know if the butterflies read the sign (ha, ha), or really liked the 3 varieties of milkweed (swamp, butterfly weed and common) but they have showed up in huge quantities this year!

Butterfly weed
Monarch caterpillars
Male monarch
Monarch on a cosmos
Swallowtail
Tagging monarchs!

And here is how it looks today! I can honestly say that I’m very glad that I had a crazy idea and just did it! I love feeding us with our garden food, and I love being able to feed our bees and butterflies too!

August 2019 Goals Update

Hello all! Can you all tell that I’m an elementary teacher and August is my crazy month!? Getting a classroom ready is a ton of work!! That ‘s where I have been!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** When momma feels up for it, we will quilt it!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The little free library has still been being utilized by many and I added some lollipops that have been disappearing! Plus, we have been releasing lots of monarchs and we even invite the neighbors to watch!

3. Can and save money on our groceries: We have canned several canners full of green beans and even started freezing some. Plus, I made some salsa and canned it too! It’s going to taste great this winter!

4. Use that camper some more!: The Mr. and I enjoyed a Ravens game! It was our first NFL game and I enjoyed it! (Even though professional sports are not really my thing!)

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

5. Compost!: We are still getting some food scraps dropped off, and we are prepping for those jack-o-lanterns! But the best part is that even when we grow something that isn’t great, the chickens will help us out!

Tigger melons after chickens!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library has been having more guests, since the garden cart has been out so much!

7. Grow some new plants: The ground cherries have been growing very well! Plus we got our first tigger melons, rainbow carrots and moon and stars watermelon!

Tigger melons
Beautiful carrots
Moon and stars watermelon

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. That swing set was reassembled by a friend for her adorable twins. We are still harvesting zucchini, purple tomatillos, green beans, carrots, luffas and peppers too!

After!!!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 3, and it will be changed in September for sure!

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-It happened! We have a monarch waystation! That habitat is being loved and used by so many pollinators! We are still finding caterpillars out there. We have released almost 60 in August and just tagged a couple in the beginning of September!

Monarch waystation!

Our first tagged monarch

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he has become a master at putting away the ducks and chickens for the night! I probably don’t want to know how the rooster ended up in the duck house!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– We decided to use the money made from the garden cart to go towards the teen going to Disney with band. We are slowly making a little bit at a time! (the cart is gaining momentum with this harvesting season!)

August always flies by! (That’s why I haven’t posted this sooner!) We will be getting some honey soon!

Our first watermelon!

Keep blooming friends!! 🌸❤️

July 2019 Goals Update

Where in the world have I been?! In the garden! I’m constantly harvesting, watering, pruning, weeding and mulching. But, I’m not complaining at all. I love this time of the year!

And now, the goal updates:

1. Sew my first quilt– The craft that I wanted to try was making my first quilt. Everything is sewn and I just need to quilt and bind it! ** When momma feels up for it, we will quilt it!**

2. Keep doing good for our community. The school garden is starting to produce little cherry tomatoes. And, the farmer’s market in town is doing amazing!

3. Can and save money on our groceries: We had a decent harvest of cucumbers, so those were turned into pickles. Plus the green beans are all being canned for winter too!

4. Use that camper some more!: We were able to have a nice day at a local lake. It was perfect!

**so here’s the change: I have lots of traveling with being the teacher of the year, so I don’t think that we will be doing much traveling this summer.

5. Compost!: We are still getting some food scraps dropped off, especially watermelon leftovers! The chickens love it! Plus, all of those composted pumpkins have regrown some volunteers for us!

6.Little free library/seed sharing- The Library is open and we have sooo many books! And check out that beautiful flag holder that the Mr. forged!

7. Grow some new plants: The ground cherries have really taken off! The bird egg gourds are going to look adorable in the spring, once they are dried out. And I’ve harvested a couple delicata squash!

Ground cherries
Bird egg gourd
Delicata squash

8. Yard to garden our bottom yard. We doubled the size of the garden last year and produced lots of extra food. That swing set was reassembled by a friend for her adorable twins. We are starting to harvest a good bit from this area!

After!!!

9. Keep reducing our trash We are now on bag 3. We are continuing to watch what we throw out, and I’m thinking bag 3 will be leaving the house in August.

10. Create a Monarch waystation and tagging supplies-Last year we made a wildlife habitat area and we will continue to add to it! That habitat is being loved and used by so many pollinators! The monarchs have been laying so many eggs. We have released almost 10!

11. Teach the teen life skills– the boy is growing up way too fast. He will be in high school next year. I want him to be ready to be an independent adult when he decides to leave the nest many years from now!

*he was washing and waxing cars a lot last month. The waxing was with our personal vehicles and the washing was for a fundraiser!

12. Keep track of $ from gardening– We decided to use the money made from the garden cart to go towards the teen going to Disney with band. We are slowly making a little bit at a time!

July was a great month for gardening! Mostly working in the garden and taking in the summer warmth!

Panorama of the garden
Tomato jungle!

Beautiful zinnias, black eyed susans and milkweed

Hoping to do a walk through the garden Wednesday! Keep blooming friends!! 🌸💚

Wednesday walk through the garden 7/17

The weather has been HOT!! When a rainstorm does happen, the plants grow right in front of my eyes! We had a nice harvest this morning! And, the flowers are blooming!

A few of the beautiful flowers blooming!
A jalapeño!
Tomatillo
So many green beans!
Bird egg gourd!
Red cherry tomato
Corn is tasseling
Dickinson pumpkin
Noodle beans
My first ripe ground cherry! It was delicious!

The garden is growing less weeds and more food!!

What are you harvesting from your garden? Growing some beautiful flowers?

Keep blooming friends! 🌻🌱❤️