2020 Goals update

I’m proud to say that even though our life has been much different, we have still been able to do so much! Here’s where we are at since the last update:

1. Get rid of more, use less and be more minimalistic– Since the last update, we have put work into cleaning up the garage. I have also been letting go of a lot of clothes that I have no idea why I was holding on to them. Over covid break the Mr. lost about 20 pounds and I lost 10. So, goodbye lots of poorly fitting clothes!

2. Do good, be a good person and spread kindness– Masks, masks and more masks. I made and gave away a ton of them. The money that I did receive will be going towards creating a free seed library for our town! I’m so looking forward to seeing people enjoying growing their own food and flowers!

I made hundreds of masks and many scrub hats too!
The future seed library! I’m so excited about this idea!

3. Grow food, flowers and enjoy new plants– This year I definitely had a bounty! My best growers were the cushaw squash, but I did get a monster Dickinson pumpkin! Plus, the pollinator garden turned out beautiful. I actually starting clipping blooms and sharing their beauty! Overall, I grew around 1,000 pounds of food!

We grew about 5 that size!
What a huge pumpkin!
Our beautiful blooms!

4. Be creative! Craft, forge, sew and do whatever makes our creative souls happy!– I spent so much time sewing masks, that I took a long break from sewing! I started baking everything sourdough, and I love it! I also started making my own calendula salve from my blooms! That’s fun too!

Sourdough bread
And the Mr. has been making so much in the forge too!

5. Travel, spend as much quality time that we can with our ever growing teen. Time is precious. There were no big trips, unfortunately! We spent most of our time here, enjoying sitting on our newly created patio. We did get to go to Northbay and do zip lining and a ropes course. That was a great time!

Our little patio that we made!
We had so much fun!

Secret goal! We accomplished this a month or 2 early! We are debt free! We are super excited about this! Read about it: https://littlellewellynhomestead.com/2020/02/16/were-debt-free/

Even though everything has been strange and different, the garden brought me to my happy place daily!

Never a dull moment in there!

The world is weird right now, but I know that we have found a lot to smile about!

Keep blooming!

Amazing photo of my sulphur cosmos by tydrew photography!

Sourdough, my new favorite obsession!

Since March, bread became scarce, yeast impossible to find and eating at home the norm. So, I decided that starting to make sourdough should be on my to do list!

It turns out that getting a starter going takes more work than I thought it would. After so many weeks of failure, we finally got one going! And, the results were pretty great:

Yay! Bubbly and good smelling starter!

Next up was gathering the supplies that were necessary. There’s a long list of things that make it easier, but I just needed a food scale, bread and whole wheat flour and a cast iron combo cooker. Here’s my go to: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Cooker-Pre-seasoned-Skillet-Convertible/dp/B0009JKG9M

I love this combo cooker!

I also eventually bought a banneton basket. But, you could just line a bowl with a floured kitchen towel and it works the same!

Some dough with a banneton

And to safeguard my awesome starter, I dehydrate some. It took too much work to go back to making starter again! (And it’s easier to share this way too!)

Dehydrated starter!

After many loaves of bread, I have noticed that every single one is unique. The scored line changes the top of the bread and sometimes it cracks right through the scored line and other times it doesn’t. Regardless, I think they are the most beautiful loaves of bread!

Such a pretty loaf!

I’ll be reopening my Etsy store by the end of the month and sharing sourdough starter, along with some hand forged bread lames that the Mr. made!

I love mine!

I’ll be sharing my recipe that has been created from other recipes on here soon too! Happy baking and keep blooming!

Yum!

Finally, a new post!

Wow! June was my last post! I am back and hoping to start sharing more of what I have been up to!

Over the summer, the garden produced all kinds of huge fruits! I grew cushaw squash that were over 20 pounds:

Monster cushaw

My Dickinson pumpkin plant decided that one pumpkin was enough, but that pumpkin is close to 50 pounds!

It was so heavy!

And my newest hobby, after taking way too long to get it started, is making sourdough bread!

So delicious!

Over the weekend, I met so many people who wanted to learn more about our way of living. They asked questions about plants that we grow, questions about honeybees and chickens. They wanted to know how to grow more plants for the pollinators and how to grow milkweed. I loved talking plants and sourdough!

I met so many great people at the craft show this weekend!

I’m looking forward to get back to writing about how our goals have been coming along. I want to share some of our exciting plans for next year. And I want to start sharing more of my favorite things that we have been up to around here!

Keep blooming friends!

Walk through the garden 6/30/20

It’s the last day of the month, so I wanted to share what’s going well and what’s a work in progress!

View from the bottom (and newly added green bean teepee)
The onions are some of my best
Only a couple pretty tomatoes, so far.
The beans are flowering!
Cucamelons are enjoying the cattle panel
Delicata squash coming along!
A bumblebee kicked back enjoying the squash bloom

The San Marzano tomatoes are growing the best. The cucumbers are growing well, so far this year! I will totally admit that I am not a great cucumber grower! The flea beetles are being terrible pests this year.

What’s growing great in your neck of the woods? Are you dealing with some pests? Keep celebrating the positives and know that every year something will be a challenge. And, keep blooming! 🌼

Walk through the garden 6/25

Does anyone else see other gardens and then get worried that yours isn’t great enough? Like garden envy? Turns out that social media is pretty great at only showing the pretty pictures! So, before I show my pretty pictures, know that flea beetles are trying to eat everything in my garden. It has taken me replanting several squash plants so many times because either they didn’t germinate or something are them. Oh, and the ants are trying to farm aphids on everything. EVERYTHING!!!!

And now, here are my pretty pictures!

Pole beans (with lots of weeds in the background!)
Cantaloupe
Delicata squash
My first ever kohlrabi
San marzano tomatoes
Rows of Bush beans
My onions actually look pretty good!

I think the last several days of rain have helped to get the garden growing! Today my goal is to dig up the garlic! Anyone else dealing with some pests? Do your best to keep blooming!!

Flowery Friday! 6/19/20

The pollinator garden is starting to put up some beautiful blooms! Yarrow was all that bloomed here for a while! Now, more beautiful blooms are popping up! They are gorgeous!

Butterfly weed (milkweed)
Blanketflower
Pow pow echinacea
Columbine
Purple coneflowers
Rain battered first borage bloom

I haven’t seen too many pollinators, other than my honeybees! Hopefully I will see a monarch soon! What’s blooming where you are?

March to May Goals Update

So, I haven’t been updating in a really long time! My momma was in the hospital for all of April. It was scary times for sure. It’s like life was the same every single day! But, goals are still being worked on and checked off!

1. Get rid of more, use less and be more minimalistic– We spent a nice chunk of quarantine decluttering. We majorly cleaned out the garage. We cleaned out closets and even gave away the teen’s bike that he’s too big for. It’s been great knowing that so many are getting things that they want and we are getting rid of clutter!

2. Do good, be a good person and spread kindness– I made several seed giveaways, since seeds were hard to find. I also made face masks for sooo many people. I’m so tired of sewing them!

Seed share at the master gardener little free library! (We had one in our little free library too!)
I’m sure that I made well over 100 masks! And then some surgical hats too!

3. Grow food, flowers and enjoy new plants– I have planted out the backyard garden, the big garden and pollinator garden! Everything is growing!

The big garden
Pollinator garden
Backyard garden

4. Be creative! Craft, forge, sew and do whatever makes our creative souls happy!– I mainly spent my time making masks! The two guys in the house built our new patio area and the Mr. blacksmithed a kindling cutter and wood rack.

For chopping kindling
(And he put a new handle on that hatchet too!)
Firewood rack (with some of my old derby wheels!)
New patio area! (I love that I can see my boy’s fingerprints all through it!)

5. Travel, spend as much quality time that we can with our ever growing teen. Time is precious. Oh my! This is hard to achieve over quarantine times! We did take a couple little trips out hiking locally! Great times!

Rocky Gap
Dan’s Rock

Secret goal! We accomplished this a month or 2 early! We are debt free! We are super excited about this! Read about it: https://littlellewellynhomestead.com/2020/02/16/were-debt-free/

Overall, goals are still being checked off. I hope that you all are staying healthy and happy! Let me know what you’re growing at your place and if you’re still accomplishing goals!

Keep blooming! 🌸🌱💚❤️

Weekend walk through the garden 6/14/20

Hello all! I have been gone for a little while! I have been teaching from home and basically hibernating. But, I have still been planting tons of plants in hopes of harvesting lots of food! So, I figured that I would show how well some of the plants are doing!

Zucchini
Little Roma tomato
Ground cherries
Chili pepper
Delicata squash
Onion!
Blueberries
Tiny box turtle by the garden (eating a worm!)

It’s been a weird time, but we are still growing lots of food, and even have a goal of harvesting 500 pounds of food from our less than an acre! So far, we have a long way to go!

Keep blooming friends, even through 2020!

Exciting project and walk through the garden Wednesday!

Are you having a seed shortage where you live too? It’s hard to find anything that you may want to grow! I’m so lucky that I got my seeds early! But, I decided to share lots of my seeds in my little free library! It’s like a seed share!

I have organized it, so that hopefully people can find what they are looking for!
It’s out there chilling with the books!

I’m really hoping that it is used and that people are able to grow some of their own yummy food!

I also decided to walk through the greenhouse and gardens and get a few pictures of what’s growing so far!

Potatoes popping up! (And I saved the seed potatoes from what I grew last year!)
The onions are happy!
My first strawberry bloom!
Lots of seedlings slowly growing in the greenhouse!
And I just love the beautiful redbud tree! (and I can’t wait until the garden isn’t so naked!)

I need to start the melons in the next weeks and then lastly the squashes! It’s getting to be my busy time of year! Happy gardening and keep blooming! 🌱🌼❤️

The start of the garden!

This year I decided that I would sprout the seeds that I was growing first to make sure that they were viable. It has been working out well!

Luffa seeds
Luffas now out of the soil.

I have been busy planting and preparing the beds on the pretty days. So far, I was able to plant some onion sets, radishes, beets, lettuce and peas. Hopefully they do well!

One of the raised bed gardens!

The leaf lettuce self seeded and I’m luck to have a few heads growing right by the garlic. I also have some Swiss chad that is regrowing!

Swiss chard (ever bearing spinach)
Leaf lettuce regrowing.

I also found some extra tiny gourds that fell off of the vine and were dried in the garden over the winter!

Tiny dancing gourds! (Egg for scale!)

Hopefully everyone is staying healthy and trying to enjoy time with their families! Keep blooming through all the craziness!